Masterchef….Ross Lusted immunity challenge

Jessie, Jessica and Sara have a chance to win immunity tonight…and more importantly George is back in the kitchen.

For round 1 they walk around and see lots and lots of different ingredients and none are any the wiser until Matt starts talking and they’re still confused.  But they have to build a dish that heroes batter…there’s even chocolate bars amongst the pile of ingredients that they can choose from and Jessie and Sara seem happy to start with.  They have 30 minutes and now Sara’s stressing out.  The pantry and garden are off limits, they can only use the massive bench of ingredients.

Jessica decides on doing a Mexican spiced squid, but she doesn’t have a batter recipe in her head, so she’s winging it and not feeling overly confident and Gary is concerned about her putting spices into the batter as it can change the batter.

Sara’s decided to do a prawn and scallop mousse between two pieces of eggplant…ummm different.

Jessie’s decided to make a tempura egg with beef tartare and Gary thinks it will be quite a challenge for her with only 30 minutes.

Jessica and Jessie make their batter and then Sara makes hers and does a test on a piece of eggplant to see how it fries up.  Then she puts the eggplant, prawn and scallop mousse sandwich done and into the fryer.  Jessie gets her boiled egg into the batter and puts one into the fryer and it explodes with 5 minutes to go.

3 minutes to go and Jessica finally puts the squid into the fryer.

Time is up…Sara is up for tasting first with eggplant sandwich with prawn and scallop mousse and all George can say is “oh my lord” as he squeezes oil out of the batter…oh dear!!!  Next is Jessica with squid with Mexican spiced batter and the judges love how it looks.  Matt loves the flavours, but says the batter is way too oily.  Last up is Jessie with tempura egg with beef tartare and we go to an ad break before the egg is cut.  Oh dear, the egg is overcooked, Matt says the idea is brilliant and the batter is thin and super crunchy and it is a batter challenge.  Shannon thinks that the hero has been the hero.  Matt questions does the win go to the better dish or the better batter…it was a batter challenge boys, remember that.  They say that Jessie is the winner because of her great, crispy batter.

Now for her to cook for the immunity pin.  He’s Sydney chef off the year, from The Bridge Room in Sydney, Ross Lusted, who I admit I’ve never heard of.  The choices are sweet and savoury…but there aren’t the Asian ingredients that Ross is used to.  Jessie chooses savoury.

Jessie chooses beetroot and beef and poor Ross gets to start cooking and has no idea what he’s going to do, mate you’ve had 15 minutes standing there to think about it.  He grabs a heap of stuff and still has no idea what he’s going to cook.

45 minutes to go and Ross still has no idea what he’s going to cook…oh heck, this is interesting.  35 minutes to go and he still hasn’t started…honestly mate.  Oh wait he’s started something, squid, corn and ginger and then there’s no stopping him.  He’s slow poaching the corn and he’s cutting the onions in the same way he’s going to cut the squid, as you do.  Then he cuts up the ginger and decides to deep fry it so he has an Asian texture like he’s used to.

Jessie’s cooked her steak and takes it off the pan, but decides it isn’t quite cooked enough, good thing there’s still 15 minutes to go.  She puts it in the oven for a few minutes to cook it a bit longer.

Then Ross decides he needs another element and decides on spinach.

Jessie decides to refine her sauce in the last few minutes and grabs a duck from the ingredients bench and renders the fat off the breast to add to the sauce.

Ross starts plating and starts with the corn, then adds the squid and the spinach puree, even though he’s not overly happy with the puree.  Then he adds the onions.

Jessie plates and thankfully the meat is cooked just how she wanted it and with 10 seconds to go she puts the sauce in a jug.

Time is up and Ross thinks that Jessie’s dish looks great.  Tasting time and Jessie’s dish is up first…beef with beetroot and Gary thinks it looks smashing, Matt says it looks beautiful and George says it looks gorgeous.  Gary thinks the simplicity is beautiful.  George says the combination of things on the plate takes it to a whole different level.  Matt wants more, he wants spice or something else…oh dear.

Ross’ dish goes in for tasting, Gary thinks it looks beautiful but curious and Matt thinks it looks like a weird banana split and we go to an ad break.  So he made squid with sweet corn, ginger and spinach and George thinks it all looks interesting and it has a lot of techniques and he notices the onions and how they’re cut like the squid.  Matt says every mouthful he had was different.

Results time… Jessie got 8/10 from Gary and she’s in shock, 9/10 from George and she’s in more shock and 8/10 from Matt, giving a score of 25/30.

Ross got 8/10 from Gary, 10/10 from George, the first time he’s given a 10/10 this year, and 10/10 from Matt, giving a score of 28/30 meaning he won with only a 35 minute cook…good thing the judges didn’t know that little bit of information.

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