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Bacon-pecan crumble with caramel nectarines? Yes, please!

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I don’t know about you guys, but I watch a lot of cooking shows on TV. I’m a fountain of completely useless information, like the proper method for stretching the gluten in your home-made phyllo pastry and how to get your butter to room temperature without putting it into the microwave. So when Nutrific invited me to a breakfast cook-off with chef Matt Manning, I was pretty sure I had it nailed.

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(Plus, Nutrific has this website with literally 1000 ways to eat Nutrific biscuits. Can you imagine being the copywriter and food stylist on that gig? It’s a kind of mad genius.)

I invited my cousin Kelly along as my cook-off partner because she actually owns a pasta machine and uses it, plus she’s legit training to run the 2 Oceans marathon – so she’d probably be the perfect person to come up with a delicious, healthy breakfast using Nutrific biscuits, am I right?

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We snuck a peek at the pantry of ingredients before Matt Manning scolded us. Look at this pantry! I mean, there’s got to be something in there that you can use to make something delicious.

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Matt Manning is a straight-talking, charming rogue of a chef by the way. When I say straight-talking, what I really mean is that he’ll tell you straight that your recipe sucks. Ha, ha, ha! I like that in a human.
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We had 45 minutes to come up with something. You guys, 45 minutes is not nearly as long as you think it is. Especially when you are not working in your own kitchen. You should have seen us trying to figure out how to light the gas stove; ours was playing silly buggers. Luckily Matt came along and lent us a lighter. These are the ingredients we nabbed from the pantry: bacon, pecan nuts, honey, cream, butter, eggs, icing sugar, nectarines and butter.

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We had this idea to make a savoury crumb using crushed Nutrific biscuits, pecan nuts and chopped up bacon that we’d crisped up with some honey. When I say “we” had an idea, what I really mean is Kelly had the idea. She had all the ideas. I was like a deer in the headlights. She made this luscious, gooey caramel that we dipped nectarines into, and then we finished off the plate with some cream cheese we added basil to.

To which we added basil. Where is my grammar?

I’ll spare you the photos of what our workstation looked like in the end. It was a disaster, but I had so so much fun. Here’s what our plate looked like at the end of 45 minutes.

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We proudly (okay, more like sheepishly) took it through to the photographers to do their thing, before it was over to the Nutrific team – and Matt Manning – to judge.

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The competition was fierce! I knew we should have rather gone with a savoury dish. Here we go: Caramel-dipped nectarines with a bacon-pecan crumble and basil mousse. (Copywriting skills, FTW.)

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Matt gave us a 10/10 for innovation, but only a 5/10 for effort. Pah! I sweated in that kitchen, what does he know. The Nutrific team said our dish was “adventurous”. That’s better 🙂

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I would share the recipe with you guys, but truth be told, it was so frantic in that kitchen that I can hardly remember what we put together. Plus, Kelly did all the hard work. We didn’t win, but what a brilliant morning out at the HTA School of Culinary Art. If you ask me, the real winners were the team who came up with #1000Ways to eat Nutrific. My favourite was no 330, The Sleepy Banana.

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