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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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ajo blanco


You'll need

200 gm crustless, day-old sourdough bread, coarsely chopped 400 gm (2½ cups) blanched almonds 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 100 ml olive oil 50 ml sherry vinegar, or to taste To serve: small green seedless grapes, thinly sliced To serve: almond oil (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Process bread, almonds, garlic, olive oil and 1 litre of water in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with sherry vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Transfer to a jug. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled (2-3 hours). Makes 1.5 litres.
  • 02
  • Stir soup, then ladle among bowls, scatter with grape slices, drizzle with almond oil and serve immediately.
Note Almond oil is available from the health food section in supermarkets and health food stores.

Chilled soups. You either love ’em or hate ’em. My theory is that the haters have never tried ajo blanco because one small sip of this iced beauty is enough to turn anyone to the light side. And when sampled after a long day’s work in the Spanish fields, one can only imagine how truly satisfying this creation would have been under a hot sun.

Translating as white garlic, ajo blanco is also sometimes known as white gazpacho. It’s Malaga’s version of Andalucía’s gazpacho and, instead of using ultra-ripe tomatoes and green and red capsicum, it makes use of the region’s famed almonds. From there, it’s similar to Andalucían gazpacho in that it’s puréed with garlic, thickened with day-old bread and spiked with a hint of sherry vinegar. Sweet slivers of white grapes, used as garnish, are the icing on the proverbial cake and the sum of these parts add up to an elegantly simple whole.

The key to a perfect ajo blanco lies in thorough chilling. In the old days, the chilling was accomplished by adding ice-cold water from the well (which also served to thin the concoction), but these days a good chilling in the refrigerator will do the trick. Under no circumstances, according to the purists, is ice to be added.

The origins of the soup is a bone of some contention. Some say it dates back to the Islamic conquest; others claim it was a peasant dish adapted for city tastes some time during the 19th century. Once pounded by hand in a mortar and pestle, modern technology makes puréeing a cinch. So there’s really no excuse not to try this one, perhaps paired with a nice glass of sherry. And, after that? No doubt a good siesta.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

WHERE TO TRY IT

Movida
When the weather turns hot, MoVida’s take on this hits the spot. While you’re at it, check out their new sherry bar, MoVida Next Door. 1 Hosier La, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9663 3038.

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