Alejandra: Tonight on "The Great American Recipe"... We're going to continue to get to know you better by celebrating the people who shaped you into the cooks you are today.
Robin: Over the years, I have watched this family make this dish.
It's different every time.
[Chuckles] This has so much meaning to me and my family.
Foo: I took this challenge to heart.
It's for my mom.
I always say that this isn't what we do.
It's who we are.
Alejandra: We all agreed the most successful dish was... Alejandra: What makes a great recipe?
Are they the dishes that are passed down to us through generations of home cooking?
Bambi: I love to make my mom's honey turkey wings.
Alejandra: Are they the ones that tell the story of who we are and where we're from?
Silvia: I make mantecada.
It's like a Mexican muffin.
Tiffany: If this is what it feels like at your home, no matter what culture, no matter what type of cuisine, this type of comfort I understand.
Alejandra: Modern American home cooking has it all.
Dan: You have marinara sauce, you have pizza sauce, but you have Sunday gravy.
Foo: I'm making a crab meatball soup.
You guys asking for funk and some-- [Laughter] There it is!
Alejandra: To discover the melting pot of dishes this country has to offer, we have invited ten talented home cooks from regions across the United States to share the unique and heartwarming stories behind their most treasured recipes.
Bambi: This is family.
Alejandra: And at the end of their journey, one home cook... You're passionate about flavor, and you respect your heritage, that is a perfect recipe.
Alejandra: ...will be crowned the winner.
[Applause] Foo: Whoo!
Our doors are open, and everyone's invited.
Welcome to "The Great American Recipe."
♪ ♪ [Indistinct chatter] Foo, voice-over: Going into this week, I feel great.
I won last week.
The fusion dish I made for you today is a Chinese char siu Southwest barbecue rib.
Tiffany: This may not be "down in the county woods of Texas" kind of rib, but this is a good rib!
Foo: It gave me more confidence going into the next cook.
Foo and Silvia: We're back.
Dan, voice-over: Now that I'm still in this, I have a lot of different emotions going on, or thoughts going on.
The judges didn't like the Italian burger.
What I made for you today is a Italiano burger.
Leah: The crispy prosciutto was a really nice touch, but my burger's a little bit overcooked.
I would say that the patty itself could use a little more seasoning.
Dan, voice-over: So this week, I got to come up with a better dish.
Otherwise, I could be going home tonight.
Alejandra: Hello, cooks!
And congratulations on making it to the final four.
Dan: All right.
You are so close to our grand finale, where three of you will compete and one will be named the winner of "The Great American Recipe."
You should feel so proud of yourselves.
It only gets tougher from here on out, but you all represent the most talented of home cooks.
Please welcome back these familiar faces, our judges Graham Elliot, Leah Cohen, and Tiffany Derry.
♪ Last week, we kept you on your toes by having you swap recipes with one of your fellow cooks.
Then you created a fusion dish inspired by your own personal food story.
This week, we're going to continue to get to know you better by celebrating the people who shaped you into the cooks you are today.
These are the folks who have your back no matter what, the ones that would be cheering the loudest if they could see you now.
This week, we're celebrating your chosen family.
Not only can your family shape who you are, but some friends can be so close that they can become your family and influence you in so many ways, especially through food and cooking.
For this first round, you will have 60 minutes to create a dish inspired by a friend.
We can't wait to enjoy your recipes that are all worthy of a friendship's seal of approval.
Tiffany: Your dishes will be judged on taste, presentation, execution, and how well your dish showcases the theme.
Good luck, cooks.
Your time... starts now.
♪ ♪ Silvia?
[Chuckles] Foo, voice-over: Going into this week, I feel great.
I'm enjoying it.
It's giving me that inspiration to keep on carrying through, and it feels so good.
Today, I'm making a spicy basil stir fry.
It's inspired by our good family friend.
I got this recipe from my friend.
We have kids in the same school.
We love cooking, and we share recipes.
But I give it a little bit of my flair to it.
These are Chinese long beans.
My friend uses green beans.
Chinese long beans, to me, are a little bit firmer in texture, and they give it a little bit more crunch, and I want to cut them down small and, most importantly, uniformed.
OK. [Laughs] OK, good.
I'm making date and macadamia chicken salad sandwiches, which is a recipe that is so, so flavorful.
It's a recipe from one of my husband's cousins, who has become a very good friend of mine.
So, this is her recipe.
We make it pretty often at home, so I'm very happy that I can make it today.
It's someone that we don't see often, but now she and I are connected with this recipe.
I have added to the taste, you know?
I add rosemary on the chicken, I add celery to-- some more crunch.
So it's just, you know, a recipe that just gets better and better and better.
The chicken salad has, obviously, chicken and bacon, macadamia nuts and dates, green onions, celery.
That's my celery.
And I'm adding pickled jalapeños to add something on my own.
The first thing I need to do is fry the bacon.
I like to do it in the oven, but I remembered that I have to be very careful because in a previous challenge, I burned the bacon.
Oh, my gosh.
I burned my bacon.
Throw it away and start again.
So I need to be very careful and check the bacon often.
Then I go to the oven.
I already put the chicken in a pressure cooker.
Just pushing it, pushing the pressure cooker so it can get the pressure faster.
I need to make sure that that chicken is well-cooked because, obviously, I cannot serve undercooked chicken to the judges.
