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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Whole roasted stuffed onions with cream, parmesan and mushrooms


This recipe is inspired by one by Nigel Slater. It's important to keep the onion shells intact when removing the insides.

You'll need

6 onions, peeled, keeping root intact 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 50 gm flat mild pancetta, finely diced 2 field mushrooms, finely chopped 25 gm dried porcini, soaked for 5 minutes in warm water, drained, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 60 gm double cream 60 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra for scattering 50 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs 1 tsp finely chopped thyme, plus extra sprigs to serve Finely grated rind of ½ lemon 600 ml pouring cream

Method

  • 01
  • Cook onions in a large saucepan of simmering salted water over low-medium heat until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain, then, when cool enough to handle, cut 2cm from top of each onion. Remove excess onion from inside tops with a small sharp knife and set tops aside (discard excess onion). Score centres of onion bases, then remove inside of onion with a knife so that a thick layer of onion remains to form a shell (do not pierce the shell; discard two-thirds of the excess onion). Finely chop remaining onion, set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add reserved chopped onion, pancetta, field mushroom, porcini and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool, then add double cream, parmesan, breadcrumbs, thyme and lemon rind and season to taste. Spoon into onion skins, then place reserved tops on onions (you may have some mixture left over). Place in a baking dish to fit onions snugly. Pour over pouring cream, scatter with thyme sprigs. Bake until golden and warmed through (40-50 minutes; scatter with extra parmesan during last 10 minutes of cooking), serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Rich and buttery chardonnay.

Featured in

Aug 2010

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