TWENTY-one-year-old waitresses Stella and Jazzey’s friendship all began with a hair accessory.
“We met in singing class in Year 8 (at John Curtin College of the Arts) and automatically hit it off because Jazzey was wearing a headband that I loved,” Stella, of Hamilton Hill, said.
The pair soon discovered they had more in common than fashion, especially a love of food, and have been making each other laugh with their quirks ever since.
“We are both huge eaters and love cooking because we get to eat more,” Stella said.
“We started doing something slow-cooked together on Friday afternoons with a couple bottles of wine and then decided ‘Why don’t we go on My Kitchen Rules?’.”
Stella, who works at Guill St Cafe in Mosman Park, and Jazzey, who works at Cioccolato Espresso in Applecross, said they thought they “had the right mix of being good at cooking but also being a bit out there”.
Neither expected to reach the top eight teams of MKR, which is back on Australian screens this Sunday after a Commonwealth Games hiatus.
“Obviously we were aiming for the big prize but that didn’t mean we were expecting to go very far,” Jazzey, of Coogee, said.
They also did not expect such a heated clash between team personalities.
“It was pretty awkward for us because we tend to take the back seat a little bit and just watch,” Jazzey said.
“We’re awful in that situation but I think we got better because we got used to being confronted regularly. It was bizarre at the time because people were happy to speak their mind, that’s for sure.”
MKR continues on Channel 7 and the 2018 MKR Cookbook will be available at supermarkets and newsagents from April 26.
Stella and Jazzey’s smoked trout tart with beetroot and strawberry relish
Prep: 45 mins (+45 mins chilling and freezing) Cook: 1 hour Makes: 48
Micro herbs, to garnish
BEETROOT AND STRAWBERRY RELISH
1 beetroot, grated
250g strawberries, quartered
70ml balsamic vinegar
3 tbs brown sugar
SOUR CREAM PASTRY
300g plain flour, plus extra, to dust
1 tsp salt
200g chilled butter, chopped
125g sour cream
PEA AND LEEK MASH
1 tbs olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
250g frozen peas, boiled, drained
SMOKED TROUT FILLING
500ml (2 cups) fish stock
150g fillet skinless ocean trout fillet
150g fillet skinless snapper, cut into 3cm pieces
100g prawns, peeled, cleaned, coarsely chopped
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 baby fennel, finely chopped
150g hot-smoked trout, coarsely flaked
125g creme frache
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tbs finely chopped dill
1/2 lemon, zested, juiced
1. To make relish, place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until softened. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until very soft and slightly thickened. Season.
2. To make pastry, process flour and salt to combine. Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add sour cream and process until mixture just comes together to form a ball. Shape into a disc and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Bring dough to room temperature. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick. Cut out 6cm rounds. Press into 48 holes of mini muffin pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180C. Bake pastry for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool completely.
5. To make mash, heat butter and oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Stir in peas. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Coarsely mash mixture.
6. To make filling, bring stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add fish and prawns and simmer for 5 minutes or until just cooked. Drain. Cool. Coarsely flake fish.
7. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Season. Stir in cooled fish and prawns.
8. Divide filling among tart cases and top with mash, then beetroot relish. Garnish with micro herbs to serve.