♪ There is a lot of components in this chicken salad.
Some things can go wrong really fast.
I just need to focus on my dish and try to make my best dish.
I don't want to burn my bacon because I don't have extra.
It would be a disaster.
Gonna go back into the oven.
Almost but not yet.
A couple more minutes.
Dan: 45 minutes.
Thank you, Dan.
How's it going over there, Dan?
Oh, we're hanging in there, Foo.
We're hanging in there.
Today what I'm making are baked stuffed quahogs.
A quahog is a large hard-shelled clam.
So, first shuck open a quahog, get out all the, you know, the clam out of it.
You have to chop that up a bit.
And as you can see, shucking the quahogs are, you know, a little bit of a task.
Sometimes it can go real easy, or sometimes it can give you a real headache, but, luckily, these opened quickly.
They're very prevalent, you know, in the New England area.
An old time friend of mine from up Federal Hill, our Little Italy section of the city, taught this to me when I was young, one of the first thing I actually learned how to cook.
We both shared a love of cooking together and everything, so this was, like, one of the dishes he always enjoyed, and taught me how to make it.
Now I got it down, you know, pretty well, I think.
I'm going to actually fill these shells.
For the stuffing, it's butter crackers.
You fry up a little bit of shallot in olive oil, pour that in.
Some tomato sauce and some of the clam juice.
I threw a little bit of extra quahog in with the filling because one of my pet peeves is stuffed quahog that is full of breading and not enough stuffing.
So, these will bake in the oven for about 20, 25 minutes.
The top needs to get a little bit crispy.
♪ OK. Foo: Robin?
What you got going on today?
What are you doing over there?
I'm doing some really creepy sea creatures, so I'm doing stuffed squid.
Foo: Oh, that sounds yummy.
I am making stuffed squid.
I am gonna stuff it with spinach and lemon and anchovies.
Today we're being challenged to prepare a dish that we've adopted or learned from someone in our chosen family.
This recipe is from a family that our family adopted probably when I was in my late teens.
They cooked at our house, we cooked at their house.
We grew lots of vegetables and things, and they had a blast picking them and showing us their recipes.
Over the years, I have watched this family make this dish.
It's different every time.
This is my version.
Hopefully, I can make my friends proud.
I'm reducing a little white wine.
I'm gonna put the tentacles in there and then pull those aside.
It's a good thing they taste good 'cause they sure are ugly.
For my stuffing, I'm gonna go with spinach chopped very fine, anchovies for the salt, and breadcrumbs.
And then I'm gonna stuff the squid bodies with the spinach filling, hopefully, quickly.
I have never done this before in a time crunch, heh, so I'm just gonna stand here and try to shove as much filling into the squid as possible.
It's like forcing an infant to eat something it doesn't want to eat.
What a mess.
Leah: Hi, Robin.
Leah: How are you?
[Laughs] Leah: OK, you look a little stressed.
Tiffany: What are you making?
Stuffed squid, and I'm gonna serve it over a bed of rainbow chard.
OK. Whose recipe is this?
Well, there's a family that my mother became friends with.
And so our families would get together often and celebrate holidays together.
And I didn't grow up with squid.
And so when I saw these creepy, ugly things that they were cooking that tasted so good... Tiffany: Yeah.
Robin: Hopefully, I do it justice.
The problem is getting these guys stuffed.
So, are you gonna brown it, or...?
Robin: I am going to actually brush them in mayonnaise with lemon juice and garlic.
It changes the outside texture.
It gives them a little bit of fat, maybe on the outside, and then dip them in panko crumbs that have been seasoned with herbs... Leah: Oh, I love that.
Tiffany: OK, OK. Robin: and then just a quick sear on there.
Tiffany: Some crispiness.
Leah: So it's gonna be a quick sear, because, you know, squid, if you cook it too long, then it can get rubbery and chewy, so we don't want that.
So I love that you know that, and I expect some perfectly cooked squid from you, Robin.
OK, I'm gonna take that as a good luck omen.
Well, I have faith in you.
Robin: OK, good, good.
My hands look like Popeye on a bad day.
[Laughs] I did not anticipate how much time it was gonna take to stuff these, so I'm now worried that I'm not even gonna be able to put squid on the dish.
30 minutes left, cooks.
Here we go.
♪ Leah: Hey, Foo.
Foo: Hi, chefs.
Leah: How's it going?
I'm doing well.
How are you?
What are you making for us today?
I'm making my own version of this Thai spicy basil stir fry.
Leah: And are you serving it with a fried egg or no egg?
I'm not doing an egg.
You got to have that.
I'm doing an egg.
So you are doing an egg?
I can do an egg, yeah.
OK. You got to do, like, high heat, crispy edge, runny.
You know how we like it.
Yeah, OK, we can do that.
OK, so you have long beans and pork-- Foo: We have Chinese long beans and some spicy ground pork.
Graham: I think it's important, though, to keep doing like, what we were mentioning, right?
Tons of flavor, so everything that you're adding, just maybe kick it up a tiny bit more.
And what's in your sauce?
Can I try your sauce?
Foo, voice-over: In the sauce, it has oyster sauce, it has fish sauce, a lot of chilies.
I would maybe add a little lime just at the end of the heat when you add the basil.
OK...OK... Not to taste the lime, but just to make it fresh.
You know what you're doing.
Good luck, Foo.
Thank you, chefs.
