Warming up to Winter (Before It’s Completely Over)

Oh come on, it’s not quite over. Of course, as the morning chill becomes a little less frosty, we’re all excited in anticipation for another summer full of love affairs with light food and Chardonnay. Before we sign off on another winter gone by, the AGFG is committed to saluting winter for its fineries – a fond farewell.

Winter is time to pull out those wood fire logs, marshmallows and a glass of red. Winter is time for comfort, chatting with friends around a fireplace and most importantly, for good food. Among the many winter fruits and vegetables available, this season’s specialties include rhubarb, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks, all key ingredients to some of the most popular winter treats.

While there’s still a nip in the air, find an opportunity to host a little winter dinner party. Since this is the season where no one wants too much formality and washing up, try a loosely structured meal that is focused on sharing.

Ever Soul Warming – The Hearty Soup

For starters we recommend a hearty Thai pumpkin soup with crusty bread; if you don’t already have a good gourd recipe in your pocket, here is one with an Asian twist. Winter soups are all about big flavours so you’ll find no delicate broths here. Pumpkin soup is one of those old recipes which can never go wrong but one of the great things about this classic dish is that everyone has their own favourite version.

http://www.agfg.com.au/guide/recipes/soups-salads-vegetables/thai-pumpkin-soup

Rich, creamy sauces covering a bowl of fresh pasta is perfect main course for an indulgent night with friends. We suggest a baked camembert fettuccine as something that will tantalize the taste buds but won’t take much time so try this for your main, it will be a sure hit for your guests. No winter dinner party is complete without cheese so this neat little recipe will incorporate one of our most popular cheeses, camembert, with a main dish. This recipe is easy to make with minimal washing up and preparation time but nonetheless delicious and hearty. Click on the image below for a Baked Camembert Fettucine recipe.

One of the best times to have red wine is in winter because of its warming qualities. When paired up with cheese, the wine does their part to bring out the best in each other. The matching possibilities to go with this particular recipe of baked camembert fettucine are endless and at the end, it all comes down to personal taste. To bring out the flavours of this particular cheese, the Murray Street Shiraz is suggested. This is a great example of a Barossa Valley Shiraz – whole, earthy and structured to express the vibrancy of fruit in the area. It’s a perfect mix for camembert because it’s flavourful yet not overpowering with a savoury mix of blackberry, plum, earth and spice, minimal oak and fine tannins.

For dessert try a traditional biscotti recipe, for a light ending to a luscious meal. This recipe involves baking the biscotti twice to remove as much moisture as possible, giving them their distinctive hard, dry and crumbly texture. It’s an ideal dessert after a rich meal such as creamy pasta because it provides a crunchy texture unique to the entrée and main combination. You can dunk this in coffee or as the Italians do, in red wine.

The key to hosting, alongside coordinating your good company, is the creative meal plan. For more recipes at your fingertips -so you can easily design the perfect evening for your guests- check out the Recipe section in our Australian Good Food Guide site. Our priority listings have sent you their favourite recipes for your enjoyment - discover the pleasure of fuss free entertaining.

The AGFG would like to thank Farmgate Cheese for their cheese passion, wine matching and recipe sharing.