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Top Chef: Texas – Ep 12 – You Mean, Like A Meatball?!?

Elimination Challenge – The teams now turn on each other and will cook head-to-head making the same meal for a charity block party. The boys choose Korean BBQ, the ladies pick meatballs and the Quickfire champs choose chicken salad sandwiches. Glasses chooses to make a tofu emulsion to be healthy – but chicken salad without mayo is a trick. Just not the same thing. Interestingly, when Grayson struggled to finish on time, Glasses stepped up and helped. Despite the fact that his survival in the game could depend on beating her. Better man than I am.

Edward set up his station to be a build-your-own dish. Grayson chose to make each sandwich to order – which led to long lines. However, she knew that letting it sit would dry out her bread. It was a key decision, as Glasses chose to not do that, and as a result, his dried out.
Judges – Padma, Cat, Emeril, Tom and Dana Cowin, of Food and Wine Magazine.

Paul – Turkey Kalbi, Eggplant with White Peach Kimchi – Emeril liked the simplicity, and its brilliance. Dana thought the eggplant may have been fatty, but it gave good texture. Cat felt the acidity added needed flavor.

Edward – Open Face Kalbi, Kimchi Chipotle Puree, Pickled Cucumber, and Daikon – Cat felt the meat was chewy, and Padma said it was hard and dry. That’s what she said.

Grayson – Chicken Salad Sandwich with Arugula, Pickled Red Onion, Feta Watermelon Salad with Pumpkin Seeds None of them like the choice of chicken salad, but Emeril likes hers. Cat thinks it needed something like a touch of lime, while Dana felt it lacked flavor.

Glasses – Chicken Salad Sandwich with Tofu “Mayo,” Red Lettuce, Watermelon Fruit Salad with Pineapple Ice Tom liked the idea, if not the execution. This basically sums up the Tom/Glasses relationship. Padma found the salad to be flavorful, and Dana wanted to add vodka to it. Emeril got giant chunks of ice in his, which ruined it for him.

Sarah – Calabrese Style Turkey Meatball and Vegetable Salad The meatball was generally liked, and Tom had a “perfect salad.” However, Dana had a very imperfect salad, which was unfortunate.

Lindsay of the Corn – Mediterranean Meatball, Lemon Yogurt, Black-Eyed Peas, and Quinoa Greek Salad Cat said it looked heavy, but it was not. Tom said it had tons of flavor and Dana said it was original, healthy and tasty.

Clearly, if this was a traditional challenge Edward, Grayson and Glasses would be at the bottom. Lindsay of the Corn, Sarah and Paul would be at the top. But since it was head-to-head, chosen by the guests, Lindsay, Paul and Grayson made the top. I thought Lindsay had this one in the bag, but Paul’s sauce seems to have done the trick, as Tom wants it bottled. Lindsay’s seasoning was perfect, and the yogurt was phenomenal, according to Cat. Paul gets the win – again – and has now made enough money to get Mitt Romney’s tax rate.

Sarah is clearly safe from elimination – making this an Edward vs. Glasses battle. Edward says he chose to make bread to lessen the calories from rice. This, of course, makes no sense. He also removed the fat from his meat, which led to all of the flavor going away. Glasses had dried bread and some ice issues. Glasses gets the boot – and I must admit, I was expected it to be Edward. They’ve been sneaky this season, they show one chef getting a lot more criticism and then they wind up knifing another. Either that or I am losing my touch.

RILCK- Beverly and Glasses match up, but not before he goes to the wrong kitchen, as per the note. Really, he did that. The two of them have to cook ingredients contained in a secret box. They also have to incorporate more ingredients brought out in subsequent secret boxes. They have 30 minutes, and must use all items (even if I didn’t see everything in the final dish, as written on the screen). In the box are lamb chops, parsnips, pine nuts and marshmallows. Next out is radicchio, and last out are white anchovies. Bev kind of blows off Nyesha’s question on what she is making. Glasses has a great line – “Who doesn’t love white anchovies and lamb? I don’t!”

Beverly – Grilled Lamb Chop with Parsnips, Curry, Radicchio and White Anchovy Vinaigrette

Glasses – Grilled Lamb Chop with a Sweet Puree, Radicchio Salad with Pancetta, Pine Nuts and Apple

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