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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.

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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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

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Pea and ham soup

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. 

Mushroom ketchup


This preserve is a very old recipe and, like all sauces, it will only improve with age. Give it at least two months before you crack open the jar. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

675 gm large flat mushrooms, thinly sliced 30 gm dried porcini mushrooms 500 ml (2 cups) white wine vinegar 3 large golden shallots, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped 2 fresh bay leaves 4 whole cloves 3 large mace blades (see note) ½ tsp each ground ginger and freshly ground black pepper ¼ tsp ground allspice 60 ml (¼ cup) dry sherry

Method

  • 01
  • Place mushrooms in a large non-reactive bowl, scatter with 4½ tsp fine sea salt, mix to combine, cover and stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. One hour before end of salting period, combine porcini and 750ml hot water in a bowl and stand until rehydrated (1 hour), then remove with a slotted spoon (reserve soaking liquid). Process porcini in a food processor, add liquid and process to combine, then transfer to a large saucepan. Process salted mushrooms in a food processor until a smooth purée forms, add to saucepan.
  • 02
  • Process 125ml vinegar in a food processor, with shallot and garlic until finely chopped. Add to mushrooms, with bay leaves, spices and remaining vinegar. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are soft and ketchup is thick (1-1½ hours). To test for correct consistency, place a spoonful onto a saucer and stand for 10 minutes. If very little or no liquid seeps from the ketchup, the ketchup is ready. Press through a coarse sieve (discard solids), then process in batches, in a blender or food processor, until very smooth.
  • 03
  • Return ketchup to a clean saucepan and bring it to the boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry, then ladle ketchup into sterilised bottles, leaving a 2cm-gap at the top. Seal bottles, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and store in a cool dark place until flavours develop (2-3 weeks). Serve as a condiment to roast meat.

Note This recipe makes about 750ml. Mace blades, the outer casings of nutmeg, are available from Herbie's Spices and select delicatessens.


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Apr 2010

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