Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chopped Challenge: 3 Mommies Style Round One!

Have you ever seen the addictive show Chopped on the Food Network? Four competitor chefs all receive a basket of mystery ingredients which they need to come up with a dish featuring all the items in the basket. The show has four rounds; appetizer, entree then dessert. Each round having one chef "chopped" with the least liked plate. 
Well get ready for our 3 Mommies version! We get 4 random ingredients and have to come up with one dish that includes ALL FOUR mystery ingredients (any plate can be created, appetizer, entree, or dessert). 
Then of course the dishes must be tested- by those lucky family members of ours :D

For this challenge the ingredients that were chosen at random are:
1. Onion
2. Apple
3. Flour
4. Cinnamon
5. Marshmallow Peeps*|
*There was a mis-communication during planning, thus the 5th ingredient.

This challenge was between us 3 moms, Olivia, Melissa, and Jenn. We invite you all to take the challenge with us and see what you can create! There will definitely be other Chopped challenges where we will include our readers in the post, so keep checking our blog or Facebook for the latest Chopped Challenge.

Here are the results of our first Chopped Competition:

Chef Olivia: Pork Chops covered in caramelized apples and onions, topped with candied bacon

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What I used for the caramelized apple and onion topping:
- 1 onion
- 1 Macintosh Apple
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. of water

What I used for the pork:
- 2 pork chops
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup of flour

What I used for the candied bacon:
- 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar
- 2 marshmallow peeps
- 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
- 2 slices of bacon

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For the topping:

Heat a medium sized pan on medium-low heat with 1 tbsp. of butter add in the chopped onion, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients except the water and let cook down for another 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Transfer to a glass baking dish then add in the water.

For the Pork:

Tenderize the meat with a meat pounder, season with salt and pepper then dip each side in the flour- shaking of excess. Add to the same pan used for the topping, turn the heat up to medium-high and sear each side, then transfer to the baking dish. (about 2-3 mins each side). Cover the baking dish with foil and transfer to a preheated over at 350, for about 15-20 minutes or until pork is cooked.

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For the candied bacon:

Heat a small saucepan on medium heat and add 2 marshmallow peeps and let melt- may want to put a lid on top of the pan for a minute, but keep a careful eye on the marshmallow- it will be very sticky! You may need to turn the heat down as the marshmallow melts.

In the meantime mix the rest of the ingredients for the candied bacon in a bowl and sprinkle on 2 pieces of bacon once the marshmallow is melted you will have to place it on the bacon- it will not look the most attractive and it will not go on smoothly, but once it gets in the oven the marshmallow will melt evenly on the bacon.

Once the bacon is coated place in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes, this burns easily so keep checking it!

So once everything was cooked I chopped up my bacon, plated everything and sprinkled the bacon on top of the pork chop.

My judge was the boyfriend, Philip. He actually liked my dish, he ate 2 pieces! The bacon turned out well, slightly on the burnt side- I should have kept a better eye. However, there were pieces that were not burnt that I put on the finished dish. He actually asked me to make the dish again- um no, haha.

Chef Jenn - Sweet Cinnamon Apple Onion Flatbreads

When we counted to three and revealed our ingredients to each other, my initial reaction was "apples... and onions... this is going to be interesting!". I've never tried, or even considering trying, eating the two together. But after thinking about it further, it occured to me that onions are almost sweet when caramelized, and would blend well with the apple as some kind of topping. But for what? Flour... Cinnamon... Flatbread! My husband is a notoriously picky eater and pretty well never tries new things unless they contain potatoes and/or meat, but the kids and I all had some, and these are definitely going in my "make again" folder. Here's the recipe!

For the flatbread:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter

1. Mix together your dry ingredients, being sure that the baking powder is well incorporated with the flour.

2. Add wet ingredients, mix with a spoon until it comes together, then knead on a floured surface until you have a nice smooth dough.

3. Wrap well with seran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

4. Separate dough into 6 balls, roll out to 1/8" on a floured surface.

5. Preheat oven to 375. Place rolled flatbread dough on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway.

For the topping (you can prepare this while the flatbreads are in the oven):

6 good size apples
1 1/2 white onion
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp butter

Note: I prepared mine in 3 batches of 2 flatbreads because all my big pans were in the dishwasher and so I had to use my little tiny frying pan. So I used 2 apples, 1/2 an onion, and 1 tsp of butter plus a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar per batch. I'll give the directions for the full recipe here, though.

1. Slice onions thinly, and apples thin (but not too thin or you'll end up with mush!). In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar; set aside.

2. Melt butter in a frying pan over med-low heat. Add onions, stir occasionally until they begin to brown.

3. Add apples and cinnamon sugar, stirring occasionally until tender.

4. Distribute topping among flatbreads, and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

I cut mine into quarters for eating, but that is entirely up to you. All in all, I really enjoyed these. If you left out the cinnamon sugar, I think some shredded cheddar on top to take it from a sweet dish to something more savoury would be tasty as well!

Chef Melissa - Apple Pork with Caramelized Onions on a Warm Cinnamon Flour Tortilla. 

Here is what I created with the four mystery ingredients of Flour, Apples, Onions and Cinnamon!
My first thought was "what do these ingredients have in common?" They all pair well with pork! So that is where I started. The flour really had me stumped. How can I incorporate flour into it as a star player and not just on the bench. A freaking flour tortilla! That's how!

For the Apple Pork with Caramelized Onions 
3 small yellow onion, sliced
3 small Sparta apples, cored and sliced
2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
a little cinnamon
a little cumin
salt and pepper

So first I sliced the onions, threw them into a bowl and added some salt (salt brings out more water and lets them caramelize better). After about 10 minutes I heated some butter and a little olive oil in a cast iron pan and tossed in the onions.
After the onions cooked a little I sliced 3 small Sparta apples and added them to the pan to continue cooking with the onions.

To get a dark caramel colour on them I decided to cook them low and slow for about 30 minutes. By this time the apples had turned into a sauce for the onions. I seasoned it with a little cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper near the end.

I chopped up two pork chops into small pieces and added them to the onions and apples to cook.

The flash makes it look anemic but it was darker!

For the Cinnamon Flour Tortillas
2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 olive oil

3/4 cup boiling water

The flour tortillas were super simple to make. Four, oil, baking powder, salt and boiling water are all that are needed to make a regular one. I added the cinnamon from the mystery ingredients.

Mix they dry ingredients then add the oil until it is all clumpy. Next add the boiling water and mix till it becomes a dough. Knead until its consistent. I rolled them into balls then let them sit for a while.

Once my pork was cooked, I rolled out my tortillas and cooked them on a nonstick pan.

While they were still warm I scooped the onion apple pork mixture onto one side and folded it in half and voila! Apple Pork with Caramelized Onions on a Warm Cinnamon Flour Tortilla.

I will keep the cinnamon flour tortilla idea that's for sure, it would go great with a dessert quesadilla. James enjoyed it but said it needed some hot sauce which I totally agree with.  
I cannot wait for the next edition of this Chopped 3 Mommies Style!

So remember to stay connected with us on the blog or our Facebook group for another up coming 
Chopped Challenge that you too can join in on! 

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