It’s the first cook of redemption round and, sadly, we are stuck back with Pete and Manu. Boo hoo. Here we go with another interminable round of loser cooks, and we no longer have the up side that is Colin’s accent and Rachel’s poise.
This is where Chloe and Kelly started from last year, right? And where are they now? Oh, yeah, sacked from their gig as restaurant reviewers.
We’re in WA and it’s Duck Nutters Nev and Kell. Please, Nev, no more sacrilege of burnt crackle. Last time they got 56.
There’s a talking head edit from the Stepsies about the great unknown that it is the other teams and it’s time for the twinning outfits to stop.
At least because we’ve met them already the Coles shopping takes all of 15 seconds, then they’re off to pick up some marron. The marron shop lady genteely asks: “Do you want them to be euthanased?”
They are not mucking around and whip through setting up their tacky Hollywood-themed restaurant.
Their menu is:
Entree: Grilled marron with lemon and dill butter (this will have to be perfectly cooked but good on them for taking a risk – the judges will love it if it works)
Main: Eye fillet with sweet potato mash and red wine jus (Oops, sorry, it’s a “juss”, according to Kell.)
Dessert: Baked vanilla cheesecake (What’s with all the cake-type desserts this year – there’d better be some more elements.)
In the kitchen they crack on with the cheesecake, determined to redeem themselves after their apple pie disaster. Surprisingly, Kell is doing the crumb all up the side of the tin, which is just asking for bits to break off when they cut it later. They are bickering a little over the best method, so the tension is creeping in, but compared to last night’s shocking behaviour it’s still happy days.
Nev gets on to the entree and is determined to show the judges he heeded their advice to keep things simple. He also says “juss”. They do seem more relaxed this time round and are having a bit of fun in the kitchen. At one point Nev shows he knows how to segment citrus fruit – can he please give the Miners a lesson so they serve no further pith-filled salads.
The guests arrive and Non-Man Bun miner has drawn the stylist short straw. Did he get Jess’s old stylist?
At the table the guests play “guess the relationship” and Rosie is surprised to learn the Miners aren’t in fact surf lifesavers. A fan of Bondi Rescue, perhaps.
Hazel reveals she has a dog. What kind? “A Shih-teze.” Hmm, maybe that’s what they needed after eating Dee’s food.
In the kitchen Nev is cleaning marron as the judges pull of the the strains of Foo Fighters’ Learn to Fly. Who knows why. The doorbell rings and the music switches to the angstier Chilli Peppers’ Higher Ground, which probably refers to Manu’s skyscraper slick of hair.
The Stepsies are beside themselves to be in the presence of Panu. The guests are reminded the two worst teams will be booted, but Manu reveals: “But all eez not what it sims. Once you’ve all coked, get ready for a game-changing surprise.” Come on, Manu, I know you’re a party boy but should you be encourage teams to “coke”? What does it all mean?
Duck Nutters explain the menu, including their red wine “juss” and Hazel does this to hide her laughter:
Manu relishes the chance to be the one correct other’s pronunciation for a change.
Cop Megan interrogates everyone about their scores and is pleased to learn she and Cop 2 are up the top. It seems like ages ago – I have vague memories of boring salmon fillet and veg.
In the kitchen they are cooking the marron and – hooray – tasting the food before it goes out. Nev thinks it’s under, Kell thinks it’s spot on. Dee and Tim, watch their interaction and support for each other, even when they disagree. The dish looks prettier than in this official MKR photo.
— #MKR (@mykitchenrules) 2 March 2016
Chew time … Panu look to be having a little trouble tearing the meat out – I’ve never eaten marron but I know from years of watching MasterChef this means it’s undercooked. Manu leads them into a trap by asking: “How do you think you went?” and they think they did fine.
Manu: “It’s undercooked. When you cook shellfish like this, when it’s black, when it’s cooked, it turns red. This is still black.”
Lisa’s reaction says it all.
