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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.

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.

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.

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.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

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.

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.

Cleaning squid and calamari


All you need to clean squid is a sharp eye and an even sharper knife. And, of course, an apron.

You'll need

1 squid or calamari (about 150gm)

Method

  • 01
  • Remove innards from squid by pulling tentacles from the body.
  • 02
  • If using ink, carefully remove ink sac in one piece from innards and set aside.
  • 03
  • Cut across head, underneath eyes to separate tentacles in one piece (discard innards and eyes). Push tentacles outwards, squeeze beak out and discard.
  • 04
  • Slice off wings from body with a sharp knife and remove.
  • 05
  • Remove skin on body by running your finger underneath skin, separating it from flesh, then peeling off in one piece and discarding. Remove skin from wings, trim tough flesh and set aside.
  • 06
  • Remove backbone from tube.
  • 07
  • Open tube and scrape and discard insides.
  • 08
  • Score halfway through flesh with a knife in a crosshatch pattern (take care not to cut all the way through) or as specified in recipe.

It's a face only a mother could love. And, to the uninitiated, cleaning and prepping a whole squid for cooking can seem like a daunting (not to mention messy) task. But it's really not as hard as all that, and the end result is tender, juicy and moreish flesh for your chill-salt squid or salad - quite unlike the rubbery squid you buy pre-prepared or frozen. So let's get to it: put away your favourite white shirt, roll up your sleeves good and high, and jump in.

Calamari, the Italian term for squid, is used interchangeably with squid, but in Australia the term also sometimes refers to two of the four main species found around the country. The other two species are loligo and Gould's. The former, also sold as Hawkesbury squid, is a long, thin, winged squid with mottled pink-purple skin. It is found in NSW estuary waters. Gould's squid is also known as arrow, torpedo and seined squid and is light brown-pink in colour with a purple-blue stripe running down its length. It's a little longer than loligo squid but significantly heavier and makes its home along the southern coastline of the country, from Brisbane right through to Geraldton in Western Australia.

At the market, look for firm squid with bright eyes. They should have a certain slipperiness about them but shouldn't be slimy. Once cleaned, the hood can be sliced widthways into rings, lengthways into strips, or scored and cut into a crosshatch pattern, as we've done here, and the tentacles can also be used. Squid can be pan-fried, deep-fried or blanched in salted water. Braising it whole with red wine and peas works a treat, as does stuffing it and serving it on a bed of lentils. Similar to octopus, cook squid either quickly on high heat, or slow and low lest it become tough. Finely sliced, it can be served raw. Choose smaller squid for fast cooking and larger specimens for braising, as they can often be rather tough.

Octopus and cuttlefish, also members of the cephalopod family, can be prepared in much the same way as squid, although octopus needs to be blanched before you can remove the skin. Cuttlefish also have a larger, spongier backbone, which can be a little more difficult to remove compared to the quill of the squid.

The mouth of the squid is also referred to as the beak. It sits in the centre of the tentacles and must be removed before cooking. It simply pops out when pushed through from the other side. Some cooks discard the tentacles and wings of the squid, too, but their flavour matches the meat from the tube and, besides, they look great.

Cleaning squid, you'll come across the sac holding its ink, which can be used to colour pasta or risotto. It can burst easily, so remove it carefully and in one piece. Then you can throw it into the pot for cooking and enjoy the wonderful sight of black washing over the mix when it bursts.


At A Glance

  • Serves 1 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 1 people

Featured in

Feb 2009

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