A yes, that all too familiar embarrassment and shame when you make eye contact with someone whole holding a single courgette in the supermarket.
It’s the last batch of new celebrities and apparently we’re moving on from destroying seafood to making sure bread atones for its sins.
A Touch of Cloche
Once again the cloches were lifted and our collective hearts sank as Kadeena Cox unveiled a pair of assuredly already dead mackerel
and thus it looked like the malversation of seafood would continue for a 4th unfortunate week.
As it turns out, Kadeena Cox doesn’t have an underlying blood feud against the entire actinopergylii clade and she treated the fish with nothing but respect, what she did to her couscous is a whole different story but who amongst us truly cares for couscous? Accept yourself as a pasta hun, it’s fine.
Her fish was perfectly filleted and cooked, as well as deboned which she deserves quite some praise for. The couscous was overly stodgey and so waterlogged that they couldn’t taste the orange she had put in it, which was more of a mercy than anything else.
Kadeena wasn’t the only one who had a stodge problem as Michelle Collins served up a mushroom and potato soup that was so overly thickened with potato that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen could have used it to wallpaper an entire ceiling on Changing Rooms
her Hail Mary being to also serve two slices of bread liberally slathered in truffle oil which John did in deed compliment her profusely about. She did not bake the bread. John, you’re praising someone’s ability to make toast.
While Michelle inspected her mushrooms like an ITV detective investigating a crime scene
Johannes had come face to face with offal and just HTTP 404’d
and who amongst us wouldn’t, I’m honestly surprised he remained so calm when he lifted the fanciness of the cloche and was met by what looks the larval stage of a Dark Souls monster
John and Gregg were both hoping that he might serve up something with a touch of South Africa in it. Johannes had other ideas and gave us the full English experience and served up a plate of beige
apologies, that’s this week’s Changing Rooms disaster, here’s Johannes’s Plate-O’Beige
“I should probably have grabbed a garnish.” he pondered defeatedly as Gregg called time on the challenge.
As far as the flavours go, he basically made devilled kidneys and both John and Gregg thoroughly enjoyed it and he cooked them perfectly, which is no mean feat. There is however issue with the fact all he served it with was boiled potatoes and they really wanted some vegetables, or just some token salad leaves probably would have done the trick. You know, chuck a few raw cauliflower leaves on there and apparently they’ll say NOTHING ABOUT IT.
Johannes may have had a severe lack of accompaniments, Gavin Esler on the other hand had the opposite issue as he basically served up three of them on the same plate – this is based on whether you believe half a roast butternut could be considered a full meal, I am inclined to not. God bless him he did try to fancy it all up a bit by pan-frying the seeds, this only accidentally creating a minor fireworks display
to quote Gavin himself, “The butternut is the hand grenade of the vegetable world.” – which certainly changes the context of the lyrics of Grenade by Bruno Mars.
As well as roasting his Butternut in a Marcus Wareing amount of butter, Gavin was serving it alongside a few slices of tomato that he was fancying up with pine nuts and balsamic vinegar and in a bit of a brainfart was also offering up a ramekin of Pea Puree topped with fried chorizo
NOT EVEN BLACK PUDDING? Has he ever seen this show?
John and Gregg are understandably a bit bemused by the entire dish and quite how it’s all meant to be eaten together and Gregg being Gregg is mostly just happy with quite how liberal he was with the butter. Which is fair and valid.
As is want to happen, we are seen out with a dessert by Kem, whomst we are informed won Love Island once upon a time and I can see why, he radiates adorable himbo energy on a scale I haven’t ever seen before. Also, his hair is *immaculate*
and imaginably full of secrets.
His removal of the cloche meant he came face to face with a pineapple, a fruit he was extremely suspicious of
and then devoted most of his time to “trying to shave off the holes”
Please, we must protect him.
Or perhaps not because his plan was to poach the damn pineapple because apparently we’re all too good for the home ec classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We’ve managed to go 16 years without anyone poaching pineapples and then suddenly two come along at once. Duncan James at least had the decency to not sully wine in the act, Kem just double barrelled it
and then to add insult to injury didn’t use the usual spices of cloves and cinnamon to flavour it, he just chucked in a well sniffed stick of rosemary
it’s like he’s never met food before.
