(My daughter felt that she needed to let the world know what “really happened” on Saturday night…)
Of all the culinary competition shows on TV, Masterchef, featuring amateur chefs and brutal judging (curse you Joe Bastianich), is my favorite. So when I felt it was high time for another Food-Off in Mendham’s own Kitchen Stadium, it was this show I decided we should imitate. More specifically, the Mystery Box Challenge.
For those of you who are not familiar with this culinary brain-child of sadistic show directors and the Devil, the Mystery Box Challenge (MBC) is when contestants are given a box of 15 ingredients and are told to make a dish with ONLY these ingredients. They don’t have to use all of the ingredients but they can’t go get more. (Obviously, they already had salt and pepper because without that you’re screwed)
It is hard for them.
Imagine how hard it was for us.
Without much ado about nothing (love ripping off Shakespeare) the competition began! Me and my sister versus my dad. (Not exactly even, but there you go.)
So the competition began!
Our mystery box consisted of broccolini, butter, lobster tails, avocado, Idaho potatoes, mango salsa, jalopenos, lemon, tomatoes, salmon, red sea salt, salt and pepper, honey wine vinegar, ground turkey, olive oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, frozen sweet potato fries, watermelon, and wild huckleberry chocolate.
Yeah, we had the same reaction. What the heck do you do with huckleberry chocolate?
Armed to the teeth with every culinary utensil available and wearing my Tebow t-shirt for the Lord’s blessing, I instantly jumped into the competition with my sister at my side.
Now, before I skip the competition and go right to the judging just like every show out there, I must say something about the honey wine vinegar. Giving my father honey wine vinegar —it’s not cool, dude. Him and honey wine vinegar are like Julia Child and butter. He can never have too much of it and anything he puts it on tastes like heaven up and died on it. So the unfairness of that all, yeah…..
Anywhoooooooo (God, I hate it when people say that but it just seemed so appropriate here)
In the hour, my sister and I made Oven Roasted Salmon with a Watermelon Mango Salsa, Turkey & Onion Meatballs with Mixed Potato Homefries, and Poached Lobster tail with Grilled Tomatoes, Sauteed Broccolini, and a Lemon Avocado Mousse.
My father made Oven Roasted Salmon with a Spicy Sweet Warm Watermelon Tomato Dressing, Turkey Mango Avocado Burgers with a Faux Guac, Sauteed Lemon Butter Broccolini with Lobster Bits and Honey Vinegar Sweet Potato Bake. Is it wrong that I copied and pasted his menu from his blog? Ummm….. No.
(You can find his blog here http://allrecipes.com/cook/107227/blogentry.aspx?postid=283216< )
AND FINALLY, it came down to the judging. Our epic judging panel consisted of amazing Italian food chef and crock pot extraordinaire my mother, and The Living Food Vacuum a.k.a. my seven year old brother who would like me to note that he likes Batman. …..okay.
Much like our box of food before the beginning of the competition, the thoughts running through the judges head as they did whatever judges do aside from destroy hopes and dreams were a complete mystery to us.
So……after much deliberation………and eating…………the verdict came……. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
Badadadadadadadadadadadada……you get the idea.
Wait…what? A tie? No, no, no- he most certainly lost. Right?
Well, apparently not.
Well, that’s it folks! The judges failed to provide me with bragging rights and I discovered that roasting watermelon is a culinary miracle!
Tune in next time when I try to figure out what to do with huckleberry chocolate!
By the way Dad, you lost.