I came across some pictures of Australia, and it reminded me of the time I spent in the country with my friend from high school. I especially remembered a dessert called caramel slices that I had for the first time on that trip. I was so addicted, my friend and I would search out bakeries that sold them just so I could stuff my face again. We also gorged ourselves on meat pies and "chips". Boy, was that a trip.
Since I can't have just caramel slices for dinner (but believe me, I considered it), I also threw in some lamb. Because lamb = Australia, right? I'm always amused when I reduce an entire country's cuisine to one ingredient.
Rosemary Lamb Chops
Loosely adapted from Tyler Florence
8 (3-ounce) lamb chops
⅓ cup olive oil
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Australian salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
In a dish large enough to hold the lamb chops in a single layer, combine olive oil, the rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the lamb, turn to coat with the marinade and set aside for about 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, for about 1 minute. Pat the chops dry and season on 1 side with salt and pepper. Add enough oil to lightly coat the surface of the pan. Working in batches if needed, add the chops seasoned side down to the pan. Cook until crisp and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season the top side with salt and pepper, turn, and continue cooking until just firm and an instant-read thermometer registers 130 to 135°F, about 1 to 2 minutes. Allow the chops to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
From Jill Dupleix, as seen on Trembom blog
3 large long potatoes (about 1½ pounds)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon thyme sprigs
Heat the oven to 375°F. Peel the potatoes and finely slice crosswise. Toss the potato slices in a bowl with the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Lightly oil a baking tray or oven proof dish and scatter the potatoes loosely over the base. It is vital that you choose a dish that is large enough so that your potato slices don't get crammed. Pour over the white wine and scatter with the thyme.
Bake for 30 minutes, during which time the wine will boil and bubble away, and the potatoes will crisp to a beautiful golden crunch. Keep an eye on them during the last few minutes after the wine has evaporated, as they can over-crisp.The slices in the corners might get scorched, but it's worth the sacrifice.
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup self-rising flour
½ cup castor sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1½ tablespoons shortening
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a glass 11x7-inch pan with cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Press parchment paper into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Combine coconut, flour, castor sugar, and melted butter. Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 or until golden brown.
While dough is cooking, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, and golden syrup in a saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook for five more minutes, stirring constantly. When dough is done, pour caramel layer over top and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Place chocolate and shortening in a saucepan and heat over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour over caramel layer and smooth out. Allow chocolate layer to set completely before slicing into squares.