Masterchef…Maggie Beer mystery box challenge

So I’m putting this out there right at the start, I’m not overwhelmed by Maggie Beer, yeah she can cook and yeah her food seems pretty good, but I’m more a Nigella, Donna Hay, Adriano girl, so I wouldn’t be tearing up if she walked into Country Town 2.0.

So apparently the mystery box is the very heart of everything Maggie loves and is what she is all about…well the preview said you can’t eat it or cook with it, so I’m leaning towards a family photo, as I said to my sister, but anything is possible.

Oh damn, it’s gardening gloves and gardening tools, so they can collect their own produce.  They get the garden, staples and verjuice and they have 60 minutes and only 5 are tasted as usual and the winner gets the advantage as per usual.  I’d be buggered going through the garden and knowing what is good or not.

Now Melita wants to do a stuffed zucchini flower, but there’s only one…I’m sorry but is that a good choice???

Sara is resembling me here, can’t grow anything, and is all confused, I’m channelling you honey.  Then she starts talking about making pasta and making her own ricotta, holy hell hon.

Georgia’s going on about an ice-cream sandwich and Maggie is giving her advice causing Georgia to fangirl even more…oh honey focus on the food.

Now Rose is fangirling and comparing herself to Maggie, oh dear lord, settle petal!!  Then she says they’re kindred spirits, seriously love???

Kristina has Maggie gushing by all her garnishes that are lined up.

Reynold’s making a dessert…gee never guessed that.  But Georgie Boy isn’t liking the idea of meringue shards yet again, mate mix it up a little already!!  He decides to try to make a bombe Alaska, so meringue but not meringue.  But then he buggers up the first attempt at meringue.

Matthew grabbed chocolate mint from the garden…mmmm I’ve had that from the garden and work but never cooked with it and it tastes yummy!!

25 minutes to go and finally Georgia gets her semi-fredo into the blast chiller, gee cutting it fine love.

Sara is still rolling pasta with 15 minutes to go.

Meanwhile Rose is standing around, with a clean bench while her crème caramel is in the oven and she’s stressing they won’t set in time and she’s not sure what to do…ummmmm turn the oven up maybe!!

Reynold’s got meringue, but the ice-cream isn’t ready and there’s the whole of 9 minutes left.

Sara’s still stressing out and praying to the god of cooking, ummm haven’t you all told me that is Maggie Beer???

Thankfully Georgia’s semi-fredo has set.

Three minutes to go and Reynold’s ice-cream hasn’t set…yep that doesn’t look good at all.  But he plates it anyway.

Then Rose is plating her sloppy crème caramel, then decides to plate the last one without turning it out of the ramekin.

Tasting time…Georgia is up first with ice cream sandwich with lemon and thyme syrup and they’re all desperate to try it.  Maggie loves every bit of it.

Next is Kristina who is shocked when they say her name.  She made baby carrot and eggplant pasta with fresh flowers and it looks very pretty.  Maggie says she nailed the pasta.

Next is Matthew with chocolate mint parfait with baked rhubarb.  Maggie looks very pleasantly surprised by the parfait and loves it.

Then is Jessica with a roasted vegetable tart which Maggie and Matt enjoy, except for the pastry.

Last up is Sara (who has been up in every mystery box challenge to date, but hasn’t won) with eggplant and ricotta tortellini with saga and brown butter sauce.  Maggie’s overwhelmed by the chilli because apparently she’s a wimp with chilli, but Georgie Boy doesn’t complain so it can’t be too bad.

Oh they decide to taste a sixth dish because the food has been so good and they choose Melita who’s also in shock.  She made stuffed zucchini flower with vegetable ragu.  Gary says it has bags of flower and he loves all the flavour in the dish.

Oh dear, talking, talking, talking, honestly there’s only six to choose from, can’t be that hard and of course they don’t all agree…then of course there’s an ad break before we find out.  They finally decide on a dish that expressed the beauty of the garden on the plate and it is Melita…no wonder they chose six dishes to taste.

