Thursday, June 27, 2013

MasterChef Season 4 Episodes 10 and 11 Krissi Snares a Cat Fish

In this week's episode the cooks were faced with faces - pigs faces that is - because the first challenge of the evening featured pigs heads on a platter. Each cook was tasked with butchering and creating a dish using the tongue, cheek meat, or ear of the pig and though it felt at times like I was watching Silence of the Lambs, all of the cooks were impressive as they made their way through those heads.

Special kudos to Bree. As the only vegetarian in the group she used a "see no evil" approach by covering her pigs head as she cooked it so that it couldn't look at her while she was doing it. For that reason, a part of me was really hoping her dish of a farmer's breakfast with crispy pig's ear would be in the running to win the challenge.

But there were three dishes the judges liked more:

Lynn made a Braised Tongue and Cheek that Graham said was perfectly seasoned. Jessie pulled out another stunner with Braised Cheek and Ear, and Jonny surprised everyone with his Braised Tongue and Cheek Taco.

Krissi Snares a Catfish - The Elimination Challenge

Lynn won, putting him in control of the elimination challenge and last season's winner Christine Ha came back to introduce what it would be. She gave Lynn the option of choosing from her three favourite ingredients: chicken, catfish, and live dungenous crab with tonight's advantage being that Lynn could choose one person to cook one of the ingredients, and the other cooks would cook a second, again of his choosing.

Calling Krissi out as his one achillies heel, he chose the catfish for her and crab for the rest of the competitors. All the while I sat back and thought: "Why does everyone always have to pick on my favorite tough talking women?"

Christine Corley took the heat in season 2 for speaking her mind, Martie did last season, and now the fabulosity of Krissi is set up to be this season's tough talking villainess.

Krissi, as expected, didn't take the catfish swimmingly - but before she had a chance to get into it, madness ensued when the cooks were told they had to do the challenge blindfolded.

I have admit to a moment of panic as a blind folded Luca stumbled around the kitchen with his giant butcher knife at the ready and was relieved when Christine, who has a wicked sense of humour, let them know they could take the blindfolds off. 

In the meantime Krissi, who was cooking an old fashioned fish fry with mashed potatoes, got into a run in with Joe when he said her plate looked like "Sunday night leftover dinner."

Krissi, as much as I love you and your food gangster ways, it is oft the better strategy when Joe looks at you all rattlesnake like not to argue back.

But you know what? I admire you for that. I admire you for sticking up for your dish and calling out the reality TV la la land stuff that was going on because even as the dramatic music welled up I knew you weren't going to be sent home. They need you for the story line because you are interesting and even better than that, you are polarizing, which means that just by the virtue of being yourself, you create lots of discussion. 

That being said, Beth, who I aptly cast as Dorothy this season, went back home to Kansas while the Wicked Witch of the North Natasha was chosen as a winner along with James who is really emerging as a cooking star.

The Team Challenge

Wedding bells were ringing as the team challenge featured the cooks catering a wedding with Natasha and James picking teams. Once again the power house known as Jessie and Lynn or "JessLynn" were on the same team and we had to listen to them wax rhapsodic for yet another week about their unstoppable power as a duo.

At the same time, Krissi and Bree were counting their lucky stars because as the least favourite people on each team, they each got to sit out and were exempted from elimination.

As the challenge got underway the wedding diners were treated to an amazing appetizer of Spring Pea Essence with Whipped Creme Fraiche Pink Peppercorn and Lavender Infusion from Chef Graham Elliot.

Coming up with an entree to follow that had to have been pretty daunting.

Though JessLynn on the blue team were cocky and confident at the start of the challenge, as the heat in the kitchen rose, so did Lynn's stress. In danger of losing his first team challenge, Lynn who Ramsay referred to as "Hey Sweatbox!" in full Hell's Kitchen glory, was sweating all over the entrees. As an aside, Lynn has been accused several times of under seasoning his dishes so perhaps this was part of his master plan to salt up the meat.


Dinner service ended with Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Toffee Pudding.

And as I longed for the power to reach into the screen and have one of these for my very own, there was still a pressure test to contend with.

The red team and their cool, confident, non-sweaty halibut won and Lynn and Jonny from the blue team were sent into head to head battle featuring a culinary cage fight to see who could bake up the best macarons.

In the end, that person was Lynn and Jonny was sent home.

If you enjoy reading food related fiction, check out my hilarious new web series "Starring Samantha."

Samantha Wentworth's catering business goes belly up along with her marriage to cut throat divorce attorney Alan Wentworth. To recoup her losses she applies to be on a reality TV show, falls in love with the married producer, just about kills the pompous chef host, and gets herself into all kinds of other interesting predicaments. 

Stay tuned Saturdays for this brand new serial on The Kitchen Witch! I'll be basing the characters off of well known food world celebs to keep you guessing! Each installment will come with a signature cocktail, recipes, and a fun question and answer to include you in the plot twists - so be sure to bookmark The Kitchen Witch and come along for a fun, food related, romantic romp through the world of reality TV!

Click here to read Episode 1: Samantha Drowns her Sorrows in a Vodka Gimlet 



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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  1. So... Graham, how do you get that green color for your soup? That neon-green looks hard to replicate.

  2. does anyone know how to replicate Graham's dish?