Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

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.

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.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Perfect match: chocolate pots with Pedro Ximénez


You'll need

  Chocolate pots 200 gm dark chocolate (64.5% cocoa solids), melted 300 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks 2 tbsp Pedro Ximénez 3 egg yolks 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar   Pedro Ximénez-spiced sour cherries 125 ml (½ cup) Pedro Ximénez 1 tbsp golden caster sugar 1 whole star anise 1 piece of orange peel, removed with a peeler 100 gm (½ cup) dried sour cherries (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • For cherries, combine Pedro Ximénez, caster sugar, star anise and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add cherries, increase heat to medium, return to the boil, then remove from heat and cool.
  • 02
  • Heat chocolate, cream and Pedro Ximénez in a heatproof bowl placed over gently boiling water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  • 03
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a separate heatproof bowl placed over gently simmering water for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Combine chocolate and egg yolk mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and cool.
  • 04
  • Divide half the cherries between six ½ cup-capacity ramekins, spoon over chocolate mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Serve chocolate pots topped with remaining cherries and a glass of Pedro Ximénez.

Note Dried sour cherries are available from The Essential Ingredient and health food stores.


Matching wine with chocolate is fraught with difficulty. Sweet, milky chocolate tends to make most wines taste lean and hard - unless the wine is much sweeter than the chocolate; and dark, high cocoa-content chocolate can be bitter and clash with any astringency and/or acid in wine. This is why the very best wine for chocolate and choc-based dessert tends to be very sweet, soft and rich fortifieds. Muscat can be good, tokay excellent, but the chocolate wine par excellence is Spain's 'black sherry' - or other fortified wines - made from extremely ripe, raisined Pedro Ximénez grapes. Adding some citrussy, fruity, spicy flavours into the mix, as in this dessert, makes the match even more fabulous. - Max Allen


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jun 2007

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