The time is not in my favor, but, guess what, I'm gonna pivot, and I'm gonna add an egg on it.
I really need to focus and make sure that it's on point.
I wasn't gonna add a fried egg to my dish, but the chefs suggested that I do, so I'm gonna try to do it.
♪ So I'm, like, very carefully chopping.
[Laughs] Last week, I cut my finger.
Ow, ow, ow.
So I'm taking my time cutting the vegetables so they're uniform, they look good, and they are perfectly chopped because I want to cook in the finale.
Checking on my chicken.
I open the pressure cooker, and the chicken looks great.
So I'm gonna shred the chicken.
♪ Alejandra: Hi, Silvia.
Silvia, what are you making for us today?
So, I'm making macadamia and date chicken salad sandwiches.
And so, you have bacon and dates and-- Silvia: Macadamia nuts.
Silvia: And green onions.
And I added, as my addition, I added a little bit of celery.
I love celery in a chicken salad, yeah.
'Cause I think celery is amazing in salads, and it just give a little bit of extra crunch.
You added a little Silvia crunch.
I had to add it.
I had to add something.
And I finish it with a little bit of, like, pickled jalapeños just to give it a little bit of acidity that it needs.
I like it.
Silvia: And just, you know, and a little bit of spice.
Tiffany: So you get acid and spice.
OK. Lots of flavor going on here.
It sounds delicious.
Yeah, thank you.
Yeah, it is a lot of flavors and textures.
Tiffany: Make sure that bread it toasted well... Yeah.
so that we can really have some flavor brought out from that as well.
Perfect, yeah, thank you.
Yeah, I'll do that.
Tiffany: Very nice.
Thank you so much, Silvia.
Can't wait to try it.
Thank you so much for coming.
Yeah, I can't wait for you to give it a bite.
Everything's coming together.
I'm gonna start adding the ingredients to the salad.
I add the mayo, and I'm being careful about tasting for salt.
But I know I need to season well that salad to impress the judges.
It tastes really good, just like I make it at home.
I think I'm doing good.
20 minutes left.
Robin: OK. ♪ Dan: The quahogs are looking pretty good.
As the quahogs are baking, I get my plates all set up and ready to go.
Traditionally, what goes with this is some Louisiana-style hot sauce and some fresh squeezed lemon.
Alejandra: Hello, Dan.
Graham: Dan the man.
Hey, chefs, how are ya?
So, today what we have are baked stuffed quahogs.
It's one of the first things that I learned how to cook.
When I was a little kid, we would actually go get those, and you can walk in the water, and they'll be sitting like this, and you can feel it on your foot.
Alejandra: Oh, cool.
And so you could reach down and grab them.
Alejandra: That's so cool!
Graham: So, remember with shellfish you want to, like, not stab in there, right, and release the juices of the actual shellfish.
You want to, like, gently scrape, and it looks like you did a good job.
And I opened up a few extras because one of my pet peeves is going out to a place and having them skimp on the quahog itself...
Dan: and you get all stuffing.
I'm like, That's not happening here.
That's not happening at Dan's.
I love that, Dan.
That's what we have today, chefs.
Alejandra: Thank you so much.
Dan: Thanks for stopping by.
I'll see you in a bit.
Graham: Thanks, boss.
Dan: Thank you.
♪ I pull the quahogs out of the oven.
They're looking good, smelling good.
The color's good.
I'm happy with them overall.
The only way I know that I didn't over-salt these or under-salt these is no salt goes in these 'cause there's enough natural salt inside of a clam itself where you really don't need to salt them.
For a second, I thought I was one short.
Sometimes I don't math good.
We are down to the final four cooks.
What are you seeing so far that you're excited about?
You know, for me, I want to see Dan pop, right?
I want to see this seafood just come alive.
Well, I was gonna say, you know, he hasn't cooked seafood since his first round.
This calamari is popping, OK?
[Laughter] The calamari is tender.
It's still crunchy.
Which was all of our favorite.
I am still dreaming about that fried calamari, so I'm really excited for him with his baked clams.
Dan: They're looking nice.
Yeah, I'm happy with this.
So, Robin truly has been bringing the flavor.
She's doing calamari right now, and she's stuffing it, and she's going for it.
So this is a dish that she's learned.
This is not from her family, and I think it's pretty special to see her doing it.
But we have high marks for calamari.
Graham: Yeah, I was gonna say the exact same thing.
Robin: Make sure I've got plenty of oil in there.
Normally, I cook squid on the grill, and I will give it about three minutes on each side, and it's perfectly done.
But I'm using a cast-iron pan on top of the stove today.
I give it about three minutes on one side, and I turn it over, I see a lot of the breading is starting to come off.
And the crisp is not staying on there either, so-- There's not a lot of time left, and I know I need to get them on the plate.
I just wanted to get a little more color on one side of those.
The first batch never seems to fry up as quickly as the second does.
It's starting to change color, it's looking more white, not so much opaque, so I just hope they're done.
♪ Alejandra: Silvia is cooking outside of her usual box this time.
She's sharing a chicken salad sandwich that she learned from her husband's cousin.
It's not the usual Mexican flavors.
Silvia always does amazing flavors.
And then we've seen some really cool techniques.
At this stage, is a chicken salad sandwich, like, gonna be the life-changing thing that gets you into that finale?
I mean, but if it is, then all of a sudden, game change.
