Recently, I found myself in Bundaberg, Qld, catching up with old friends.
There was that lethal blend of old friends introducing me to new friends, mixed together with beachfront living, distilled in a tropical atmosphere.
Oh, and my mate’s an ex-army chef, so bunging on a barbecue usually means he thinks that there’s a platoon of hungry soldiers about to arrive on the doorstep.
When Scotty’s putting on a barbecue, word just gets out, and so armed with more than enough beer to sink a ship, and food fit for all the kings there ever were… ever, a party of monumental proportions starts.
And on it goes till some wee hour of the morning when the ‘fatigue fairy’ taps me on the shoulder and gently whispers in my ear that it’s ‘time for beddybyes’!
After bashing the sense out of that fairy, its stronger, more virulent mate – the ‘final furlong fairy’ – picks me up by the proverbials and, like a ball in a pinball machine, takes me lurching off to a very deep slumber. Familiar?
Well, if not… don’t ever go to a party at Scotty’s.
Here are a few things I whipped up in a couple of weeks of trying to out-cook my rambunctious host. They’re a mere taste of the snacks, salads and hearty offerings cooked throughout my stay in Bundy where the company’s warm and the beer’s cold.
SALT AND VINEGAR FISH IN BEER BATTER
- 1 cup (125g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ cups (375ml) beer; stout works well
- 600g firm fish fillets
- 40g pack of Salt and Vinegar chips, crushed
In a bowl, combine the flour, egg, garlic, pepper and mix until combined. Add the beer and mix until combined.
In the meantime, crush the packet of chips with a rolling pin.
Dry the fish with paper towel, then dust in a plate of flour before dipping the fish in the batter.
Roll the battered fish in the crushed chips and pat firmly to help chips stick to the fish.
Shallow fry in vegetable oil.
TASTY BARBECUE CHICKEN MARINADE
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1.5kg chicken pieces or wings
Whisk together the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper until the sugar has dissolved.
Add your chicken to a large zip-lock bag and pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight. Cook over the grill section of your barbecue, brushing liberally with leftover marinade.
CRUNCHY ASIAN SALAD
- 750g Asian cabbage, finely chopped
- 1kg carrot, shredded
- 4 or 5 spring onions, finely chopped
- 250g frozen peas, cooked and cooled
- Salt to taste
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Handful of coriander, chopped
- For the dressing
- ½ lime, juiced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Put the dressing ingredients into a bowl, whisk well and set aside. Mix together the cabbage, carrots, spring onions, and peas. Sprinkle with a little salt, mix again and leave to stand for five minutes.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Stir in the parsley and coriander just before serving.
The dressing can be made a day ahead.
The full feature appeared in Camper Trailer Australia #98 March 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!