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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 81 - Smoked Trout and Apple Salad

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Kate Bracks
Cooking time: 3 hours
Serves: 2

Smoked trout and apple salad with verjuice jelly

Smoked trout
1/4 cup jasmine or basmati rice
2 tablespoons earl grey tea leaves
1/2 bunch thyme
2 x 150g ocean trout fillets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Verjuice jelly
180ml verjuice
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 eschallot, diced
1/2 bunch thyme
2 leaves gold strength gelatine leaf, bloomed
Apple salad
1 granny smith apple, julienne
1 stick celery, julienne
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sangiovese verjuice
2 teaspoons verjuice
1 teaspoon vino cotto
20g walnuts, toasted
Parsley cress

1 For trout, line a saucepan with foil and place rice, tea and thyme on foil. Insert a fitted colander and cover with a lid. Place over high heat.

2 Trim and debone trout fillets, coat with oil and season with salt flakes. Place trout in colander, replace lid and turn off heat. Allow to smoke for 10 minutes or until nearly cooked through but still pink in the centre. Season with salt.

3 For jelly, combine verjuice, sugar, eschallot and thyme in a saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for a further 2 minutes. Strain, add soaked gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved. Pour into a non stick cake tin to a depth of 1cm. Refrigerate until set. Cut into small cubes.

4 For apple salad, julienne apple and celery and keep in acidulated water until ready to dress salad. Combine oil, verjuice, vino cotto and salt flakes and drizzle over drained apple, celery, walnuts and
parsley cress.

5 To serve, place a small mound of salad in centre of plate. Top with flaked trout, add cubes of jelly and drizzle with vinaigrette and extra olive oil if desired.

Spiced pumpkin tortellini with stuffed prawns, burnt butter sauce and sage
Makes about 20 tortellini
Pumpkin filling
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
1 red chilli, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 eschallots, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and rough 4cm dice
1 tablespoon mascarpone
175g strong 00 flour
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Semolina, to dust
6 large green king prawns
200g medium green prawns, peeled
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
5 sage leaves
1/2 egg white
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
20g butter
Brown butter sauce and sage
125g butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch sage

1 Preheat oven to 180C.

2 For pumpkin filling, combine toasted spices, chilli, garlic and eschallots in a mortar and pestle. Pound to a paste, adding enough olive oil to bring it together. Toss paste with pumpkin in a large mixing bowl and bake in a roasting tray for 30-35 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

3 Cool pumpkin, mash and mix through mascarpone. Season to taste with salt.

4 For pasta, combine flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add eggs and oil. Stir until combined and knead until dough is smooth. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5 For stuffed prawns, shell and butterfly king prawns. Make stuffing by blending the medium prawn meat, garlic, cumin, fennel and sage in a small food processor. Add egg white to bring mixture together and season with salt. Place into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a thin layer of stuffing into butterflied prawn, then carefully fold edges of prawn together. When ready to cook, panfry in
melted butter and oil.

6 To make tortellini, laminate pasta through a pasta machine until the finest setting. Cut pasta sheets into squares and place a little pumpkin filling in the centre of the square. Brush edges with a little water or egg. Fold pasta over into a triangle, press any air out and wrap two points around the filling to make a tortellini shape. Set aside on a baking tray dusted with semolina.

7 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add tortellini and cook until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and coat lightly with oil to prevent sticking.

8 For brown butter sauce, place butter in a small frying pan. Cook until butter is melted and golden. Add sage leaves and cook until crisp and butter is golden brown, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

9 To plate, coat three tortellini in the brown butter sauce, place three stuffed prawns and three tortellini in the centre of a plate, top with crisp sage leaves and drizzle plate with brown butter sauce.

Caramelised white chocolate ice cream sandwich with vino cotto pears
Makes 4 ice cream sandwiches
Caramelised white chocolate
360g white chocolate
30g skim milk powder
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Ice cream
350ml milk
100ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
4 egg yolks
50g castor sugar
260g caramelised white chocolate
Honey wafers
25g butter, softened
25g icing mixture
50g honey
40g plain flour
Vino cotto pears
50g castor sugar
50ml water
25ml vino cotto
1 pear, scooped into balls using a melon baller
Nut butter solids
250g unsalted butter
50g skim milk powder
Orange crumble
50g butter
50g castor sugar
50g plain flour
1 orange, zested
Caramelised white chocolate crumb
100g caramelised white chocolate
nut butter solids
1/4 cup orange crumble

1 Preheat oven to 180C.

2 For caramelised white chocolate, place white chocolate, milk powder and scraped vanilla seeds on an oven tray. Place in oven and as the chocolate melts, stir with a rubber spatula every 3 minutes or so until it is deeply caramelised. The whole process should take about 15-20 minutes. The mixture will look burnt but use it anyway, its meant to look like that.

3 For ice cream, heat milk, cream and vanilla until very hot but not boiling. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add caramelised white chocolate to hot milk mixture and blend until smooth. Strain into egg mixture while whisking, then cook over low heat until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Sieve. Cool mixture in fridge until cold. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Pour into a lined cake tin or small baking tray at least 10cm wide and 24cm long so mixture is 2.5-3cm deep. Place in freezer until set. Cut into 8 bars, 3cm x 10cm.

4 For honey wafers, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to a smooth paste. Smear very thinly and evenly onto a baking paper lined oven tray approximately 24cm x 28cm. Bake for 6-8 minutes
and while still hot cut into 12 rectangles 3cm x 10cm.

5 For vino cotto pears, combine sugar, water and vino cotto in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and reduce until syrupy. Add pear balls, cook for 1 minute, covered, then turn off heat and allow pears to sit in the syrup to continue cooking.

6 For nut butter solids, heat 250g unsalted butter and skim milk powder until solids and light golden brown. Strain, reserving solids and spread out solids on paper towel.

7 For orange crumble, rub 50g butter, sugar, flour and orange zest together to form a dough. Wrap in cling wrap and freeze until firm. Finely grate onto a baking tray and bake at 100C for 10 minutes
or until dried out.

8 For the caramelised white chocolate crumb, allow the caramelised white chocolate to cool completely until hard. Process in a hand blender until desired crumb size. Combine caramelised white chocolate, nut butter solids and orange crumble.

9 To serve, place a honey wafer on plate, top with a same-sized piece of ice cream. Top with a honey wafer and repeat. Place a few mounds of crumb, top each with a pear ball and a drizzle of vino cotto syrup. Drizzle extra syrup around the plate.