Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Top Chef - 9.16.09

Guest Judge tonight is Tim Love, and the Quickfire ingredient was chosen by viewers - between Snake, Cactus, and Kangaroo, it's cactus.  Fun. 


They have 45 minutes to make something succulent with the succulent (har har har, that one's from Padma).  The winner gets $15K, but there is no immunity.

Lots of different techniques go around, and Mike I seems to know a lot about cactus.  Mattin is nervous, and Roy tells us that cactus in Haiti is poisonous, so he's never cooked with it before...

Let's see what they come up with!

Laurine - Cactus salsa with achiote glazed pork chop.

Kevin "Red Beard" - Pork Tenderloin with cactus marmalade.  Tim called it a little slimy, but good.

Michael V. - Avocado roll with cactus coconut ceviche and red cactus coulis.

Ashley - Cactus jelly donuts with orange creme anglaise.

Mike I. - Cactus and tuna ceviche with pipian.

Ron - Chipotle swordfish with cactus sauce and mango papaya crab salad.

Bryan - Halibut & cactus ceviche with tempura cactus.

Ash - Cactus "grilled cheese."

Jennifer - Warm chorizo and cactus salad with queso fresco.

Mattin - Breaded cactus with tequila pickled cactus and red cactus puree

(Again, I hate when they don't show everyone)

Ash got bad marks, along with Michael V, and RonLaurine, Mike I (damn it), and Mattin get top honors.  Mike I won the Quickfire.  At least he didn't get immunity.

Elimination Challenge

They have to cook lunch on a ranch for 2 dozen cowboys, cooked outdoors.  They want high end food, and they will be going to the ranch the night before to see the place. At 10 AM, they have an hour and 15 minutes to prep and cook.  Tim Love let them know that he expects it to be well cooked and high end, even though they are in the hills.

To Whole Foods with them!  And then to the ranch!

Tents!  And Tee-pees!  Bwah ha ha!  Chuck Wagon!  Fire pits!  Cast iron pans!  Most of the cheftestants are not exactly thrilled.  Campfire stories and s'mores at night.  Fun.  And Ron pulled down a branch to scare snakes away with voodoo.  ok.

There seems to be a lot of ceviche going on.  Ron wants a sword to get at coconut juice.

Mike I  - Pork Gyro with apple and fennel tzaziki.They didn't feel like it was anything to write home about.

Eli - Tuna sandwich with sundried tomato mayonnaise and radish salad.  It got ehs all around.

- Sauteed artic char with tomatillo corn and grilled onion salsa and a baked potato. They liked her salsa.

Ash - Grilled chicken paillard with corn succotash.  Too much bacon.

Mattin - Three way ceviche: Salmon apple,spicy tuna, and corn with cod.  What is not good is when Tom spit things out because they are still raw.  Not so good.

Robin - Grilled romaine salad with drunken prawns and spicy chicken sausage.  They said that it tasted like sucking on a plate of chlorine.

Bryan - Roasted pork loin, corn polenta, dandelion greens and glazed rutabega.  The judges called it appopriate and Gayle wants to camp with Bryan.

Jennifer - Snapper with duck confit, daikon, carot, and tomato water salad.  Her slaw was great.

Ashley - seared halibut with with avocado mousse, bacon and braised romaine.  They called it the best thing that Ashley has done so far.

Ron - coconut, lime, and mango ceviche with a haitian coconut mojito.  Tim said it was a much better ceviche, but the cocktail was called disgusting.

Red Beard - Roasted Duck breast with mole and tequila and marinated watermelon.  They loved the plating, and the flavors.

Michael V - Dashi with miso and mirin and cured black cod and watermelon.  They liked the dish, and thought it was unexpected.

Judge's Table

Laurine, Ashley, Michael, and Bryan were pulled back first as the top of the pack.  The winner is Bryan, for his third win. 

In the bottom are Robin, Ron, and MattinRobin was not surprised to be there, because she knew her shrimp was not good.  Mattin was stunned to be in the bottom, and didn't understand that his ceviche was not good.  Ron is in the bottom because of his cocktail, and he admitted that he didn't drink, but he didn't want the coconut milk to go to waste.  Bad idea.  In the end, it was Mattin's bad ceviche that sent him home.  I think it was the best choice (since Mike I. was not in the bottom).

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