I mean, I hope so.
[Laughter] ♪ Leah: So, I threw Foo for a little bit of a loop because I said that at my restaurant, we serve a fried egg on top of our pad krapow.
And, now, he wasn't planning on doing it, but now he's doing it for me.
Tiffany: I feel like in a lot of Asian food, they fry the egg really crispy on the outside, but the yolk is still nice and runny, and so it's delicious.
I think it's just an element of flavor to add.
Foo: I didn't expect to do it, but Leah says that it complements the dish, and I'm gonna do it.
Alejandra: One minute left, cooks.
Robin: It's gonna be close.
Graham: Robin is frantic.
I hope she gets the food on the plate.
Leah: She just threw that herb on.
Alejandra: Get it on.
Get it on.
Foo: Ay, yi yi.
I'm feeling a little frantic.
We're down to the wire.
We're talking about several seconds left, and I'm cracking eggs on a hot pan.
Tiffany: Five, four, three, two, one.
[Applause] ♪ Graham: What's going on, Foo?
Foo: Hey, judges.
Today I made Thai spicy basil stir fry with pork and Chinese long beans.
♪ Leah: Foo, I love that you added the egg 'cause you know that was my recommendation, but, you know, I would say I wish there was a little bit more color on the pork itself, and it doesn't have to necessarily be from searing the pork.
If you added dark soy, that will help change the color to a darker brown, and that will also intensify the flavor.
But the texture on the long beans, it's not overcooked.
Thank you, chefs.
Tiffany: Thank you.
Foo: Thank you.
Foo, voice-over: As we progress in this competition, the judges are getting more critical, and you got to be on your A-game, but it makes me ultimately a better cook.
Alejandra: Hello, Robin.
Robin: Hi, chefs.
Alejandra: Tell us what you've made for us.
Robin: I made spinach stuffed squid.
I learned this dish and how to cook the squid from a family in our hometown.
Tiffany: The flavor of the filling is delicious.
I absolutely love lemon and vinegar in there, and it just really helps to brighten up the whole dish.
Robin: OK. Graham: Yeah, Robin, I absolutely love this dish.
I think it's one of the tastiest ones that you have ever prepared us.
Unfortunately, the actual squid body, or tube, is undercooked, and that clearly takes away from it.
You can tell when it's undercooked based on the color of the actual squid.
I think one thing that's important to remember is you really want to make sure you either do it in two pans, one in the oven, one up top.
Really use all of those burners on that stove, you know, as much as you can.
It's your friend.
OK, thank you, chef.
I appreciate that.
Alejandra: Hello, Dan.
Graham: Hey, Dan.
Alejandra: What have you made for us today?
What I made for you today is baked stuffed quahogs, with a little bit of hot sauce on the side, if you like, and a little fresh squeeze of lemon.
An old friend of mine taught me this.
It was one of the first things I ever learned how to cook, actually.
♪ Leah: You got some really great color on the top of the quahogs.
I taste the quahogs, but texturally, I'm getting a lot of the bread.
So, while the quahogs are cooked perfectly, because there's so much bread filling, it's a little mushy in my mouth.
Dan: OK. Alejandra: Thank you, Dan.
Dan: Thank you.
Alejandra: Silvia, what have you made for us?
Silvia: So, these are date and macadamia chicken salad sandwiches.
One of my husband's cousins made these sandwiches once, and the moment I try it, I said, "I had to have that recipe!"
Tiffany: Silvia, there's nothing like sharing a recipe or having something for the first time.
You eat it, and you're like, "Oh, my gosh!
Flavor explosion," especially when it's flavors that you weren't as familiar with or that you don't cook with.
And so, I can imagine how all of these sweet and crunchy notes could really say, "This is delicious," you know?
And here, in this sandwich, adding the jalapeños, adding the celery, giving it a little bit of a kick and acid, all of those are important, and all of those are some flavors that we understand that you do very well.
So, Silvia, this is a pretty common sandwich, you know?
We've all had it, but I've never had one quite like this.
I've never had it with dates and with macadamia and the pickled jalapeños.
All those ingredients combined set it apart and make it stand out from something you could just normally find.
♪ Alejandra: Cooks, this round, we asked you to create a dish inspired by a good friend.
I think it's safe to say your friends would be very proud of these dishes.
Contestants: Thank you.
Great job, guys.
[Laughter] Thank you, Foo.
Graham: Remember, as always, we will be judging your recipe on taste, presentation, execution, and how well that dish showcases the theme.
Alejandra: Judges, who made your favorite dishes this round?
Tiffany: One of our favorites was Silvia.
We love your macadamia chicken salad.
It had so many great flavors, texture, a great balance of sweet and savory, and you toasted the bun.
Kudos to you.
[Laughter] Silvia: Ha ha!
This has been a process, this competition, and I'm feeling very honored about how the judges have appreciated my food.
Leah: For our other favorite dish, was Foo.
Dan: Good job, guys.
Leah: The long beans have really great texture, and I challenged you to cook an egg, and you cooked an amazing egg.
Foo, voice-over: The judges liked my stir fry, and that's pretty cool.
I feel like I'm on a train of confidence.
It's giving me the motivation to keep moving on to, hopefully, win it.
Alejandra: Excellent job, Silvia and Foo.
Foo: Thank you.
Silvia: Thank you.
Thank you very much.
