Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top Chef TX plays a few hunger games,Downton Abbey's Sybil suitor and a family affair on The Vampire Diaries

The Final Four on Top Chef Texas went to British Columbia(for the geographically challenged like me,it's in Canada)to partake in a trio of events to determine who would go on to the finals in Vancouver.

The winner of each event would receive ten grand and a guaranteed spot in the Final Three,which exempted the first two winners from competing in the next round. The first hurdle to conquer was making a dish while riding aboard a moving gondola.

During their trip,each contender had to make a pit stop and grab an extra ingredient to add to their plate. Lindsay found some quinoa and used it as the base for her seared salmon to rest upon.

While all of the chefs delivered quality food here,Lindsay was the winner of this event,much to her great relief.

That left Paul,Sarah and Beverly to face the next obstacle,which was to cook outside and get their ingredients out of blocks of frozen ice,I kid you not.

Paul was not only extremely helpful to his competitors in smashing the ice chunks to get the grub out,he also gave Sarah some of the crab meat he had for his dish.

She made a nice pea and spinach soup with almonds and Beverly whipped up some sweet seared scallops but Paul's brown butter poached King crab with chutney earned him the victory here. Seriously,this guy has amassed quite a small fortune before hitting the last legs of the competition-it's almost too good to be true.

Then it was down to Beverly and Sarah. They had a biathlon,which meant that they had to ski cross country(in a small loop)before making their way over to a target shooting range to select their pantry.

Sarah,despite her boasts,wasn't that great of a shot but she did wind up with getting the protein of her choice,rabbit. She braised the leg and served it with cherries,a sauerkraut puree and a slice of rabbit heart on top. Even though a couple of the judges felt that the meat was a little tough,Sarah won the third spot for the Final Three.

Beverly's arctic char was slow roasted,something that was a bit of a risk for her,but her entire plate was considered to be well executed for the most part. The fish was accompanied by a beet compote and celery root truffle puree,which Judge Tom praised rather highly.

However,the char was slightly overdone and it's flavor was diluted in the process. That sadly lead to Beverly having to pack her knives and go home,with no second chance awaiting her.*sigh* I was so rooting for her to beat out one of those gals but at least Beverly seemed to have earned the respect of her fellow chefs with this last round and that's something you can't truly put a price on.

Next week,the Final Three head for more challenges that will see one of them leave but not before being put through their culinary paces:

There were dramatic developments just about every other minute on Downton Abbey this week,what with Matthew being able to walk again,Lavinia dying from a rather convenient case of cholera and Mr. Bates going up on murder charges(you know that his soon-to-be ex-wife wouldn't just quietly shuffle off the mortal coil like that).

Amidst of all this turmoil,Sybil finally came to a decision about Branson and the two of them tried to make a run for Greta Green(P&P's Lydia would be so proud!). Mary and Edith headed them off at the pass(okay,a local inn)but that didn't stop Sybil from standing up for herself there.

I have to admit,this romance didn't seem to be very viable but the passion that both of them displayed in fighting for their right to be together was most impressive. Eventually,Lord Grantham gave in(partly out of guilt over his own near dalliance with a house maid,I suspect)and no doubt,the Dowager Duchess will lend them some support along the way. Odds are,however,that these two won't really need it but it's nice to see it being offered,anyway:

The finale this Sunday is a Christmas themed episode,with gifts and cliffhangers galore,not to mention an interesting token of affection being given to our dear Dowager Duchess Violet:

On The Vampire Diaries tonight,the roots of more than one family tree are bound to become even more twisted as Damon's brief bedroom encounter with evil Original sister Rebekah causes tension between the Salvatore brothers to rise up higher than ever.

Granted,there's never been a level playing field when it comes to sibling rivalry with these boys but since Klaus' mother is keen on a plan to eliminate their mutual enemy(which could keep their beloved Elena safe),it would be good for those two to settle down somewhat:


MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: The next big mini series on the line up is a two part version of Great Expectations,with Gillian Anderson playing the Gothic eternal bride in waiting,Miss Havisham. There will be more Dickensian dramas on deck but this one is a definite must-see:

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