Top Chef
Outside the Lunch Box

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This Pudding is Bananas

Angela and Kevin made a "Philly Cuban" with roasted pork, pickle, whole grain mustard and Gruyere cheese. Angela is my dark horse favorite. For no apparent reason. Amanda and Tamesha didn't come up with a cutesy name for their dish. POINTS OFF! It's grilled prosciutto with Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and pepper salsa. They could have called it something about Europe, since each ingredient comes from a different country's cuisine. I'm pretending salsa is Spanish for the purposes of this exercise. Just a note: if you put roasted red peppers on anything, I will eat it. I love those.

Alex and Tim, they of the cutting/cringing duo, made a "croque madame" which is ground lamb, mornay sauce, and an egg. Sometimes when I'm feeling fancy, I call it mornay sauce. It's really just cheese sauce. Like instead of saying I made macaroni and cheese, I will tell my husband I made cavatelli with a mustard-mornay sauce and Panko crumb topping. I enjoy giving our dinners the Top Chef naming treatment. Like the other night I made "pan-seared breast of chicken with a balsamic reduction served over a bed of toasted pine nut couscous." Sounds fancy, no? Took all of fifteen minutes to cook. Boo-ya! And then I post about it on Facebook and everyone is like, "You are such a good cook!" and I giggle.

Jacqueline and Stephen make the lamest looking sandwich ever. That thing is just sad. They tried for a cutesy name and came up with "the Italian-American connection". Boo. It's Saba vinegar onions, California avocado, and chicken. Is there any dressing at all? And it looks like they are serving it on just white toast. Couldn't they at least grill it or something? And then they garnish it with two GIANT sprigs of rosemary sticking out of the top instead of toothpicks, I guess? It looks dumb. Jacqueline wants to win so she gets immunity, because she's terrible and she knows it.

Kenny and Ed made a beautiful sandwich of Korean chili-rubbed Ahi tuna, cucumber and mango slaw, and multi-grain bread. I mean, if nothing else, choose an interesting bread to give your sandwich something extra. Arnold and Kelly did "a play on South Asian street food" which is curry-rubbed grilled chicken, honey and sambal, cucumber, mint, dill & cilantro. I think it's served on naan or possibly a pita. Also, the last three ingredients are just herbs, not really ingredients. And finally, Tiffany and Lynne made a flatbread saltimbocca sandwich with goat cheese, artichokes, peppers, and white asparagus. Sam Kass comments that it's kind of messy to eat and Lynne tries to pretend like it's really supposed to be a "fork-and-knife sandwich," and if that were true, she should have stated it up front. I feel like Lynne has good kitchen skills but poor people/presentation skills. She has no charisma. Maybe she'll be revealed to have a dry wit or something, but so far, she is Dullsville.

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Top Chef

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