Classic Aussie Dishes Paired with SA Wines
Words by Jane Ryan
Photography by Supplied
Aussie chef Guy Turland has turned back the clock and gifted us all with a three-course nostalgic dinner party menu of classic Aussie food.
What does the quintessential Aussie dinner party look like? It’s a question chef Guy Turland (of Bondi Harvest fame) was asked by wine brand Orlando. He went deep into the ‘50s and ‘60s and returned with vol-au-vents, apricot chicken and mint slices – guaranteed to make you nostalgic for your parents’ stack of well-thumbed cookbooks from which any numerous atrocities sprang.
Paired with wines, thanks to a bit of help from Orlando’s winemaker Ben Thoman, the dishes have been given a 2020 glow-up – they’re still golden oldies but reimagined for a different audience in a different era.
“Going back in time to the 70s, 80s, and 90s and drawing inspiration from so many past chefs and winemakers was a reminder that our future is paved by our past, and that old legends will always have a place in today,” said Guy. “Classic combinations of hot puff pastry vol-au-vent filled with wild mushrooms, sweet and creamy glazed apricot chicken, and after dinner mint slices have stood the test of time, and like the Orlando wine range, they're ready to be heroes once again!”
Back in the 1950s and 60s, Orlando was a household name – it’s part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio and has been given a relaunch with ‘The Legends’ range, five iconic wines that capture all that is great about Australian classics, as well as four new next-generation wines.
Orlando’s winemaker Ben Thoman says of the collaboration: “I fondly remember my Mum preparing dishes like these in my childhood, and then staying up ‘late’ to snaffle an after dinner mint. So, it has been great fun to relive those memories with Guy developing this nostalgic menu and matching it to my wines.”
We loved this new interpretation of a classic Aussie dinner party – so we’ve got all the recipes here for the next time you have pals over. As to the wines? This is the suggested pairing:
Orlando Hilary Adelaide Hills Chardonnay’s zippy palate and bright citrus flavours elevate the reimagined wild mushroom vol-au-vent. The staple hors d'oeuvre and platter ruler of yesteryear is made with a flaky pastry and a Parmigiano Reggiano and black truffle infusion, all topped with toasted walnuts.
Next, a whole-roasted and stuffed apricot chicken served with an apricot nectar sauce pairs perfectly with the lively red fruit and ripe cherry complexity of the Orlando Cellar 13 Barossa Valley Grenache. The poultry staple was a must in 1970s home entertaining, and this wine and food pairing is an interesting twist on a classic.
To finish, the full-bodied distinctive dark liquorice notes of the Orlando Lawson’s Padthaway Shiraz, highlighted by subtle eucalypt, matches up with Turland’s remastered after dinner mint slice, a sumptuous mint filling encased within a dark chocolate layer to end the party perfectly.
Wild Mushroom Vol-Au-Vent Paired with 2019 Orlando Hilary Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
For the vol-au-vent you'll need:
2 free-range eggs
500g of puff pastry
1 tbsp plain flour (for dusting)
6 tbsp of butter
6 tbsp of flour
2 cups of milk
1 tsp of truffle paste / fresh truffle (optional)
500g mixed mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 dried red chillies, optional
½ cup parsley (chopped)
1 tsp thyme (chopped)
1 tbsp of olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup walnuts (toasted)
How to make:
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. For the vol-au-vent casing, make an egg wash by cracking two eggs in a bowl, whisking until smooth.
3. Roll out three sheets of pastry on a lightly floured surface side by side. Using a 10 inch cutter or tart tin, cut 3 rounds (all exact size).
4. For the base of the vol-au-vent, place one of the three pastry rounds on your prepaid tray lined with parchment paper, brush your base with egg wash.
5. For the vol-au-vent walls, cut the center of the two remaining pastry pieces using a slightly smaller cutter (9 - 9.5 inch is ideal). Carefully stack these two pastry rings on top of your base.
6. Prick the bottom of each pastry with the tines of a fork to help prevent the centers from rising in the oven.
7. Egg wash each of the circles and bake on the top shelf of the oven for approximately 12 - 14 minutes, or until puffed up, crisp and golden.
