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Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

World's Best Chefs Talks

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

Fast summer dinners

From an effortless tomato and ricotta herbed tart to Sri Lankan fish curries and chewy pork-and-pineapple skewers, these no-fuss recipes lend to relaxing on a humid summer's night.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Crisp oolong-smoked quail with mandarin-ginger dipping sauce


Reserve the peel from the mandarins you use in the dipping sauce and add a little to the smoking mixture.

You'll need

1 tbsp Sichuan pepper 2 pieces dried mandarin peel (see note) 2 tbsp sea salt flakes 2 tsp finely grated ginger 8 jumbo quail, butterflied 180 gm long-grain rice 90 gm brown sugar 2 tbsp oolong tea leaves 2 each cinnamon quills and star anise 50 ml vegetable oil   Mandarin-ginger dipping sauce 3 mandarins, white membrane removed, flesh coarsely chopped Juice of 2 mandarins 30 gm caster sugar 2 tsp finely grated ginger 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 tbsp each soy sauce and black Chinkiang vinegar (see note) 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Method

  • 01
  • Pound Sichuan pepper and dried mandarin peel in a mortar and pestle until finely ground, then combine with salt and ginger in a small bowl. Rub well all over quail, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 02
  • Scatter rice, brown sugar, tea and spices in a disposable foil roasting pan (see note) and place an oiled wire rack on top (elevate it by resting it on small metal dariole moulds). Brush excess curing mixture from quail, place quail in a single layer on a wire rack, top with another disposable foil roasting pan of the same size, then cover edges with foil and crimp to seal well. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook until smoke appears, reduce heat to low and smoke for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stand for 5 minutes before removing lid, then halve quail and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for mandarin-ginger dipping sauce, combine mandarin, juice, caster sugar, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium heat and cook until thick (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Just before serving, stir in spring onion.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add quail in batches, skin-side down, cook until browned (1 minute), turn and cook for another minute. Serve hot with mandarin-ginger dipping sauce.

Note Dried mandarin peel and Chinkiang vinegar are available from Chinese grocers. Disposable roasting pans are available from supermarkets and specialist barbecue shops. Alternatively, use two flameproof roasting pans of the same size and line each with several layers of foil.


Smoking tips

When smoking inside, ensure your kitchen is well ventilated, with the extractor fan on high and any windows open, to avoid triggering smoke alarms.

A well-sealed vessel is essential for smoking. Use two baking trays of exactly the same size, and seal the join with long strips of foil, crimping the edges tightly.

If you are using regular baking trays to smoke, line the base and sides of each one with several layers of foil. This will make them easier to clean and minimise tainting.

Alternatively, disposable aluminium trays are available from supermarkets and specialist barbecue shops. Opt for the sturdier ones for ease of handling.

Be precise with your timing, including the amount of time you stand the smoking vessel before you uncover it. Any greater length of time could result in an acrid, unpleasant flavour. We suggest taking the trays outside when uncovering them.

Make sure your woodchips are dry and dense to begin with. Each variety imparts a different flavour, so try experimenting with different ones to find your favourite.

The recipes we've produced here all use a hot-smoking method, where a direct heat source is used. The other method used by some manufacturers of smoked products is cold smoking, where the smoke is created in a chamber separate from the product to be smoked. In this case, the lower the temperature while smoking for a longer period of time, the more smoke flavour will be imparted.

Kettle-style barbecues (such as those made by Weber) are excellent for smoking as you can use them outside and they have a small compact chamber. If you're using any other type of barbecue, check the manufacturer's instructions before building a fire base.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Sep 2010

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