Are you familiar with Donna Hay? She's an Australia-based food stylist, author, and magazine editor with a number of cookbooks under her belt all of which boast some of the most beautiful food photography I've ever come across. Every issue of Donna Hay Magazine is filled with page after page of frame-worthy images and downright inspirational recipes. You know, the Pan-Asian (Thai, Vietnamese) influence found in the Australian food scene really excites me. It's punchy and vibrant without over-doing it. And chilis and limes always seem to find their way to the party. To be honest, if it weren't for the excruciatingly long plane ride (uneasy flier, here), I could see myself spending a good chunk of time down under. I just dig the whole vibe.
Not sure how I've gone this long without slipping a Donna Hay recipe in here or there, but let's make up for lost time. She's the culinary genius behind this week's weekend dinner party menu (and Jon Troutman of Cork'd with the wine pairings).
zucchini, feta, and chili bruschetta
lemon and dill smoked salmon pasta
"Austrian wine is coming on stronger than Fall Fashion in New York City. In particular, their native specialty Gruner Veltliner has sent shockwaves through the wine nerd community over the last few years. This is an amazingly food friendly grape that's perfect for some summer-styled bruschetta. The chili and spicy nature of the bruschetta is a perfect partner for Gruner Veltliner, because the grape leaves you with a distinctly peppery, spicy finish. Match made in heaven!
Salmon is the most flexible of fishes, easily paired with either red or white wine. With Fall quickly approaching and your white wine collection depleting quicker than Lindsay Lohan's stash, I suggest going with a red. A Cru Beaujolais from France's Burgundy region is the perfect match, with its fruit forward flavor profile and lightweight mouthfeel. Look for 2009 vintage wines, which just hit shelves--it was one of the region's best years ever!"
Doesn't that just sound lovely? Not a lot of steps or ingredients or multiple fussy courses. Just a straight-forward but undeniably charming and vivacious spread. Friday (as per usual) couldn't come soon enough.
Top photo courtesy of Chris Court
Bottom photo courtesy of William Meppem