Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Top Chef gets piggy with it,Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D step into The Dark World and more secrets revealed on Sleepy Hollow

To start things off hot and spicy, the Quickfire on Top Chef this week tasked the culinary contenders with making a hot sauce.

The guest judge for this round was Dr. John,who is best known to many as the inspiration for the Muppets' character Dr. Teeth(who is actually easier to understand verbally than his human counterpart).

Brian won immunity here with his sauce that had a mixture of lime,yuzu and jalapeno. Not into hot sauce myself(just not a spicy girl) but that sounds pretty heated to me.

Then the Elimination challenge was announced and it was a doozy. A pair of local chefs,including guest judge Donald Link, rolled out a 300 pound pig for the contenders to carve up amongst themselves.

They had to each make a dish using one part of the pig that all together would represent the whole animal. This is a traditional NOLA feast called Boucherie and they had to make enough food for at least 150 people.

Everyone was rather civilized about the pig procedure,as those familiar with butchering an animal this large divided and most of the chefs were willing to share a section. The food was so good that Judge Tom insisted that this was the best offering he had every sampled during all of his TC seasons and he does not hand out compliments like that lightly!

Shirley was one of the folks who landed in the Winner's Circle for her dumplings with grilled kidney and a crispy pork fat salad.

Making some crispy bits was a smart idea as many of the diners expected some form of chitterlings with a pork fest like this and her dish certainly delivered on that front.

Nina was poised for another win,thanks to her braised pig's head ragu served with roasted corn and mustard greens.

 The dish was a play off of a stew her family made and that love showed in the flavors.

The win this time,however,went to Carlos. He and another chef made tacos but his fried chorizo version that went along side a pozole verde(soup) hit the spot just right.

I think this is his first big win and while I'm still rooting for Nina, it was nice to see someone else get their moment to shine in the spotlight here.

In the Bottom Three,Justin and Stephanie had similar problems with their proteins. She overcooked the meat so much that most of it was drained of flavor(which went all in her broth). You do have to be careful with pork but this was a real case of over thought that lead to overkill.

Justin's pork liver salsa was tasty but the wood roasted pork breast slices for his open faced taco were bone dry. He got a bit defensive about that,but hey, dude, it's better to show a positive acceptance of your food flaws in this competition in the long run, believe me. A negative attitude gets you nowhere fast.

Lucky for him, Louis was the person tapped to pack his knives and go.  The slow grilled pork was nicely done but the popcorn added to the plate made for a confusing taste combo there.

So,it's off to Last Chance Kitchen for him and next week will be Restaurant Wars, a fan favorite well worth waiting for. I will be taking Thanksgiving day off from the blog but might do a run down on it the day after,we shall see.

On Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D this week, the plot tied into the recent release of Thor:The Dark World as Coulson's crew was on clean up duty.

Even for those like me who haven't seen the movie(my entertainment budget is rather tight these days), the story line was cohesive enough as the search to find pieces of an ancient bezerker staff  before a group of pagan anarchists did lead to some interesting character developments between Ward, Melinda May and even Coulson,who is getting more and more worried about his "magical place" recovery.

Also dug Peter McNichol as a professor of Norse mythology with an unexpected insight into the magic behind the myths and I hope he shows up again. Not to mention that Melinda May should be allowed to keep that power staff,because she was exceptionally awesome wielding that thing. Oh, and I agree with the gals, Thor is dreamy:

Things are far from slowing down on Sleepy Hollow, as Crane began his interrogation of the Horseman which was made easier by the return of undead Andy. Turns out Andy is a necromancer with the ability to speak for the dead,a power that he has limited control over.

While Crane and Mills began their good cop, bad cop routine, Captain Irving met up with a newly released Jennifer and the two of them went forth to prevent the Hessians from breaking the Horseman out of his captivity.

During their talk, Crane found out that the Horseman shares an intimate connection with him and her name is Katrina:

The real identity of the Headless Horseman is Abraham Bones,aka Bram who was once engaged to Katrina back in the day until she broke it off due to falling in love with Crane.

It makes sense,as the original Ichabod Crane tale strongly hints that Bram donned the HH mantle in order to scare his rival in romance away. This of course make the Horseman's pursuit of Crane all the more personal here but it appears that revenge is merely the carrot on the stick that Moloch is using to control this embodiment of death.

Really enjoy seeing Jennifer become more of a regular cast member and it seems as if we have the rescue of Katrina from purgatory to look forward to as well. I know this series has only twelve episodes in this run and that we are close to the end but do wish for an extended episode or two. The wait for season two will be hard to bear indeed:


THE RETURN OF THE TURKEY DAY MARATHON: Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have been rejoicing at the news that the series' tradition of marathon bad movie viewing on Thanksgiving has been revived online. Shout! will be hosting the web space for this year's Turkey Day festivities and original host Joel will be doing the dubious honors.

While it would be great to have the MiSTie celebration back on the small screen, it's still a wonderful holiday surprise and for a taste of what to expect, check this merry montage of clips out:

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