We spend the entire of winter waiting for summer, because everyone knows how incredible New York is when we no longer need seven layers to step outside. Yes, it’s stupidly humid and scorching hot, but all the rooftop sunset parties and lazy Sunday BBQ’s are what make NYC so special! And what better way to make the most of it than with an Aussie style BBQ. Here is the Flinders Lane guide to what food and wine to serve to ‘wow’ your guests and make them wanna ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie mate!’

DON’T LET YOUR GUESTS GO HUNGRY!
You’re going to need to have plenty of food to go around to balance out all the drinking in the sun. Here are two super simple recipes that are easy to make in bulk and will keep your friends well hydrated with seasonal ingredients like watermelon.

MONTAUK FISH TACO

The fish Taco has become a staple out East, washed down with a great local beer there is nothing better in a lazy afternoon. This Taco is finished with a salsa verde, cabbage and of course crispy local fish, lightly battered.

This recipe will serve around 4 people and you will need around a pound of light, firm fish.

For the fish 
– To fry the fish: Fill a large heavy bottomed pot about 1/3 full with canola oil.
– Heat to 375 degrees F.
– Cut the fish into 1-inch wide strips.
– Lightly coat fish in rice flour into a shallow dish.
– Set aside and let them rest for 10 minutes.
– Cook the fish a few pieces at a time until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
– Drain on paper towels.

For the Tacos
– Warm small tortilla shells in the oven just till warm.
– Place crispy fish in center.
– Garnish with red radish, red cabbage and salsa verde.
– Serve with lime wedges.

WATERMELON SLICE, FROZEN BERRIES, WHIPPED TOFU

This is a perfect late summer treat, the creaminess of the sweetened tofu and the crisp frozen berries makes for the perfect after dinner snack.

What you’ll need:
– 1 larg seedless watermelon
– ½ pint frozen blueberries
– ½ pint frozen raspberries
– ½ pint frozen blueberries
– ½ pint frozen strawberries (cut into ¼’s)
– ½ cup tofu cream
– 2 tablespoon roasted pistachios
– 1 pint micro cilantro

For the tofu paste
– 1 block firm tofu
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1 teaspoon sesame paste (tahini)

-Remove tofu from packet, lay on kitchen paper and place between two small plates to press some of the moisture out (aprox 20 minutes)
-In a blender add tofu, honey and sesame paste and blitz until smooth.
-Remove from blender and set aside

For the Watermelon
– Slice the watermelon into 1 inch round slices,
– Lay flat, spread thin layer of the tofu paste on the watermelon, place berries evenly over the tofu paste, and finish with the micro cilantro.
– Cut watermelon into 6 equal wedges.
– Serve immediately.

STOCK UP ON PLENTY OF BOOZE!
If you have any Aussies in the place (which more than likely you will!), they will drink more than the rest of your guests, fact. Being a good host also means catering to different palates.

For a conversation starter and to do something a little different (especially for those red wine drinkers), serving a lighter style, chilled red wine will be a great choice! I recommend trying the Cru Beaujolais (Lapierre), Ploussard from the Jura (Jacques Puffeney) Grignolino, Italy or the Te Mata Gamay Noir from Hawke’s Bay, NZ.

When it comes to whites think easy drinking, lighter bodied with crisp acidity. BBQs tend to have food with dressings that are citrus or vinegar based so you want wines that are flexible with a number of ingredients. Salads, fish, shrimp, grilling – lots going on to pair with. Keep if fun and simple. My faves at the moment are:

For bubbles, I can’t go past the  Renardat-Fâche, Cerdon du Bugey Rosé Cuvée (NV), also the
Cerdon du Bugey fizz from the Savoie is fun. For something more aromatic I recommend the
2015 Artur Toifl, Kremstal DAC Grüner Veltliner from Austria and the 2015 Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Eden Valley Riesling from Sth Australia.

If you’re on a budget and want to just get some cheap wine and jazz it up a notch, then why not make rosé sangria? Simply add a splash of white rum, triple sec liquor, lemonade and seasonal fruit and voila, you have yourself a great (and thirst quenching) summer wine cocktail!