In this week's episode of MasterChef, the top 6 becomes the top 7 again when Bri re-enters the kitchen after beating out Bime for a white apron. Underneath the mystery box is a 16-ounce T-bone steak. The contestants are challenged with the task of cooking a dish that highlights this cut of meat. T-bone steaks are aptly named for the T-shaped bone in the center, which separates the fillet or tenderloin cut from the strip steak. You can cut the two meats off the bone and cook them separately, or you can keep the meat on the bone and prepare it as one large T-bone steak. If I were cooking this challenge, I would take the meat off the bone and sear both cuts in an iron skillet and then finish them off in the oven. Like Jordan and Krissi, I'd also make a compound butter. (Jordan's blue cheese with lemon zest sounds divine.)
And the top three dishes in this T-bone mystery box challenge belong to Jordan, Luca, and Krissi. Jordan presents a dry rubbed strip steak with compound butter, caramelized onions, parsley and celery root puree, and parmesan-encrusted squash. Luca serves steak cooked two ways: caramelized onions, haricots verts (which are fancy French-style green beans), roasted potatoes, and a parmesan cream. Last but not least, Krissi has an iron skillet-seared steak with fingerling potatoes and a Brussels sprout salad. And the victory goes to Krissi.
Krissi's advantage in the elimination round has her face-to-face with a variety of live fowl: a quail, a pigeon, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, and a turkey. Krissi receives immunity and gets to select who will cook with which bird. Krissi plays it strategically and assigns Natasha the pheasant, Jordan the quail, Luca the turkey, Bri the pigeon, James the duck, and Jessie the chicken. Out of all the fowl, I would be most comfortable with the chicken, duck, or turkey. I have had quail and pheasant, though I've never cooked them myself. Pigeon I've never even tasted. The first thing I'd do with the quail, pheasant, or pigeon is cook off a piece to taste since I'm least familiar with them.
Krissi apparently throws everyone in for a loop because nobody seems confident with their dishes. The bottom two dishes belong to Jessie and Jordan. Jessie played it too safe with her chicken (which the judges claim was overcooked and bland) and Jordan had let quail get the better of him. Sadly, it's Jordan that is sent packing. He accepts his defeat quite gallantly, and makes note that being able to grow under the tutelage of Gordon, Graham, and Joe has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Jordan has cooked up some of the most creative dishes on MasterChef, and I have no doubt he will continue to do great things in the culinary scene. Best wishes, Jordan. You did your mama proud.
Do you agree with Jordan that Natasha will be the next MasterChef?
Don't forget to watch an all-new episode of MasterChef next Wednesday at 9/8c on Fox. Who will be one of the top five home cooks in America? Visit www.FOX.com/MasterChef for all details.