Welcome to the first and only episode of Master Surgeons.
We’re playing MasterChef Recap catch up!
Chop Goes The Weasel
It’s another butchery heavy Skills Test with Marcus asking Tasoula and Shane to prepare a rack of 4 pork chops, french trimming and cooking only one them and serving it alongside a Spanish-style bean stew, with Anna, Marcus and Gregg presumably splitting the 6 remaining dino-sized chops between them
this did of course mean The Big Knives were out, with Tasoula reaching for the meat saw that made her look like a Borrower running around with one of those flossing picks
she rather impressively managed to hack and slash her way through the chine bone (that was meant to be removed prior to separating the chops) of one of her chops before Marcus had to step in and tell her to abandon the rest of the chops because they were already testing the limits of the injury waver
although she was nothing compared to the mutilation risk of Shane who seemed hellbent on sacrificing one of his thumbs to The Cooking Gods for a place in the quarterfinals
he did at least know that the chine bone had to be removed prior to chopping the chops, he just wasn’t going to do it without becoming a Simpsons character.
Miraculously, no fingers, thumbs or other appendages were lost but egos were bruised with Shane getting his porkchop on to the pan too late, much to Anna’s pantry-bound pissiness
and she knew exactly where this was going to go, because determined to stick to the brief of a porkchop, he didn’t cut into it to check and just let himself become dashed upon to the rocks of raw pork
but he had at least made a pretty good bean stew for the pork chop to leak its uncooked juices all over
Tasoula also had a raw pork scare, but she was willing to sacrifice the chopness of her porkchop and checked on it before serving
and promptly chucked it back in the pan, much to Anna’s still pantry-bound pissiness
the nerves had clearly got the better of her, because for a while her bean stew was just going to be a bean stew before Gregg bellowed “IT HAS TO BE SPANISH!” at her, which meant all she had to do was add some Chorizo… But while there were errors and mistakes along the way, the judges were impressed by her quick thinking.
For her skills test, Anna was asking her chefs to make a plate of Tempura Vegetables with a Nori Seasoning and Chilli Mayonnaise, which is exactly the sort of Skills Test that leads to some poor soul trying to deep fry massive chunks of carrots like he was catering for the world’s most sophisticated rabbit
oh Daniel, poor, sweet, innocent Daniel – like said sophisticated rabbit in the headlights, he vaguely knew what he was meant to be doing but all sense vanished from him the moment he overwatered his tempura batter and it only snowballed into trying to make Mayonnaise with a whole egg (while actively saying “I need to use an egg yolk”) before trying to erase all of his sins by just dumping enough of his nori seasoning to hopefully kill everyone in the room
the second chef, Mo, faired a lot better and was largely the only chef this episode to get through the Skills Tests without having Anna or Marcus tutting as he left the room
his only real error was the fact his Mayonnaise wasn’t quite thick enough and all of the judges wished he had been a little braver with the seasoning rather than opting for just a combination of Nori and Dashi – but Anna did explicitly say “there are no rules to the seasoning” so they couldn’t hit him too hard for it.
Most of the time the chefs will come into this round with a bench laden with luxury ingredients because the quickest way to Marcus Wareing’s heart is with £80 worth of fish. Tasoula however turned up with four turnips and a dream
because as it turns out, some people have trains, some people have stamps, some people have a blog dedicated to documenting MasterChef in all its forms (what a weirdo?) and Tasoula has turnips, with her starter being a combination of turnip done 8 ways with a side of Turnip Facts With Tasoula
while I think making people order a dish of 8 different turnip components off of a menu might be a tall order, everyone raved about the dish and how cleverly put together and still varied it was.
Tasoula’s dessert was similarly simple, consisting of a sugar-free peanut sponge – which was only sugar-free in the sense there was no refined sugar in it, honey is still basically sugar, we’re not in the 2014 wellness era anymore – and calling it a sponge might have been a little generous considering it was pancake flat
but everyone was once again very complimetary of it, and I would quite like to try the Honey and Irish Moss Ice Cream she had served it with
it was a thoroughly redemptive round for Tasoula and I’m glad she got to show us what she was made of.
While Tasoula rose to the occasion in this round, it was a bit of a fall from grace for Mo who seemed to be on a one man mission to get eliminated as he left his entire saddle of lamb sitting on the bench until about 30 minutes before the end
the giant chunk of meat stood absolutely no chance and sadly Mo was serving up rather under done and unrested lamb to the judges
while most of the plate was a bit of a wipeout for him, they did at least really love his Offal Hot Pot (that’s what all the boys call me) and the Lamb Sauce that he’d made. But Mo’s title of The Episode’s Golden Child was thoroughly upset by the fact his dessert just hadn’t worked, with his Chocolate Mousse being overly firm and bordering on a ganache
WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU MO! WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!
Daniel probably had the most ground to make up in this challenge but it just didn’t go his way, because while his Lamb Chop dish looked and sounded really tasty, there was a glaring, bleating issue with it
and most of the accompaniments were either over or under done too – BUT! The Broccoli Puree was green! Sometimes you have to really grasp at straws for a compliment, especially when you’re standing across from a chef that looks like a kicked puppy – I’m just glad Tasoula was on hand to hug the poor guy
because his dessert hadn’t worked either, with the Chocolate Fondant coming out of the mould looking like a structure you might see in Monument Valley
and this time there was no Broccoli Puree to celebrate but they LOVED the fresh orange segments.
Shane’s Main Course was a fusion of his Jamaican heritage and some classic European cooking techniques, all presented like a Japanese zen garden
there’s something a little dated about the raked puree but it is still a dish that brings a smile to my face – and he had cooked the Jerk Chicken perfectly, even if it was a little underjerked for Anna.
His dessert was similarly successful with everyone loving his Banana and Date Cake
Gregg weirdly decided to have an issue with the sweetness of his Banana Ice Cream – I swear he just rolls a dice to see if he likes a dessert or not – but Anna and Marcus were both on hand to defend it.
A Signature Dish Ranking
1. Turnip Facts With Tasoula
2. Shane Goes Bananas
3. Shane Goes Jerking [Phrasing]
4. Irish Moss Facts With Tasoula
5. Mo’s Hotpot Was Good
6. Mo’s Chocolate
7. Daniel’s Overdone, Underdone Hokey Cokey
8. Daniel’s Monument Valley Fondant
There wasn’t much of a debate about Daniel going home, and I think he would have gladly left before they even tasted his food, but there was a lot of consternation over what to do with Mo, because he did so well in the Skills Test and Marcus CLEARLY really liked him, but there’s no denying he flopped the Signature Menu pretty hard and they couldn’t really justify even making it a trio and he was ditched, with Tasoula and Shane going on to the next round – bonded forever over doing awful things to Pork Chops
it was probably the right decision, but Mo would be a good shout if they wanted to play a Wicked Wango Card and bring in a Wild Card Chef.
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