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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.

Breakfast pies with tomato chilli jam and crisp speck


Who says pies can't be eaten at breakfast? It would be bang out of order to refuse a good brekkie pie, especially this tasty open number.

You'll need

40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 620 gm rindless bacon (about 10 rashers), finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 360 gm farmhouse cottage cheese (see note) 14 eggs, plus 1 extra lightly beaten for eggwash 30 gm (¼ cup) finely grated parmesan To serve: roasted cherry-truss tomatoes and crisp speck   Parmesan pastry 400 gm plain flour 300 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped 30 gm (¼ cup) finely grated parmesan   Tomato chilli jam 10 vine-ripened tomatoes, scored 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 2 Spanish onions, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped 80 ml (1/3 cup) sherry vinegar 75 gm (1/3 cup) brown sugar 2 small red chillies, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For parmesan pastry, process flour and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add parmesan, process to combine, add 80ml iced water, process until dough comes together (add more water if necessary). Turn onto a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly to form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for tomato chilli jam, blanch tomatoes until skins split (1-2 minutes), refresh, drain, peel. Scoop out seeds (discard), finely chop flesh, set aside. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until soft (10-15 minutes). Add tomato and remaining ingredients and stir occasionally until thick (30 minutes). Makes about 500ml. Jam will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a separate saucepan over high heat until foaming. Add bacon, onion and garlic and stir occasionally until liquid evaporates and bacon browns (20-30 minutes). Transfer to a plate, set aside to cool (15-20 minutes).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Whisk cottage cheese and 6 eggs in an electric mixer until incorporated, then pass through a coarse sieve into a bowl, pushing all lumps of cheese through. Add parmesan and bacon mixture, season to taste and set aside.
  • 05
  • Divide pastry into 8 pieces and, working with one piece at a time, roll each into a 4mm-thick, 25cm-diameter circle and line eight 375ml-capacity buttered and floured ramekins, letting pastry overhang by 2cm. Divide bacon mixture among ramekins, make an indent in centre with a spoon and break an egg into each. Fold in overhanging pastry, brush pastry with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes). Serve immediately with tomato-chilli jam, roasted cherry-truss tomatoes and crisp speck.

Note Farmhouse cottage cheese is a dry-style cottage cheese, available from select delicatessens.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jun 2009

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