Thursday, February 17, 2011

Masterchef audition dish!

Vanilla and lime mash sounds a bit crazy but trust me it's amazing! The flavours just melt perfectly together. 
So this year I was really lucky to have made it onto the UK version of Masterchef. I feel I need to mention that I didn't make it very far on the actual TV show but I had a blast doing it. My friend Janice was the one to push me to go for it. It was a random rainy Wednesday and as usual I was avoiding doing work by googling new recipe ideas and chatting with Janice on skype. She sent me a link to the application page and said "just do it".

A couple of phone interviews, a screen test and 3 audition menus later I got a call to tell me they wanted me to be on the show! I remember my embarrassment because as I was chatting with the producer of a great foodie TV show I was trying to disguise the fact that I was shoving a Big Mac into my face (having been out drinking the night before). 

They've changed the show format this year so there's no more group cooking or ingredients challenge like in previous years. This time around you have to make your own dish for the "auditions" section. You then finish your dish off infront of John and Greg and either give you a Masterchef apron, or rip you a new areshole and make you cart off your dirty dishes in a march of culinary shame. 

So how far did I actually get? Well you'll have to wait to find out. In the mean time here's my recipe for my audition dish. Roast duck breast with vanilla and lime mash and a blackberry jus.

Blackberries for the jus


  • 4 Duck breasts 
  • 600g of good mashing potatoes 
  • 1 vanilla pod 
  • zest of 1 lime 
  • 1 tbs honey 
  • 150-200mls of reduced chicken stock 
  • 80g butter
  • 100mls of cream 
  • preheat oven to 200c 

How to bit:

Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized pieces. Place them into a pot of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40min (until soft but not crumbling). While your potatoes are cooking, score the vanilla pod in half and place it into a pot with the cream, butter and lime zest. Heat over a gentle heat until the butter and cream are combined. Turn the heat down low and allow the zest and vanilla to infuse into the cream. 

Trim any sinew from your duck breast. Season the breast with salt and pepper and score the skin of the duck breast with a sharp knife (try not to cut into the flesh of the breast). In a hot pan place the duck breast skin side down to render off the fat, immediately turn the heat down to medium and cook for 3-4 min before turning the breast and cooking on the other side for 2min. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 8min (until nice and pink inside). Allow to rest for a few min before cutting. 

Blackberry jus, this is really simple. Reduce your chicken stock down and add a handfull of crushed blackberries. Check the flavour and adjust the sharpness of the just with some honey. 

Make your mash by using the cream and butter that is now infused with vanilla and lime. Slice the duck breast and serve ontop of the mash, and drizzle over some of that lovely jus. 


  1. Oh you are so adorable on every level. Big Mac indeed you filthy minx!

  2. The dish looks amazing! Did you serve your dish cold for the audition?