The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Prepared chestnuts

A fresh chestnut is a hard nut to crack, so we're lucky, then, that we can buy them ready to go, making it that much easier to add some northern magic to our Christmas.

Seasonality alert! Much as we normally like to cleave to what's in season at our local fruiterer, at Christmas the usual rules don't have to apply. How else to explain roast turkey in Cairns and all those Thermoses of eggnog on Bondi Beach?

Chestnuts are a Christmas staple in the northern hemisphere, and though you won't see them imported "fresh" Down Under at this time of year, it just so happens that they freeze and vacuum-pack pretty darn well.

And the best news? They're frozen after some other poor soul has done the hard work of shelling and cooking them for you. Most good delis and fancy food stores stock them, especially at this time of year (Cheznuts, The Essential Ingredient and GJ Food are our go-to suppliers).

Prepared chestnuts can be used straight from the vac-pack, for roasting or simmering in milk for a dessert, as we've done here.

Roasted chestnut and cabbage salad
Serves 4-6 as a side
Preheat oven to 250C. Soak cup golden raisins in a bowl with 60ml sweet Sherry until plump (30 minutes), then drain (discard Sherry). Scatter 250gm halved prepared chestnuts in a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, season generously with sea salt flakes and roast until golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly. Combine 2 golden shallots, finely chopped, ¼ cabbage, finely shredded, ¼ cup finely grated parmesan and ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley in a bowl. Add chestnuts, 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar and 60ml extra-virgin olive oil, toss to combine and serve.

Chestnut, sage and sausage stuffing
Serves 6-8 (pictured)
Preheat oven to 220C. Combine 350gm crumbled pork sausage meat, 200gm prepared chestnuts, 160gm crusty bread, torn into bite-sized pieces, 1/3 cup firmly packed sage leaves, 4 golden shallots, cut into wedges, 60gm softened butter, a few strips of lemon rind and 1 tbsp olive oil in a bowl and season generously to taste. Transfer to a roasting pan, cover with foil and bake until bread has soaked up most of the butter and sausages are cooked (20 minutes). Remove foil and roast until golden (15-25 minutes). Season well to taste and serve with your Christmas turkey.

Baked plums with roast chestnut and rosemary ice-cream
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 200C. Roast 200gm prepared chestnuts in an oven dish until golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool, then finely chop and combine with 600gm vanilla bean ice-cream and 3 tsp finely chopped rosemary in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until just combined. Transfer to a container and freeze until required. Meanwhile, halve 4 plums and place cut-side up on an oven tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle with 2 tbsp brown sugar and bake until plums are soft and caramelised (10-15 minutes). Transfer to bowls, add scoops of ice-cream and serve.

Fried chestnuts with Gorgonzola and bitter leaves
Serves 4-6 as a side
Heat 60ml olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add 250gm prepared chestnuts and fry, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp (10-15 minutes). Drain excess oil, season generously and set aside to cool on absorbent paper. Combine in a bowl with 100gm mixed bitter leaves, such as frisée and radicchio, 60gm Gorgonzola, crumbled, 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp aged red wine vinegar, toss to coat and serve.

Mont Blanc
Serves 4
Combine 500gm prepared chestnuts, 500ml milk, 75gm caster sugar and the scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean in a saucepan and cook over low heat until chestnuts are very soft (20-30 minutes). Set aside to cool, then process in a food processor to a purée. Pass through a potato ricer into 4 bowls to create mountains of puréed-chestnut noodles. Top with a large dollop of gently whipped cream and a generous grating of dark chocolate and serve.

Hot tips
+ Both frozen uncooked chestnuts and packaged blanched chestnuts have great flavour; choose frozen chestnuts if the colour is important.
+ Be careful when separating the packaged blanched chestnuts - they tend to clump together and break.

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