Then it’s Pete’s turn to gut the Nuts. He schools them in the fact the claws actually have the tastiest flesh (they haven’t cracked them for the guests and Nev confesses they don’t eat that bit), they’ve underseasoned and he can’t taste the lemon or dill. Ouchies.
Nev is gutted but keeps it together at the table.
We’re reminded of Paige’s one-liners when she whispers to Rosie: “What happens is I eat under marron; am I going to do?”
Lauren – who is happy to serve guests uncooked seafoof – declines to try much of her marron. Non-Man Bun miner seems to have scored a cooked one and Lisa is hilariously trying to bash open a claw with her fork handle, while Carmine – dangerously – uses his teeth.
Lauren is being reserved in her comments and the Stepsies take note.
Back in the kitchen Nev is bucking up a despondent Kell. Then, they crack on with the main and Nev is cooking the steaks before Kell has even but the veg in boiling water for the mash. Again they’ve picked a tough one having to do 12 individual serves.
At the table Cop Monique is leading everyone in a game of “stick the table decorations on your face” and Lauren looks like she is actually enjoying herself.
It’s delightful to see a contestant using a meat thermometer (if you don’t have one, go get one – this Matt Preston article may convince you http://tinyurl.com/zzzw83c
I’m surprised Nev is blanching the asparagus and then tossing it through hot oil. Where’s the butter? He’s happy with the jus flavour but thinks it’s too thin. If he hadn’t cooked his steaks so early he could have reduced his jus. At least the soz jug is a decent size.
— #MKR (@mykitchenrules) 2 March 2016
Chew time: Ducks Nuts are desperately trying to get a glimpse of the inside of a the judges’ steaks. Surely they did a tester that we didn’t see. Manu: “The jus was really, really tasty. Probably not the right consistency; but tasty… This is why I wanted to kick your butt a little, so you could deliver a main course like this.” Pete says they still needed more seasoning and takes a leaf out of Rachel Khoo’s book by telling Kell to roast the sweet potato next time before mashing. “This is what we’re after: Simple, but tasty.”
The Cops have twigged to Lauren’s nicey-nice game and know she’s one to watch, and we know from the ads fireworks are on the way.
Back in the kitchen Nev is worried about the basicness of their cheesecake. Pete pops in to chat – am I right that Colin and Rachel did not do these spontaneous pop-ins – and Nev bounces off him the idea of doing a raspberry soz, but Kell is adamant fresh berries will do. As Nev says, it will only take a jiffy to whip one up, so why not.
At the table they are debating the simplicity of the dessert and Lauren unknowingly quotes Hayden Moss from Survivor Blood versus Water when she says: “I don’t want to rustle any feathers.” Can you now hear the autumn leaves ruffling, Lauren?
It’s time to cut the cheesecakes and Kell can’t watch. They look nice and high and Kell is happy – until Nev insists on adding a little dish of his hastily whipped up berry sauce. It’s been dusted with icing sugar, so look away, Jess.
— #MKR (@mykitchenrules) 2 March 2016
Chew o’clock … Pete chastises them for not serving it as they usually do, which is just with fruit. It didn’t need the coulis because it was “faultless”. However, the superfluous coulis did taste good. Pete’s critique: “It was the duck’s nuts, mate.”
Man Bun Miner is in heaven with his dessert.
I’m glad they had one win for the night – I may actually look up this recipe.
Team score: Miners 9 (sticking up for their mates with the scoring – will the favour be returned?), Lauren and Carmine 7, Stepsies 6, Cops 6, SA Besties 6. With these scores they are on track to beat their initial 56.
Judges: Entree Pete 1, Manu 2; Main Pete 7, Manu 7; Dessert Pete 10, Manu 10 (okay, here’s the recipe http://tinyurl.com/gns4ka8 or you can watch Better Homes on Friday night)
Total 71. That should see them safe.
On Sunday night it’s the cops’ turn and it’s another soup for entree but it looks like Lauren provides the spice.