July 16, 2012 | Posted in REALITY TV | By

Cowboys, Steak and Eggs

MasterChef The Ultimate Cookbook.

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Tonight’s episode begins with a team competition to feed 101 hungry cowboys! After a painful promotion (again!) of Walmart steaks, we see that one team will get New York Strip steaks to prepare, the other Rib Eye Steaks, and they must then chose a vegetable and starch side to go with each. Every cowboy will get a plate from both teams and vote for their favorite…the first team to get 51 votes will win.

Frank and Monti, the “winners” of the previous Pressure Test challenge, first have to choose their team members. Frank gets first pick and starts with Becky, and Monti chooses Stacey. Frank then picks Josh and Monti takes David, talking about how she’s an “underdog” (really? With all the praise she gets from the judges?) and wants a team of underdogs. Frank has to choose finally between Felix and Christine, and picks Felix, leaving Christine to Monti’s team. Of course, a twist is then revealed – the team leaders must switch aprons, so Frank is actually leading a team of Stacey, David and Christine while Monti has Becky, Josh and Felix.

There seems to be dissent on Monti’s team from the start: Becky wants to do a baked beans side dish as it’s easy and very “cowboy”, but Monti disagrees and says they’re doing sweet potatoes and green beans to go with the rib eye steaks. On Frank’s team, the decision process seems much more team-driven. David says he can make a great garlic mashed potato side, so Frank says to go for it. Stacey will make sauce for the NY Strips, which Frank will be in charge of cooking; Christine is going to do grilled corn on the cob.

Both teams are shown facing some challenges as they have an hour to prepare their food: the husks on Christine’s corn catches on fire on the grill. Both teams are working to pre-sear the steaks before doing the final cooking, just before the cowboys arrive. Becky, who is on the grill for Monti’s team has overcooked the first batch of steaks already. Monti switches Josh over to grill duty to try to salvage the rest. Frank’s steaks start out okay, but he’s piling the seared ones too high and that’s causing them to steam cook until he finds a way to spread them out on their station.

The cowboys arrive and food service begins. Monti’s team is running out of sweet potatoes fast and she rushes to start making more. But many plates apparently are going out without any sweet potatoes; meanwhile Stacey’s steak sauce is winning lots of raves and Frank’s team gets an early lead in the votes. It seems like a landslide until the end, when Monti’s team finally starts catching up a bit…but nowhere near enough. Indeed, it’s one of the most one-sided victories in a team competition so far with Frank’s team getting an easy 51st vote – which means Monti’s team will have to face the Pressure Test.

But there’s another twist as the chefs return to the kitchen. Monti, Becky, Josh and Felix must choose one member of their team who was the most valuable and will be safe from elimination. The four of them have a private discussion but can’t come to an easy decision. Monti thinks Felix deserves to be safe, but Josh and Becky disagree, thinking Felix didn’t do enough for the team. But when called back in to announce their decision, it is Felix who gets saved from competing, and joins Frank, David, Christine and Stacey in the balcony to watch.

The challenge for this Pressure Test is eggs. Each chef is given six eggs and twenty minutes to prepare a perfect soft-boiled egg, a sunny side up fried egg, a poached egg and three-egg omelet. There is no margin for error as they are given no extra eggs. It’s tense watching them each work on their eggs, trying carefully not to break any and working on their timing. One of the difficult aspects of this challenge is not having any way to test the soft-boiled egg or poached egg for proper doneness, so the chefs must be very precise with their techniques and timing.

When the 20 minutes are up, the three chefs each present their eggs to the judges. Monti is first and does well with her poached and soft-boiled eggs, but her omelet is flat and the whites undercooked on her sunny-side up egg. Becky goes next, and has a beautiful omelet and poached egg, but her fried egg is overdone and her soft-boiled egg not cooed enough. Josh is last, and although he is confident he did well, the only egg that came out just right for him is the sunny-side up egg. His omelet is like “custard”, his poached egg a little overcooked, his soft-boiled egg still cold and raw in the yolk.

The judges debate but it seemed pretty clear to this viewer that Josh would go home for messing up 3 out of 4 of the egg dishes, and that’s exactly what happened. Gordon however praises Josh’s skills throughout the challenge, and when asked who he thinks will win, he says Christine – just as Cowboy Mike had predicted on his exit as well.

Overall this was a pretty exciting episode to watch, even if the contestants weren’t really challenged to prepare anything unique or exotic – just demonstrate basic cooking skills under high pressure. I had a feeling Josh would be the one going home from the editing and the start of the episode, so it was no great surprise. After tonight’s episode it will be down to the final six, and those six should be the strongest remaining in the competition. I predict either David or Felix will likely be the next to go, although there can always be a surprise or “shocking” twist…so we’ll have to tune in to find out!

For more on Season Three of MasterChef US including polls and background information on all contestants, check out my full season hub!

MasterChef US 2012: Season 3
MasterChef has been a hit television sensation all around the world. Learn about the contestants from Season Three, which aired in the summer/fall of 2013 on the FOX Network.

sockii is just your typical Jane-of-All-Trades who never has enough time in her day for all of her projects. She has written for many websites online including Squidoo, Zujava, Yahoo! Contributors Network, HubPages and Wizzley. She has been attending and vending at science fiction and media conventions for over 15 years, and for several years ran an art gallery and jewelry store in Philadelphia. Today she is happy to be living in South Jersey with her partner David and their 6 cats. Sockii is a member of several affiliate sales programs including Amazon Associates and Viglink. Products from these services may be advertised on her posts and pages to generate sales commissions.

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