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Cooking with Cheese – A Barossan Brunch

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A Barossan Brunch of Goat Curd fruit and muesli parfait, Oven roasted mushrooms with La Dame, and Halloumi, poached eggs, bacon and avocado toast

Spring is in the air.  This is our last chance to entertain for a good 3 months until our house renovations are complete.  So, with bees buzzing, the perfume of flowering fruit trees filling the air and the promise of our parliament of magpies joining us, it’s a perfect morning to kick start the weekend with a Barossan Brunch.

Significantly typical of our brunches is the presence of a sparkling red wine.  Today’s choice is Edenmae’s method traditionelle Pinot Noir 2012.  Edenmae is located just 4 minutes down the road in the town of Springton. Merely stumbling distance! We don’t need much excuse but red bubbles pair so well with eggs and bacon, however they are prepared.

Our heart starter of choice though, as we get settled in,  is Barossa Coffee Roasters’ Mexican Fiech Fairtrade Organic coffee textured beautifully by the resident barista………don’t talk to the barista while he’s focussing on producing just what we needed to limber up for the pursuing eat-fest!  I’m so glad that emergency supplies if I haven’t made it to the Angaston Farmers’ Market to get our coffee supply, are at Nuriootpa Foodland.

Early rising at The Wilderness gave us heaps of time to prepare Brunch – there is a little bit of preparation needed, but well worth the effort when everyone arrives by 9.00am.

Oven roasted swiss brown mushrooms with thyme and La Dame cheese. I discovered this extremely tasty combination at a seasonal pop-up brekkie bar ‘Little and Often’, last summer (thanks Pete) and have recreated this simple dish on many occasions at home. Roast a whole mushroom per person for 20 mins with a dob of butter and sprig of thyme in the centre.  As soon as the mushroom comes out the oven, place a slice of La Dame cheese across the middle.  The warm mushroom will soften the cheese beautifully.

Goat Curd, berry, apricot and muesli parfait.  So often I noticed these breakfast parfaits use yoghurt.  As the goat curd has a zesty slightly acidic tang, I thought this would perfectly substitute yoghurt.  Nothing like trying a new recipe on friends as the guinea pigs.  I don’t have parfait glasses, so prefer to use whatever drinking glasses are available from the cupboard – op shop mismatched ones.  Layer starting with the curd (sweetened with a little honey), berries (I used mulberries recently swapped with spinach from a local backyard grower), sliced home-preserved apricots, then muesli.  Repeat the layer finishing with muesli and a sprig of spearmint for colour.  Encourage your guests/family to moosh the layers together when they are eating it to mix in the juices of the fruit.

Halloumi, poached egg, bacon and avocado toast.  Colourful AND salivating!  Pan fry the halloumi on a medium heat (we used the barbie plate) each side.  This takes approximately 1 min each side.  Take care to only caramelise golden brown and not burn if the heat is too high.  Pile on to the toast starting with smashed avocado, then bacon, halloumi and top with a soft poached egg.  When the egg is cut the goo-ey yolk will run all through the layers.  Yummo!

The idea of having the afternoon free to get a few chores done around the property are quickly thwarted with the ‘pop’ of another bottle and my fellow brunchers sliding down in their chairs patting their bellies contentedly.  Prost!

With love from the Wilderness Kitchen, Ingrid x

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