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Autumn recipes

Comfort food and fun Easter eats feature in our collection of autumn recipes, featuring everything from an Italian Easter tart to carrot doughnuts with cream cheese glaze and brown sugar crumb and braised lamb with Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and cumin to breakfast curry with roti and poached egg.

Top 10 Sydney Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top ten Sydney restaurants from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Easter Baking Recipes

Dust off your mixing spoon, man your oven and have your eggs at the ready as we present some of our all-time favourite Easter baking recipes, from praline bread pudding to those all-important hot cross buns.

Top 10 Melbourne Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Melbourne? Here's our top ten from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns

The mix of candied apple and dried apple combined with a sticky cinnamon glaze provides a new twist on an old favourite. These buns are equally good served warm on the day of baking, or several days later, toasted, with lashings of butter.

Momofuku's steamed buns

Sydney's Best Restaurants 2015

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are our favourites from our 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide.

June: Potatoes


You'll need

75 gm unsalted butter, melted 1 lemon, finely grated rind only 200 gm (about 3) kipfler potatoes, washed 200 gm (about 3) Jerusalem artichokes 200 gm (about 2) pontiac potatoes 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp thyme leaves

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Lightly grease and line an oven tray with baking paper, then using a 26cm diameter plate, trace a circle onto baking paper. Melt butter and lemon rind in a saucepan over medium heat, keep warm.
  • 02
  • Using a mandolin, thinly slice pontiac potatoes to 2mm thick and arrange slices in concentric circles overlapping each potato slice by half within outlined circle. Brush potato with lemon butter, scatter with garlic and thyme and season to taste. Using a mandolin, thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes and repeat process, leaving a 1cm border when arranging slices on top of potato, then repeat with kipfler potatoes. Repeat once more with each remaining potato and Jerusalem artichoke, finishing with kipflers, brushing each layer with lemon butter and scattering with garlic and thyme. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Serve in wedges with a watercress, witlof and goat’s cheese salad if desired.

Life hasn’t been kind to the humble potato. When the Spanish conquistadors carted it back to Europe from South America in the late 16th century, it was considered mere animal fodder. Later, it became the food of the poor – it was inexpensive, hardy and could be easily prepared with limited cookware. It wasn’t long before the potato crept in to mainstream cuisine, after proving itself to be extremely versatile, working well as both an accompaniment and as a perfect vehicle for flavour.

The spud is still a staple on many tables today; it’s cheap as chips, can be cooked in a multitude of ways and its unique texture allows it to take on many different flavours. And winter’s really when these ‘apples of the earth’ come into their own.

Each culture has its own special way of cooking potatoes. The English and French boil and mash them with milk, butter or cream for mashed potato or pomme purée. The Spanish mix it with bacalao, while the Italians combine mashed potato with flour and eggs for gnocchi. In central and eastern Europe, potatoes are used in dumplings.

Of course, they’re perfectly enjoyed in their own right, simply boiled and tossed with herbs and butter, or baked with cream and cheese in the classic pomme Dauphinoise. They can also be puréed for soups such as vichyssoise.

It’s the potato’s affinity with oil and salt that has perhaps guaranteed its most popular incarnation when fried as chips, crisps or pommes frites. The American chip was invented in the 1870s by chef George Crum, when a diner sent back his French fries complaining they were too thick and soggy. In frustration, Crum ended up cutting the potatoes wafer thin and frying them, resulting in the birth of an icon. Aside from the American hash brown, other cultures have been equally adept at creating fried potato goodness. The Swiss have perfected the art by grating and frying them for rösti, and the Spanish have given us the fluffy, golden tortilla.

One of the world’s most enduring crops, potatoes have had a chequered history. The Great Famine occurred in Ireland in the 1840s, when a fungus known as the potato blight destroyed the country’s primary food source. With most of the population dependant on potatoes, the resulting Great Hunger caused an estimated one million deaths.

Varieties
There are two main types of potato and it is important to choose the right one for the right dish. Floury, which is better for baking, mashing and frying, makes for perfect golden chips and roast potatoes. The waxy variety is higher in moisture and low in starch, retaining its shape throughout boiling, making it great for use in salads, as an accompaniment, or added raw to soups and casseroles.

The waxy Dutch bintje is ideal for boiling but not mashing; coliban is a floury number that mashes and bakes well; while desiree is a waxy, oval-shaped potato with creamy yellow flesh, perfect for boiling and baking. Kipfler, a small elongated waxy German potato, is best steamed and used in salads. The pink fir apple is also an excellent salad potato.

The waxy Nicola is buttery in flavour and a great all-rounder in the kitchen. The red pontiac and the royal blue are also good, all-purpose potatoes.

The sebago, which you can buy either white-washed or dirty, make excellent chips. Spunta, a large, floury potato with a creamy white skin and flesh, breaks up when boiled, and is the best candidate for mashing and frying. Chats are small, waxy baby potatoes that should be boiled or steamed. The pink eye is a sweet, waxy potato identified by its deep pink eyes, ideal for boiling, baking and roasting. The Russet Burbank is highly sought after for making the best chips. The sweet potato or kumera is actually a member of the morning glory family, and not the potato family.

How to buy, store…
Select potatoes which are firm to the touch and unblemished with no signs of gree


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

ALSO IN SEASON

Fruit and nuts
Apples, cumquats, custard apples, grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins (Ellendale, imperial), melons, nashi, oranges, papaya, pineapples, pomelos, rhubarb, tangelos.

Vegetables
Asian greens, avocados (fuerte, hass, sharwill), beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, celeriac, celery, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, olives, parsnips, pumpkins, silverbeet, spinach, swedes, sweet potatoes, witlof.

Seafood
Dusky flathead, grey mackerel, snapper, tailor, warehou, sand whiting, king prawn.

 

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