Sensing that merely stewing pineapple wasn’t quite ambitious enough, he decided he was going to make some sweetened whipped cream. Unfortunately what he made was kind of a demi-butter that only made the fingers of pineapple swimming in the barely heated wine all the more upsetting
HONEY, ARE YOU OK?
And all Gregg could do was offer his sincerest of sympathies because truly several braincells and a pineapple died this evening
An Under The Cloche Dish Ranking
- Kadeena Cox’s Respectful Mackerel
- Johannes Radebe’s Plate-o’Beige
- Gavin Esler’s Roasted Hand Grenade and Additional Sides
- Michelle Collins’s Bowl of Wallpaper Paste
- Kem’s Vinous Assault
Oh. My. Gözleme
For the last of our Street Food Challenges we’re visiting Turkey as the celebs are tasked with recreating Gözleme and Baba Ghanoush
and the outcome is surprisingly competent, even if Kem did misunderstand the meaning of “one rogue ingredient” and subsequently just used everything on the tray anyway. Which was doubly weird considering his slight advantage over everyone else as he had indeed eaten Gözleme numerous times before, he had just never bothered to make it himself.
They did at least allow him to remake his dough after he dumped a whole jug of cream into his dough mixture, personally I think they should have shackled him to that doughy abomination and forced him to cook it… for scientific purposes, I really want to know how it would have looked. And more importantly how John and Gregg would have looked as they were forced to eat what I imagine would have been quite a slippery sandwich.
With his remade dough he did turn up a very commendable plate of food
he obviously had all the flavours down to a T – I’m not sure anyone in his family would have been prepared to forgive him had he put even a scrap of cheddar into those Gözleme.
While Kem had a silent and lonely battle against the dough with everyone being able to pick up on the basic context clues that no, there was not double cream in that dough. Pretty much everyone else struggled with the Baba Ghanoush (Kem did too, adding the courgette to it too because the word “rogue” was lost on him apparently) but nobody struggled more than Michelle who was on a one woman mission to burn everything and thus her Baba Ghanoush was more of a burnt garlic puree amid a series of equally burnt Gözleme
because she had fried them in an oiled pan rather than a dry one they were very burnt on the outside and still raw in the middle. Thus began her Flatbread Vendetta.
The biggest issue with the baba ghanoushing was the fact most of them decided to chop up their aubergines and then pan-fry them, when in actuality you’re meant to just roast it, which Johannes succeeded in doing entirely by fluke. While Kadeena was left wondering why the moisture in her aubergines was evaporating and the only solution she could think of to remedy this was to add the juice of a whole lemon to the pan to make 1 small dipping bowl of the stuff
the bread however is really good! The only issue being that she didn’t add enough feta cheese to the one with the potato filling and basically made a Mashed Potato Sandwich. It’s honestly a miracle that we’ve gone this long without someone unironically making John and Gregg a Mashed Potato Sandwich, so there’s a challenge for the 2022 cohort.
In the midst of his aubergine frying, Gavin did suddenly realise he absolutely should have been roasting it and seemingly in order to make up for this he decided that he was going to bake his Gözleme instead
“I’ve never baked anything before!” he exclaimed excitedly, not realising that he should indeed have never baked anything. Despite this, his breads looked kind of good
they just hadn’t cooked all the way through and he joined Michelle in undercooked bready jail. And the Aubergine is less of a dip and more of a… pile of aubergine chunks.
And lastly we have Johannes who spent most of the challenge looking like this as he completely winged his way throughout the ordeal
which hey, it seemed to work for him! He made a really good Baba Ghanoush! His only real sin was the fact he added cheddar cheese to his potato filled one
And on top his his newly found Turkish cuisine proficiency, he has BEAUTIFUL handwriting
I will now only ever be writing “Spinach” with the flourish of an American founding father’s signature.
