Whew…this challenge is finally over! No more creative cooking for a little while :)
Dinner #4 in the Chopped challenge was Matt’s. His list was longer (because he was the oldest? I dunno.) but overall, pretty easy to work with AND gave me the excuse to try three new recipes!
Ok, so Matt’s ingredient list (which I accidentally leaked for those of you with eagle eyes last week!) was this:
So for the brie, I made these little Baked Brie Bites that were in puff pastry. Simple to make, and they were ok, but I think that Matt and I both prefer to eat brie bites the way I’ve made them in the past, which is these little brie cups. I’m thinking next time I make those for company, I’ll make some with pepper jelly and some with sweet jelly. I just used what I had on hand, which was strawberry jam, and the flavor was good, but so much jam baked out of the inside even though I felt like I sealed them well that the flavor was lost.
However, Luke and Jack Henry loved them and ate a few each, and Bennett had one and thought it was fine.
I’m not a huge sweet potato fan…not something I’d usually crave, but these were amazing (for the kids, I just used salt and pepper instead of the spice blend). Follow her instructions and you will not be disappointed. I did parboil the potatoes even though mine were fresh, but then they accidentally got left boiling too long when Jack Henry wandered into the kitchen with a fake sore throat and I was distracted away from my job for 5 minutes. Look at this pic compared to the original, and you’ll see what I mean…they fell apart but it mattered not…they were delicious.
The only change I’ll make is cutting my slices of sweet potatoes slightly smaller, about an inch tall. And I substituted regular chile powder for New Mexico chile powder…I don’t know the difference, but I’m thinking it can’t matter much in this recipe. And for the sake of using cashews in dinner per the Chopped list, I chopped them up finely and put the on each side of the potatoes with the spices. But, it really didn’t add anything, and I won’t do it again. (Bennett, however, was elated to see a can of cashews and put those on his plate instead.)
On to the steak. I did not buy ribeye as Matt requested; I got strip steaks, because I found a huge package of them on sale and they were better than ribeye, so I figured he wouldn’t complain. Plus, we almost never grill steaks, and we truly NEVER share with our kids, so this was a special dinner. Luke likes steak; the other two are fine with it, but seriously they’d rather have chicken or a hot dog, so it pains me to hear “how many bites of this do I have to eat?”
I seasoned all of the steaks as recommended in the recipe: rubbing a cut garlic clove over the steaks, drizzling with a tiny bit of oil (I used olive oil), and then sprinkling generously with salt and pepper. Next time, I’ll skip rubbing a garlic clove on them…for me, at least, it did nothing to give garlic flavor. I’ll use garlic salt and black pepper and omit the regular salt so we actually get some garlic flavor.
After that, Matt grilled them to close to medium for me, and as soon as he got them inside, I melted a very small amount of butter on each, and put gorgonzola on Matt’s and my steak and covered them with foil for a few minutes to help the cheese melt. It was recommended that you do this step ON the grill, but it was already dark out, and I was picturing it being too much hassle with falling cheese, etc. Know, though, that tenting foil over the steak will make it continue to cook, so that you don’t accidentally overcook your steaks.
Anyway, it worked for us to put the toppings on inside, off the grill. I topped the gorgonzola ones with the french fried onions, and that was it. Seriously, one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.
The leftovers tonight were great, too.
So there you have it! The kids commented that I didn’t get Chopped on any of my meals, so we need to do something harder next time.