You can really tell your connection to your chosen family through food helped you win this round.
We can't wait to see what you all bring to the next round.
[Alejandra laughs] ♪ Alejandra: In the last round, you introduced us to your chosen family through your dishes.
This round, we want to learn more about your DNA.
We all have those family recipes that have stood the test of time.
The recipes may have been created generations ago and been adapted and personalized throughout time.
A family recipe that I grew up eating that now I've introduced to my children, it's called lumpia Shanghai.
It is a Filipino spring roll.
I have adapted it and made it my own, and my kids love it.
You will have 90 minutes to create your family's most treasured recipe.
As always, we will be judging your dishes on taste, presentation, execution, and how well that dish showcases the theme.
Remember, at the end of this round, three of you will be going on to the finale.
But, sadly, one of you will be going home.
We hope you're ready because your 90 minutes starts... now.
♪ ♪ Foo: What am I smelling?
It smells good.
I'm making salsa.
What are you doing?
I'm dicing up some black mushrooms.
Silvia: Black what?
Foo: Mushrooms, black fungus.
Silvia: Oh, really?
Today, I'm making Vietnamese egg rolls.
It is a recipe that is very important to me.
It's a recipe that my mother makes.
My family emigrated here from Vietnam, and my mom would make egg rolls every year for Christmas because my parents didn't have any money.
But this is the way that she gave presence of love to all of our family friends.
So, in this egg roll recipe, there are a lot of ingredients, so the first thing I do is I take the shrimp out, and I start dicing it, and then I season it with salt, garlic, pepper, and fish sauce.
Next thing I do, I open a can of crab.
Crab gives it that, kind of that seafood-umami flavor to the egg roll.
Tiffany: Hey, Foo.
Foo: Hi, chefs.
Graham: What's up?
Tiffany: What are you making?
Today we're doing a Vietnamese egg roll, so I took this challenge to heart.
♪ [Exhales] It's gonna be tough for me to talk about.
It's for my mom.
She has dementia... Tiffany: Oh, no.
♪ I'm sorry.
It's OK. Take your time.
[Exhales] When we came to the United States, we didn't have any money, so the people that helped us, the way my mom thanked them was she made egg rolls.
It's why I love cooking.
So it's hard for me to articulate.
Foo: I feel like it's the epitome of who I am as a cook.
Yeah, I always say that this isn't what we do, it's who we are.
The good thing with food is a good cook can go back in time, so you're making this dish that reminds you of the years before, and then years from now, you'll be able to do the same thing.
So, hopefully, I honor her, and, hopefully, I elevate it, too.
Graham: I'm sure you already have.
Foo: Thank you, chefs.
Tiffany: Thank you.
Foo, voice-over: This dish is the true DNA of why I cook.
You know, I love my mother tremendously, and she is the reason why I cook.
She's the reason why I love food, and this dish is so significant to me, so not only do I want to pay respect to my mom, but I want to do justice for my family and, hopefully, execute for the win.
♪ Silvia: Lots of garlic in this.
Let's see if it's spicy enough for the judges.
♪ It's not.
I'm making--this is very close to my heart-- it's called pozole.
You can say it's a Mexican soup made with chicken, hominy, and green salsa.
The theme is DNA, and the moment I hear that, it has to be pozole verde.
It's a recipe, that it was the first real traditional Mexican soup that I made in California.
I know that pozole verde's a top dish.
I'm very confident.
I just need to focus so I can make it to the finale, and share my recipes with other families.
Usually, traditionally, it's red with pork, but then my mom decided to make it lighter, so she switched the red salsa to green salsa, and she switched the pork for chicken.
It's a recipe that has been in my family for a long time.
When I moved to California, I missed this dish so much.
Then I called my mom and I said, "You have to give me the recipe."
Tomatillos are a very popular Mexican fruit.
They're tiny and acidic.
They make amazing green salsa, and this is the base of the flavor in the broth.
And this is the hominy, which is the corn.
It comes in white, orange, yellow, and it is a traditional corn that we use for the pozole.
Alejandra: Hello, Silvia.
Leah: Hi, Silvia.
Silvia, it smells amazing here.
I'm making green pozole.
This is my DNA because it has my green salsa and all the flavors that I love, but, also, this has so much meaning to me and my family.
And every time we have a gathering for a baptism or for a birthday, my mom would make the pozole.
Alejandra: So that flavor is so many memories, so many important moments in your life, in your family's life.
My husband and my kids love it so much that sometimes, like in the fall or in the winter, which is when I make pozole, we make, like, a lot.
We just eat it five days in a row.
[Laughter] Alejandra: I love it!
Leah: So is this gonna be a little spicy?
Silvia: I add some spice, but if not, I'm making another salsa right there.
Leah: Oh, my God.
And then here's another surprise... Alejandra: Silvia has a little plan B ready.
Silvia: So if it's not spicy enough for you, we can add more spice.
I already add, like, five serranos to here, so I hope it is spicy enough for you guys.
We like the heat.
[Laughter] Silvia, voice-over: I want to give the judges that kick of flavor and kick of spice, but, also, I want to stay true to my recipe.
Exactly how I make it at home, I'm just trying to recreate it here.
60 minutes, guys.
Dan, you doing OK over there?
It's all good today, all good.
We'll dial it in.
Something's gonna happen.
This week I'm feeling good, except I've won zero competitions, and I still have the same exact butterflies now as I did during the very first cook.
