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Top Chef: Seattle/Alaska – Ep 14 – Creating the World of Bitterness

Quickfire – Make a crab dish. You have 30 minutes and the winner gets five grand. Lizzie went rustic with a delicious looking frittata. Brooke went crab toast and an amazing sounding compound butter. OTV is making succotash for South Carolina chef Sean Brock, a master of modern Southern foods. Of course, he is including bacon. Because he is OTV. Papa Smurf is making a crab innards miso soup with smoked pine needles. Um…ok. First and only time that dish has been made.

Lizzie – Crab Frittata with Cherry Tomato, Garlic Oil, and Fried Capers – Padma wanted to know how she made the capers. She drained them.

Papa Smurf – King Crab, Dungeness Crab “Miso,” Pine-Smoked Asparagus and Charred Corn – Padma thinks the broth was a little thick. As it turns out, that doesn’t appear to be a problem.

Brooke – King Crab, Sweet Corn and Leek Salad on Toast with Dungeness Crab Butter – She used shells and the Dungeness crab meat in the butter itself. Can’t go wrong there.

OTV – Butter Poached King Crab with Succotash and Bacon – Sean thinks it tastes like home. As we are about to discover, I guess Sean’s home sucks.

Lizzie’s egg and crab were overcooked and had too many capers and flavors. OTV served succotash to a succotash snob, along with unnecessary bacon and a broken sauce. Meanwhile, Papa Smurf had a simple dish highlighting the crab and Brooke’s was delicious despite Sean’s hesitance at her concoction. Papa Smurf wins the challenge – he’s been nailing the Quickfires recently, but the Eliminations are hurting. Perhaps he’s been doing a bit of overthinking.

Elimination Challenge – Make salmon and sourdough for a group of locals. Lizzie claims to not have much sourdough experience. Ironically, her bread wound up almost being her saving grace. The winner will land a trip to Costa Rica – also known as the anti-Alaska.

The chefs are led to their new housing locale – the Jorgensen House. It is essentially a really nice bed and breakfast. A long way from Olive 8. On the way there, OTV claims to be done with bacon. I doubt that very much. The best part happens as this unlikely and strange looking double date check out their living quarters. OTV, Brooke and Lizzie look around one of the bedrooms, which appear to be partitioned off by some thick curtains. Suddenly, Papa Smurf bursts in with a cartoonish roar. Awesome. Brooke essentially is reduced to the fetal position as she tries to reclaim her soul which temporarily abandoned her body.

The find huge buckets filled with their 31-year-old sourdough starters. It is essentially a mixture of flour and yeast that needs attention. OTV compares it to a child, which fills me with dread for this little OTV on the way. The four of them get to work on kneading the dough and prepping the bread portion of the challenge. Papa Smurf is, of course, adding some Asian flavoring. OTV is making black olive bread which sounds amazing. Lizzie is going to make little rolls for her sandwiches and obsesses over whether or not she has enough bread.

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