Me any time someone decides to tweet about drag queen discourse.
Have you ever wondered how many awful things a group of 5 people could do to fish in only 60 minutes? Wonder no more.
Cloche and Burn
As ever our final heat begins with the Under The Cloche round in which the celebs have to make one dish using their mystery ingredient as well as anything from the larder which included a bowl of frozen peas and I just thought there was something very funny about a whole bag of frozen peas in a bowl
but things were being made doubly difficult for Kitty Scott-Claus because she would be making two dishes because as well as doing awful things to a plaice, she was boiling gammons over on Twitter. And if you have found yourself on this blog expecting a tirade against a drag queen cooking risotto on prime time television because you blacked out and don’t remember the 90s, you’ve come to the wrong place and I don’t know what to tell you other than maybe take the day off? Who knows, you might enjoy life a little more.
Kitty had drawn the short straw and would be serving fish and Plaice was a bit of a cruel card to deal her because I wouldn’t even want to have to fillet one and sure enough, as is now tradition, she treated the fish to a botched decapitation that even has the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots wincing
she never did manage to get the head off and eventually gave up on that endeavour before shoving the nearly headless fish into the oven, but at least she lovingly anointed it on its way to the great fishmonger in the sky
and it was just a matter of waiting for the flesh to cook and for the skin to slough off as Kitty retrieved what looked like a piscine zombie from the oven
and if this wasn’t a cruel enough fate for the fish, I present to you the measly amount of fish that managed to survive the ordeal
but to be fair, I’m pretty sure 1 plaice is a single person portion, or at least that’s the case in my book but it’s probably for the best that they didn’t make Kitty defile two fish and somehow mistake an aubergine for a courgette despite being incredibly online 🍆. But John was just happy to not have to pick bones from between his teeth.
Katya was also cooking seafood, having been given a bowl of mussels that she pondered over like a University Challenge contestant trying to work out which future national leader wrote Clisson and Eugenie
she actually ended up doing incredibly well which is pretty impressive considering she was choosing to make her own pasta of her own volition
I did get halfway through the challenge and wondered if her mystery ingredient had been pasta dough but no, she just wanted to flex on everyone else. And luckily for her, her pasta was good because John Torode was horrified by the 10 cloves of garlic she was using for her sauce
truly a woman after my own heart.
The last of the non-vegetarian options was from Lisa Snowdon and if anyone on MasterChef had a sense of humour they would have given her a turkey and some tinfoil to cook with
any excuse to get that gif-set out I’m afraid.
Lisa had however been given venison and if I were to not want to get a mystery ingredient it would absolutely be venison, I wouldn’t know where to begin with it, or any other chunk of meat to be honest. So I was quite impressed that with most of her knowledge of the meat being a venison burger, that she turned out a really impressive portion of crime scene venison with mashed potato
for the love of God, just put your weirdly red sauces in a jug, PLEASE!
I did also love how much Lisa Snowdon was just enjoying being around Kitty and clearly living her best hen party drag brunch fantasy
someone get her a bottomless mimosa and some disappointing pancakes IMMEDIATELY.
Adam Pearson and Ryan Thomas both ended up doing vegetarian dishes as they were handed Tofu and Cauliflower respectively. Given the grand tradition of tofu generally not being very well received on this show, I thought we were in for a surefire disaster from Ryan, who described himself as a “man cook” in the first 6 minutes of the show just to balance out Kitty’s presence, but then the show pretty quickly cut to Adam Pearson stirring a bit of not-particularly-appetising greige
but don’t worry, he was going to add a little more colour to it by burning it something fierce
and at some point in the dying minutes of the challenge he realised he was going to just be serving cauliflower in a horrible sauce so he valiantly attempted to boil some potatoes in about 5 minutes which was about as successful as you would expect
there clearly wasn’t much to praise so John mostly just described what was in the dish, leaving Gregg with the heavy lifting of finding something nice to say, but kudos to him for choking out “The burnt bits have added a chicory bitterness to the dish” – the softest of put downs.
Ryan’s Tofu however was something of a revelation as he plated up some pan-fried tofu and broccoli like it was going to be hung in The Tate
and John and Gregg loved it, which was a bit of a surprise because John tasted Ryan’s sauce at some point and I’m not quite sure what this reaction was but it certainly wasn’t reading as joy to me
I imagine he was probably still suffering the after effects of having tasted Katya’s 10 garlic pile up.
An Under The Cloche Dish Ranking
- Katya’s Garlic with a side of Pasta and Mussels
- Lisa’s Crime Scene Venison
- Ryan’s Tofu Tate Modern
- Kitty in 4th Plaice
- Adam Pearson’s Bowl of Burnt Greige
Taco Be Or Not Taco Be?
For the last Street Food Challenge of the series, the celebs were taking on Fish Tacos
and unsurprisingly they all knew what it was and most of them did very well in terms of identifying the ingredients, mostly because it was just chunky fish, a salsa and guacamole but Adam Pearson was covering all his bases when it came to the fish and began listing the entire marine ecosystem
Ryan however went for some incredibly bouji fish tacos, momentarily convinced he was eating lobster tacos (IN THIS ECONOMY?) but promptly scribbled it out
big fan of the fact he spelled Coriander like Corrie though, I hope he did that on purpose.
