Sunday, 19 January 2014


Summer Beer platter of - Spicy Crocodile jerky , Bush tomato & Dorrego pepper leaf flavoured Wild yam chips , Sugar-bag honey roasted Macadamia nuts . 

            The follow on from the popular bush tapas this is a platter to have when having a beer on a summers day (possibly Australia Day) before a barbecue or while watching the cricket. The macadamia nuts were the real inspiration for this dish and the story goes like this. The other day coming home from the local shop on the bikes with the boys we stopped out the front of this house as I wanted to grab some fallen nuts from this big mature macadamia tree. Just as I'm filling my pockets a ladies head pops up from behind a garden bed and says 'take as many as you like, they're messy things'. She walks off inside and not half a minute later she comes back outside and hands me a bag and walks off again. So I quickly grab whats there and get back on the bike, this is 'zero food miles' at its best. The recipe I used for the croc jerky is a traditional Cambodian recipe for marinated sun-dried snake, of which I've just simply replaced the snake for crocodile meat and opted for an oven instead of my solar de-hydrater.          
           To make these bush snacks I first started with slicing the crocodile tail meat while still half thawed thinly, placing the strips into a bowl and mixing with crushed chilli, coriander seeds and roots, crushed black pepper corns and lemongrass, brown sugar and soy seasoning (maggi). This was allowed to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours before placing on to a wire rack and dried in a 50 deg.c. oven for about 4-5  hours. The wild yam chips were made by thinly slicing the yam and soaking in cold water for an hour. The slices were then pat dried and brushed with olive oil before being placed on to a baking paper lined flat tray and oven baked at 170 deg.c until just starting to show colour. They were then removed and seasoned with ground bush tomato and dorrego pepper leaf. The macadamia nuts were shelled and rolled in sugarbag honey before being placed on to a lined tray, sprinkled with salt and roast at 150 deg.c. until golden in colour, removed and allowed to cool.                                                                            
            The centre piece of this dish although edible is there more for its decorative value. Made from squid ink the gelee circle in the middle of the plate holds a chilli bush tomato sauce (red), a honey mustard sauce (yellow) and soured cream (white). These were arranged on to the gelee of squid ink using an indigenous art technique of dot painting. This centre piece has no significance other than the peoples association and perception of the decoration to help identify the culture of the food.


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