Hope you enjoyed reading my last post on MasterChef Australia. Last week, I had promised this week’s post would be on my five favorite dishes on the show. Picking five dishes out of hundreds I watched on the show is a bit tough, actually. My methodology in picking the five dishes I love the most is simple – I’ll choose three savory and two sweet dishes. These dishes were so much a treat to my eyes that it pains me that I could not taste any of those!
Eight Textured Chocolate Cake – the first dish that I pick from the show has to be this. A connoisseur’s delight, the presentation of this dish was simply awesome. Peter Gilmore, the renowned chef, brought this dish as a challenge in one of the eliminations. Each of the eight textures complements the others so well that the balance of the dessert as a whole is perfect. There is something heavenly about the eighth texture – the hot chocolate sauce. You have to see it to believe it – when you pour the hot sauce on to the middle of the cake, the cake caves in a little – a beautiful sight to behold!
The next dish that I pick as my favorite is a savory dish – Modern Seafood Basket. This probably clinched Andy Allen’s title as the presentation was very beautiful and spot on. It is a marriage of some of Australia’s well known seafood – marron, oyster, abalone and flathead. Of course, each of those has to be cooked to perfection to make the dish a success. The oyster emulsion is just spooned over the dish at the end so as to give the dish a real kick. Breadcrumbs and potatoes give the dish the crunchiness needed.
It was a pity that the contestant who made the next dish did not make it to the finals week. The dish was so out of the ordinary that I questioned whether it would be liked by the judges. To my surprise, they seemed to love this very much. The dish that I pick as my third favorite on the show is Tea Smoked Duck Breast with Chinese inspired Salad by Amina Elshafei. It looked like an amalgamation of the different techniques that Amina was exposed to – Mediterranean, Middle East, Continental Europe and Asian. The choice of tea to smoke the duck breast is probably the trick in the dish as too much strength would give the dish a burnt taste that does not go down well in the mouth and tea that is very light would be overpowered by the taste of the duck. To Amina’s credit, the dish was a great hit on the show. On the MasterChef website, this dish receives a rating of 4.5 on 5 which speaks volumes.
Ranked fourth on my list is a dish that seems so simple in its concoction but looks very beautiful in presentation. Contestant Sam Davis’s Seafood for Two was too good to pass. For me, this is a romantic dish that you can have with your true love on your wedding anniversary. The champagne jelly gives the dish a very subtle edge. The caviar crème fraiche goes well with the dish and it was no wonder that the dish rocked the judges’ world. The presentation of the dish was so out of the world and I actually did wonder whether the dish would fill the appetite of a hungry and love smitten couple. There is no doubt that this dish brings a lot of love to the table!
Lastly, I pick a dish that is a dessert. Melting Moments Biscuits by Julia Taylor established her as the dessert queen on the show. As the name implies, this dish is supposed to melt in your mouth and I’m sure the judges would vouch for this fact. The biscuit itself is a light brown which suggests it needs to be baked for just the right amount of time. Too much of a brownish color would rob the dish of the aesthetic beauty it gives. What melts the mouth is what is sandwiched between the biscuits – vanilla butter cream and raspberry jam. The combination of vanilla and raspberry was a revelation to me. I never thought these two would work together. My mouth is watering as I’m writing this so I can imagine how good it would be to actually eat this.
Having selected my five favorite dishes, it would not do justice if I did not mention the dishes that almost made it to the top five. They are:
Rack of Lamb with Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Crust
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Cherry Soup
Salmon Sashimi with Korean Dressing
Sticky Fig and Caramel Cake with Vanilla Custard
If food had eyes and ears, some of them would forgive me for not listing them in the top five or the ones that almost made it. I’m sure all your mouths would be big oceans now! What are you waiting for, cook yourselves some of those and know how it tastes as well as looks! The recipes for these dishes can be downloaded from the official website of MasterChef Australia – http://www.masterchef.com.au.