Tag Archives: MasterChef Australia🍴

It’s ice cream/gelato season!

Date ice cream in kataifi cone
Date ice cream in a homemade kataifi cone, recipe by Hoda Kobeissi. Grab the recipe:

Whew! I can breathe a sigh of relief now that necessary garden renovations are nearly done, but as one task is completed, another swoops right in to take its place! Making ice cream is a task, you ask? Well not really if you have a machine to do the work. I’ve got something else in mind though, because after seeing kataifi cones being made on MasterChef Australia, I knew immediately that they were my kind of ‘thing’.

I had no idea that shredded phyllo dough also went by the name of kataifi, or that you can also make a rustic version of it at home. The pastry strands require a steady hand to pipe a thin line of batter in a concentric circle. It also demands patience because as you can well imagine, the mixture goes a loooooong way since so little of it is used at a time.

The strands of cooked dough are then wrapped around a metal cone and fried until crisp. If I can get my better half to hold the camera, I’ll definitely share the process in an upcoming post.


MasterChef Australia season 10

Four weeks into the hugely popular reality cooking show from Down Under and what have I learned thus far?

1. That all cream puffs should be upgraded to lemon meringue choux
2. That Nigella looks flawless as ever no matter what she’s doing with food
3. And that Gordon does an excellent spoof (the American definition, NOT the Australian one) of himself without even trying.

With fan forums and social media blabbing live, who needs tv? I already suspected that one of my fave cooks would be going home in today’s episode when 2 of his teammates ❤️’d my photo (of a dosa and chutney recipe of the soon-to-be-doomed), earlier this morning. Yep, I’ve taken my #masterchefau #obsession to #IG to keep pace with the show as season 10 progresses, and there are 8 more weeks to go!

As I was saying…

Lemon Meringue Choux by Chloe Carroll

Lemon mousse, lemon curd surprise center, and italian meringue dreaminess

Nigella, the goddess of all things finger-licking-good

Ramsay, the guy that actually had contestants all giddy and excited and jumping for joy. They are lying through their teeth when they say they’re scared of him.

The last of MasterChef Australia recipes 🐨

Contestant Tamara Graffen in season 9 during the soufflé episode

Oh no! Well, that is until the debut of season 10 in a few weeks. The show won’t air in Italy until maybe 6 months later or so, but that gives me time to lose the “ice cream inches” that snuck up on my hips while I made dessert after frozen dessert during all of March. Out of the 19 dishes that I selected, 15 made it into the recipe box and a few are already repeat cooks (like those campfire orange brownies!) because they are that good!

What I can surely say about MasterChef Australia is that you really do discover new things from watching the show. In particular I loved learning about indigenous ingredients – bushfood – like quandongs, salt bush, wattleseed and lemon myrtle just to name a few. On top of that, if not for the presence and influence of Southeast Asian cuisine in the land down under, I’d have missed out on rendang, goan curry, and XO sauce. Get yer forks ready, here we go!

Tea braised pork belly with daikon and mushrooms
Tea Braised Pork Belly with Mushrooms, Daikon and Bean Curd

The only time I’ve used tea as a cooking ingredient was for Lahpet thohk, a salad of pickled tea leaves. The recipe calls for Hojicha tea which I figured would be loose leaf; I used the stuff found in a tea bag…try imagining how much that amounts to leaves. I wasn’t impressed much by the flavor of this dish but it was the first time for making daikon noodles.

Guinea hen rendang, coconut tumeric rice and roti jala roll-ups
Shredded Duck Rendang with Pandan Coconut Lace Pancakes, Sticky Turmeric Rice & Cucumber Coriander Relish

Rendang is a spicy dry type of curry originating from Indonesia that turned into a famous dish in Malaysia. Food can be such a touchy subject when it comes to its origins (like my silly sister-in-law and French shepherd’s pie!) but no one will care if they take a bite of this. The recipe link gives instructions to serve it like a folded taco, but the episode demonstrated this sushi roll-type of result. It’s trickier, but oh does it look so much better on the plate! I substituted guinea hen for duck, but next time I’ll try turkey leg meat. Here’s a little how-to visual.

Rendang and tumeric rice roll-ups

Goat cheese semifreddo
Goat’s Cheese Semifreddo with Brik Pastry and Caramelised Pears

And to end on a sweet note, I had to make this recipe from contestant Tamara Graffen. The semifreddo had a perfect ratio of tang to sweetness, complemented by the pears that are first cooked in a simple syrup before turning into chips in the oven. Pear-fection on a plate!