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Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Fish-fragrant eggplant (Yu xiang qie zi)


Probably as famous as ma po doufu, this is a favourite among homesick Sichuan folk the world over. There's no fish in the dish - it's flavouring is named for the seasonings used in traditional fish cookery. Dainty Sichuan's South Yarra version offers crunchy eggplant, while its city-store version is the buttery traditional one you see here.

You'll need

75 ml Chinkiang black vinegar 30 gm caster sugar For deep-frying: vegetable oil 600 gm eggplant (about 2), cut into finger-sized pieces 8-10 long red pickled chillies, finely chopped (see note) 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3 tsp finely grated ginger 100 ml chicken stock 100 ml Shaoxing wine 1 tbsp potato flour 4 spring onions, thinly sliced, to serve

Method

  • 01
  • Combine vinegar and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat oil to 180C in a wok over medium-high heat. Add eggplant in batches and deep-fry until golden and just tender (3-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit), then drain well on absorbent paper.
  • 03
  • Carefully ladle oil into a heatproof container (cool, then discard), leaving 2 tbsp oil in wok. Add pickled chilli, garlic and ginger to wok, and stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add eggplant, stock, Shaoxing wine and vinegar mixture, season to taste with salt, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is absorbed (6-8 minutes). Mix potato flour with 2 tbsp cold water to combine, add to eggplant mixture and stir to thicken (1 minute), then serve hot scattered with spring onion.

Note Pickled chillies are available from Chinese grocers.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Cold dry pilsner

Featured in

Jun 2013

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