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Old 10-04-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
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My wife challenged me to a home version of chopped

My wife, who is a self admitted , terrible cook, asked me if she got 4 mystery ingredients, would I be into trying to create a meal using all 4 ingredients , as they do on chopped.

Sure I was up for the challenge.

Since she doesnt cooked well, she has no clue what goes together or not.

Anyway, she returned with the 4 ingredients. Unfortunately it wasnt as much of a challenge as i would have hoped, but still fun. We will try it again next week, with more challenging ingredients
The mystery ingredients were,

Brie
Parsnip
White truffle oil
chicken ( actually vegetarian chicken since im a veg, but basically used the same way)

The chicken was already cubed, so i couldnt use it as a cutlet

Anyway, what I came up with was:

A parsnip/ potato pancake , covered with the chicken in a creamy brie/ mushroom sauce, drizzled with white truffle oil.

In the pancake, I added an egg, flour , salt and pepper and onions as well.
The Brie sauce, I fried up some garlic, then added flour to make a roux, some half and half cream, a few sliced mushrooms, s & p and brie of course.

Garnished with chopped scallions, and some basil/spinach oil painted on the plate

Faults:
I could have added a little more salt in the pancake.
My basil/ spinach oil had good flavor, but the consistency was not good enough to hold its shap when i tried decorating with it , so i had to use plan B, which was to hide what i tried to do so i wasnt embarrassed.

For those not familiar with the show, 4 ingredients are given and the chef has to make a dish using at least all 4 ingredients incorporated into the dish and anything else stocked in the kitchen, in a certain amount of time.

I wasnt timed for my efforts , but i did it in about 45 minutes + or - a few

And the end result was actually very good.

A little heavy, but definitely worked well together.

Ill post pics soon

larry

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Old 10-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
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Pics

Pics,

Yeah, i know the basil oil surrounding the dish is an embarrassment, but i didnt realize it until after i had plated. And since I wasnt up for $10,000, but just a hand shake and a " that-a-boy" pat on the back, i left it as is .

Oh, and that scallion garnish on top is HUGE, like the little shop of horrors plant.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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sounds like a lot of fun
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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Neato!
What would kill me on ALL the food challenge shows is the time limit.
I cook slow and come up with tasty stuff even slower.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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Yeah, i didnt have the pressure of time, although, I did get done quicker than I expected. the parsnip was really the only thing that through me for a little twist. At first I was going to make fried parsnip crisps to throw on top of the dish, but when I burned it twice, I decided to move on. then I was going to make like a parsnip " birds nest" but i wasnt sure if there would be enough starch in it to hold it together like a potato, so once i thought about the potato having starch, i decided to combine the two and that worked out great .

She had fun also watching me be creative, and we both enjoyed the food itself. Hopefully next week will be a little more challenging, but this was definitely a lot of fun. And she wasnt as hard of a critic as those stuffy food network judges, who dont seem to have much fun at all eating, they evaluate it way too much IMO. Although, i think i could have used a little more color on the plate
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
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Great fun, Larry! Nicely done. I like the pancake + gravy, and would have stayed rustic too, accepting its soulful heaviness (truffle oil makes anything "fancy" unnecessary).

Glad to see you survived Round 1. Is there any pressure that your wife will have you "Chopped" should your creativity fail next round? oh-no :o
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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Considering i do all the cooking ( and my wife hates to cook) my guess is ill never actually get " chopped" or else she will wind up behind the stove
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:23 AM   #8
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It seems that you had lot of fun while making it. Eagerly waiting to see the pics of that delicious food.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
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Cool idea and I think you came up with a great dish using those ingredients.

My significant other will sometimes say he is in charge of dinner then it ends up being me cooking with whatever he has picked up. Not quite the same as your Chopped Challenge but in the ball park. I have told him to surprise me and pick up some interesting combos.....careful what I wish for, LOL.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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Well, round two was a little more difficult.
5 ingredients this time.

