Sunday, June 3, 2012

Masterchef Australia - Episode 8 - First time in the Masterchef Kitchen, First Mystery Box

It is with episode eight that things get serious and we are in the Masterchef House and in the Masterchef Kitchen.

I have to say I did not like the Mystery Box, it was a mirror and the idea is put yourself on a plate.   I do not like the very wide open challenges, it is both not a challenge but also very, very hard to do.

So what would I do if had to put myself on a plate?   I think I would go back to the food that makes up where I come from.   I would have to do a lot of Baltic food.   What comes to mind is making Zakuska, the Baltic German word of what the Russians call Zakuski, a serious of small bites to have when you are shooting back the vodka.

1) Speckkuchen - small yeast dough filled perogies.  I would fill some with the traditional bacon, onions and currants, some would be salmon, red onions and dill, and finally bacon, dried cranberries and shallots.

2) A cucumber slice pickled for 45 minutes in apple cider vinegar and then topped with finely chopped tomato and dill.  A final garnish would be some of the pickled onions from a jar of pickled herring.

3) Oven roasted potato chunks.  I would cut them into small wedges that are one bite.  I would toss them in oil, salt and dill and then roast them.

4) Devilled eggs - I would mix the egg yolks with a garlic and cayenne aoili.   The eggs would be have a few bits of caviar on top with a thinly sliced freshly pickled red onion.

5) Put the vodka in the blast chiller, if the time allows I would try to freeze the bottle into a block of ice.

I think this would be enough.   With three of each on the plate, there would be 12 pieces on the plate.

I would insist they need to have ice cold vodka with it.  This food is designed to be eaten with vodka, it is a pairing that makes both parts much better.

75 minutes is not long enough to do a few things I would want to do with salmon.  I would love to make a gravlax, but the time to cure the salmon would take far too long.

Looking at what the others put up, I think this would enough to finish in the top.   My concerns would be that I used too much dill and that the food was too simple

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