It was a beautiful, soft and cool (for us) evening and naturally enough a BBQ was on order. It was a particularly good one: Turkish bread with dukkah, Cypriot haloumi, stuffed mushrooms followed by a roasted and stuffed lamb shoulder.
The Turkish bread and dukkah has become a standard meal-starter as of late what with the native spices bought from our recent trip south.
The haloumi on toasted and olive oiled Turkish bread has always been my favourite with the sliced cheese dredged in olive oil and dusted with smoked paprika. The haloumi is fried for a few minutes before being put on the bread. A minimum amount of time is all that the cheese needs, too much and it becomes rubbery and not soft as it should be.
The stuffed mushrooms are always a winner . Diane fills them with whatever is available: grated cheese, chopped prosciutto, chives, green onions or olives but always dusted with Parmesan. When the Parmesan is browned then you know it is done.
The main was the beauty of the meal last night because it was more elaborate than just a chop on the barbie. Diane purchased a rolled lamb shoulder flattened it slightly and filled it with: rosemary, garlic, prosciutto and slivered Cheddar then rubbed with olive oil and tied it into an oblong mini-roast.
She served as a palate cleanser a bowl of chopped vegies (large bite pieces): zucchini, olives, tomatoes and celery dressed with oil and vinegar.
All of this delicious BBQ was accompanied by a Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz. This wine had been brought over by an equally old acquaintance that we had not seen in years. The wine was a bottle that I used to buy at the now gone neighborhood pub back in the late Seventies when we still lived in Fremantle. Actually, Penfolds has managed to keep the same taste after all these years; it was a 2010 vintage but my taste buds remembered the same rich taste after all these years. It is comforting to an old guy like me that some things do not change.