Sitting alone in the VIP.
“Anna Haugh Gif Archive”.
For this week’s Mystery Skills Test the celebrities were being tasked with making Prawn Balls and a Sweet and Sour Sauce
and as someone who has only ever had them through a game of Take Away Roulette in which you randomly choose your order based on a number generator, I’m not sure I would have done particularly well in this challenge, mostly because my instincts would have led me down the same path as Ryan Thomas in that I would have chopped up my prawns and done my best to reconstitute them into a vaguely prawn-like shape, except Ryan completely forwent the reconstitution of his diced prawn and was basically trying to deep-fry liquid
and it’s fair to say he was having a bit of a nightmare and his patience for Gregg’s brand of London market greengrocer banter was well and truly worn thin
I imagine having to go in after Katya had left the room screaming a pained “WHY?” down the corridor hadn’t really helped his mental preparation for coming into the challenge
and despite him coming out in a frustrated flop sweat the likes I haven’t seen since Big Meat Man Nic failed to confit an egg in brandy (nightmares) he got up some prawns of a vaguely spherical inclination
John and Gregg were pretty happy with his flavours, he got the sauce spot on and the marinade did make up about 80% of the balls. The big issue was that he hadn’t removed the intestinal tract, but he had diced them so small John couldn’t really relocate it to dangle in front of him mockingly
I still have cold sweats about Liam’s Thai Green Curry of Many Mysteries.
Kitty however had no trouble with her prawn preparation as she shoved a fork down their back to remove the intestinal tract because someone on TikTok had told her to
sadly TikTok is devoid of plaice filleting videos set to Toosie Slide by Drake, if there are any fishmongers out there seeking viral fame, there’s an open market.
Kitty went about the whole process in the most drag queen way she possibly could, it was honestly some of my favourite television of the year, if only for her struggling to get the apron over her wig, which reminded me a lot of the My Weird Addiction parody video by another drag queen called Olympia in which she is addicted to pretending to being furniture
the prawn balls were very much a secondary task with Kitty, her main goal was just to entertain John and Gregg as she just added anything and everything to her sweet and sour sauce without a care in the world for quantities and dropping innuendos like Gemma Collins dropping out of musical theatre roles
and Gregg was loving every second of having a front row seat to his own personal drag show
meanwhile John had something awoken in him when Kitty called him an aunty
I did love that he really didn’t know what to do with himself when Kitty served up her balls though
the palpable straight panic <3
They did really like her dish and didn’t really have many points of criticism for her
and thus we inch ever closer to Gregg Wallace being put in a lacefront wig and declaring his drag name is Aubrey Gene at which point our universe will collapse in on itself and reset the timeline like the atom bomb in Lost
while Kitty seemed to take all the time in the world and practically sauntered through her test, Katya somehow managed to run out of time again and did end up serving up some thoroughly raw prawns
although I imagine it’s partly because every time she hears the word “Balls” she has to remember THIS… for multiple reasons
but I question their rawness because I’m sure given the amount of soy sauce she marinated them in she must have cured them
Gregg was at least a little relieved that he didn’t have to taste them though given how utterly petrified of Katya’s liberal uses of soy sauce he was
and given how traumatised by it he was he could have stopped Lisa Snowdon from eating a spoonful of soy sauce and raw ginger but NO, he just sat there and watched her do it
but despite the fact she probably couldn’t taste anything for the remainder of the challenge, she did very well, to the point where I would like a public enquiry as to whether or not she knew this was going to be the challenge prior to filming
naturally her balls received no complaints!
A Taste of Things To Come
This week’s Super Special Celebrity Guest Star was none other than future judge and Monica Galetti’s replacement for the upcoming series of MasterChef: The Professionals, Anna Haugh
there is certainly going to be a bountiful future Anna Haugh gif folder and I thoroughly look forward to her on the show, especially if she’s going to conduct every round like she’s speed dating
has Blind Date but all you get to know about the person is the food they cook been done before? If not, THAT’S MINE ITV2, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT.
Getting the menu started was Katya who was having to fillet a sea bass and she didn’t entirely know if she had ever filleted a fish or not but was sure she had watched someone do it before….
but she couldn’t just serve the fish its funeral rites before whacking it in the oven and she did have to fillet it properly, all while getting a plug in for All That Glitters, up next on BBC2!
I look forward to Unconventional Materials Week in which they have to make a tiara out of discarded fish bones for the daughter of a trawlerman who she only gets to see for 4 months of the year because he’s over in Alaska wrestling crabs.
Katya’s biggest issue on the show has been her timings and for a considerable amount of the challenge she seemed pretty in control, and then it turned out she had left rescaling the fish with glorified crisps until the last minute and was having to do it at a rate of knots while Kitty, having finished early, did not help at all by dramatically counting down
but given the things that have been served up after a last minute dash, she did very well!
it’s well presented, she had cooked the fish properly and her mashed potato was very smooth, extremely smooth, so very smooth because Lord was Katya having the absolute best time with the potato rice
the bigger surprise that it had survived its smoking which required Katya to be allowed to run around with an open flame
their only real complaint was that fact she had over seasoned the potato scales, which is the smallest of dings really.
Lisa’s dish was next and as much as I love Anna Haugh, I am not going to allow her to lay claim to inventing Duck and Waffles when there are literally entire restaurants called Duck & Waffle built around the concept, but I shall congratulate her on the sheer quantity of potato she gets into a waffle
you could build houses with that!
