Saturday, February 10, 2007

Masterchef - the third

I was pleased to see that Harriet got through to the semi-finals of MasterChef goes large last night. She seems quite young but has such a laudable passion for British food especially very local and wild food, maybe she is the love child of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall? The scallops and the venison, with apparently a sublime sauce, looked very good and I thought it was quite amusing that she called her dessert a rather un-British "tarte tatin" but as she used sweet shortcrust and not the usual puff pastry, John and Gregg insisted on calling it apple pie - which is considerably more British.
If the format stays the same as the last series, we will have two more weeks of new amateur cooks testing their skills and then in the sixth week some previous contestants who were not quite successful enough last time return to see if they can fare better this year. That's how Daksha Mistry got through to the finals of MasterChef goes large 2006.
John and Gregg didn't seem quite so irritating this week though they obviously have their favourites and you can't always agree with them. One theme that keeps appearing throughout all the series of MasterChef is risotto. I adore risotto but it seems a very risky thing to cook on this show. A promising contestant this week fell by the wayside attempting and failing to make a quick risotto from the rather slow-cooking brown rice. If you go through to the Friday quarter-finals and make a risotto, you are often accused of making a dish that's too simple for MasterChef. However if you serve your risotto alongside say a piece of meat as an accompaniment you are reminded yet again that "risotto is a dish in its own right". If I were them, I steer clear of risotto on MasterChef - it's just too dangerous!

And another top tip, to really impress Gregg you just need to do something with figs and Amaretto and ensure it’s not too sweet for John’s savoury taste buds. I am fairly sure that Gregg would do anything for figs and Amaretto!

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