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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. 

Ham tamales


These neat little parcels are an excellent way to use up leftover ham after Christmas. Once you get the hang of them, they're guaranteed to become a regular part of your repertoire, with all sorts of fillings.

You'll need

1 tbsp lard 1 onion, finely chopped 300 gm leg ham, cut into 1cm pieces 2 tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp each ground allspice and ground cloves 1 tbsp white sugar 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 60 ml (¼ cup) tomato passata 15 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 230 gm (2 cups) masa flour (see note) 18 fresh or dried corn husks (see note) To serve: lime wedges

Method

  • 01
  • Heat lard in a small frying pan, then sauté onion until very soft and translucent (8-10 minutes). Add ham and spices, and stir occasionally until fragrant (5 minutes), then add sugar and cook to dissolve (1-2 minutes). Add vinegar, passata and chocolate, and stir occasionally until mixture thickens (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • 02
  • Combine masa flour with 310ml cold water and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl and knead until smooth. Divide into 9 pieces, then press each out into a 1cm-thick rectangle. Spoon 1 tbsp of ham mixture down the centre of each, then fold lengthways to enclose and seal edges. Overlap 2 corn husks lengthways, place a tamale crossways at one end and roll up to enclose, tucking in the sides and securing with kitchen string. Place seam-side down in a steamer basket and repeat with remaining dough, filling and husks. Steam tamales until slightly puffed (25-30 minutes) and serve warm with lime wedges.

Note Masa flour, also known as masa harina, is a form of cornflour, but regular cornflour doesn't work as a substitute. It's available from South American food stores such as Tierras Latinas and spice stores. Dried corn husks are also available from South American food stores, or you can use fresh husks from the greengrocer. Soak dried husks in cold water before using to make them pliable.


At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people

Featured in

Dec 2014

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