- You must use all 5 ingredients given at least once (among two dishes).
- Additional food items allowed are those in the “pantry”. The only special requests that can be made are for kitchen equipment.
- Create an appetizer and an entree.
- Write your appetizer and entree on the board before you begin cooking.
- Have your appetizer plated and on the front table two hours after the challenge begins.
- Have your entree plated and on the front table 20 minutes after the appetizer.
A class of 14 students must draw numbers from a hat to determine partners.
The Mystery Foods Revealed:
Here is what we made:
Appetizer: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Corn, Tomatoes, Nicoise Olives and Herbs in a Lemon Vinaigrette
Entree:Seared Scallops served over Grilled Asparagus wrapped in Bacon with Balsamic Reduction and Citrus Reduction sauces.
Me and my teammate did great! We were inspired my the seasonal ingredients and developed a menu we were both excited about. Quinoa is a new, chic, whole grain that is easily transformed into a refreshing summer salad. Our entree was liked by many of our classmates… specifically the duo of sauces. The balsamic sauce was a deep maroon color and the citrus reduction a bright yellow-orange. I brushed them on the plate in two long strokes (with a pastry brush), side-by side and at a diagonal across the plate. On top of the sauces, angled the opposite way (to make a cross) I plated the asparagus wrapped in bacon. On top of the asparagus I laid the seared scallops. The plated looked colorful, the food looked appetizing, and you could dip a bite of your food in either one, or both, of the sauces on the plate.
I admit to being intimidated by this challenge at first, but in the end is was about showcasing our creative talent. We even impressed each other with our dishes. Looks like we may have actually learned something along the way. The time limit was more than enough and the whole class finished on time (plus or minus 5 minutes). I also found that instead of the ingredients limiting me and my partner… they actually helped us and drove the menu. This made the menu planning go by more quickly. I brought home the remainder of the quinoa salad and Matt and I enjoyed it with a few meals over the weekend.
Now today we have another one of these challenges with new foods and new partners… hopefully it will go just as smoothly.