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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

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Quesadillas with cheese and chorizo


If you're short on time, buy prepared tortillas.

You'll need

1 Dutch cream potato (about 240gm), diced 2 cooked (cured and smoked) chorizo, peeled, diced 300 gm cheddar, grated ½ white onion, finely chopped 2 radishes, coarsely chopped 1 avocado, diced To serve: coriander and lime halves   Flour tortillas 400 gm (2 cups) plain flour 90 gm lard or duck fat (see note), melted, cooled

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Cook potato in boiling salted water until tender (10-15 minutes), drain well and crush in a bowl with a fork. Add chorizo and cheddar, season to taste, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for flour tortillas, stir flour, lard and a pinch of salt in a large bowl to combine. Add 180ml warm water and mix well to combine. Divide into 8 balls, then roll out each ball to a 3mm-thick round with a rolling pin and wrap in plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Set aside.
  • 03
  • Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Spread half the tortillas with the potato mixture, sandwich with remaining tortillas. Grill tortillas in batches, turning once, until cooked and golden (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven to keep warm and to melt the cheese (2 minutes). Scatter with onion, radish, avocado and coriander and serve with lime halves.

Note Duck fat is available in cans and jars from select delicatessens and French food shops.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Nov 2013

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