But I feel very good about going into this one because it's very authentic and fits perfectly to the theme of my DNA on a plate.
I'm making an Italian... [kahl-eh-zhone] calzone.
I'm making what my family calls a calzone, which is like a... [pronounces as kal-zone] calzone for the most part, but it's a dish that came over with my great-grandmother from Italy, so it's very authentic and fits perfectly to the theme of my DNA on a plate.
This recipe I can actually trace to Italy.
My great-grandmother made this recipe.
She was from Italy, and my mother went over to her house and found out what was in it, but there were no measurements or anything.
So I kind of, through trial and error over the course of time, I was able to duplicate it from what the whole family says is an exact replica of how my great-grandmother made it.
I'm gonna do some of the Genoa salami, some soppressata, some pepperoni, prosciutto, some provolone cheese, and some pecorino Romano, all mixed in with some egg.
I'm gonna put it in a dough.
I have a lot to do, so I have to get this done quickly.
If it's more like a pie dough, I know my dough won't need as long to set up.
This is a non-risen dough.
This isn't a type of dough that rises.
So I make my dough, then sit that in a bowl.
Next, I have to chop up the meats.
So I'm gonna put it in the food processor so I can get it all in smaller pieces, so everything gets incorporated, so you're not tasting prosciutto or any one thing.
It's kind of all mixed together.
♪ How do you get a thin slice out of this?
♪ I'm having a lot of difficulty with the food processor again.
[Food processor sputtering] Huh.
That was the end of that food processor.
That's not gonna be good either.
Dan, voice-over: I need to figure it out because this dish is several components.
I don't know if I'm gonna make time on this one.
It's gonna be real tight.
♪ Is he OK?
Dan, voice-over: I cut my hand when I was just trying to get the food processor set up.
Hits just keep coming, baby.
What the hell?
This is not good.
I don't have time to spare.
Dan: Just give me a glove.
Dan: Thanks, bro.
♪ Producer: Just take a breath.
Take a breath.
Dan, voice-over: I don't have time for this, but I need to keep going here and focus, so I can make it to the end.
Dan, you doing OK over there?
Oh, we're doing wonderful.
Cuts are the name of the game in my business, so cuts don't bother me.
Here we go.
♪ Silvia: Hey, Robin, what you making?
I'm making a stuffed turkey.
Oh, my gosh.
How insane is that, huh?
Oh, my goodness.
Robin, voice-over: I'm making my mother's turkey with sage-chestnut stuffing.
This is now known as Grandma's sage-chestnut stuffing.
♪ My mother was first-generation Syrian.
My mother didn't grow up eating American food.
[Laughs] And so as we got older, she thought we should have dishes that were more American, so she put her own spin on the stuffing and dipped into her Mediterranean background.
In the sage-chestnut stuffing is sage, dark meat, roasted chestnuts, salt, celery, onions, and good, hard New York-style bagels.
Egg bagels, my mother's secret to the best stuffing.
It's got a different texture to it than just a piece of bread that's been baked.
It don't get soggy like other bread does.
[Laughs] ♪ I have sort of twisted my mother's stuffing into Thanksgiving in a bite by using the dark meat and add that to the sage-chestnut stuffing, and stuff that inside of a turkey breast and roll it, so every bite is almost an entire Thanksgiving meal in a bite.
This is the last cook before they determine who goes on to the finale.
I'm gonna go big, or I'm going home, literally.
And if I'm gonna do that, I need to give them all the sides.
I'm gonna do a cranberry compote, and I'll do some Brussels sprouts and make some sweet potatoes and put them on the side.
I hope the judges appreciate that I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner in 90 minutes.
Let's see what you taste like.
If I want to stay here, I really need to up my game, put my best foot forward because the last round, my squid was undercooked.
So, I'm gonna try to give it all I've got to show I deserve to make it to the finale.
♪ Graham: Hey, hey, Robin.
Graham: What do you got making?
Robin: I am making my mother's turkey stuffing with bagels, chestnuts, sage, and rum butter.
Leah: It sounds great.
You know, sometimes turkey breast can get dried out.
What are you doing to make sure that doesn't happen?
I tried to butterfly to breast as much as I could, thin it out, and I ended up sautéing it on both sides with sage and rum butter, and then the stuffing goes inside.
So I'm hoping that fat from the darker meat and some of the flavors from the stuffing will impart a little bit of moisture into the white meat.
Graham: Yeah, stock and gravy are always your friends as well.
Yeah, I'm gonna try to wing a gravy if I have time.
Graham: Are you?
Robin: Yes, I am.
Bring it, Robin.
Go big or go home.
Well, good luck.
Thank you so much.
Robin: Thank you.
Graham: All right.
Alejandra: 30 minutes, cooks.
30 minutes left.
♪ Dan: Oh, nice catch.
I'm making my great-grandmother's calzone.
You know, I have my composure about me again.
It's like the cut never happened.
This is gonna be to brush the top of it with when I'm all done.
Before I throw the calzones inside of the oven, I brush it with an egg wash on top of it to give it a bit of a sheen.
I may go one more just because.
♪ Graham: What's up, Dan?
Tiffany: Hey, Dan.
Hey, what's going on, judges?
How are you, chef?
So tell us what's in your... [pronounces kal-zone-ay] calzone.
