Chopped Challenge Week 4



There is a show on the Food Network (Chopped) that puts experienced chefs to the test with a basket full of odd food parings; challenging them to create a dish that is attractive and delicious.  They are also put against a time clock to make their culinary decisions and act on them before the time runs out.  Then their dishes are placed in front of a panel of critics, ready and willing to give their opinion of the chef's gallant efforts to create something from nothing.

I think this show concept was created by a mom.  Think about it.  The similarities are blatantly obvious....
  • dinner made from whatever is left in the kitchen ~ something everyone experiences when a trip to the grocery store must wait until payday at the end of the week!
  • time clock is ticking ~ home from a busy day, it's 5:00, everyone is yelling 'I'm hungry' and looking at you for the solution...as fast as you can!  
  • meal presented to a panel of critics ~ ummmm....two words: feeding kids! 
We've all been in that place where we had to make something out of nothing...or something out of a little of this and a little of that and nothing that makes sense.  I'd like to draw on all of that experience and have some fun at the same time.  Are you ready to play? 






Chopped Challenge
Week 4

Changing it up a little this week...as I only have one ingredient but am definitely looking for some inspiration from all of you foodies out there!  

You Can...
  • use seasonings, spices, herbs that are typically found in a home kitchen (one of our blends in the recipe would be fun but is NOT necessary to play *smile*)
  • pull from staples typically found in a home kitchen (milk, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, rice, pasta, juice, etc...)
You CanNot...
  • use ingredients that are so unique the average person would have to run to the store to make the recipe (the idea is to see if we can create with what we have)
You Must...
  • Use all of the ingredients listed in some way, shape or form.  


Ready to play???



Here is this week's basket PLATE...
Figs!

I found myself in Dallas this week, just one exit away from a place I try to avoid.  Normally avoiding it isn't an issue since living in my East Texas neck of the woods (literally...in the woods!) I can't hop in the car to get to 'this place' any day of the week.  It's 1 1/2 hours from my home...and yesterday I had an appointment there.  

Well...like I side ~ ONE exit away from there.  But my addiction took control of my better sense and before I knew it I was in the parking lot of Central Market.  And of course, as I enter the front door I find myself in the one place I lose ALL SELF CONTROL...

The produce department   

From the array of colors that draw me in, to the variety of 'taste me' temptations, I am doomed the moment I pick up that first piece of fresh fruit or bag that first variety of fresh veggies.  At least I have enough sense to grab the small carts instead of the larger, full sized shopping carts.  Who knows what damage I'd do if I had that much space to fill with choice fruits and veggies! 

So, on this particular day, as I turned the corner from the array of apples now in season (of which I may or may not have picked up a few varieties to try) I was confronted head on by a large display of this delightful treat...



I can't remember the last time I bought figs, but I found myself drawn to them, unable to say no.  I suppose one might call it an emotional shopping decision.  You see, I grew up spending several weeks out of every summer in Louisiana with my Grandmother.  At some point during those visits, we would make the road trip to her mother's home...my great grandmothers home.  

And in her backyard there was a fig tree.  It was the ONLY time I ever ate figs, but suddenly there I was in the middle of Central Market flooded by the memory of picking figs from that tree, pulling them open and eating out the centers.  

I had to have them! 

I've gobbled up several already, but am resisting the temptation to deplete my stock of figliciousness (yes...I just told spell check to 'add to dictionary' this figlicious word!).  

They are in season right now, so perfect for adding to any grocery list.  I'm wondering if you have some fun ideas for taking these plump, sweet treasures beyond snacking and into a menu item. 
Salads?
Entrees?
Appetizers?
  • What would you do with this ingredient?  
  • Do you have a recipe you found online or in a cookbook that you could share? 
  • Can you create a new idea from what you see here?  

Use the comment section and tell us how you would use this sweet treat to make something...in a hurry...for a panel of critics hungry family!

  • Have a blog? Share the link to your recipe suggestion in a comment!.
  • Found a recipe idea online? Share the link in the comment section so we can all read the great ideas.  
  • A cooking genius that can just whip up a new idea from what you see?  Leave the recipe in the comments and inspire us all!  


I'll be back on Tuesday and tell you which idea I ended up serving my family!

Let’s Eat!
Copyright© 2012 Around the Table with Tami

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