Butternut squash
Some kind of Israeli croutons
Millet
Portabello mushrooms
Edamame

The easy way out was to make a Butternut squash soup, and kind of work the other ingredients in. I decided to make it a little more difficult.

I made stuffed portabello mushrooms. Using the other 4 ingredients, along with some thyme, sage, onions, celery, carrots to make Thanksgiving- like stuffing to stuff them with.

I first tried grinding the millet into a ' flour', but that didnt work out all that well. I then tried to toast them in a pan. That didnt work out too well either. Finally, I gave in and rehydrated them in water ( which took some time, which was why i was looking for a faster alternative since my wife gave me an hour to complete the dish). After it was rehydrated, I mixed it in with the stuffing mixture.

After the stuffing was complete, i wasnt really happy with it, so I placed a layer of provolone in the mushroom, then a layer of sausage ( vegetarian, but a good brand ( gotta trust me on this one)) , then the stuffing, then more cheese on top, then i sprinkled a few roasted butternut squash seeds on top ( made as if they were pumpkin seeds). I also made a butternut squash gravy ( pureed squash + cream, s & p, garlic ...) to put on top too.

As a whole, the dish was edible ( not great, but good). the main problem was the texture of the seeds on top were way too hard for the soft stuffing and shroom. It was like eating a watermelon, then feeling the seeds inside. Although the taste worked well, the consistancy was too much of a difference. Live and learn. Anyway, I didnt get chopped, and received a $10,000 fake check that my daughter made for me.

Ill upload the pics.

I think next week will be a desert challenge, which im looking foward too.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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Here is a pic of the products I had to work with this week,

The ingredients

Butternut squash
Israeli croutons
millet
edamame
portabello mushrooms

The final product:

Butternut squash stuffing filled portabello mushrooms

The Cat licking the plate clean
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Pics,

Yeah, i know the basil oil surrounding the dish is an embarrassment, but i didnt realize it until after i had plated. And since I wasnt up for $10,000, but just a hand shake and a " that-a-boy" pat on the back, i left it as is .

Oh, and that scallion garnish on top is HUGE, like the little shop of horrors plant.
Looks good -- Dont get me wrong very appetizing. What about some kind of breading that will give it structure like a pie.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:49 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

slowly but surely... it looks really yummy :)... cool then
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:19 PM   #14
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Cat disliker!!!

You did'nt mention cat hair or litterbox paws in your recipe.What could I substitute for that.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:33 PM   #15
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Having 5 cats, its almost impossible to avoid some kind of involvement from the cats when cooking.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:23 AM   #16
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Larry, this looks like fun and what a great way for your wife to get involved in the cooking. Thanks for the great pics and keep them coming.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:49 PM   #17
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That's so sweet. A good idea for bonding and learning too!
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
I first tried grinding the millet into a ' flour', but that didnt work out all that well. I then tried to toast them in a pan. That didnt work out too well either. Finally, I gave in and rehydrated them in water ( which took some time, which was why i was looking for a faster alternative since my wife gave me an hour to complete the dish). After it was rehydrated, I mixed it in with the stuffing mixture.
Larry: fwiw, millet does need to be toasted dry in a hot pan before using it. It pops like little kernels of corn, and gives off a wonderful aroma. After it's popped, I remove it to a bowl and saute the holy trinity in the same pan. You can cook millet the same way you'd cook a rice pilaf.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:33 PM   #19
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Are you a pro?

I cant even let my wife go to the store to get the things I need useing a list.The idea of her picking out the ingrediants on her own is unbeleiveable.Sometimes I dont even know what to do with the things she brings home that are kind of similar to what I really wanted.Congrats Larry!That sounds like a fun challenge,if you are a great cook.I will however sit on the sidelines and enjoy your posts on this subject.I would be totaly clueless.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:54 PM   #20
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Well, my wife is in a similar situation. Sending her to the store to buy something, even if it is on the list written, she will always come back with the wrong thing. And I guess thats what makes these challenges interesting. I have yet to be " chopped" , but some things have definitely been better than others. Im looking forward to my next challenge.
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