Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Top Chef throws a potluck party,Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D suspicions and Sleepy Hollow's Headless Horsman returns

There was doubt early on in this week's Top Chef about how long one of the contenders would last, as Nicholas came down with a nasty bout of strep and had to sit out the Quickfire.

This was a particularly tricky QF,as special guest Kermit Ruffles conducted a musical chairs culinary challenge. The chefs had to change stations while he played the trumpet and then scramble over to the one near them when the music stopped,disrupting the cooking process for whatever dish had been started up.

Not the most cohesive way to make anything but Brian managed to pull it off well enough to earn the win and immunity for the next round.

 His duck with mussels and Asian flavors was a real palate pleaser, even with the extra help from his fellow competitors. Kind of hard to really judge the results,in my opinion,but it worked out as well as could be expected there.

Then Kermit announced that the Elimination Challenge would be held at his restaurant,where the chefs were to serve a potluck dinner for his friends and fellow musicians.

Everyone broke up into teams,with the last one leaving an open spot for Nicholas in case he recovered in time to join in. There was a real risk of him being eliminated for his illness but he bounced back in time to join his group in the kitchen.

Most of the teams did a good job,which made picking the best and the worst all the more difficult. The team on top,however,was the green team that had Stephanie,Carrie and Carlos with Nina once again making gnocchi.

She's done this  quite a few times now but fortunately the results are always tasty. This version had semolina and sausage,which all assembled enjoyed immensely.

The winner,however, was Stephanie for her fried baby artichoke with anchovy aoli. Artichoke is one of those edibles that can taste horrible if not done right and she really hit all the right notes with this preparation.

As much as I like Nina, it was nice to see someone else win here and Stephanie was thrilled,saying that she hasn't won anything since high school,so this was an extra big deal for her.

 The gray team was called before the judges first but their joy quickly disappeared as it was made clear that they were on the bottom for this round.

Nicholas' fish was quite tasteless and overcooked while the  caramel glazed ribs with potato and peanut gremolata that Travis whipped up with Brian had a burnt texture to them. It was not looking pretty for anyone there.

Yet it was Patty who packed her knives and headed off to Last Chance Kitchen instead of the guys. Her watermelon salad came out bland,due to forgetting the chili threads needed to accent the flavors,especially the szechuan pepper that no one at Judges' Table could taste in the dish.

 The goat cheese espuma didn't help matters much. Also, the chunks of fruit were cut clunky and the whole thing was a watery mess. Sorry,Patty,better luck next time! Travis was getting a little snarky about having to pick out Nicholas' fish(way to be a team player,buddy!) and if his attitude keeps getting worse, I won't be alone in wishing him so long there.

Despite the repeated phrase,"Trust the system",the gang on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D were not exactly in unquestioning mode as they reported in to the Hub.

With Fitz and Ward sent off on a mission that had no plans to pick them up(unbeknownst to them),Skye recruiting Simmons to help her access unauthorized info to assist the guys and Coulson harboring major doubts about his "Tahiti" recovery, a myriad of new plot possibilities have been opened.

After all,Skye is not a by-the-book type of gal and even Melinda May had some sympathy for her when those files about her family(looks like they were professionally taken out) came to light. It also appears to be that some of the higher-ups are worried about Coulson bonding with his group as tightly as he has thus far. I do hope that this is a sign of better things to come since plenty of fans are getting itchy for some major action to unfold:

Even with the crazy twists and turns that make up the story lines on Sleepy Hollow, the show is good about taking a little time out for humor,especially at Crane's bewilderment at modern day life.

This episode,which had plenty of gruesome doings from the Headless Horseman, offered up some great comic gems as Crane's annoyance at the misinformation about Paul Revere being given to grade school kids on a tour(it would be awesome to take a colonial history trip with him!).

 It was also great that a lively debate about Thomas Jefferson was neatly slipped in to express his disbelief about that founding father's dalliance with Sally Hemmings which ended in a reluctant acceptance. That's one of the pillars that hold this series up strong without leaning too hard upon it:

The main focus of the plot this week was the return of the Headless Horseman, who slaughtered the Freemasons ready to assist Crane and Mills, and Captain Irving took a more proactive part in this long game by reclaiming the severed skull of THH before the rest of him came for what was his.

The plan to outwit their enemy worked for now but he's not the only one this intrepid trio has to worry about. Since this is a short season,I imagine that we'll see some answers to the many questions posed here but perhaps not to the one most of us are wondering about-how is it that the Horseman is such a good shot?:


THE CHASE:This British quiz show ,that has Mark "The Beast" Labbett take on all comers in a battle of trivia wit ,has done well in it's US debut on Game Show Network,so much so that a second season is now airing. If you're in the mood for a snarkier version of Jeopardy, The Beast is a worthy adversary indeed:

1 comment:

Thaddeus said...

Sleepy Hollow continues to be one of the most insane and entertaining shows I've ever seen. This was a good outing for the series.

SHIELD did itself a favor and mixed up the cast. It was a definite improvement over what's come before. I hope they can generate some genuine steam off stories that genuinely get us invested in the cast and their mostly Alias-esque missions...