So, what's in this here is some prosciutto di Parma, dry soppressata, some pepperoni, some provolone cheese, some pecorino Romano cheese.
[Laughs] How are you feeling today?
Yeah, yeah, I'm trying to keep my spirits up.
You know, cut my finger today with the food processor, so I'm gonna give it my all.
I've never quit anything I've done in life.
Tiffany: We know that you got what it takes, for sure.
You proved that day one.
We're looking forward to it.
Tiffany: Thanks, Dan.
Dan, voice-over: I'm competing in "The Great American Recipe" because it's important for me to carry on my family's traditions, but now I want to make it till the end.
That's all straightened up.
I want to share my stories, you know, share food with the world, and win this thing and walk away, you know, with bragging rights.
I think that this would have to be the dish to take me into the finale.
You have 10 minutes, cooks.
10 minutes left.
Foo: Right now, I'm gonna do a spicy pickled daikon as a side for my egg rolls.
I made a quick brine.
I'm gonna add some spicy pepper to it, sriracha, some chili oelek paste, and, hopefully, it's salty and spicy is what I'm going for to contrast that fatty, rich flavor of a egg roll.
Hopefully, it will take me to the finals.
It's my heart, this dish here.
It's my mom.
Alejandra: All right, judges.
We have four amazing home cooks left, but only three of them are gonna move on to the finale next week.
What are we excited about this round?
Leah: I'm excited for Silvia's pozole.
You know, last round, she had a chicken salad.
It was very unassuming, and she came up on top, which was quite a surprise.
We all want that pozole.
So now she has, like, these really high standards, and she just better bring it because I'm expecting so much from her.
Silvia: It's so good.
♪ Tiffany: So, Robin's doing another stuffed dish.
Round one, we had the calamari that was stuffed, and it was undercooked.
So I'm hoping that here in this stuffed turkey dish, that it's properly cooked.
Graham: That's true, but I'm excited for Thanksgiving.
That's, like, my favorite.
Alejandra: I'm worried she's doing too much.
She's got the turkey, the three sides, and she really has to nail every single one of those elements if she wants to make it to the finale.
♪ Robin: Which one is prettier?
That one is not so pretty, but it definitely looks yummy.
Dan: Molto bene.
Graham: I feel like this is redemption time for Dan, right?
You know, it's near and dear to him and his family, and, you know, this is a calzone, and, you know, he's really staying true to it, so I think he'll do good on this.
♪ Dan: Making me hungry just looking at it.
You know, we're talking about family recipes, and it all lives on in the dish, which makes it so much more emotional.
Speaking of emotion, we went to Foo.
And as we were talking to him and asking him about the dish that he was preparing, he started to have a few tears.
And this dish is very emotional to him because it's his mom's dish, she's suffering with dementia right now.
And it's just a lot for him, and so this dish really took him back.
♪ This dish is about my mom.
It is truly the DNA, it's why I love cooking, and, hopefully, it will take me to the finals.
Alejandra: One minute, cooks.
One minute left.
I need music here, you know?
We're on the home stretch.
Graham: Five, four, three, two, and one.
[Applause] Tiffany: Good job, everyone.
Alejandra: Great job, cooks.
How you feel?
♪ Alejandra: This week, we asked you to find inspiration from your friends and your family, creating dishes that show the influence they've had on you as cooks.
Tiffany: We will be judging you on taste, presentation, execution, and how well your dish showcased the theme.
♪ Foo, come on up.
Let's do it.
♪ So, I made for you a Vietnamese egg roll.
It's a dish that my mother made.
As a token of love and gratitude, my mom made egg rolls on Christmas, and then she would wrap them up in aluminum foil with a bow, And the best way that I was raised to eat it is the red lettuce leaf there, wrap it around the egg roll, and then you dip it into the sauce.
This is why I cook.
This is the DNA of why I love food, and, hopefully, I did my mom justice.
Foo, the egg roll is delicious.
I mean, there's really no other way to say it.
It's just delicious.
There is so much flavor packed into that wrapper.
The way that you got it perfectly crispy and served it with the lettuce wrap, it takes it up a notch, and it's all of the things, you know, we've been talking to you about and making sure you hit.
Thank you, chef.
Alejandra: Dan, come and hang with us.
So, today I made for you a calzone.
So inside of it I have some soppressata, pepperoni, prosciutto di Parma, capicola, and egg, provolone cheese, and pecorino Romano cheese.
This is the only recipe I can say for sure came from Italy.
I remember eating this at my great-grandmother's house on holidays.
Graham: It's beautiful.
The egg wash, the way that it's golden and glistening and not just evenly coated, but, I mean, it's literally, the cook on it and the color's right on.
I love the filling, I love the flavor, the mix of meats, the cheese.
The only issue I have is the dough itself.
It's like, it's very dry.
I just wish that there was just a little more moisture somehow.
Alejandra: Silvia, come on down.
♪ I made for you today pozole verde, a recipe that was passed down by my mom.
It's a dish that we serve in family celebrations or in the holiday season, or we want something homey.
Leah: Silvia, this pozole verde, it is delicious.
It's such a nice, light version of what I've had traditionally as pozole.
It just all works so perfectly together, and the addition of the tostadas on the side, it adds great texture.
It's very good.
So, as far as the execution goes, it's always hard to get so much flavor in something in 90 minutes, and you were able to really do that.
That's so satisfying right there.
