Last night a few friends and I attended the Alice Springs Desert Festival Bush Foods Gala. The menu was quite something, with possum, crocodile and emu all featuring. I wasn't sure I was going to try the possum, there's just something not quite right about eating possum, kind of like eating a giant rat, but when it was presented in a tiny bite sized piece I gave it a go. The possum had been cooked in duck fat, so it tasted a little familiar, but I really don't think I ever need to eat it again.
I'd had crocodile before in a lasagna (yes you heard correctly) in Darwin which was quite nice so I was keen to give it a go again. This time it tasted a little like turkey. The emu tasted a lot like kangaroo & my serve was so big I couldn't finish it. The desert was amazing. I loved the strawberries and the goats cheese sorbet. Delicious.
The night itself was a bit disorganised, due to a few spots of rain & a lot of wind causing the whole shebang to be moved under cover. The vegetarian option for our friend came out either way after our dishes or way before, plus the vegetarian appetiser was simply the meat option without the meat - a little disappointing. The option did get better, but wasn't a filling meal like the meat option (not that you want to be stuffed full but you don't want to have to eat toast when you get home), plus the main had quail egg, which many vegetarians don't eat. They also ran out of the wine we were drinking, before the main course. It wouldn't be a territory event without a few quirks and it was lovely to spend an evening with friends and try some new food.
Clockwise from the left:
Appetiser - Confit of Tasmanian possum served with a Davidson plum compote on toasted brioche
Entree - Daintree vanilla bean cured crocodile fillet cocked Sous vide and served with cider braised pears and a tangelo wattle seed emulsion
Main - Bush tomato crusted emu fillet served with a liquorice jus and roasted baby beets
Dessert - A mixed dessert plate of wattle seed brulee, Hennessey roasted strawberried topped with a pepper berry meringue, sugarbag honey and goats cheese sorbet with a toasted macadamia bread.