Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go with Goat's Cheese?' :)

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Has anyone in the UK (or elsewhere, for that matter) been watching the new series of Celebrity Masterchef? As usual, most of the 'celebrities' are people I have never heard of, but it's been good viewing so far until tonight.

Greg and John berated a contestant for making a salad including goat's cheese and strawberries. Okay, so it had ciabatta so that didn't work, and the leaves he used were not heavy or bitter enough (just little gem lettuce) but surely they should have recognised that strawberries, with pepper, can work well with goat's cheese, and at least acknowledged where he was going instead of making out that he was mad! I felt really bad for the guy, and thought they were being very short-sighted, which I've never noticed as they're normally very good. Grr. Sorry about that! Is it just me being weird? I have heard of this combo many times, and done it myself. Now I think I must be going mad...

Anyway, any other Masterchef comments from anyone? I will still continue to watch, as I love the show, but that did make me a little angry with John and Greg. Tut tut!

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Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

I cannot say that I have seen the show. But spinach salads with strawberries, raspberries, and grapes are common here, and generally come with a sweet dressing topped with cheese and nuts. So the combination does not at all seem weird to me, but I am from California so people usually think we are weird out here.

Blargie
Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

I have never seen the show but as for the strawberries and Goat cheese... well it is certainly not my first choice but I can see it if you had a bit of balsamic vin, OR toasted pecans with the two would help as well.

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

I don't watch TV, but I can't see anything wrong with strawberries and any sort of cheese. I don't like goat cheese much though. I do love two slices of cheddar with thick lumpy-with-berries strawberry jam inside! I also love Christmas cake (un-iced) with creamy blue cheese.

Maybe it was because it wasn't innovative enough? Too passé?

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pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

Cake and cheese is awesome! It has to be quite a dense or at least quite rich and fruity cake and quite a mighty cheese, like you say, but it's a great combo. My Nan's fruit cake with a bit of strong cheddar...mmm. I wish I had some now!

I have a bit of an odd relationship with goat's cheese. I love soft, rindless goat's cheese, and can just about eat the sharper type with the rind if it's with the right things, usually when it's baked or toasted. There is a weird translucent gooey bit between the rind and the cheese that I can't stand, but once it's melted I usually don't notice it. Of course, heaps of red onion marmalade helps, too. :)

maki
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

That is really my biggest complaint about the UK Masterchef series; it's really all about what John and Greg, aka Toad and Pasty (hehe) like or don't like. I do wish they'd get the occasional guest judge in there. I thought that Masterchef Professionals, with Michel Roux Junior as judge instead of John, was more interesting because Michel Roux Jr is very different from John Torode. (and geez i can't believe I actually know the last names of these people!)

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pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

I think more judges would be helpful. When the contestants get to the latter stages the critics' views are really good, as they don't have the emotional connection to the cooks and so make a more objective assessment. I think Greg and John's tastes normally balance out, most of the time, so if one doesn't like something the other has a different viewpoint. The thing is, there's only two of 'em, so the odds are quite high that sometimes neither of them will 'get' what the cooks are doing! I agree that more judges would give a wider set of views, which might be good. I still love watching it, though, and Greg and John (Toad and Pasty - is that respectively?) are likeable, especially Greg's love for puddings and constant allusions to dishes 'kissing you square on the lips'!

anon.
Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

Like Stephanie I'm from Cali too, and the combo of tangy cheese and sweet fruit in a salad is very common here, usually with a type of nut thrown in the mix. I've had a similar salad to what they made except it had feta cheese and mixed spring greens with the strawberries. And yeah, usually the dressing is a kinda sweet vinaigrette , although I actually prefer a straight vinaigrette with this kind of salad as long as the berries are sweet enough.
Goat cheese isn't too far off from feta so I think it would be fine.

Haven't seen the show myself, but I don't see what the problem is with this combination.

anon.
Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

Watched the entire series. Very disappointed with final result. Yes I thought Jayne was a very good cook but she couldn`t cope with the pressure. Iwan and Wendi had to bale her out a couple of times. Thought Wendi should have won. She was the most consistent contestant throughout the series.

Loretta
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

I agree with Maki, Masterchef is now way too much about Greg & John's egos, and neither of them inspire me much as cooks.
There was a recent program on another channel where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and some guests took a fresh, clear look at the potential of fresh strawberry pairings. They seemed to try hard to push aside any of those inbuilt prejudices the Masterchef hosts prefer to foster.

It was fun to see their faces with some of the combinations - blue cheese and strawberries didn't work for them at all!
They didn't mention it, but ground pepper and strawberry is a classic combination (I learned this from the Portuguese member of the Raincoats) so I can imagine that pepper would really help strawberries and goats cheese work in harmony (can't try as goats cheese is off the menu whilst my passenger is on board).

Hugh and his team's successful findings have been posted here: http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/t...
As well as strawberry, mint and lomo OR strawberry, mint and cured ham (ignore what the website says, lomo tastes nothing like cured ham)
Their suggestions included
+ Strawberry and gherkin (which I'm sure would horrify John and Greg!)
+ Strawberry and butter sauteed mushroom (seasoned with salt and the important pepper)
+ Strawberry and peanut butter - it was wonderful to see Hugh's face light up as he tried this, he explained that the clammy 'peanut-butter-on-the-roof-of-your-mouth' sensation is eradicated with a succulent strawberry burst

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Celebrity Masterchef 2009 - OR - 'Do Strawberries go ...

Strawberries and pepper is a favourite of mine - it does work better with freshly ground black pepper, but I must say I have been known to dust strawberries with a sprinkling of sansho from time to time, too!

I thought this series was a bit something-of-nothing; the celebrity ones in the past have been better than this. I enjoyed Masterchef 2009 very much though, even though winner Matt was a bit scary!

I LOVE Hugh's programmes; I love his beliefs, his enthusiasm and his honesty. I wish I had seen the programme where they tried all those strawberry combinations. I love how the recipes that appear on his shows tend to breathe new life into maligned or 'boring' produce, or celebrate the best of each season. Hugh's a hero. ;)

Loretta
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oops! Nearly missed this

I KNEW there was a reason why the Channel 4 program came to mind when I saw this thread!
Here's the Hot-smoked strawberry and goat's curd crostini recipe that was featured:
http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/t...

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 33 weeks ago.
Re: oops! Nearly missed this

Wow. Just...wow.

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