This week we’re doing something a bit different. Following is the explanation:
There is a cool show on the Foodnetwork called “Chopped” There are 4 contestants, a basket of mystery ingredients and an amount of time on the clock. Each chef must make something from the basket of mystery ingredients in an allotted amount of time. If they fail the task; usually in taste; they are CHOPPED from the competition. We LOVE this show and this week we are doing our own rendition of the show. We had a family member choose the mystery ingredients for us and we had to create a starter and an entree with these ingredients. We’re allowed to use other items in the kitchen but we didn’t use a recipe nor did we plan in advance for the dishes we prepared. Following is the results of our “friendly competition”.
The Appetizer: The ingredients for the appetizer round were: pineapple, artichoke hearts, and potatoes. My appetizer was a Deconstructed Grilled Salad. I used a romaine heart lettuce leaf as the base, and layered the sauteed seasoned potatoes (adding some Greek Herb dressing), boiled then sauteed (in garlic EVOO) artichoke hearts, and grilled pineapple rings. I also made a classic dressing (50% EVOO, 50% vinegar), adding salt and pepper, and whisking in some of the reserved pineapple juice. I drizzled the dressing over top and voila, Deconstructed Grilled Salad!
The Entree: The ingredients for the entree round were: brown rice, curry, potato chips, and scallops. My entree was Sauteed Scallops with a Curry Sauce, and Curried Rice. I took a very fusion approach to this course, and since curry was one of the secret ingredients, I drew most of my inspiration from there. I made the curry sauce, by heating chicken stock on medium high, whisking in the curry, then making a slurry (water whisked with corn starch), and whisking in the slurry to thicken the sauce. For the curried rice, I simply cooked the rice, and added curry half way through cooking, to infuse the spice into the rice. I sauteed the scallops lastly, and plated everything with 13 seconds on the clock!
The appetizer: I had the same ingredients for my appetizer. I took a different approach and made potato pancakes with artichoke hearts with a side fruit salad.
For the pancakes, I chopped up the potatoes, artichokes and some onion. I mixed it with some garlic butter and an egg. I fried them on the stove just like a pancake. They actually turned out to be very tasty. for the salad, I added an orange, Asian pear and some onion to the pineapple. I stirred in some vanilla Greek yogurt to blend the flavours together. I think it turned out pretty good!
I, again, had the same ingredients as Chef Jonathan. I ended up calling my presentation “Curry 3 ways”. You’ll see why. First, I crushed the potato chips in a bowl and added some curry. I then dipped the scallops in them, put them in a pan to sear them and then stuck them in the oven to cook.
Meanwhile, while my rice was cooking, I cooked some onion and garlic and added it to the rice with some curry. I also cooked some green beans, added a bit of garlic butter and curry to them, too.
I laid the scallops on top of the rice and scattered feta cheese over the whole plate.
We each had our own judge who graded us on taste, originality and presentation.
Karen received 31 out of 40
Chef Jonathan received 35 out of 40. Therefore, Karen was chopped.
It was a fun experiment to which we both felt a lot of stress but thankfully, our judges weren’t as cruel as those on the real show!