Sunday, May 20, 2012

Next Food Network Star Game - Want to play along?

Hey everyone!

Because I've decided to blog my way through this season of Next Food Network Star, I decided to do an accompanying post each week based on that week's blog/episode that will, ideally, be interactive either here or on Facebook.

So many of my friends and readers are foodies just like me who day dream about what it would be like to be on a show like that... what would we cook? What would we portray? What would our culinary point of view be?

So for our inaugural week I thought we could start with this first question/scenario...

Put yourself in the shoes of this season's contestants, only in this scenario you must create a dish for each restaurant in the challenge: Bobby Flay's Tasting Space, Giada DeLaurentiis' Blu, and Alton Brown's Do South - what dish would you come up with for each?

Here's what I would do for the first challenge:

Tasting Space (with Bobby's advice to "keep it simple"in mind) I would make my Olive Bread with Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Cheese.

 For Blu, with its California clean flavours philosophy, I would do my Grilled Lemon Basil Jumbo Prawns (I'll be doing a how to video for this recipe soon).

And for Do South - which makes me think of upscale country comfort - I would serve my Baked Porkchops with Caramelized Onion and Apple Jus.

What might you serve and why?

My enquiring mind totally wants to know!

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  1. oh my gosh don't ask me that question, ha ha, thats why I read your blog, I need all the help I can get!!I like Bobby Flay's style with spicey foods and BBQ, I would have no idea what to suggest, your picks sound wonderful though,

    1. When I think of you I think about evenings by the lake and all of the lovely meals I know you've created over the years... I'm so glad to know you!

  2. I have a killer recipe for cedar planked roast chicken for Bobby's team. an heirloom tomato tart for Alton, and tiramisu creme brule for Giada because she likes dessert.

    1. Here ya go :-) The tiramisu can be found and googled from The Smart Cookie.

      Cedar Planked Chicken

      1 soaked cedar plank – soak for at least one hour or longer
      2 minced garlic cloves
      2 tablespoons of each – basil, parsley, and thyme
      Pinch of pepper
      1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 thinly sliced onion
      salt and pepper

      Soak the cedar plank in water, white wine, or apple juice for at least one hour. The longer the better.

      Rough chop the herbs and place them in a food processor. Add the grated cheese, pepper, and olive oil. Process for 15 seconds until it looks like pesto.

      Salt and pepper the chicken breast on both sides. Use olive oil on the smooth side of the cedar plank – this is the side your meat will rest on and will help it not to stick. Put the herb blend on the chicken. Place the cut onions on top and around the chicken.

      Place the plank (with chicken, herbs, and onions) on the BBQ. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Check often for flare ups and use a water spray bottle if needed.

      Heirloom Tomato Tart

      For the crust

      1 1/3 cups flour
      ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
      ½ tsp kosher salt
      ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
      1 large egg, beaten

      For the tart
      8 ounces soft goat cheese
      2 tbsp heavy cream
      ¼ cup (packed) basil leaves, julienned, plus additional for garnish
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      6-8 (depending on size) heirloom tomatoes, mixture of colors
      2 tbsp. lemon juice
      6 tbsp. olive oil
      Sea salt

      Make the crust
      Place the flour, cornmeal, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture comes together. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead to bring it together into a cohesive mass. Flatten into a rough rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

      Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll the pastry out into rectangle about 1/8th of an inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. This dough is very stiff and can be difficult to roll out without tearing and cracking. You can also just press it into the pan with your fingers rather than rolling. Trim any edges. Prick all over the bottom with a fork and place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer, line with parchment paper or foil, and pour in pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the pie weights, return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is a nice golden brown. Cool completely.

      Finish the tart
      Place the goat cheese in a large bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Add the cream and mix well to combine. (The cream will make it, um, creamier, and will also help with the chalkiness that goat cheese tends to have.) Gently mix in the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the goat cheese into the cooled crust and smooth it with a spatula. Slice the tomatoes and layer them in decoratively.

      Mix together the lemon juice, and olive oil. Drizzle the mixture over the top of the tart. Sprinkle with a healthy pinch of your best sea salt and a few more ribbons of basil.

  3. Really enjoying these posts Lyndsay. I'm not sure what I'd do for all three but for sure my mama's sweet potato pie for Alton!

    1. Jody, that sounds AMAZING!! Do you have a recipe for that you would be willing to share?

  4. Great post! This will be fun!

    For Tasting Space, I'd probably make a Falafel Sandwich -- Complete with Tahini spread, tomatoes, onion, parsley and a few pickles!

    When it comes to Blu, I'd have to make a delicious Sea Bass Ceviche, hands down! To me, this screams California and refreshing!

    Lastly, for Do South, I would have to make a pot of Brunswick Stew. It may not be the prettiest dish, but boy is it tasty!

    1. Shawn, I would visit your restaurant any day! Now I'm CRAVING a falafel sandwich!

      Any chance of getting some of these recipes? ;)

    2. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that all three of these wonderful dishes have always been prepared for me! I don't have 'must have' recipes for any of them, I wish I did!

      I used to enjoy the falafel sandwiches from a cart vendor in San Diego, CA the ceviche from a delicious Puerto Rican grocery store in Tampa, FL, and the Brunswick stew from a restaurant called Country's BBQ in Columbus, GA!

  5. Okay Lyndsay, I'm game!

    Blu: Carrot ginger soup
    Do South: Fried chicken maple corn wraps
    Tasting Space: Duck with blackberry reduction.

    Don't ask for the recipes because you know I don't have them, better than that come by for dinner soon.