The Hotplate…elimination…Italian vs French

For the elimination we have Phillippe and Pascal up against Christina and Tania and Phillippe is feeling honoured as well as terrified about cooking for Guillaume…oh bless him.

The three ingredients they have to feature are pork, fennel and almonds and of course Christina knows nothing about fennel, oh he palate won’t be enjoying that and Tania’s freaking out about dessert after the salt saga from the last time that she cooked.

Christina’s off to a bad start cooking the entrée and cuts both thumbs while cutting fennel for a fennel puree.  With 1 minute to go they’re plating their barramundi and puree but dear Tania thinks the barramundi is mushy and the puree isn’t fine enough and is too lumpy.  Christina gets over the top and frantic and then tells Tania to shut up…ummmm mother dear are you seeing a pot or kettle anywhere???

Phillippe and Pascal are doing a salad that has black pudding amongst other things.

Entrée is served…Christina and Tania go in with their grilled barramundi and fennel puree with fennel and orange salad.  Phillippe and Pascal go in with Salade Paysanne with seasonal vegetables, black pudding and speck.  As for Christina and Tania’s dish, Tom liked the puree as did Guillaume, Lozz loved the whole dish.  Tom wasn’t keen on the fish…or in his words “it wasn’t awful, but it was slightly overcooked and not seasoned”…such a polite way of putting it.  Scott thinks it’s scary that the puree is the star of the dish and not the fish.  As for Phillippe and Pascal’s salad Marie loves it, while dear old Aron feels like a rabbit with all the salad and he can’t decide between two mediocre entrees.  Tom thinks it was “a very respectable offering”…oh sounds like he could be a royal.  Scott thinks it needed a bit of fine tuning.  Guillaume enjoyed it.

They start on main…Christina and Tania are doing crumbed pork chops with peperonata.  Tania’s going on about thinking of someone when she’s bashing the pork…mmmm I think mummy dearest is in the line.  Phillippe and Pascal are doing pork fillet with braised vegetables and mustard sauce and they’re sautéing some brussel sprouts, but they even separate the leaves…gee they’re getting fancy.  Tania’s crumbing the pork chops, but of course Christina carries on about being too busy to check them…which means she’ll have a sook later on.

Phillippe and Pascal get a go on the tart base for their dessert and get the base into the oven, while Christina’s screaming on Tania to “cook those porks,” Tania bless her has a good laugh and Christina puts oil into the pan that already has butter in it.  Pascal checks on the ice-cream and he’s worried because it’s really runny, but Phillippe’s not worried…until he says he doesn’t think it will set.  Pascal decides to have a crack at the anglaise and thinks he can do it better than his dad…oh bless him I hope he can.  Christian’s still screaming about the cutlets, Tania fries them and puts them in the oven…anything to shut her mother up.  Christina has already cooked the broccolini in water and now has them in a frypan…honey, it’s a green vegie, and it doesn’t need to be fried.  5 minutes to go and Phillippe and Pascal are plating, but they forgot about the brussel sprouts and speck until 2 minutes to go.  Now Christina wants the Italian flag on the plate…red from peperonata, white from the pork and green from the broccolini…oh honey seriously, it does not look spectacular to say the least, especially with the peperonata in a little dish on the plate.

The judges try Christina and Tania’s dish first…amazing with the other contestants old mate Aron loves it and dear Nols loves it.  Guillaume likes the pork cutlet and likes the peperonata, Tom thinks it worked, as for Scott he’s not keen on the broccolini, Tom shows that it looks overcooked and floppy, but it’s undercooked and crunchy.  They all try Phillippe and Pascal’s pork fillet and Emi can’t talk while muching on brussel sprounds, Nols can’t find any mustard in the sauce, Aron isn’t keen because it isn’t a whole meal.  Scott thinks it’s a bit too well cooked, only a minute or so…gee fussy.  Tom wanted more mustard in his “well behaved sauce” he wanted “naughty sauce” and poor Guillaume thinks the vegies are raw…oh no!!!

Time to focus on the dessert.  Phillippe and Pascal get onto the apples, until Pascal gets Phillippe focused on making frangipane cream and dear Pascal is worried that it’s grainy.  Christina and Tania get onto their dessert, Tania’s making a honey and almond mix, puts it in the oven and says “they’re looking good” and bless him the French flirt Pascal says “you’re looking good” and god love mother dearest who tells Tania to focus.  Old mate Arin’s worried about the frangipane tarts going in the oven with 20 minutes to go, he thinks they’ll take 30 minutes.  Christina gets onto flambéing some cherries…oh and of course they’re not fresh cherries.  Then Tania gets out the panna cotta to check them…and bless her they’re not set, back in the fridge they go.  Christina and Tania start to plate and Christina wants it to look refined…amazingly the panna cotta looks good and Christina is screaming that Tania is back…honey plate the damn food and stop screaming!!  Phillippe gets the tarts out with 4 minutes to go and he thinks they’re ready, Pascal says it they’re not right he’ll take his father to the guillotine…gee talk about stressful.  Oh no there’s a couple of wonky panna cottas going on for Christina and Tania, the last couple aren’t great.  Time is up and there’s a father son hug and a mother daughter hug…oh bless them.

Dessert is served.  Phillippe and Pascal serve their apple and frangipane tart with spiced anglaise and Christina and Tania serve their vanilla bean and almond panna cotta with honey almonds and amaretto cherries.  Phillippe and Pascal’s apple tart is tried first…oh dear Vanessa has raw apples and doesn’t like it at all, well honey you’re not keen on much.  Marie thinks it is delicious with the anglaise all over it.  Scott thinks it needed another 10 minutes, Tom wanted it more cooked, his apple was raw.  Guillaume likes the “sashimi style apple” because it brings tartness…bless him he’s a tad nice.  Time to try the panna cotta and Tom wobbles the plate around to see what it’s like, then we see all manner of weird facial expressions.  Marie enjoys the panna cotta as does Nols.  Vanessa bless her wants wetter cherries and Aron thinks it’s boring and doesn’t know who he would score higher.  Guillaume thinks it’s work in progress, Tom says it’s not quite right and starting to sag, but tastes nice and likes the honey almonds.  Guillaume is worried about the dried cherries and why they used fruit that’s not in season.  Scott thinks neither dessert is perfect.

Decision time…Scott says Phillippe and Pascal’s entrée was a perfect start to the evening, Guillaume says the barramundi wasn’t great because of the flour on it and Christina’s guttered of course.  Pascal is guttered when Guillaume says that their vegies were raw in their main.  Tom says that he loved Christina and Tania’s pork and Tania has a teary bless her…for a non-cook she’s going great!!  Scott talks about the tart and says it needed longer and Tom gushes over the crème anglaise…oh look Pascal’s doing well for a non-cook as well.

Tom says that it was really close, but one team showed more technique and all three judges agreed…and we go to an ad break of course.  Finally we hear that the best dinner was served by Phillippe and Pascal and both Phillippe and Pascal have a teary as does poor Tania.  Then Christina says that she’s very proud of her daughter…and Tania’s stoked hearing that.  Scott then says that they’ll miss Christina’s palate and they all laugh…oh that damn palate.

The four remaining teams are in the final round.  They get told they’re relaunching their new look restaurant for 30 diners arriving at the same time, oh and their staff are back to help them.  The top two teams will compete in the grand final for $100,000 and Emi and Marie are up first.

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