Monday, November 4, 2013

Peaches and Cream

I've just spent the last week as the camp cook at Texas Downs in Menindee whilst the peach harvest was on.

I arrived with my suitcase full of all of my favourite accoutrements to help the food taste amazing. I would be lost without my Thai dressing, chilli jam, dill mayonnaise and blood orange marmalade.
There's nothing quite like boiled eggs & soldiers and endless cups of piping hot English breakfast tea around a country table at breakfast time.
Mick and his trusty dog, Gidgy, delivered freshly laid eggs each day which were the colour of the sunset.
One day I made my chicken and ginger Vietnamese rolls for the entire crew in the packing shed.
They were very appreciative and the following night a long line of Chinese and Taiwanese appeared at the door of my quarters all holding their favourite dish from home. We had pork with ginger and shallots, fried chicken, chilli vegetables and a very scary looking green bean soupy dessert thing??? Lots of beers were drunk and then they played magic tricks with a pack of cards until all hours.
On the last night my friends asked me to cook my chicken schnitzel with yummy ruby red potatoes that Marino (aka Sheepy) had dug up for me.
Potato Mafia Marino Pasin (aka Sheepy)
I boiled the gorgeous fresh as fresh potatoes up with lashings of herby butter and a crunchy slaw on the side.
As a surprise I prepared a tarte tatin with peaches I'd pinched from the orchard earlier in the day. I served it with vanilla ice cream on the side. "How long's this been going on?" they asked as they shovelled it down. "About a couple of hundred years" I said as I shared the cute little story of how the tarte tatin came about. It was a real hit!!!
It's always hard to say goodbye as I fly over the property heading back to Sydney. I feel quite sentimental as I reflect on the week that's passed, the yummy dishes I cooked and the new friends I made.
With a suitcase full of stone fruit I arrived home with red dust on my boots and a whole lot of great ideas of wonderful ways to cook with peaches.
My Easy Salad of Prosciutto, Buffalo Mozzarella, Rocket and Peach
(serves 4)
1 bunch fleshy, peppery rocket
2 balls buffalo mozzarella
2 peaches, washed
12 slices prosciutto
1/4 cup roasted walnuts, toasted and chopped
Caramelised balsamic
Olive oil
Maldon salt
Freshly ground pepper
  1. Divide the rocket between four plates.
  2. Place three slices of prosciutto on each plate.
  3. Slice peach over the top and break half a mozzarella ball on each plate. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle caramelised balsamic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Happy cooking,
Simmone x

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