Previously on 40-Hanky Meals, Sharone won the cupcake challenge with an offering that looked like it had been hit with an explosion from the goo factory. And then he helped lead the Red Team to victory in the truck stop burger cook-off. So, good week for him. Less of a good week for Faruq and Tony, who were sent home -- we shall always miss you, Faruq and Guy I Barely Realized Was On the Show. Oh, and Slim is apparently disappointing the judges -- make of that little tidbit what you will. What awaits us tonight? More cookery, I'm guessing. To the credits!
Yes, MasterChef producers -- have the names and faces of the remaining contestants whiz on by the screen in an unrecognizable blur. It's not like we need to be able to identify them by sight or would want to have any stake in their success or failure.
Our episode begins with a mystery box challenge and a word of warning from Joe Bastianich -- the judges will be expecting professional-quality food to be on that plate from now on. You save that amateur food for some other cooking show in which amateur chefs compete for a cookbook deal and a little walking-around money. Anyhow, you should know the rules by now -- they've got 60 minutes to cook a meal with the ingredients under the box, and only the three most appealing dishes will be tasted. Ah, but there's a twist this time: all the ingredients are outside the box -- cucumbers, apples, tomatoes, prosciutto, peanuts, asparagus, et al -- except for one mystery ingredient. "What could possibly be under the box?" Mike, the only hat-wearing competitor remaining, wonders aloud. Well, let's lift the box on the count of three and find out. One... two... three... oh my God, it's Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head! Damn you, Kevin Spacey! Oh, wait -- I turned the channel over to the end of Seven. Turns out they've just got to cook with Dungeness crab. Live Dungeness crab, I should add.
You know who isn't excited to see that crab? Sheetal, who grew up in a vegetarian household and believes that it's wrong to take the life of an animal. "I've never killed anything before," she says. And I have no doubt she's very sincere about her beliefs, and she actually comes across a lovely, thoughtful person. But all that ground beef you helped prepare last week? It most likely did not come from cows who were felled by a fatal heart attack after a lifetime of pampered luxury at a tropical resort. Proteins, generally speaking, come from something that was living at some point. And you can either recognize that fact and make your peace with it or you can go on pretending that the star ingredient in your yellow chicken curry came from the meat section at your local grocer.