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Category Archives: Australian

TORODE! TORODE! TORODE!

On Saturday Kitchen’s Best Bites on Sunday there was a rare re-run of John Torode actually cooking something, a jammy beef rendang. The MC mask is off, he looks really relaxed, fires off gags, and his Australian accent is a lot more noticable (g’day!). Lovely knifework too (like all proper brigade chefs he can do that thing with an onion that drew blood from me the last time I tried it). The segment featured at least a couple of plugs for his book John Torode’s Beef, which has one of the most unattractive cookbook covers I have ever seen:

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“John. John? Heeeeyyy. Don’t worry about the hair. Can you sit on this throne (THRONE!) in stagey blackout and look a bit diffident? Then we’ll get the trainee designer to stick billion-point Machine all over the cover like it’s 1996 or something.” Weirdly, I went past the Dalston Oxfam shop on the bus yesterday and there was a copy in the window, his bored-puppy face watching the hipsters stroll by.

It seems to be pretty popular with Amazon buyers, if fairly sticking-to-the-knitting. Also, when I Googled for ‘john torode’s beef’, the first auto-complete was for ‘john torode’s wife’. The public have declared their real interests.

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all tuckered out

I feel that part of my dietry requirements must be to watch all programmes on the Good Food channel.  At least once.

So next up, on a chilly Sunday evening, was Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet.  Justine was a popular contestant on the first series of Masterchef Australia and her bright and breezy personality leaps through the echoey kitchen studio into the family homes throughout the country.

 

This is a fast paced, half hour show with Justine donning a new outfit for each recipe and the odd guest or two for company.  And a tin of tuna.  Many tins of tuna.  It’s kind of subtle at first but soon you’re being smacked round the head with tins of the stuff.  Did you know that tuna and pesto bruschetta is a very quick and cheap snack?  No, me neither.  In fact they love tuna so much that they repeat the quick snack recipes throughout the series.

After each recipe a caption appears giving details on servings, timing and cost.  One thing that intrigued me was that Justine did not sample her final dish.  She only eats when cooking with her guest (the WeightWatchers lady or previous Masterchef contestants).  I like this idea.  In fact, I’m going to write a separate post about it.

Justine also likes to display her wares on wooden chopping boards.  Don’t get me started on THAT ONE!  😉

 

shouting larder, larder, larder

Anyone familiar with cookery shows will know the phrase “a quick meal made with everyday ingredients from your larder”.  Yeah, right.

Whilst watching Everyday Gourmet I heard this phrase and my groans were cut short by Justine’s mention of tinned tuna.  Yes, a tin of tuna.  I have one of those, I thought.  In my larder.  Bloody hell!  Justine went on to make fish croquettes with wasabi mayo.  I don’t have any wasabi, but you can’t win them all.

This made me think about my own attitude to what constitutes an ‘everyday’ ingredient and my initial snobbishness about using tinned fish.  Justine aims her programme at families, people on a budget or those short on time.  A seemingly far cry from Nigella’s luxurious pantry, the size of a small shed.

Ingredients will no doubt differ depending on: status (single, family, shared accommodation), location (city or rural), what you can afford etc. 

Masterchef Australia has a challenge that involves cooking a fine dining meal using everyday items from an everyday family’s cupboard.  No cinnamon infused sugar a la Nigella or a canister of liquid nitrogen that Heston surely keeps at home.  Frozen food, tinned fruits, biscuits and cereal were their ingredients.  Some successful results but many failures.

So, I wonder, what is the most random item in your larder and what is the most ridiculous thing declared an everyday ingredient by a TV chef?