Maggie Beer’s Mystery Box Challenge with some Poison. 1

This week is Maggie Beer week. She chose the mystery box for today’s competition. The winner of the mystery box challenge would be able to choose the main ingredient for the invention test. The bottom three dishes will go into an elimination pressure test and the top three will go into an immunity pin challenge.

The ingredients in the mystery box were:

Octopus (not tenderised), Ver juice, Vinno Cotto, dark chocolate, pear, parsley, bay leaves, caper berries, and a Japanese berry.

Lots of people chose the octopus and they each had a different way of tenderising it. Some use saucepans to bas it, others used mallets. Laura said her dad used to just beat it against something hard so went outside and beat it against the steps.

There were lots of different dishes. Tracy cooked a poached octopus. Rachael, who had cooked octopus a few times before cooked grilled octopus on seared pears. Sam cooked a poached pear with a chocolate fondant. The fondant wasn’t cooked long enough, Sam simply ran out of time. It turned into puddle of mud on the plate

Here are the dishes the judges decided to taste.

Kira’s Vinno Cotto poached pear with chocolate ganache. It looked “beautiful” and Maggie loved the addition of the bay leaf. The pear was hard to cut but tender in the mouth and tasty.

Sarah’s pan seared octopus with parsley farfalle. Her octopus had great flavour but the octopus was too rubbery. There was however a good amount of flavour and technique.

Emily’s Malaysian egg yolk sponge cake. George thought it was lovely and soft and well done, just too much cream. The balance of the Ver Juice and Vinno Cotto was great.

Scott’s chocolate ganache tart with plum and Vino Cotto. Matt Preston absolutely adored it. The texture of the ganache was beautiful and the pastry was perfect. George said that was “serious cooking”.

Rachael’s grilled octopus on seared pears. It was a shame that the octopus wasn’t cooked and was raw and chewy. The seared pears were good.

For winning the mystery box challenge, Scott got to choose the ingredient for the next challenge. The next challenge was inspired by Frank Camorra of Movida. Scott had the choice of chorizo, rabbit or citrus fruits and chose chorizo.

The bottom three dishes go into the elimination pressure test tomorrow. The top three would go into a challenge for the first immunity challenge on Masterchef Australia 2014.

Lots of contestants chose to cook squid with the chorizo. Laura cooked chorizo and squid paella. Sarah cooked pan fried squid and chorizo. Nick also cooked a pan fried squid and had no idea if it was actually cooked when he took it off the pan.

Renae cut herself while cooking. It was quite deep but the nurse tended to it. She had seen the cut and felt faint. She needed a minute to sit down, but got back up and continued cooking.

Jamie grabbed some flowers from the Masterchef garden. I’m guessing this is what the poison is tonight. Are they edible?

The first dish to be tasted was Amy’s, Patatas Bravas with chorizo and green mojo sauce. There were some “mmm’s” from the judges. Frank said “it tastes really good”, the mojo sauce was “sensational and as good as I could make”.

Next was Renae. She cooked chorizo crusted squid with lamb and spicy potatoes. The lamb didn’t fit with the dish and shouldn’t have been on there. The potatoes were overly reduced.

Jamie’s Chorizo succotash with lightly seared squid was next to be judged. He used tomato flowers in his dish which were seen to be poisonous. Luckily for Jamie Matt left the flowers to one side. Both the squid and the rice were undercooked.

Laura cooked chorizo and squid paella which was the next to be judged. The squid was “absolute delicious”. Frank said the rice was cooked perfectly and to cook like this at 18 is amazing.

Several other delicious dishes were tasted by Tash, Sam and Scott. Sean’s stuffed squid with chorizo was a bit tougher than it should be, it was raw.

Nick’s stuffed squid wasn’t cleaned properly and had lots of “gooey stuff” inside it still.

Tracy’s chorizo stuffed squid with safron broth was next. Frank said it was delicious and all of the components worked well together. The chorizo infused everything. Both Frank and Gary would be happy to put it on their menus.

Sarah’s chorizo squid with chorizo mayonnaise was presented well, but the squid was raw and the pumpkin was burnt.

The three contestants going into the immunity challenge and safe from elimination: Tracy, Amy and Laura

The three contestants going into sudden death pressure test: Nick, Sarah and Sean

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