Thank you very much.
Alejandra: Robin, it's your turn.
This is a dish our family calls Grandma's sage and chestnut turkey stuffing.
When I was little and I was the very first born of four girls, it was mostly Mediterranean environment in our house.
My mom wanted to start bringing more influx of American food and changing up her style of cooking.
♪ Robin, you're always ambitious, you're going all out.
The thing is here, you're doing it really well.
To be able to make that stuffing and keep it nice and moist and the turkey not to be overcooked is a good skill set to have, you know what I mean?
Like, it's kind of redeeming yourself from the calamari that was undercooked.
But this is why people hate Brussels sprouts.
They can be life changing, but just big pieces that are undercooked.
Your kids are still gonna want to hide this under the plate when you're not looking.
These are not at the same level as the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce.
Like, those are amazing.
Tiffany: Robin, you made Thanksgiving in 90 minutes.
Anybody that can pull off a full meal in 90 minutes deserves a hand clap, OK?
Some of the best memories I have is sitting at Thanksgiving, and I think food like this is one of those memories where it just takes you to a good place.
♪ Alejandra: Your dishes today were like beautiful family trees full of history and love, and your recipes tasted amazing.
Graham: Your dishes reminded us how powerful food can be in telling the stories of our families.
Thank you for sharing your recipes with us.
Three of you will be moving on to our finale, where one of you will be named the winner of "The Great American Recipe."
OK, judges, which recipe stood out for you?
♪ Foo, your egg rolls were scrumptious.
They were crunchy and delicious and savory.
Graham: And our other favorite dish belongs to Silvia.
Your pozole was so flavorful and complex and just heartwarming.
Thank you very much.
Your dishes were outstanding, but we all agreed the most successful dish was... ♪ Silvia with your pozole.
Thank you very much.
Graham: Silvia, the pozole was just hitting on all levels.
The flavors were very complex, unique.
It was light, the acidity coming out with that salsa verde.
It was a perfect dish.
Thank you very much.
Thank your mom for that dish... Yeah.
and your spin on it.
I'm glad you enjoyed.
Silvia, voice-over: Very proud of that dish.
I think I cook a dish that my mom would be very proud of.
It's a good dish.
Unfortunately... Dan and Robin, your dishes are in the bottom tonight, so that means one of you will be going back to your home kitchen.
Dan, your great-grandmother's calzone recipe was very unique.
It was not the calzone that we have been accustomed to here, so thank you for showing us that.
The flavor mixture of meats was great.
Unfortunately, the dryness of that dough really took away from that.
Dan, voice-over: Hearing that I had one of the least successful dishes of the day comes as a surprise to me.
You never know what to expect.
Robin, thank you for sharing your mother's Mediterranean spin on Thanksgiving turkey.
You put a lot of work into those 90 minutes, and you gave us six different components.
While some of them were amazing, you just gave us more items to critique, and a few fell short.
Dan and I are in the bottom, and Dan is an incredible cook, and that makes me a little nervous because I'm not quite ready to go home to my home kitchen.
This was extremely hard for us, but the judges have made their decision.
And, sadly... Dan, you will be heading back to your home kitchen tonight.
It's all right, guys.
Dan, voice-over: I'm pretty shocked to be perfectly honest.
You know, I'm definitely sad because being in the kitchen with everybody, going back and forth, we've had a lot of fun.
Graham: Dan, visually it was beautiful.
The egg wash was even.
It was golden.
Inside, that filling looked beautiful.
The issue was the dough itself that was encircling it was really crumbly and dry, almost like a cracker dough.
But, again, really beautiful job executing this great-grandmother recipe.
I appreciate you making me a better cook.
I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
I'm much further than I ever thought I was gonna get.
You know, right off the bat, I thought I was gonna be home in a couple of days.
So it's been a remarkable journey, so thank you for that.
Thank you for sharing your stories with us, your wonderful recipes, that calamari.
It was an honor to meet you.
The honor was mine.
You will be missed so much, and we're so sorry to see you go.
See you guys.
Dan, voice-over: This experience was a good experience overall, challenging mentally, physically, emotionally, which caught me by surprise, to be perfectly honest.
I've definitely created a family, a home away from home, with all the other contestants.
They were just great people, great cooks.
I find food crosses all barriers, and I just want people to see that it can bring everybody together in these crazy times.
You can actually just get together and have a meal and be a family.
[Robin sighs] Tiffany: It doesn't get any easier.
Silvia, voice-over: I'm very sad because we're a very small family now, and Dan and I talk a lot.
I love Italian food.
He loves Mexican food.
It is a sad day.
It's really hard to see Dan go... Yeah.
but let's take a minute to also celebrate that the three of you are in the finale.
[Laughter] Graham: Much deserved, guys.
Leah: Great job.
Alejandra: All right.
Now get some rest 'cause next week, you're all gonna be cooking your final recipes.
♪ Alejandra: Next time on "The Great American Recipe"...
The three of you have made it to the finale, and that deserves a round of applause.
[Applause] Foo: Whoo!
Foo, voice-over: I am ecstatic.
I am in the finale.
Silvia, voice-over: I need to make a dish that is inspired by somebody I love to cook with.
Alejandra: Everything looks absolutely stunning.
Robin, voice-over: There's a chance I could win this.
Graham: Those dishes were out of this world.
Alejandra: And the winner is... ♪