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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.

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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.

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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.

White-cut chicken, aromatic chilli oil and peanuts


"White-cut chicken, in my opinion, is one of the great Chinese techniques," says Liong. "It preserves the succulence of the meat and showcases its silky texture. We've made it with a complex yet light dressing to add interest to a classic technique." Start this recipe a day ahead to make the salted chilli.

You'll need

200 ml vegetable oil 1½ tbsp Sichuan peppercorns 100 gm chillies in oil (Lao Gan Ma brand) 60 ml (¼ cup) chilli oil (see note) To serve: finely chopped spring onions, sesame seeds, coriander leaves 1 lemon   Salted chilli 30 gm long red chilli, trimmed and chopped 4 garlic cloves 10 gm peeled ginger, coarsely chopped   White-cut chicken 650 ml Shaoxing wine 80 gm fine salt 20 gm ginger, unpeeled and thinly sliced 1 large spring onion 4 chicken Marylands (about 350gm each)   Crisp peanuts 30 gm raw peeled peanuts For frying: vegetable oil   Soy dressing 125 ml (½ cup) soy sauce 60 ml (¼ cup) Chinkiang vinegar 60 ml (¼ cup) mirin 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 1¼ tbsp sugar syrup (see note) 1 small garlic clove, finely grated on a Microplane 5 gm ginger, finely grated on a Microplane

Method

  • 01
  • For salted chilli, process ingredients in a small food processor with a generous teaspoonful (6gm) of fine salt until finely chopped, then transfer to a container with a lid, cover and stand at room temperature overnight to ferment. Refrigerate in an airtight container until required.
  • 02
  • For white-cut chicken, bring Shaoxing, salt, ginger, onion and 4 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan or stockpot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add chicken, bring back to the boil, cover, then turn off heat and leave chicken to cook until juices run clear when a skewer is inserted at the joint and internal temperature is 70C on a meat thermometer (40-45 minutes). Remove chicken from stock, cool briefly, then refrigerate until chilled (2-3 hours). Cut chicken at intervals through the bone and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for crisp peanuts, mix 2 tsp salt with 500ml water in a saucepan, add peanuts, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until peanuts are al dente (20-25 minutes). Drain well in a colander. Heat 5cm oil in a wok over high heat until it shimmers. Add peanuts and fry, stirring continuously, until golden brown (2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and cool. Peanuts will keep stored in an airtight container for 4 weeks.
  • 04
  • For soy dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl. Dressing will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
  • 05
  • Heat vegetable oil and Sichuan peppercorns in a wok over low-medium heat until peppercorns float and start to turn a lighter shade of red (1-2 minutes). Add salted chilli and cook until most of the moisture is cooked out and oil is aromatic (3-4 minutes). Add chillies in oil and cook until paste is uniform in colour (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, add chilli oil and cool completely before using.
  • 06
  • To serve, place sliced chicken in a deep serving dish, pour soy dressing over, then salted chilli oil to taste (remaining oil will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a month), sprinkle with chopped peanuts, spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander, and finely grate lemon rind over the top.

Note For sugar syrup, combine equal parts caster sugar and water, bring to the boil, then cool. Chilli oil is available from Asian supermarkets; Victor Liong prefers the Koon Yick Wah Kee brand.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A German-style aromatic riesling with a bit of sweetness to counter the heat, such as a 2012 Heymann-Löwenstein Shieferterrassen Riesling.

Featured in

Aug 2015

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