A Gözleme and Baba Ghanoush Ranking
- Kem’s Accurate Flavour Profile
- Johannes Winging His Way to Success
- Kadeena’s Mashed Potato Sandwich
- Gavin’s Ill-advised Baking
- Michelle’s Burnt Garlic Scented Vendetta Against Flatbreads
It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To
Coming in to the Dinner Party Challenge, Kem was convinced that he was the bottom of the leader board despite the fact Michelle was RIGHT THERE having served up an almost entirely solid soup and serving (her first) plate of burnt things. Granted, he still should be atoning for his poached pineapple sins. In order to redeem himself he was pulling from his family’s arsenal of recipes and making Cypriot Chicken – which is a chicken breast stuffed with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and basil – a truly god tier trio of flavours. He was also trying to posh it all up because ordinarily he would serve it with mashed potato, and someone must have told him that mash has not had a great reception this series, so he was deferring to the good old Celeriac Puree and some green beans for good measure
it is a solid looking plate of food, I know I’d devour it in a heartbeat but while the flavours are all very good he had pan-fried the chicken and then roasted it for an additional 25 minutes so it was desert dry.
Also out for redemption was Michelle who had for some unGodly reason decided that she was going to have another go at making flatbreads – whether this was actually about redemption or she just wanted to publicly humiliate another piece of unleavened bread is up for debate. I don’t for a second believe she ever wanted to right her wrongs because she learned NOTHING from the Street Food Challenge where it was all about cooking your bread in an ungreased pan and she immediately slathered her flatbread in another Marcus Wareing amount of Butter
and then of course proceeded to burn it like someone trying to dispose of evidence
only to then try to glue the rapidly falling apart flatbreads together again using hummus
it’s a pity her soup wasn’t still hanging around.
All of this was to make a Chicken Shawarma which she at least achieved in terms of a visual
but of course that burnt flatbread was under all of that ready to make everything taste of burnt bread and so the only thing that Gregg could really compliment was her red cabbage, which was separate from everything else, thus untainted by the charred bread.
While Michelle waged war against flatbreads, Johannes was over in the corner with a seemingly unlimited amount of Old El Paso tortilla wraps as he went about making his Burritos’n’Cheese – losing several in the process as his burritos ruptured
RIP, you brave little pocket of mince-y goodness.
Of course with it being a collection of tightly nestled burritos merely slathered in cheese (Please, yes) John and Gregg were a little nervous about whether this was sophisticated enough for MasterChef. Personally, I support Johannes’s Burrito Party and I think we need to normalise allowing someone to cover a bunch of stuff in cheese and call it dinner party food, it’s all your friends really want anyway.
My biggest issue with the dish was the ratio of Guacamole to Burrito
I suppose it makes up for the utter absence of green with his livers and kidneys.
Gregg and John both like it but of course they have to pretend it’s not a God Tier dish – YOU’RE NOT TOO GOOD FOR BURRITOS, TORODE!
While Johannes was apparently revelling in The Food of The People, Gavin was on hand to give them the Waitrose Bonanza that they wanted with his pan-fried Sea Bass served with Black Rice and Samphire. John was nervous about the complete lack of a sauce in a dish of rice and fish. And lest we forget the last time John pondered that, it caused Crissy Rock to panic and pour a tin of pears into her rice, LEST WE FORGET THE HORROR
luckily Gavin was much more composed and just served up a completely sauceless dish that everyone visibly struggled to swallow
but at least it was well cooked and fancy, I suppose?
Closing us out with dessert was Kadeena who was maybe making a deconstructed cheesecake but not really, but yes actually it was, she was just clever enough to not call it one. Patrick Grant.
Her dish was a Coconut Panna Cotta with a Passion Fruit and Rum Jelly – and by this point Gregg had already reached Nirvana
and then on top of all that she was also making a pineapple sorbet (the fruit deserved a reprieve) and a coconut crumble
like I said, it’s not *technically* a cheesecake in any way and yet it all feels like a cheesecake. Where’s Descartes when you need him?
The dish goes down an absolute storm with there being absolutely no complaints, which is quite impressive seeing as she completely submerged her panna cotta into boiling water at some point
and yet Gregg will hone in on even the most minor of issues with someone’s dough <3
A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
- NORMALISE BURRITOS
- Kadeena Cox, Pineapple Saviour
- Kem’s Husk of a Chicken
- Gavin’s Merciful Lack of Pears
- Michelle’s Salty Red Cabbage
- Michelle’s Flatbread Vendetta
As the episode began, I told myself not to get too attached to Johannes due to the general trend of The Nice Man™ getting eliminated first and with John disparaging burritos at any chance he got, I got a little bit worried but really with Michelle Collins burning every flatbread that came within 6 feet of her, there really wasn’t another option but send her packing
and thus The Nice Man Curse is broken!
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