Sunday, 2 October 2011

Country Cooking

There is something different to country cooking than city cooking that's for sure. I have recently journeyed  down to Daylesford with Paul to attend our Friends wedding and not only do I have to Congratulate my friends on becoming husband and wife I have to speak about the food.

Is it something in their water that contains more minerals than the city that makes their produce so delicious? Or perhaps it's the fact that it's so cold down their that the air crisps up their produce to seal in those extra flavours........

We dined out at a small little pizza place called Frangos & Frangos on our first night, avoiding the pizza choices as we had it the night before.  But we were able to engorge in some flavoursome meals. Starting off was a good fashioned potato and leek soup to warm me up from the terrible down pour of rain and 5c outside, served with beautiful sour dough bread and Paul's choice of  Herb and taleggio crusted globe artichokes.  For mains a slow cooked pork belly with a pickled fennel salad and white bean puree which Paul thoroughly enjoyed, so much so it was hard for me to steal tastes from his plate, for myself it was a spaghetti with chorizo calamari and basil sauce which also was very tasty.

Meredith's Goats cheese tart
On the day of the wedding which was held at the Lake House a current 2 hat venue, we were treated with utmost service from delicate canapes while the Bride & Groom had photos to a 3 course Luncheon which was beautiful. Our canapes of choice were raw king fish that were slightly mixed with coriander & lemon, rare seared roast beef, smoked salmon crostini and a cheese wafer.

The Bride & Groom chose a delightful alternate luncheon of an asparagus on grilled polenta with prosciutto and hollandaise or a Meredith's Goats Cheese Tart for Entree. For Mains we had a delicate Ocean Trout served on a bed of Bok choy with a citrus butter or a Truffled breast of chicken served on a barley & mushroom risotto. Dessert the meal that makes the best ending to any meal was Tiramisu served with espresso syrup and lake house biscotti and a Honey pannacotta with a compote of rhubarb and strawberries with a crisp tule. For a luncheon the food was well selected as although it was a 3 course dinner and the meals were quiet a large size, the meals were light that it did not make you feel like you just ate a Christmas Dinner.

Dinner that evening Paul and I travelled into Hepburn and found a quaint little place called Cosy Corner. A very home styled type of cooking we chose to enjoy an entree of Saganaki which was accompanied not with lemon but with cider poached pears and a house made relish. This was amazing one of the best Saganaki's Paul and I have ever had. Whether it be the relish that went with it or just the way it was cooked, it was truly to die for. Mains on the other hand were lovely but massive. Paul enjoyed his Carpet bag of rump steak filled with oysters, pancetta and if I recall a mushroom sauce on the side. Although he asked for it rare he was unfortunate to receive a medium rare steak which does put a downer on the meal. I enjoyed a grilled pork rib with a rhubarb and apple chutney, but could not get through it all. Both meals were served with wither scollop potatoes or mash potatoes and a large serving of mixed vegies which were cooked to perfection.

Our last morning in Daylesford and we chose to dine in the Gourmet Larder to enjoy a cooked breakfast to get us going for the scenic drive home. We enjoyed a lovely creamy cup of coffee and I chose to have s serve of chilli garlic and pancetta cooked chic peas served with a poached egg and grilled mixed tomatoes and Paul a delicious Breakfast Tartaine of grilled mixed mushrooms, bashed avocado, taleggio cheese with lemon and chives on a sourdough bread with bacon. All using local produce the beginning of our final day was a great start. We figured that seeing that Dayelsford had beautiful local produce we decided to make a small hamper for a picnic and enjoy the final tastes of Daylesford on our way home.

Breakfast Tartine
If you haven't been to Daylesford before you should, it's a great day tip approximately 2 hours out of Melbourne, if you visit on a Sunday check out there Trash and Treasure or perhaps check out the Mineral Spas around the area, just DON'T forget to embark on the great produce while you are visiting. It's a beautiful part of Victoria and am glad to have been down there to enjoy an elegant wedding whilst I was there.  

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