This week on Food Network Star, we face the mystery basket, the dreaded chopping block and Ted Allen from the network's huge hit show, Chopped. Uggh.
I knew we'd get the Chopped Challenge. I'm sure you watch the show but if you don't, here's the premise: you get a basket with four ingredients in it. None of them seem to go together and believe me, they don't normally. You have to find a way to make the ingredients fit together and "transform" them into something totally different... and to top it off, this challenge is desserts.
THE FOOD: INDOOR S'MORES WITH PANCETTA AND KUMQUAT SYRUP
Anyone who has followed my blog knows I am an eternal fan of s'mores. I have s'mores all over this blog.... a s'mores bar with toppings, indoor s'mores, s'mores popsicles, stuffed s'mores, you name it, I've tried it stuffed between two graham crackers filled with fluffy toasted marshmallows. Check out some of the ways I've made s'mores over the years. I have not ever made them with MEAT, however. My mystery basket has pancetta in it. Italian bacon. Along with Hershey kisses, kumquats, and graham crackers. Those ingredients just screamed s'mores. I thought about making something more complicated but seriously, that is just not my thing. I like to make simple, delicious recipes that are easy to make for a crowd. They Chopped judges were not impressed. I'd like to say that they did eat every single bite (and crumb) of my dessert with the exception of Alton Brown. Giada commented that she would have made the exact same thing. Alton Brown told me that the flavor was well developed and delicious but that I needed to ramp up the difficulty.
Marc Murphy said I made a dish his kid could have made in 15 minutes. Well, Mr. Murphy... you try unwrapping all an entire bag of Hershey kisses in less than 10 minutes. I'd like to see it. I used to think he was charming. Now, not so much. (Scott Conant is a different story, however) There was some creative editing on this episode... not sure why some things were swept under the rug... things that are usually grounds for the chopping block on the show. I guess we'll never know.
In the end, I had to go to the producer's challenge but Josh went home. I'm so glad this stinking week is over.