WEEK TWELVE CHALLENGE: CHEESE

Double challenge week, gonna be a big one.  We won’t waste your time with a long lead in because you’ve got some drooling and voting to do.  Without further ado, which CHEESY treat would you prefer, Griddled Bacon and Cheese and Homemade Tomato Soup or the Devils on Horseback “Tacos”?

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WEEK TEN CHALLENGE: MOVIE OR BOOK INSPIRED

Sorry for the wait this week but hopefully you’ll find our offerings as delicious as ever as food and fiction meet in the ultimate culinary showdown.   Which dish will be the book that you can read over and over, or the movie that keeps you coming back for more: the Goodfellas Pasta Sauce with Braised Meats and Homemade Meatballs or the Winterfell Beef and Bacon Pocket Pies? Continue reading

WEEK EIGHT CHALLENGE: SLOW COOKING

Introduced to the American public as the “Crock Pot” in 1971, slow-cooking has been a staple of modern Americana.  It’s no coincidence that at a time when the American economy was reeling and the women’s liberation movement was in its quick ascendancy, that the popular form of cooking would involve a process that could both tenderize cheaper cuts of more flavorful meat and also facilitate keeping the cooks out of the kitchen for the day.  While the use of the slow-cooker may have waned since the early days of its introduction, the process (whether in a crock pot or in a dutch oven at low temperatures in your hot box) still remains a powerful tool in the kitchen armementarium, especially for those with a lot of of other responsibilities on their plate.   If you’re new to the slow cooking scene, be sure to check out a quick primer from our friends over at BGSK before you go on to vote for your favorite submission of this week: the Coq Au Vin with Dressed Egg Noodles and Braised Leeks or the Green and White Chicken Chili.

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WEEK FOUR CHALLENGE: PAN FRYING

You voted for it and you’ve got it – not only is it pan-frying week but it’s also DOUBLE POINTS WEEK and I hope you’re as excited as we are.

There are almost as many ways to put heat to food as there are weeks in this challenge, but pan-frying is one of the ones that you’ll use almost every time you’re in the kitchen.  Pan frying uses the process of conduction and plenty of contact  with the surface area of the food to encouragesbrowning, caramelization and flavor production (the Maillard reaction – for you chemistry nerds); which makes it a must-have skill for any cook.

One of the tricky parts of pan frying is that it can be difficult to control the temperature of your oil when you’re using such a small amount; so be careful, this isn’t one of those times to set the stovetop to HIGH and let it rip.  Keep an eye (and a nose) on what’s in the pan at all times.  This week features some great dishes that push the difficulty to a level that we haven’t seen yet in the challenge and leaves us guessing which is going to be your favorite: the Scallops with Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple-Bacon Gastrique or the Pistachio-Panko Crusted Halibut with Orange Béarnaise Sauce?

Before you move onto the food, don’t forget to vote for the February DOUBLE POINTS WEEK on the poll to your right. Continue reading

WEEK THREE CHALLENGE: SOUPS

It’s cold out, everyone’s planning ski trips, and every other person you know is getting sick – best time of the year for a soup challenge.  This week’s submissions feature Black Garlic Shrimp and Vegetable and Cheddar Bacon Stout Soups – which do you want to see show up in your bowl during your apres-ski dinner?

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