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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

How to Host a Christmas Master-Chef-Chopped Party - Part One

I love the TV shows Masterchef and have recently started enjoying Chopped.  I have done previous cooking challenges with my friends similar to the challenges on the show Masterchef.   There's been one mystery box with normal ingredients, and an hour to cook a surprise main entree for my friends.  

I love doing these challenges because it gives me an opportunity to experiment.  My girlfriends, however, have recently decided I needed a bigger challenge. They suggested that I try to cook a 3 course meal with some "weird" ingredients like the professional chefs do on Chopped.  I am not a professional chef, but nevertheless - I accepted this challenge.

Since they brought me 3 different "mystery boxes" - one for an app, one for a main, and one for dessert.  I had 30 minutes to create and serve the app.  For the main, I had 60 minutes, and for dessert only 30 minutes again.  There was also an additional challenge - each of the boxes contained at least one "festive" item since it's the Christmas season. I could use anything else found in my personal kitchen pantry.

I'm going to blog on this in three different posts - so stay tuned.

Challenge #1 - The appetizer.
Ingredients I was given:

  • Sesame Rice Crisps crackers
  • Chicken cutlets - thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • Fresh cranberries *FESTIVE ITEM
  • After Eight chocolate mints *FESTIVE ITEM
Ingredients I used from my pantry:
  • Goat cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Honey
  • Orange juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Freshly grated Parmasean cheese
  • Egg slightly beaten
This is what I did:
- in a food processor crushed the crackers and added parm. cheese, salt & pepper
- placed crumbs in a large plastic bag
- coated chicken in egg, then placed in plastic bag to coat with cracker mix
- took small piece of goat cheese, and placed in centre of chicken pieces.

- rolled up chicken over goat cheese
- heated oil in iron skillet, then placed rolled chicken in skillet and cooked, turning now & then until golden brown and cooked right through - about 20 minutes.
- while chicken was cooking, I put cranberries, honey, orange juice and about 8 After Eight chocolates in a medium sauce pan and heated until cranberries were soft and cooked
- placed cranberry sauce on plate, and placed cooked chicken on top. 

*RESULTS: This was a tasty appetizer.  I thought the chocolate might ruin the taste of the cranberries, but it enhanced them.  You could only barely taste the chocolate and mint, but it made the cranberry sauce have a richer flavour.  This challenge was a success. 

Served with a dry white wine - Peller Estates Dry White

Coming next....the main. 

1 comment:

  1. The appetizer was !amazing Julie, thank you so much for playing MasterChef with us!