Election eating can be more than democracy sausage sizzles and cake stalls. It’s also an evening primed for a festive feast, with dishes representing the main players. We’ve come up with five courses, to be served family style.
There are Clive Palmer chive palmiers for cheesy nibbles to have with drinks. If you really want to gild the lily and splash some cash, you can add some gold leaf.
Move to the table for a mixed platter of griddled vegetables with green tea salt – this medley of plant-based restraint topped with ricotta and pistachios is standing in for the teal independents.
Main course is reserved for the PM, specifically Scott Morrison’s love of a Saturday night curry. This jalfrezi has enough ticker to be served as is, or if you want some additional protein, throw in some raw prawns. (Just be sure to cook them through before serving.)
Standing up to the curry is an Adam Bandt green rice bundt; a baked savoury ring of spiced rice, quinoa and peas that is vegetarian friendly, earthy and delicious.
When it comes to dessert, make space on the table for Anthony Albanese’s now-famous blue-birthday cake (immortalised in this photo with his mum). This beauty is generous enough to share with a crowd, filled with rainbow sprinkles and frosted with mascarpone buttercream in a nod to his Italian heritage. As the night comes to a close and Australia decides, you might even feel inclined to light some candles, close your eyes and make a wish.
If nothing else, cooking it all up will serve as a welcome distraction.
Alternative suggestions: Bill Shorten’s ranch wedge salad (it’s every mother’s joy); Christopher Pyneapple salsa with pork ribs; Jacqui Lambie’s dagwood dogs (in honour of her visit to Autumn festival); Barnaby Joyce’s Barnsley chops with balsamic beetroot; a hung parliament pizza (half red pepperoni, half blue cheese, and a single slice of pesto with mixed nuts down the middle).
Clive Palmer: golden chive palmiers
Serve these cheesy pastry nibbles warm or at room temp with drink. They can be made the day before and briefly warmed in the oven prior to serving.
Makes approximately 20
375g packet of all-butter puff pastry, defrosted
1 bunch of chives, finely snipped
110g parmesan cheese, grated, plus a little extra before baking
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground pepper
Optional, edible gold leaf
Lay a large piece of baking paper horizontally and cover the paper with half the parmesan cheese. Lay the puff pastry rectangle over the top of the cheese. Use a rolling pin to press the parmesan into the base of the pastry. Sprinkle the top of the pastry with the remaining parmesan, chives and pepper.
With the long side of the pastry still facing you, roll up both short sides halfway to the centre, then repeat so they meet in the middle. Transfer the folded log into the fridge for 20 minutes, or overnight.
Heat oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Cut the folded pastry log into slices 1cm thick and place the cut side up on the baking tray, with space between each for them to spread. Grate over a little extra parmesan cheese. Bake for nine minutes, then take from the oven, quickly turn each over and return to bake the underside for two to three minutes. Remove when golden brown. Adorn with edible gold leaf before serving for an optional wink.
Teal independents: griddled mixed vegetables
Served with green tea salt, ricotta and pistachios, you can vary the vegetables to whatever is best locally. Fennel and cabbage wedges would also work well. The green tea salt is aromatic and surprisingly addictive, if you’re after something new. Try it also on bruschetta, or with fish.
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
2 zucchini, sliced on an angle
2 eggplants, sliced into rounds
2-3 tbsp olive oil
100g fresh ricotta
2 tbsp pistachios, toasted and chopped
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 1/2 tsp green tea leaves
Pepper and dried chilli to taste
Heat a griddle pan. Brush the vegetable slices with olive oil and grill until they are lightly charred.
Arrange grilled vegetables on a platter and dress with the lemon juice. Dot the ricotta over the vegetables. Mix together the green tea leaves and the salt. Sprinkle the salt, pistachios and dried chilli over the ricotta and the vegetables. Serve family style.
Adam Bandt: green rice bundt
This works as a side dish, but also can stand in as a plant-based main course with a variety of relishes, pickled vegetables and raita.
5 cups of a combination of cooked brown rice and quinoa (Alternatively cook 2 cups of combined brown rice and quinoa with 4 cups of cold water in a rice cooker until all of the liquid is absorbed)
1 tbsp ghee or butter or vegan alternative, to grease the pan
4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 cup of peas, defrosted
1 cup of peas, pureed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp neutral tasting oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground cumin
5 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander stems
Fresh mint, coriander, raita or curry sauce to serve
Cook the rice and quinoa if required.
Grease a 24cm top circumference ring pan or bundt with butter or ghee, paying attention to the crevices and the centre ring, then pat panko breadcrumbs to form a crust. Put it into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Sauté the onion in oil with the salt over a medium heat for approximately six minutes, until it is translucent and soft. Add the cumin, coriander stems, spring onion and frozen peas and mix together. Fold this spiced onion and pea mix through the cooked rice and quinoa. Taste and add extra salt if needed.
Blitz the remaining peas and egg together in a food processor to combine. Fold this green sauce through the rice.
Press the rice mix into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.
Cool for 15 minutes in the tin then use a butter knife to gently separate the rice from the centre and turn out onto a presentation plate. Serve with fresh herbs, curry sauce or raita.
Scott Morrison: Saturday night curry
This jalfrezi curry sauce can be served as is, or with chickpeas or roast cauliflower pieces for a vegetarian option. Alternatively add raw prawns or other pieces of fish to the curry sauce and heat through to cook the protein before serving.
800g prawns, tail on
3 tbsp ghee
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 brown onions, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A large thumb of ginger, grated
4 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp spicy paprika or Kashmiri chilli
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
2 tsp tomato paste
4 vine ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
2 small yellow capsicum, finely chopped
2 small red capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp brown sugar
Green chilli and fresh coriander to taste
Heat the ghee in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the cumin seeds to sizzle, and the diced onion. Sauté for seven minutes until the onions are golden, then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute until fragrant.
Add the ground coriander, chilli, turmeric and garam masala and salt and sauté for one to two minutes. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes and sauté for three to four minutes. Add the finely diced peppers, sugar and lemon. Cook over a medium heat, stirring often to soften the peppers, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, chilli, sugar or more lemon juice. Add ½ a cup of water or stock if it is too dry. If you prefer a smoother sauce, take half of the contents of the pan out and blend until smooth, then return to the pot.
Add the prawns to the sauce and cook over medium heat for five minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
Garnish with green chilli and coriander.
Anthony Albanese: blue birthday cake
Makes 2x20cm cakes to be layered with mascarpone buttercream. Cream cheese frosting also works well. Don’t forget the candles.
For the cake
2 ½ cups (315g) plain flour
¼ cup (30g) of cornflour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
250g room temp butter
1 ½ cups (300g) caster sugar
4 egg whites
¼ cup (60ml) liquid coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla paste
¾ cup (175ml) milk
3/4 cup hundreds and thousands
For the mascarpone buttercream
250g softened unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
A few drips of natural blue colouring
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line two 20cm baking tins.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg whites, one at a time until combined. Then mix in the oil and vanilla paste.
Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients and the milk in two or three batches, mixing well after each. Use a spatula to fold in the sprinkles.
Transfer batter into the two pans. Weigh each pan to make sure they are even. Bake for 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cakes to rest in pans for 10-15 minutes, then take them out and cool completely in the fridge, before trimming and frosting.
To make the frosting beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Add the blue colouring, one drop at a time, until you reach the desired shade of pale blue.
Trim the cakes so they are flat. Sandwich the cakes with a layer of frosting and spread and pipe the remainder over the side and top of the cakes.