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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.

Farro recipes

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Spatchcock, freekeh, pickled tomatoes and harissa yoghurt


"I would love to make Gordita's spatchcock for my next dinner party. May I have the recipe?"
Bronwyn Hayes, New Farm, Qld

REQUEST A RECIPE
To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

You'll need

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 spatchcock (600gm each), at room temperature, halved, backbone removed ½ cup upland cress or small watercress sprigs (see note)   Pickled tomatoes 250 gm (1 punnet) cherry tomatoes 250 gm caster sugar 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar ½ tsp each fennel seeds and coriander seeds ½ star anise ¼ cinnamon quill   Sherry dressing 125 ml (½ cup) sherry vinegar 85 gm brown sugar 1 small piece dried orange or mandarin peel 1/8 (1 tip) star anise ¼ cinnamon quill ¼ long red chilli 1 tsp black peppercorns   Freekeh 360 gm (2 cups) freekeh (see note) 1½ tbsp ras el hanout 6 piquillo peppers, quartered lengthways (see note) 3 radishes, cut into julienne ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped   Harissa yoghurt 250 gm Greek yoghurt 3 tsp harissa, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For pickled tomatoes, score the base of each tomato to let the pickling mixture seep in, then transfer to a bowl. Bring sugar and 250ml water to the boil, and add vinegar and spices. Cool slightly (1 minute), then pour over tomatoes. Top with a piece of scrunched-up and flattened baking paper to keep tomatoes submerged, cover with a lid and stand at room temperature for 3 days. Refrigerate once pickled.
  • 02
  • For sherry dressing, bring ingredients to the boil in a saucepan, then simmer to reduce by half (3-5 minutes). Strain (discard solids).
  • 03
  • For harissa yoghurt, combine ingredients in a bowl.
  • 04
  • Dry-roast freekeh and ras el hanout in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Add 625ml water, cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed (25-30 minutes). Stand covered for 20 minutes, then add peppers, radishes, parsley, drained pickled tomatoes and sherry dressing to taste.
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Remove wing tips from spatchcocks and dry skin with paper towels. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add olive oil, then spatchcock skin-side down, shaking pan to ensure skin doesn’t stick. Season and fry until skin is golden (3-4 minutes), then place in oven and roast until cooked through (8-10 minutes). Remove from oven, turn spatchcock over and season. Serve with freekeh, cress and harissa yoghurt.

Note Start this recipe three days ahead to pickle the tomatoes. Upland cress is available from select greengrocers but may need to be ordered. Freekeh and piquillo peppers are available from select delicatessens and supermarkets.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Dec 2015

Recipes (9 )

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