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.

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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.

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.

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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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Roast chicken, bread salad, braised lettuce and peas


You'll need

30 gm sea salt 2 allspice berries 2 fresh bay leaves 1 clove garlic 1 piece lemon rind, removed with a peeler 1 star anise ¼ tsp coriander seeds 1 pinch ground nutmeg 4 small chicken marylands, thigh-bones removed (see note) 20 gm butter 4 small chicken breasts on bone (see note)   Bread salad 300 gm day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed and torn into 1.5cm pieces 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 20 gm (1 tbsp) finely chopped jamon or prosciutto 2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted 2 tbsp currants, soaked for 10 minutes in warm water ½ tsp porcini powder (see note) 100 ml hot chicken stock   Braised peas and lettuce 1 tbsp olive oil 4 golden shallots, finely chopped 2 tbsp finely chopped kaiserfleisch or bacon 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp butter 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock 1 baby cos lettuce, cut lengthways into eighths 250 gm (1½ cups) podded peas (600gm unpodded)

Method

  • 01
  • Combine all ingredients except chicken and butter in a saucepan with 350ml water over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until salt has dissolved, bring to the boil and cool. Add chicken marylands to brine and refrigerate for 6 hours, then remove marylands from brine, rinse well and pat dry with absorbent paper.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 190C and place a roasting pan in oven for 10 minutes or until hot. Heat a frying pan on high heat, season chicken with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, place chicken marylands and breasts skin-side down in frying pan, add butter and cook chicken for 10 minutes, turning, until brown all over. Place marylands in hot roasting pan and cook for 10 minutes, add breasts and roast or another 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, remove bone from chicken breasts.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for bread salad, scatter bread on an oven tray, drizzle with 50ml olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Drizzle with another 50ml olive oil and vinegar. Meanwhile, heat 100ml of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add shallots, garlic and jamon and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are soft, add bread, pine nuts, currants and porcini powder and cook for 2 minutes, add stock, stir to combine and season to taste. Keep warm.
  • 04
  • For braised lettuce and peas, heat olive oil in a frying pan over low heat, add shallots and bacon, cook for 20 minutes or until onions are soft, add garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add butter and cook for 1 minute or until starting to foam, add stock and cook for 5 minutes or until reduced by one third. Add lettuce and cook until wilted, then add peas and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Season to taste.
  • 05
  • To serve, divide bread salad and braised lettuce and peas between plates, top each with a maryland and a breast and serve immediately.
Note Ask your butcher to prepare the chicken marylands. If breasts on bone are unavailable, use breast fillets, skin on. Porcini powder is available from The Essential Ingredient and select specialty food stores.

''My friends and I were impressed by Andrew McConnell's food at Three, One, Two in Carlton - especially the delicious roast chicken with braised lettuce and peas. I'd love to try the recipe at home."
Kara Boughton, Kingston, ACT

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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