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Try MasterChef semifinalist Natasha Sealy’s recipes at home

PUBLISHED: 16:32 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:51 28 May 2020

Natasha, getting her cook on, at home

Natasha, getting her cook on, at home

Archant

Pork Ribs and a trio of ice-cream - Gidea Park’s Natasha Sealy shares a two of her recipes and explains how she’s been staying social during lockdown through food.

Tash's tropical trio ice-creamTash's tropical trio ice-cream

For MasterChef semi-finalist Natasha (Tash) Sealy, watching herself on television has been a little strange.

“I couldn’t eat during the show, I just got so nervous,” said the garment technician. “You re-live it when the episodes are shown, and there are certain bits from the critics I didn’t hear during filming.”

Perhaps even stranger than reliving the competition’s stress and pressure, Tash’s first episode aired on March 23 - the evening Boris Johnson announced UK’s strict lockdown measures that would take effect the following day.

This left Tash with little time to get her bubble in order.

Tash's pork ribs with corn salsa and onion ringsTash's pork ribs with corn salsa and onion rings

“I wanted my mum living with me during this time, so as soon as the show ended, I drove over to Chelsea to get her before the official lockdown started.”

Currently furloughed, Tash is spending her locked-down days in the kitchen at her home in Gidea Park where she lives with her boyfriend Martin, and now her mother Tina, preparing meals and trying out new recipes and experimenting.

“It’s what I’m planning my week on, to be honest,” she said.

While social distancing has put a halt on hosting BBQs and dinner parties, Tash still finds food is a way of keeping connected during these times; she receives lots of messages asking for tips and recommendations, and family send through pictures of their culinary creations.

“It just shows how much cooking can be a bonding experience.”

She’s also started a themed cooking challenge between her household, a pair of coupled up friends and Martin’s parents. Celebrating the Queen’s birthday with an Elizabethan theme, Tash’s household made Elizabethan chicken (chicken in white sauce with a grape gel) and maids of honour.

For the theme based on randomly selected holiday destinations, they made stuffed cabbage rolls with potato and buckwheat dumplings, a poke bowl, and baked chicken with rice, inspired by Norway, Christmas Island and Uzbekistan.

“It’s a bit of fun,” she said. “We share our dishes on WhatsApp and it’s a way to learn new cuisines.”

While Covid-19 quashed Tash’s ideas of hosting viewing parties and much of the post-show activity, she still holds hope for a belated reunion with her fellow MasterChef contestants.

“It would have been nice to meet up with the team because you build strong friendships together,” she said. “If anything, it will mean an even bigger celebration with everyone later.”

Continue reading to try out Tash’s creations at home.

Tasha’s tropical trio ice-cream

This recipe is great for someone that doesn’t have an ice cream machine or a lot of time to keep mixing and churning.It requires very few ingredients and lets you get creative with whatever flavour combinations you want to use!

Ingredients

For the base icecream mix

1/2 379g can of condensed milk

600ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Whip up all ingredients using an electric whisk until you have the consistency of clotted cream. and scoop into agreeable container and that’s it!

Leave to chill for minimum 4 hours and by then it’s ready to serve. Just remember to take out of freezer 10mins before serving.

For Tasha’s Tropical Trio, divide this quantity into three and added mango and mint, dark chocolate and lime, and toasted coconut and rum flavours before freezing.

Mango and Mint

1 mango

1 tbsp sugar

5 fresh mint leaves

1/3 base ice cream mix

Method

1) Chop your mango into cubes and put in a pan with the sugar and heat up until the juices start to escape.

2) Add to a blender and blitz to a puree.

3) Finely chop the mint leaves and stir into the ice cream base mix. Fold in the mango puree lightly so that it has a ripple effect.

4) Scoop into your freezable container, pop into the freezer and chill.

Dark Chocolate and Lime

4 squares of Dark Chocolate ( I used 70% cocoa from Lindt)

Zest and juice from 1 lime

4 tbsp of cocoa powder

1/3 ice cream base mix

Method

1) Add cocoa powder to ice cream base and whisk thoroughly.

2) Crush the chocolate into pieces and fold into the mix.

3) Add the lime zest and juice and mix into the ice cream.

4) Put into your freezable container, pop into the freezer and chill.

Toasted Coconut and Rum

150g dessicated coconut

3 tbsp coconut rum or dark rum

1/3 ice cream base mix

You may also want to watch:

Method

1) Toast the coconut in a pan for a few minutes until the flakes start to go golden.

2) Add to the ice cream base and stir in.

3) Add the rum to the mix and stir in.

4) Put into your freezable container, pop into the freezer and chill.

Tash’s pork ribs with corn salsa and onion rings

This is an easy flavoursome lunch that uses a cheap cut of meat and doesn’t take long to cook.

Total time cooking 1hr 30mins

Prep time: 20mins

Ingredients

For the ribs

1 x rack of pork ribs

500g Passata

4 tbsp water

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 to 1 tbsp chilli flakes (depends how spicy you want it)

1 tbsp paprika

salt & pepper

For the corn salsa

1 can of corn

1/2 large avocado(or 1 small avocado)

1/2 red onion

1/2 orange pepper (red or yellow would also be ok)

handful of fresh coriander leaves

juice of 1/2 Lime

sprinkle of chilli flakes

salt & pepper

For the beer-battered onion rings

1 medium brown onion

2 cups of plain flour

1 cup cornflour

1 bottle of cold beer (I used a small bottle of Becks)

salt & pepper

Method

1) Mix all of your rib marinade ingredients together in a bowl and coat the ribs all over. Ideally you would leave to marinade for minimum 30 minutes.

2) Pre heat your oven to 200° fan. Place the ribs in a roasting tin and pour any remaining sauce onto the ribs.

3) Cook for 30 minutes covered in foil. *Ensure to baste your ribs every 15 minutes*

4) After the 30 minutes is up, take off the cover and cook for a further hour making sure to continue to baste every 15 minutes. *If you are worried that the marinade is drying up too quickly add some water - approx 50ml at a time - to loosen it up slightly.*

While the ribs cook for their last hour, prepare your corn salsa and onion rings

5)Start with the corn salsa by chopping your onion, pepper and avocado. Add to all the other ingredients and mix together. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

6) For the onion rings, pre-heat your deep fryer 180°. If using a saucepan, fill the pan with vegetable oil approx 3cm up the sides of the pan. Use a thermometer to check temperature or drop some of the batter into the oil and it should sizzle and start browning in 30 secs.

7) Slice your onion approx 1cm wide and separate the rings.

8) Sift the two flours together into a bowl and add your seasonings. Mix well.

9) Pour in the chilled beer and whisk until a smooth batter forms. *If you want to thicken your batter add more flour. If you want it thinner add more beer or water.*

10) Dip and coat the rings in the batter and put into fryer. Cook for three minutes until golden, making sure to flip them over to ensure even cooking. Cook in small batches so that they do not stick together or effect the oil temperature.

11) When the ribs are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before cutting. This gives you the change to plate up.

The ribs should be easy to cut through. Serve with your salsa and onion rings and enjoy - maybe with a nice cold beer if there is any leftover!

Find Tash on Instagram here.


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