Thursday, August 15, 2013

Masterchef Week 12 Recap…It’s a Fowl Situation!

Masterchf Wk 12
     I have to admit I hate the new format.  I want 2 hours of new material every week!  Not one hour from last week, and only one hour new material.  I feel cheated, but I am still excited for the new episode, even if it is only one hour. (sniff, sniff)      
     The contestants are in the kitchen, it’s the final 7 (again) they have a mystery box challenge to start out with. They have a 16 ounce t-bone steak. James informs us that “he is from Texas and a Man, so he eats steak, once a week, and that is a fact.” Love it!  Never underestimate a Texan’s ability to make a steak!  I am telling you any real Texan can make a killer steak, its in our DNA.  Oh how I miss Texas!  The contestants have 45 minutes to make their steak dish.

     This challenge is making me hungry.  Maybe I need to fix myself a TV snack while I watch this week.  Steak is one of my absolute favorites.  My dad is an excellent grill master, and a good steak can rarely be beat!

     The contestants are all scurrying about, some seem very confident in their abilities, other not so much.  Some are going very traditional meat and potatoes, others are branching out and doing something a bit more exotic.  The judges as usual are milling around and tasting different elements of the various dishes.          

     The judges pick the top 3 for tasting.          

     Jordan- his dish looks really good, steak, parmesan encrusted squash, celery root puree, caramelized onions, compound butter. All three judges really like it.          

     Luca- steak with haricot verts and fingerling potatoes. Joe says it’s the type of steak that you expect at a good Parisian bistro.  Way to go Luca!  Yes, I am still on Team Luca!          

     Krissi- Pan seared steak with compound butter, and pommes du Krissi and a warm vegetable salad. Graham likes it and thinks it’s a good job. Gordon says she has done a good job at elevating the ingredients.          

     The Winner is Krissi who gets to go into the pantry to learn of her advantage for the elimination challenge.  This concept I find scary, cause Krissi is the type of person that I don’t think needs any more power than she already has.           

     Krissi doesn’t have to cook in the upcoming challenge, so she is in the top 6. it In the pantry there are various cages each with different bird, live birds.  There is a quail, a pigeon, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a turkey. She gets to choose what bird each person cooks in this challenge.           Krissi of course wants to take out Bri and Natasha.  Luca gets the turkey, James has the duck, Natasha has the pheasant, Bri has the pigeon, Jordan has the quail, Jessie has the chicken.  Luckily they do not have to kill and butcher the bird.  All of the contestants look relieved, but especially Bri, that would have made it a horrible day for a vegetarian.  In case you are wondering I know how to shoot, kill and clean my own bird if I have to, but I prefer getting it from my local grocery store, it just feels more civilized, and my stomach doesn't do somersaults.         

     They have 60 minutes to prepare their dish.  I find this challenge particularly interesting, I have actually cooked every single of the birds featured (yes no bird is ever safe in my kitchen).   For me I think the hardest one would be the turkey, primarily cause 60 minutes isn’t really that much time to make a stellar turkey dish, also I don’t even like turkey so that makes cooking it even harder.           Obviously I think the chicken is the easiest of the birds to work with, but in some ways I think it is the hardest.  The judges expect a lot if you have chicken since everyone can make chicken.  So Jessie had better step up to the plate to impress.          

     Krissi’s laugh is really quite evil, almost a cross between the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz, and the Joker from Batman.  Quite disturbing actually.  Small children beware, that’s all I am going to say about that.          

     Let the tasting begin…          

     Jessie- Chicken Breast, with Mashed potatoes and corn succotash. Joe chastises her for being too safe, and declares the chicken dry and a disappointment. Graham says its like frozen dinner.  That’s the problem with chicken, they expect a lot.           

     Natasha- Pheasant breast with risotto ; Joe said she was smart and nailed it. Krissi is upset.  Guess Krissi’s master plan isn’t working as well as she was hoping.  I have to admit that Natasha is kinda growing on on me, she seems to actually be much nicer and more human than I previously thought.  Thank you Natasha for proving to me that you aren’t “just here to look good.”  Greatly appreciated!  Its times like this that being wrong is a good thing, so I am glad to be wrong.          

     James- Japanese spice rubbed duck, with kimchee and oyster mushrooms. Graham gives it rave reviews.  James I think has an excellent palate, he is always coming up with elevated flavor combinations.          

     Luca- pancetta wrapped turkey. Joe says that he did a great job.  Way to go Luca!  Maybe I just always love the underdog, but I am totally rooting for Luca!          

     Krissi of course has to mention again that she hates Bri.  Lets see if her plan to take out Bri works for her.          

     Bri- has a stuffed pigeon. Gordon calls is delicious, says its moist because she was smart enough to stuff it.  I have made pigeon several times and not to sound dumb, but I don’t know any other way to make it but to stuff it, I guess I might have to look into more recipes than what I have.  However, properly cooked stuffed pigeon is truly delectable.          

     Krissi is ticked that Bri nailed it.  So far Krissi’s master plan is not working and the only one that really botched up their dish so far was Jessie, not sure how this is going to play out.          

     Jordan- pan seared quail with root vegetables. Its raw. Jordan admits that he didn’t know how to cook it. Joe declares it beyond any redemption.  Honestly at this point I can’t see anyone but Jordan going home, so sad cause Jordan is a very talented cook, and I am sad to see the duo of James & Jordan, now just be James flying solo.          

     The top 2 are Bri & Natasha, Natasha was #1. They will be captains in the upcoming challenge.  So the two that Krissi was gunning for the most rose to the top, serves you right Krissi!          
     The bottom 2 are Jessie and Jordan.  Jordan is eliminated. Graham tells him that he has a job in his kitchen if he wants.  Jordan declares that Natasha will be the Masterchef.     
     My thoughts on this week’s episode; first I would have loved to participate in this challenge, if there is one thing I love to cook its birds, except turkeys.  I can cook a turkey, but why?  I don’t like turkey.  Krissi was gunning for Natasha and Bri, which I can completely understand, they are two of her strongest threats.  I do however think she picked the wrong birds for both of them.  As a loyal Team Luca member, I have to say he has been on fire the past few weeks and I am glad to see that.  Part of me wonders if the finale will end up being him versus Natasha.  I however have no idea who will be in the final 2, but that scenario definitely wouldn’t surprise me.  I am curious to see how the team challenge goes next week, it will be another great week in the Masterchef kitchen I am sure.  

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