And I really do wish that they would then make the celebs use the ingredients they listed because oh the things I would give to watch Lisa Snowdon trying to make guacamole out of only Lime, Salt and Coriander
which probably wasn’t too far from happening given we’re in the Post Richard Blackwood Era of MasterChef.
As far as plating up went, this was probably one of the more successful street food challenges given that everyone had a pair of tacos by the end of it
it was just unfortunate that we had to go through a montage of everyone severely burning fish in oil-less pans to get there
and despite Kitty Scott Claus giving her fish a Viking Funeral, she still managed to serve up raw fish, even after having pawed her way through the cold, translucent flesh
big fan of Gregg declaring the fish raw and John having to insist that his fish was DEFINITELY ABSOLUTELY COOKED as though he could lie away the future food poisoning.
Pretty much everyone had very raw tortillas, except for Ryan who had managed to get them thin enough to actually cook, however he had salted them something fierce so what he had actually made was Kirsty Gallacher’s Mexican Crepes
but the award for most accurate tacos in their entirety went to Lisa who had chosen to distress her fish in a saucepan for some reason
the uses of saucepans in this challenge was WILD – why were so many people trying to char fish and/or sweetcorn IN A SAUCEPAN??? And the less we talk about Adam’s use of the spoon as a spatula the better
I guess I should just be happy that he didn’t try to cook his tortillas in a saucepan and he was perfectly happy to take whatever little praise John could muster for his vinegary guacamole
it’s all about life’s small victories.
Dinner and Out
Their last chance to impress was of course in the form of a fancy dinner party dish, which promptly turned into a showdown of rice dishes between Kitty, Ryan and Adam – the latter opting to make a Jambalaya in the hopes that John and Gregg were taking scrabble scores into account, so perhaps he should have cooked a jaegerschnitzel instead
given that most of a jambalaya’s cooking process is trying not to watch a pot cook for minutes on end, Adam probably could have done something as a side dish, although considering he was burnt by potatoes previously, perhaps it was too soon to go back there. But John and Gregg like the taste, but he had left his chorizo too chunky and he would have been better served using thighs instead of breasts, which had unfortunately dried out a little. Adam was however mostly worried about his presentation, although there are only so many ways you can serve a bowl of rice, but for whatever reason John was mightily impressed with Kitty’s blob of Butternut and Sage Risotto
and to be fair, once you saw Ryan decanting a risotto the color of Adam’s pre-burnt cauliflower you could kind of understand why that may be
so it’s no wonder that Ryan went ham with the accompaniments and decorated his risotto with a pesto, gremolata, truffles and edible flowers like it was a burial mound
both he and Kitty were highly praised for their risottos, with Ryan probably getting more praise for his pesto and the fact he had microwaved parmesan tuiles into existence (someone should tell Cliff Parisi about that), while Kitty probably came just short of him as her risotto was a little dry, as he wine was otherwise engaged
it’s a lifestyle.
Lisa was going for a very refined dish, opting to finally show a fish a bit of respect by beheading it in a way that didn’t look like it was from a Cronenberg movie
and with her sea bass she was pan-frying it and serving it alongside a cumin and onion potato salad and some broccoli and toasted almonds
it’s a very nice looking dish and certainly the most subtle of the round, but she had filleted and cooked the fish really well and the accompaniments all worked wonderfully together so there were no complaints from either John or Gregg.
And while everyone cooked real, actual food, Katya was taking us to Nonsense Town, population Pasta Pie! As she was once again making her own pasta with a creamy mushrooms sauce and instead of stopping there, she was placing it all in a massive vol-au-vent like she was catering the Night’s Watch’s new year party
John and Gregg were sadly not impressed by the genius of her brainfart and have since been informed by everyone in Scotland that there is such a thing as a macaroni pie so Gregg’s assertion that “When you think of a big bowl of pasta, it’s not normally served as a pie” IS INCORRECT and tonight we must have our Macaroni Pies, Carbonara Pasties, Lasagne Pithiviers and Spaghetti Hoop Turnovers in Pasta Pie solidarity as John and Gregg broke Katya’s spirit
NO! The legacy of the fine dining Pasta Pie must live on!
A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
- Ryan’s Risotto Burial Mound
- Kitty’s Aesthetic Risotto
- Lisa’s Bass’n’Salad
- PASTA PIE! PASTA PIE! PASTA PIE! PASTA PIE! PASTA PIE! PASTA PIE!
- Adam’s DAMN!balaya
With the risottos going down incredibly well and Lisa winning friends with potato salad, the decision for elimination was between Katya and Adam – I really thought that Katya might go home because I’m not sure a Strictly pro has ever made it beyond the first round before, they kind of just show up to get some pre-Strictly press and then promptly vanish. However, Adam had had the weaker rounds overall and was pretty fairly eliminated
I’ll always love you Adam Pearson, you got me my best university grade for the essay I wrote about Otherness in Under The Skin and I am forever grateful for your performance.
And so, we’re rapidly whittling them down to our semi-finalists
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