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Burnt Cucumber Masterchef Simon Toohey

Burnt Cucumber, Preserved lemon caramel, smoked cream

Photo Courtesy of Network 10

Ingredients for Main

  • 2 large continental cucumbers
  • Salt
  • 2 shallots, peeled, cut in half length ways
  • 150g butter
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 130g preserved lemon
  • Caster sugar caster sugar
  • 20ml reserved turmeric butter
  • 300g crème fraiche
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Micro basil
  • Shiso leaves


Step 1

Prepare a hibachi or BBQ grill. Or using the flame on the stove top

Step 2

For the Salted Cucumber, trim and discard the ends from the cucumbers. Using a mandolin, slice 12 thin round slices off each cucumber and place onto a tray. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside.

Step 3

For the Burnt Cucumber, place the remainder of the cucumbers onto the hibachi and cook on all sides until charred. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 4

For the Turmeric Buttered Shallots, place the shallots, butter and turmeric into a small saucepan over low heat and cook until shallots are soft, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove the shallots and separate into segments. Reserve the turmeric butter.

Step 5

For the Preserved Lemon Caramel, squeeze the preserved lemon to remove excess liquid and place into a small food processor.

Step 6

Place the sugar into a small pan and cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally until deep golden in colour. Remove from the heat and add to the lemons and process until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a small bowl and whisk in the turmeric butter. Set aside.

Step 7

For the Smoked Crème, place the crème fraiche into a bowl and gently fold in the buttermilk. Cover the bowl with cling film and fill the bowl with smoke using a smoking gun. Set aside for 5 minutes. Refill the bowl with smoke and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover and set aside.

Step 8

To serve, cut cucumbers lengthways and remove the 2 cheeks from each cucumber. Cut the center sections of the cucumber in half width ways and place a portion of cucumber onto each serving plate. Pipe the Preserved Lemon Caramel and the Smoked Cream around the cucumber. Add some Turmeric Buttered Shallots and salted cucumber slices. Garnish with pine nuts, basil and shiso and finish with some reserved turmeric butter.

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