Melbourne Cup Picnic Hamper


A picnic fit for "The race that stops the nation."

I am Melbourne born and bred, and Melbourne Cup Day has always been a big part of my life. Growing up it was "The race that stopped the nation", and these days it's a race that stops the world! During the years that I lived in Ireland I was amazed by the number of Irish that stopped work and watched the Melbourne Cup - thanks no doubt to Vintage Crop and Dermott Wells.


For the second year in a row I will be trackside. I have my outfit planned (well two actually thanks to Melbourne's fickle weather) and I am flying into Melbourne Sunday night for the Melbourne Cup carnival.


I love the atmosphere, the glitz, the colour, the glamour of being trackside on Melbourne Cup Day an of course the food and bubbles (being kid free maybe the bubbles more than the food!) . Unless you have the AMAZING opportunity to go to one of the corporate tents areas, the best food you can get is to pre-order a picnic hamper to accompany your glass of champagne.


So while I am dining on my picnic hamper courtesy of one of the fabulous Flemington chefs, why not create your own picnic with our simple and delicious EDMK Picnic Hamper.


GOURMET ROLLS

The first item that you will find in your picnic hamper at Flemington is a Gourmet Roll. I love roast beef and this is the perfect combination for a hamper.


This gourmet roast beef roll is the perfect combination for a hamper.

INGREDIENTS

3 rolls cut in half (I used Coles stone-baked sour dough rolls and cut in half cross ways)

Thin slices of roast beef (Shaved roast beef from the deli works perfectly)

1/2 cup of spinach leaves

5 cos lettuce leaves torn roughly

1/4 cup Perino tomatoes sliced in half

1/2 avacado diced

6 thin slices of Swiss cheese

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

3 tbs Kewpie mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard


METHOD

  1. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together in a bowl then set aside.

  2. Butter the rolls and layer the spinach and cos lettuce on the bottom.

  3. Roll up shaved roast beef and place over the lettuce.

  4. Add the avacado, onion and tomato over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Lastly add the Swiss cheese and drizzle the sauce over the top.


GOURMET VEGETABLE TART


A beautiful vegetable tart. Make it with multigrain wraps or with shortcrust pastry.

Last year when my husband and I went to the Melbourne Cup we had the most amazing goat cheese, fetta and capsicum tart as part of our hamper. It was so divine it that my husband (who is not a quiche or tart fan) ate his and then wanted to eat mine as well!


The EDMK Hamper has a beautiful vegetable tart, and to make it even more light I used multigrain wraps, however you can also use shortcrust pastry. Do not worry if you do not own tart cases, a large muffin tin will work just as well.


INGREDIENTS

6 multigrain wraps (or shortcrust pastry if you prefer)

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup of cooking cream

1 spring onion diced finely

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms cut in half

1/3 cup Perino tomatoes cut into quarters

1/2 red capsicum sliced finely and then in half

1/4 cup spinach leaves torn roughly

3 slices of Swiss cheese cut into small pieces.

1 tbs minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs EDMK Tuscan Spice Mix (Store bought is fine)


METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees, spray the tart cases (or muffin tray) with oil and set aside.

  2. Cut circles in the wraps to fit the tart case (or muffin tray) and press the wrap into the cases.

  3. In a bowl beat the eggs, milk and cream together. Season with salt and pepper and mix through the Tuscan Spice Mix with garlic then set aside.

  4. Divide the onion, tomatoes, capsicum, mushrooms and spinach leaves evenly at the bottom of the wraps.

  5. Spoon in the egg and milk mixture over the top until it reaches the top of the wrap or pastry.

  6. Top with the Swiss cheese and place in the oven and bake until golden (approximately 15-20 minutes).

  7. Serve warm or cold.


MANDARIN CURD TARTS


These Madarin Curd Tarts are a slice of heaven.

It is not a picnic unless you have something sweet to munch on, and these tarts are a slice of heaven! The best part of this recipe is that the curd doubles for the mandarin cake icing, and the mandarin cake means there is no wastage from juicing the mandarins to make the curd.


The ultimate is you get two sweet treats for the price of one!


TIP: A little tip for those who have not juiced a mandarin before. Zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds if they are cold from the fridge, then roll them along the bench to bruise them slightly. I juiced each segment individually and then I squeezed all segments together to get the remaining juice out. It sounds time consuming but it really isn't at all.


INGREDIENTS

Zest of 2 mandarins

1/2 cup of mandarin juice (I used 6 mandarins to get that much juice)

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup caster sugar

80g unsalted butter chilled and cut into cubes

6 pre-made tart cases


THERMOMIX METHOD

  1. Place the mandarin zest in a bowl, grate sp10/10sec, then scrape down the sides and repeat.

  2. Add the eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar, butter and mandarin juice and cook 11min/80deg/sp5.

  3. Pour the curd into a bowl and place in the fridge to chill.

  4. When cold spoon into the tart cases and top with blueberries.


Non-THERMOMIX METHOD

  1. Zest the mandarin skin with a fine grater.

  2. Heat water in a saucepan to a medium simmer and check that a stainless steel bowl will fit on the top.

  3. In the bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and juice with a wire whisk until combined.

  4. When the water is simmering place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk continuously until the mixture has thickend (about 5-10 minutes).

  5. When thickened remove from the heat and whisk in the butter pieces one at a time until melted.

  6. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill.

  7. When cold spoon the curd into the pastry cases and top with blueberries.


MINI MANDARIN CAKES


The subtle citrus flavour is superb especially when finished off by using the curd as an icing.

I love this recipe for a few reasons. Firstly it means the mandarins that have been juiced do not go to waste, secondly it is egg-free which means it's great for those with allergies, and thirdly when you want to make a cake and discover, like I did this morning, that you don't have enough eggs!


The cake is a basic vanilla batter, however when you add the juiced mandarin segments the subtle citrus flavour is superb and is finished off by using the curd as an icing.


INGREDIENTS

1 cup white sugar

125g butter

1 cup milk

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tbs baking powder

2 tsp vanilla essence

Mandarin pieces juiced


THERMOMIX METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a mini loaf tin or a large muffin tin, then set aside.

  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl and cream 10sec/sp5. Scrape down the sides and repeat until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the flour and baking powder then mix 10sec/sp4 and scrape down the sides.

  4. Add the milk, vanilla and mandarin pieces then mix 15sec/sp4.

  5. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for approx 15-20 minutes until cooked through and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

  6. When cooled, ice the cakes with the curd and top with blueberries.


Non-THERMOIX METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease a mini loaf tin or large muffin tin then set aside.

  2. In a food processor add the mandarin segments, pulse until pureed then set aside.

  3. In a bowl add the butter and sugar and cream until light and fluffy.

  4. Add the flour and baking powder then mix through until combined.

  5. Add the remaining ingredients and mix through well.

  6. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for approx 15-20 minutes until cooked through and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

  7. When cooled, ice the cakes with the curd and top with blueberries.

To finish!

And there you have it. The perfect picnic hamper to have while watching the Melbourne Cup with friends. Whether you make up funky individual picnic hampers for each person or set it up as a grazing table, your guests will enjoy the food while sipping a glass of bubbles and enjoying the glamour that is Cup Day!

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