For the first Mystery Box of my MasterChef 10 experience, the people who were not saved during the mise en place challenge had to cook with British ingredients and make a dish inspired by Gordon himself! It was a really interesting challenge, and I was actually kind of bummed that I didn’t get to cook with these ingredients, because I knew exactly what I was going to make(granted, I was safe from the balcony, so it was a lot easier to conceptualize a dish without that pressure of elimination looming over you). That pork chop, I was going to use that, and make a seared pork chop with English cheddar and pea infused orecchiette, basil crumb, and marmite-brown butter apple and endive salad.
I was going to dub the dish “One Day Afternoon”, the name of a fun, family-friendly Fonogenico song, and also because it refers to me imagining Gordon eating this sort of picnic-y dish with his family, with him being such a huge family man himself! The basil crumb and making pasta really, in my eyes, tied in with Gordon, because those are things he does quite regularly, so culinarily, that’s where my tie-in fell. While I was safe that episode, mostly due to me somehow winning immunity after having an emotional breakdown(fun fact, two of my close friends in the competition were just eliminated before the mise en place challenge, so I was just not mentally or emotionally there at all), I still thought through a concept, so that I could keep my mind focused and sharpened for the competition.
For the pasta dough:
1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup water
Combine ingredients to form a dough. Roll out into a 1/4 inch log and cut into 1/4 x 1/4 inch cubes. Press down with your fingers and drag to form the indents in the pasta. Blanch in boiling salt water for 5 minutes.
For the cheddar fonduta:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup English cheddar
1/4 cup blanched English peas
2/3 cups milk
Create a roux using the butter and flour. Stir in your salt and pepper. Break with the cold cream and whisk out the lumps. Fold in the cheese, followed by the pasta, and finally, the peas. Transfer to a ramekin.
For the basil crumb:
6 slices brioche; toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup basil leaves; stems removed
2 tablespoons grated English cheddar
Blitz everything in a food processor until it forms a fine, green crumb. Sprinkle on the little casserole dishes or ramekins, already filled with pasta, and bake at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until toasted on top.
For the pork chops:
2 bone-in pork chops
Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, paprika. Heat up a pan then add in your oil. Sear the pork chops on each side for 3-4 minutes, then add in your butter and garlic cloves. Baste the meat, on the bone side, 20 times with the butter, before transferring to a sheet tray and baking at 375 degrees F for 4-5 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes then slice.
For the marmite-brown butter vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter; browned
1/2 cup malt vinegar
1 tablespoon marmite
Spread marmite on a lined sheet tray and bake at 375 until toasted. Puree in with the malt vinegar and brown butter until emulsified.
For the salad:
2 heads of endive
2 granny smith apples
Thinly shave the endive and the peeled/cored apples and toss with the vinaigrette.
For the cranapple mostarda:
1/4 cup craisins
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup diced apples
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
Combine ingredients and bring to a simmer, adding in more water until the craisins are completely soft.