8. To make the truffle parmesan white sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan on a low heat. Once melted, whisk the flour into the melted butter. Add a pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper, truffle paste or fresh truffle.
9. Stir and cook sauce over low heat for 2 minutes. Tip: If your mixture is thickening slowly, continue cooking in 30-second intervals until thick and bubbly.
10. Bring to a low simmer and continue cooking slowly until the white sauce is smooth and thickened (approximately 10 minutes), and finish by folding in the grated parmesan.
11. Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook the mushrooms, thyme, garlic and chilli until golden (approximately 8 minutes).
12. Remove the pan off the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice. Fold through walnuts and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
13. Fill the base of the vol-au-vent with white sauce, followed by the mushroom mixture. Garnish with extra parsley and walnuts and serve in the middle of the table.
Cheater’s Tip: purchase ready-made vol-au-vent puff pastry casing from your local supermarket or grocer.
Apricot Chicken Paired with 2019 Orlando Cellar 13 Barossa Grenache
For the roast chicken you'll need:
1x 1.6kg whole chicken, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 red onion, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
½ cup of dried apricots, chopped
5 cups of bread crumbs (ideally sourdough)
½ cup of parsley, chopped
Rind of one lemon
¾ cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons of apricot preserve
1 tablespoon of apple cider
5 garlic cloves (4 of them crushed, 1 of them minced)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (fridge temperature)
1 ½ tablespoons of apricot preserve
1 shallot (minced)
⅓ cup of red wine vinegar
1 cup of dried apricots (sliced)
1 cup of roasted salted pistachios, whole or coarsely chopped (optional)
How to make:
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a roasting pan with baking paper, and place a wire rack on top.
2. Rinse chicken (including cavity) under cold running water and pat-dry with paper towel.
3. To make your stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the red onion, garlic, celery and dried apricots to the skillet / pan, and stir until the vegetables begin to soften.
4. Add the bread and parsley and cook until combined for a further two minutes.
5. Add lemon rind, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper then transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
6. Fill the chicken cavity with the stuffing, tie the legs together with twine. Place the chicken breastside up on the roasting pan and tuck the wings underneath.
7. Brush both sides of chicken with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
8. To make the glaze, whisk 2 tablespoons of apricot preserve and vinegar and whisk together.
9. Place your chicken in the oven and roast for 1 hour or until juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced with a skewer. Brush & baste your chicken with the apricot glaze every 15 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven stand and cover for another 10 minutes.
10. To make the apricot jus, place shallots and vinegar in a small pot over medium heat until the vinegar for eight minutes. Add 1 ½ tablespoon apricot preserve and the reserved pan drippings. Whisk together and bring to a simmer.
11. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of cold apricot butter, whisking constantly, and remove from the heat once dissolved. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
12. Carve chicken and serve with seasoned jus, sliced apricots and side salads.
After Dinner Mint Paired with 2015 Orlando Lawson’s Padthaway Shiraz
For the after dinner mint you'll need:
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 large free-range egg white
230g icing sugar
1 tsp peppermint essence
1-2 drops of green food colouring (optional)
1 cup whipped cream
Mint leaves (to garnish)
How to make:
1. Line one 18cm x 28cm tray with baking paper.
2. Melt half of the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate into the tray and shake until spread evenly. Set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden.
3. Meanwhile, make the fondant. Put the egg white in a clean bowl and gently stir with a fork to break up. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add half to the egg white. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed.
4. Add the peppermint essence, stir well, then beat in the rest of the icing sugar to make a smooth, thick, spreadable paste. Add a few drops of green food colouring (optional) to create a pale green colour.
5. Once the chocolate has hardened, spread a thin (about 2mm) layer of the peppermint cream fondant over it using a palette knife, then put back in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour until set.
6. Once the peppermint cream has set, melt the rest of the dark chocolate over simmering water. Let it cool slightly, then spread another layer of dark chocolate over the set peppermint cream, tipping the tray in all directions so the chocolate evens out over the surface. Leave in the fridge to set.
7. Once set, remove from the tray and transfer to a plate or board. Serve at the table with some whipped cream.