April 17, 2008

Top Chef Chicago Tailgating

This week was all about "the common man". For the quickfire, the contestants had to choose a beer and pair it with a dish. I'm only an occasional drinker of wine or beer, but I really like Killian's Irish Red. I've recently been trying some local brews but I go through a six pack so slowly I haven't tried many. Any suggestions for a Midwest version of Killian's are very welcome, or steer me in a new direction. I was thrilled to see Stephanie in the top group again, since I'm really becoming fond of her cooking. Her mussels sounded the best out of all the dishes. Jen wins immunity for her shrimp and scallop beignets. They sound yummy but to quote Padma, "I could deep fry my big toe and it would taste good." It was appropriate for the challenge though. Am I going to turn into a bitter Team Stephanie fan?

Moving on to the elimination round, the contestants are given $350 to feed 80 tailgaters at a Bear's game. Other than figure skating, I'm just not a sports fan. I spent five years at the University of Michigan and didn't go to a single game, football or otherwise. So I don't have any tailgating experience but I do love grilled food. I was particularly interested in Richard's "Pate Melt" made with pork and veal. And even though I don't like warm bananas, the idea of making them part of a jerk chicken sandwich appeals to me. According to the judges, Antonia missed out by placing the bananas to the side and not on her sandwich. In the bottom three were messy Mark, a clueless Ryan and a poor planning Nikki. It was a surprise decision to send Ryan home for not following the spirit of the challenge and not performing up to par. I really think that Nikki's lack of effort and forethought should have at least made it a difficult decision. Who can tell when you aren't there to taste everything?
The winning dish this week: Tandori Pork Ribs
Which very bizarrely has a url link with the wording "brussels_sprout_zucchini_stirfry.php" What's that about?