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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Most popular recipes summer 2017

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

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."

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

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.

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.

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."

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

World's Best Chefs Talks

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Quick meals with almonds

Pan-fried trout with almond sauce

Pan-fried trout with almond sauce

Nuts are a must on the festive menu, not least almonds, the most versatile of the bunch.

Nuts don't have a long shelf life, but keeping a packet or two handy at this time of year for festive entertaining is a must. Whether in a spiced mix to have with drinks, or a quick chilled nut-milk soup for a light supper, almonds are among the most versatile. And that includes smoked almonds - their salty smoked flavour adds another element to dishes, such as the pea salad here.

Blanching nuts yourself gives you a creamier nut, and almonds are a good choice since they peel the easiest. Blanch them in boiling water for 40-50 seconds, then drain them and, while they're still warm, tip them into a tea towel and rub away the skins.

The best way to store nuts, meanwhile, is in the freezer in an airtight container. We find the best place to buy nuts is usually from Middle Eastern grocers with a high turnover; your next best bet is from a good delicatessen or grocer. Keep an eye out, too, especially in fine food shops, for Marcona almonds from Spain, which are flatter and rounder than other almonds, and have a superb flavour.

Ajo blanco with jamón Ibérico
Serves 4 as a starter
Place 300gm blanched almonds and 300ml water in a bowl and leave to soften for an hour. Combine 50gm torn crustless sourdough, 1 tbsp each sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil and 1 coarsely chopped garlic clove in a bowl and stand until bread plumps up (5 minutes). Transfer to a blender, add 500ml cold water and drained almonds, and blend until smooth. Season well to taste, strain through a sieve, then refrigerate to chill. Top with baby basil leaves, torn jamón Ibérico, a few extra drops of sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil and a good grind of pepper, and serve chilled.

Spiced almonds
Serves 6-8 as a snack
Gently warm 100ml olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 500gm natural almonds and stir continuously until light golden (5-10 minutes). Add ¾ tsp each cumin, fenugreek, nigella seeds, fennel seeds and a pinch of chilli powder, stir until fragrant and almonds are coated (1 minute). Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towel, scatter with 1 tbsp sea salt flakes and set aside to cool. Spiced almonds will keep in an airtight container for a week.

Smoked almond, asparagus, pea and feta salad
Serves 4 as a side or starter
Blanch 2 cups peas and 1 bunch trimmed and chopped asparagus until bright green (1-3 minutes). Drain and refresh, drain again. Place in a bowl with a handful of chopped smoked almonds and 1 thinly sliced golden shallot. Add the juice of 1 lemon and 90ml extra-virgin olive oil, season to taste and toss to combine. Stir in 80gm crumbled Persian feta, a mixed handful of torn mint and basil and serve.

Pan-fried trout with almond sauce
Serves 4
Blend 230gm blanched almonds, 1 chopped garlic clove, juice of 1½ lemons and 150ml water in a blender until smooth. Add 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper, and pulse until combined. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, 20gm butter and 4 river trout fillets (about 150gm each), skin down, and fry until golden and just cooked through (2-3 minutes each side). Serve with almond sauce, lemon wedges and a salad of rocket, parsley, mint and thinly sliced shallot dressed with a lemon vinaigrette and seasoned with sumac to taste.

Hot tip
+ To extract a deeper flavour from almonds and refresh their oils, dry-roast them in a low oven.

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