I’m just going to come out and say it. I love Masterchef.
But Masterchef – that is must see TV. Seriously. I draw the line at the Junior version – precocious children scare me. But standard, Professional and Celebrity – fantastic! It’s comedy gold! If they have such a thing as the gurning world championships, John Torode and Greg Wallace should enter, they’d be absolutely sure to win. The expressions that those two have come up with while wandering between the contestants – who would have thought that the human face was capable of such contortions? And, almost as amusing, some of the food combinations that the entrants come up with, particularly in the early stage invention test. I think my favourite from this current series was Christine Hamilton’s Thai mussels with…blue cheese.
Anyway, during the last series of Masterchef Proper (i.e. the contestants are not “famous” or professional chefs) John Torode coined the phrase that I’ve used as my title to express his uncertainty at a particularly odd amalgamation; someone attempting to marry, for example, sweet and sour sauce with bangers and mash. Now, whenever we see an unlikely combination of ingredients in a recipe or on a menu, we chorus (in a cod Australian accent, of course) “Is it fusion? Or confusion?” Yes, I know…but it makes us laugh.
I was a little bit surprised then, to see in the latest issue of Good Food magazine John Torode has supplied a recipe for a spicy butternut squash…curry, for want of a better word, to be served with spaghetti. He called it fusion – so you can guess what is coming. I cooked it for supper one night last week, with the intention of writing a very amusing blog piece about how it was confused rather than, um, fused. Trouble is, it actually tasted pretty nice - I thought the pasta worked well with the heat of the sauce. So, no amusing confusion jokes for me. It wasn't perfect by any means - both of us found the addition of lime pickle made it a little sour, so that needs to be balanced out, and I’ve got a few ideas that will pimp it up a little bit – I’m convinced that the addition of some fat prawns would work well with the squash – and then I’m going to post it here so you too can bellow quotes by rubber featured Australian chefs at your food. Or not.