Masterchef…not so mystery mystery box

It’s finals week in Masterchef.  The top 5 are Georgia, Reynold, Sara, Billie and Jessica and we start with them going on about how great it is to be in finals week and in the top five, well I guess they should be able to do that.

Matt tells them they have earnt the right to pick what goes into the mystery box and they’re all in shock…of course there is a but, they only get to pick one ingredient each and then the judges will pick the final three ingredients, oh and they won’t get to find out what the others have chosen until the box is lifted.

Georgia picks first as she’s the closest to the pantry and she only gets 30 seconds to choose an ingredient.  She chooses figs.  Next to choose is Jessica, she chooses prawns.  Reynold chooses almonds straight away.  Sara chooses squid.  Billie chooses last and she chooses beetroot.  George and Matt join Gary in the pantry.  We don’t see what they choose and Matt carries the box into the kitchen.  Gary put in lemons, Matt put in dill and George put in very dark chocolate.

They have 60 minutes to make their dish and the other usual mystery box rules apply, except they’ll taste all the dishes.

Sara’s decided to be all creative to do textures of squid with beetroot and use the beetroot to colour the squid purple, she tells the judges her plan and they don’t seem convinced and George tells her not to forget flavour and Gary says beetroot and squid don’t go well together.

Georgia decides to do a dessert using chocolate, lemon, almonds and figs.  Reynold also decides to do a dessert using almonds and lemons and a lot of elements.  Jessica decides to do a prawn dish with a Japanese steamed custard.  Billie decides to do a beetroot, dill and lemon stack and George says he won’t knock it, but they did that in the 90’s a lot and asks how she can do it for now.  She then decides to make her own smoked ricotta.

Sara decides to do her beetroot squid and pours the beetroot juice all over the squid.  Jessica gets her custards into the steamer.

Reynold is trying to make a milk skin as part of his dish.  He’s had a saucepan of milk in the oven, gets it out, goes to get the skin from the saucepan and touches the handle and burns his hand…oh dear.

Georgia is poaching figs in beetroot juice and Matt comes over and asks how it all ties together and if there is a cold element, there isn’t, but she decides to do something.

Sara checks the beetroot soaked calamari and it has stayed purple and while she’s frying it orange appears, so she’s happy.

Billie gets her stack out of the fridge and removes the mould and it holds together, thankfully because she only made one stack.  She puts the crumb and smoked ricotta all over it.

Sara gets onto making a prawn crumb and decides to use the prawn heads in the crumb to have extra prawn flavour in it.  Then she has to work out how to plate it.

Jessica gets her custards out and then realises that her custards aren’t as impressive looking as the other dishes and decides to make squid pasta.

Time is up…Sara is up first with textures of squid.  Gary straight out says he wouldn’t have done beetroot and squid, but it looks amazing and George says it is the best plated dish from a mystery box challenge this season.  Then George says it is the best dish she’s put up in the competition so far.  Matt loves it and sprouts a variety of adjectives about the dish.  Gary says they can’t teach Sara any more about creativity.

Reynold is up next with almond with lemon.  There’s almond ice-cream, sponge cake, lemon curd, lemon jam, almond tuille and milk skin.  Matt loves the combinations and says it is a brilliant and creative dish.

Georgia is up next with chocolate dacquoise that also has beetroot poached figs, beetroot cream and dark chocolate ganache.  Matt keeps thinking that he needs ice-cream until he tastes it and says it is sophisticated cooking.

Jessica is up next with prawn chawanmushi with squid noodles.  The judges think the consistency is good and Gary says the quality and flavour are great.

Billie is up last with beetroot and dill stack that also includes smoked ricotta and Gary says is looks modern and up to date and he loves the intensity of it.

Decision time…Matt says that they all pushed themselves and there were two dishes that the thought couldn’t be improved, Billie and Sara.  The winner is Sara.

Sara goes into the pantry with Gary and George and her choices for the invention tests are three different food trends.  Cheeks and jowls, which is nose to tail with regards to protein, peel to stem, which George says is the nose to tail of fruit and vegetables, and savoury sweets.  She doesn’t want to choose savoury sweets because of the strong dessert cooks that are left.  She chose peel to stem and some of the others are confused.  They have 60 minutes and all dishes will be tasted, two will be safe and the other three are in an elimination pressure test.

Georgia’s all confused from the start and spending a lot of time in the pantry.  Matt says he doesn’t want to see a protein centred dish, oh dear…Reynold has got chicken on his bench.

Billie’s using cauliflower, but isn’t sure what the dish will be.  Reynold is doing a poached chicken roulade with celery and mushrooms.  Sara has decided to do watermelon and crab.

Reynold’s been working on the chicken for almost 30 minutes and about to put it in the oven when Gary and George walk over to him and Gary says he doesn’t care about the chicken, oh dear Reynold has now realised the vegetables are the important part of the challenge, not the chicken.

Georgia has decide to use parsnips and baby carrots.  Sara’s going well until George asks her what she’s doing with the watermelon skin, as she’s got the flesh and rind, but not the skin in the dish.

Jessica’s using silverbeet and adding cheese and the judges are worried that she’ll think the cheese will win them over.

Poor Reynold’s in all sorts of mess with runny puree and then Matt goes over to him and asks him what’s wrong and the poor thing struggles to answer.  Then he realises it tastes nice, so maybe it can be a soup.

10 minutes to go and Sara is still stressing over the watermelon skin and how to use it.  Then while she’s plating up she’s stressing even more and she decides to leave the watermelon skin off the dish.

Time is up…Sara is up first with…well they say nothing except go to an ad, oh dear.  She’s made compressed watermelon and watermelon rind salad and Gary is stunned not sure if he likes how it is plated up because it isn’t sophisticated.  Matt asks about the watermelon skin, which wasn’t used.  Matt likes the dish, but says she hasn’t shown what she can do with all of the watermelon and George wants more.

Billie is up next with cauliflower puree with pickled stems, a crumb and leaves.  George loves the dish and says she’s done so much with the cauliflower.  Gary says it is delicious and very clever.

Jessica is next with stewed silverbeet and chickpea with a stem puree, crispy leaves, chorizo and manchego cheese and George asks if she’s laden it with cheese and butter.  Gary comments that it is wholesome but not pretty.

Georgia takes up her dish parsnip and baby carrots and George asks why she used two vegetables.  George thinks she was mad using two vegetables, but pushed herself and made a tasty dish.  Gary thinks it is beautiful.

Last up is Reynold with celery heart with veloute, mushrooms and parsnip cream.  Matt says it was delicious as does Gary.

Decision time…Gary names the people in the pressure test…Sara, Jessica and Reynold.

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