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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Master-chopped night for Valentines

So I think I've posted before, how my girlfriends and I do, what we call Masterchef-Chopped nights.  Basically they bring food items that I don't know ahead of time, and I have two hours to make an app, a main, and a dessert with the ingredients. 

There is always some kind of theme.  The most recent one being Valentines Day/Birthday (since one of the group has her birthday on Feb. 14, and another on Feb 15.)

The rules are similar to the cooking shows Masterchef and Chopped. The Masterchef portion is the fact that all the items are a surprise and we call them "mystery box" items.  Chopped comes from having to make an app, a main, and a dessert - with sometimes really odd ingredients.

For your information and inspiration, here are pictures from our latest night.  Recipes, in case anybody is interested will follow in a subsequent blog.

Going with the Valentine's theme.  Her are our place settings.  Accompanied by pink champagne.

The items brought to me for the appetizer were:

Mushrooms, beets, chocolate and strawberries.  Since it was pancake day, I was thinking crepes.  The strawberries and chocolate threw me off a bit since this was an app, but this is the result:

 Mushroom and beet crepes with a hollandaise sauce.  And strawberry crepes with a chocolate drizzle.  This was voted the best course by the attendees.  I've actually never made crepes before, but these were very good, and really pretty easy.

Next was the main course.  Steak was the main protein provided.  The rest of the items were:

Red peppers, lobster claws, brie cheese, and artichoke hearts.  I can honestly say the artichokes were something I've never eaten or cooked, so was a little baffled by this.  And so even though it's against our "rules" to look up recipes, my friends looked up a few things for me.

This was the result of the main course.  Steak with lobster butter on a red pepper puree, with artichokes.  The artichokes weren't good and were baffling even to eat.  Any suggestions from any readers out there as to how to best cook and consume them would be appreciated.

The steak portion with the lobster butter and red pepper puree was a hit.

Next dessert. 

Confetti cake mix, whipping cream, caramel chocolate bar, and Goldschlager.  Again, something I've never had before, but since it was a Valentine's theme and it tastes like cinnamon hearts, it was an item.

The dessert, while tastey was a bit of a let down as I will often make a mousse, and so my friends are getting a little tired of it.  The Goldschlager, was a little overwhelming as well.  But what I created was a chocolate-caramel  mousse with Goldschlager with a confetti cake crumble topping.

If you enjoy cooking and are up for a challenge, I would suggest trying one of these Master-Chopped nights yourselves.  I get very excited trying new things, and my friends get very excited eating them.  Cheers!

(Thanks to my fellow-blogger Janice Fitness Cheerleader for the photos.)

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