Right, advantage time for the invention test.  The choice of core ingredients are; apples, stone fruit or berries…mmm all good options in my opinion.  She’s thinking desserts, until Gary says it is about pairing one of the fruits with something savoury…mmmm I like it!!!  She chose stone fruit.  Everyone else is thinking desserts, until Matt tells them to stop thinking and tells them if is all about savoury dishes.  Matt gives plenty of idea like chutneys etc and says no 1970’s apricot chicken is to be made.  They have 60 minutes as usual, best into immunity pin challenge, worst into elimination.

Gee Jessie spends 10 minutes in the pantry…no rush love, get your butt into gear.

Now poor Fiona is having a meltdown and just chops peaches and tastes bits of peach with everything, honey, honey, honey just damn well cook.  Finally she gets an idea but it’s not working for her, oh love what the heck is going on???  Now she’s down to 25 minutes and Gary tells her she doesn’t have enough time to stuff chicken like she wants to.

Rose thinks she shouldn’t do what she would cook at home because it’s too simple, so she says what she’s doing and Gary and George are all confused, as are those of us sitting on the couch at home, honestly love I know it’s an invention test, but too far left field isn’t good either.  Oh look time’s up and she realises she should have made a Lebanese dish, gee hindsight on Masterchef is a bit of a bitch.

Tasting time…

John is up first with beef with plum sauce and salad of coriander, fennel and plum and Matt’s excited because there is deep fried beef.  Gary likes it as does Matt.

Amy did baked quail and caramelised peaches and Matt loves the peaches.

Sara did duck with red wine poached peaches.

Kristina did pork and apricots and Matt loves the roasted apricots.

Reynold did chicken and cherries and George says the presentation is immaculate.

Jamie did crispy pan seared quail with walnut crumb and nectarines and Gary says the quail looks super dry and Maggie says it is overcooked and the nectarine is raw.

Fiona made peach and goat’s cheese salad with pan seared chicken thigh and holy heck there’s a ridiculous amount of peaches on her plate, like twice as much peach as chicken…and then the chicken is undercooked, oh dear lord love.  Gary says not to touch the piece on his side of the plate, oh god love that chicken is going to cause problems.

Billie made a beautiful looking dish of warm duck salad with peaches three ways and the judges are wowing about how great it looks and Maggie says the duck is perfect.  Gary can’t help but smile and want more.  Maggie loves the peach with carrot.  Maggie and Gary keep talking while Georgie Boy and Matt keep on munching and George says it’s the best dish he’s tasted on Masterchef this season.

Melita is up with pork dumplings and plum sauce and of course there’s not enough sauce.

Georgia made duck breast with cucumber and plum salad, but the duck is overcooked.

Stephen made beef with cherries and plums which Matt loves.

Then comes dear old Rose who says she’s not alright, she made twice cooked chicken with peach and apricot puree and Gary says he has a funny feeling about it.  Maggie doesn’t say anything, Gary says the chicken is overcooked and poorly cooked and prepared and that she’s in trouble.  George asks what her mum would have cooked and that her every day food isn’t Masterchef food and George says that Masterchef is about who we are and the poor love is crying and Matt says they want her to bring herself to the kitchen and then Maggie hugs her and she sees it as a revelation.

Jessie is up next with a really pretty dish according to all the judges, it is pan seared duck with chargrilled peaches.  Maggie says the duck is beautifully cooked.  George says the peach makes the dish and combines it all perfectly.

Up goes Jacqui with the dish she is not happy with at all and of course we get an ad break.  She made quail with plum glaze and amazingly the breast is cooked fine, but the leg is under and George says that’s a problem and Gary is shocked by how undercooked.

Decision time, top three and bottom three…there’s a few that we know are obvious choices, especially for the bottom three…no names Rose, Jacqui and Jamie.

Maggie calls up the top cooks…John, Billie and Jessie.

Now for the bottom three…Jacqui, Rose, Jamie, Fiona…Jacqui and Fiona are in the pressure test for raw meat and Rose is in there as well, Jamie is damn lucky if you ask me…oh and if you ask Matt.

Oh and the elimination pressure test is the 2014 Australian dessert of the year, a carrot cake and it looks pretty full on from the pictures I’ve seen and the recipe that I’ve seen.

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