The big thing with duck is obviously getting it done in time to rest it properly, lest your plate end up looking like a murder scene and unfortunately Lisa Snowdon was adding to the Anatine Murder Hall of Infamy
it does at least look marginally less visceral than every time Joe Swash managed to smear blood on a plate, but it made her black garlic and mushroom puree look just that little bit more upsetting as it sat on the plate in congealing blood
but they loved the taste of it, and you’d have to think it was a knock out flavour to justify putting it on the plate when it looks like that! Unfortunately the duck wasn’t living up to the same standard as it wasn’t quite cooked enough
but she nailed the important thing: PERFECT POTATO WAFFLES.
The last of the savoury dishes was from Kitty Scott-Claus who was cooking what Anna described as “a celebration of cauliflower” which seems a bit rude to the massive racks of lamb that Kitty was cooking (or at least slightly warming up)
as for the cauliflower, initially it was something of a failure to launch as Kitty read the instruction “chop up half a head of cauliflower” and she just chopped it in half and chucked it on the pan
before she course corrected in the most unhinged way and instead of taking it out of the pan, she chopped it IN THE PAN
I would say “eliminate her immediately!” but that’s what all the FirstName Bunch-O’Numbers over on twitter would want, so we’ll just give her a light rap on the knuckles for it, and God if I didn’t just enjoy her looking to camera and declaring herself a chef like she was in her own personal series of Fleabag
but I did know that disaster was imminent the moment John mentioned the interior temperature of the lamb, although I had expected Kitty’s lamb to look *a little* more cooked than the Yin and Yang of almost completely raw and tepidly cooked lamb she served up
but remember, we’re celebrating cauliflower because there’s a veloute and some burnt bits of it scattered around the place, which they enjoyed, so really it was a very good dish, the lamb was merely a garnish… allegedly.
Seeing us out with a dessert was Ryan who did shockingly well for someone whose mind was blown by gelatine
his family is going to be eating SO MUCH jelly after this, I have never seen someone over the age of 6 make this big a deal about making jelly before
I think we’ve found our Himbo King of the series, Richard Blackwood tried his damndest but I have to give it to Ryan, he turned making jelly into The Six Labours of Theseus and God bless the fact he forgot he was meant to be making three portions and had to start decanting panna cotta like he was playing the infuriating jug puzzle on Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Hi, I booted up my DS this week, can you tell?)
and on top of trying to evenly disperse panna cotta and slaying the Crommyonian Jelly, he was deep-frying choux pastry which everyone was steadfastly not calling Chouxnuts because apparently they think they’re above that
at least it all went better than his reconstituted prawn efforts! And Anna was very pleased, and apparently possessed by the spirit of Gollum
is she talking about the chouxnuts or was she still thinking about Ryan’s biceps? Either is valid.
For a place in the quarterfinal, the celebs had to cook a dish inspired by their favourite take-aways and apparently not happy with their draw in The Great Risotto Off of Tuesday Evening, Kitty and Ryan were having a showdown over a Shawarma and a Kebab – Kitty being a creature of the nightclub scene, obviously going for the kebab which would naturally be followed by side of mildly disappointing chips that you’re too drunk to notice or care about the quality of, except sadly John and Gregg hadn’t been drinking Blue VKs at the bar all night and could plainly see that her chips were burnt and she wasn’t getting the “it’s added a chicory bitterness” treatment afforded to Adam Pearson’s cauliflower
they did however like her lamb but personally I think my favourite part of the whole thing is that she cut her flatbread into a little mattress for her lamb kebab in the name of ~aesthetics~ which John and Gregg had no issues with. However, Ryan not making perfectly circular flatbreads? ROASTED FOR IT
THEY WEREN’T EVEN THAT NON-CIRCULAR!
but at least the roasting stopped there because they really enjoyed his chicken shawarma and I think we can chalk him up as winning this particular face off.
It is a time honoured tradition that when they are inevitably dealt the “make a take-away” challenge that someone will bring in custom made packaging which usually lightly references either McDonalds or KFC. That person this year was Katya, who was not being subtle and will be sued by KFC and McDonalds before the sun rises on the Strictly Launch Show
sadly her kimchi veggie burgers weren’t quite as well received by John and Gregg as the packaging was with it being a little bit too sloppy for their refined, MasterChef standards – and it wasn’t too much of a surprise that Katya had essentially served up vegetarian Sloppy Joes as most of her cooking of the burgers was just lightly patting a vegetable mush
at least they know they were good boys.
While everyone else tried to stay as true to the original dish as possible (aside from Kitty who only served about a quarter of the average take-away kebab) Lisa was upscaling her Fish and Chips by adding some Japanese flare because she loved Japan and all of its [insert culinary words here]
I’m just glad that she chose to do the French accent and not the Japanese accent
and she certainly had the stand out dish of the episode with her Tempura Prawns, Wasabi Mushy Peas and Seaweed Salt Chips
John was particularly impressed by the wasabi mushy peas which he dubbed a revelation and thinks she’s started a trend with the concept which DEFINITELY ISN’T A NIGEL SLATER RECIPE AVAILABLE ON BBC FOOD.
A Take-Away Dish Ranking
- Lisa Just Really Loves Smelling Japan
- Ryan’s Quest For Roundness
- Madonna Kebab
- Sitting Blankly At A Screen Trying To Make a Punny Krabby Patty Joke But Katya Patty Isn’t Good Enough
The elimination decision came down to either being Kitty or Katya, with the defence for Katya being that she had the better chips and the defence for Kitty being that she had made a little mattress for her kebab, which was ultimately deemed the bigger redeeming factor and thus Katya was eliminated
AAAAAARGH! indeed – better luck on Strictly, I have everything crossed you don’t get Tony Adams.
And so, we’ve reached our final quarterfinal!
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