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Chic Summer Entertaining - The Essence of Australia

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Grilled Shrimp With Lemon Garlic Drizzle
Shiraz Ginger Granita
Beef Bruschetta With Shiraz Drizzle
Dukkah Bread Dipper

(Family Features) - Summer in Australia means outdoor entertaining. It means combining delicious food, great wine and unique creative elements to maximize the ambiance of an al fresco celebration.

Australian cuisine is about the fusion of flavors and the excitement of cultures mixing and merging into something deliciously different. To incorporate a distinct casual-chic Australian feel to your evening, try pairing these elegant yet easy recipes, featuring McWilliam's Wines from Australia's most awarded winery, with some easy, elegant outdoor entertaining ideas to create your own memorable get-together.

Outdoor Entertaining and Decorating Ideas

  • Scatter platters of appetizers around the entertaining area. Guests will move around the yard to sample everything and keep the party going.

  • Lay low. Don't worry about being over the top impressive. Your guests will be more comfortable and at ease if you just keep things simple.

  • Pair wines with foods at each station, placing white wines and ice in galvanized buckets or other large containers to chill. Large planters work well here, too, and don't forget to have corkscrews in each area.

  • Place potted plants and flowers in simple terra cotta pots. No fancy arrangements necessary just choose simple, but sturdy flowers to avoid wilting if it's hot outside. Bunches of baby's breath can be very striking in galvanized buckets.

  • Lots of white candles set into planters and pots are very striking once the sun sets. Surround candles with small stones and add a little water for that beach feel.

  • Don't forget the music. An MP3 player, live music, whatever you please. Music always helps set the mood.

  • Edible flowers with their bright colors add a touch of summer to any party. However, make sure that all flowers are truly edible. Some simple additions: nasturtiums, roses, marigolds.

Grilled Shrimp With Lemon Garlic Drizzle

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup top quality Australian extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 lemons, sliced
  • Pinch sugar or to taste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound large, raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (tails on)
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water
  • Cedar grilling papers, soaked in water (optional)

Preparation
    1. Heat oil, garlic and lemon slices in small saucepan until barely simmering, pressing lemons with a spoon to release juices. Remove from heat and let stand for a few hours. Pour through fine mesh sieve into small bowl, pressing to remove as much oil as possible. Season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper.
    2. Thread a few shrimp onto the top of each skewer. Wrap 2 skewers in each cedar grilling paper and tie with kitchen string. Grill over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through, drizzling with a little oil during the last minute of grilling. (Or place skewers directly on grill and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.) Remove from grill and place skewers on a platter; drizzle with lemon garlic oil.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
about 15 minutes total - 1 hour

Serves
Makes 8 appetizer servings

Shiraz Ginger Granita

Description
This flavorful granita is the perfect ending to a great meal on a warm summer evening.

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups McWilliam's Shiraz
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation
    1. Prep time: 10 minutes | Chill time: at least 12 hours
    2. Stir together all ingredients in medium bowl until sugar has dissolved. Pour into large loaf pan (or other pan of similar size); cover and freeze for 8 hours. Remove from freezer and scrape surface with fork until it is icy and has a crystalline texture throughout. Return to freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours more; scrape again with a fork. Spoon into small cups or glasses and serve immediately. May be made several days ahead and stored tightly covered in the freezer until ready to serve.

Serves
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Beef Bruschetta With Shiraz Drizzle

Description
To keep that cohesive feel in this recipe, choose a blue cheese with Australian roots.

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup McWilliam's Shiraz
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth or stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 18 crusty baguette slices, cut on the diagonal
  • Fresh arugula leaves

Preparation
    1. Bring shiraz, broth and garlic to a boil in small saucepan. Simmer until mixture is reduced to about 1/3 cup; remove garlic and set aside.
    2. Season beef with salt and pepper; grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until meat is cooked to your liking. Let stand for 5 minutes, then thinly slice and pour reduced wine mixture over top, turning to coat meat.
    3. Spread cheese onto baguette slices and top with beef. Drizzle a bit more wine mixture over each and top with an arugula leaf.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
about 20 minutes total

Serves
Makes 18 appetizers

Dukkah Bread Dipper

Description
This delicious appetizer is perfect for summer entertaining. Place dukkah and olive oil in decorative bowls and surround with bread cubes. Let guests dip bread in oil, then into dukkah. Perfect with chilled glasses of McWilliam's Chardonnay.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Crusty French or sourdough bread cubes
  • Top quality olive oil

Preparation
    1. Place sesame seeds in small skillet.
    2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant; remove from skillet.
    3. Repeat with coriander seeds, then cumin seeds; let cool.
    4. Place pistachios and seeds in blender or food processor and process until all ingredients are the texture of coarse crumbs. Serve with bread cubes and olive oil for dipping.

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
about 10 minutes

Serves
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
May be stored for up to 1 month in a tightly covered container.

Tip: Your guests will be addicted to this after one bite! Make a large batch and package in small, decorative containers. Give one to each guest as they leave.

SOURCE: McWilliam's Wine


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