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Let's Play "Chopped"  This thread currently has 3,954 views. Print Print Thread
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san j
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 11:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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We need one more contestant, if we're going to match the TV version and have three rounds.


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gulfcoastguy
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 1:48am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.
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san j
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 2:28am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.

I think you meant to post this at "Thanksgiving". Wanna move/add it?



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Chloe
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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OK, I'll play.  I'm a big Chopped fan....I freak out when a chef cuts their finger and keeps on cooking wearing a glove.  It's when I quickly exit the show with the remote....return after the drama is over....  Also don't like
watching any chef sweating into their food.....doesn't happen often but it's gross...Love Alex and
can't stand that Amanda woman....She seems so aloof and I can't stand the way she sends daggers with her eyes to the contestants after tasting their food.  I'd rather she just vomit in her plate, rather than make these professionals feel badly about their performance.....She's probably a lovely person (don't really think so) but her persona on that show pisses me off...I really love Aron...he's cool....I get excited when he and Alex are judging together....
and there's this Indian female judge who is pretty knowledgeable about ingredients and I like
what she contributes to the judging....  The pressure of this show blows my mind.  There have been nights where I can't get dinner ready even in an hour at my fastest pace with ingredients
I've used many times before....Even with my stove which has 6 burners and two ovens, I find
rushing in the kitchen unnerving...   The fact that anyone can take unknown ingredients and produce an entire meal in 20 or 30 minutes takes incredible expertise.

But willing to play Chopped here if everyone is still on board....


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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JillP
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:34pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Go Chloe  

The good thing about playing Chopped on the internet is there is no rushing around  

I have a busy weekend ahead but I would love to play !


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending -Maria Robinson
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san j
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:35pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I agree, Chloe, that the sweating is sickening to watch.
As a former chef, I have to admit that free-flowing hair is a major, major no-no. It was back in my day (the 1980s), and my long-haired food staff, male and female, wore elastic bands, headbands, nets, whatever it took to ensure the absence on hair on plates. I've seen very long hair flowing free in some TV cooking show kitchens, and I wonder that the health dept. hasn't chimed in.  
As for cuts - occasionally it can't be helped, and in a professional kitchen First Aid equipment must be close at hand. Because of the time constraints of that game, however, my assumption is that those injuries deemed "gloveable" by on-site production staff - according to their parameters - are permitted to go the whole 20 or 30 minutes without bandaging. And the gloves are effective.

Other than knife injuries, the two big safety hazards in the kitchen are:
Slips/falls
Burns/fire

It's amazing we don't see more of these, because they, like cuts, are kin'a common events IRL. And the Chopped contestants really run around in there!

- - - - -
But - yeah, girl! Bring on your 20-minute appetizer! Tie back your hair and be careful with that knife!  


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Chloe
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....

Jill I love your quote.  Who is the author Maria Robinson?


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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Chloe
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:46pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.


This is the type of recipe I might as well paste right to my thighs!~ The fat content is mind blowing



"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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cajun
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:19pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I love to watch "chopped" when possible!
I also get nervous/anxious just as a spectator! Way too much pressure for this "A"!
Yes, I do enjoy sitting back and absorbing the skills/knowledge/ideas then go to my kitchen and play around adding my own tricks.

(I have a 6 burner stove and 2 ovens, also Chloe! I made sure of it when we were fortunate enough to build our house almost 7 years ago. )


 Ao  ISFJ   Taster   Rh+  

"God gave us the gift of life. It is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." Voltaire
"Whisper words of wisdom. Let it be." Sir Paul McCartney
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gulfcoastguy
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe


This is the type of recipe I might as well paste right to my thighs!~ The fat content is mind blowing



Yep, I make it twice a year at the most. I also only make it for potlucks where I'm lucky to get one slice.
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san j
Friday, November 9, 2012, 12:53am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted Text
san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....

Quoted from san j

Program One:

Appetizer Round (20 minutes):

Basket Contains:

- A dozen eggs
- A large jar of prepared white horseradish
- A few dozen walnuts, in their shells
- 3 Texas ruby grapefruits

Go.

Serves 3. Remember to compete on : Taste, Presentation, and Creativity.


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Chloe
Friday, November 9, 2012, 5:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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First chance I've had to read ingredients...be back later...twenty minutes..not enough time for me right now because I'm super busy.


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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san j
Friday, November 9, 2012, 8:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe
First chance I've had to read ingredients...be back later...twenty minutes..not enough time for me right now because I'm super busy.

"20 mins." signifies the time it would take to assemble/execute your recipe - not the anount of time you need to devote to this!  


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Chloe
Friday, November 9, 2012, 9:14pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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OK, got a recipe.

And from what I remember about the rules of Chopped you can use as much or as little of the ingredients as you like....

I crack and measure out about 1/2 cup of walnuts and chop them.... and put them in a pan
turn the oven to 350 and lightly toast them.  Remove and cool.

Then, I chop the 3 grapefruits up into sections. Of course I've removed the peel and put into a bowl

I then add 2 chopped avocados, about 2 T of chopped cilantro and one small onion chopped.

I then take one egg yolk
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-4 teaspoons sugar, optional or any sweetener to taste
5-6  teaspoons lemon juice plus a few tsps of the juice that has collected in the grapefruit section bowl
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup of EVOO

I make mayo with my stick blender and add a pinch of horseradish..

I toss my salad, drizzle with my mayo
and sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts

And I'm DONE

I have made a grapefruit/avocado salad with homemade mayo topped with toasted walnuts.

How does that sound?


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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san j
Friday, November 9, 2012, 11:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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All four contestants have submitted their appetizers, to be judged on Taste, Presentation, and Creativity:


gulfcoastguy: Portabello mushroom/basil frittata made with horseradish/cream, served with grapefruit/orange sections and toasted walnuts and fresh mint: Sweetened with agave

JillP: Deviled Eggs, stuffed with a horseradish/garlic/avocado filling, served with grapefruit sections/glazed walnuts

Lola: Scrambled eggs with chunks of grapefruit, and a horseradish/walnut pesto "relish"

Chloe: Salad of Grapefruit and Avocado with cilantro and onions, dressed with horseradish mayo, garnished with chopped toasted walnuts.

"One of you will not make it to the next round," as Ted Allen says, "You will be chopped."

But you all knew that.
I am the judge of this Dinner only, as it is our first show.
And since it's the first (and maybe it'll be a little sidebar here, very very slowly happening/evolving for your Distraction-Pleasure over the decades  ) one, it's in a way the hardest because more kinks will have to be ironed out.

First of all - obviously - I cannot taste your entries.
Secondly, I cannot see them.
Thirdly, it is time consuming to ask each contestant a list of questions about his/her ingredients and decision-making process, which is a normal part of discovery.

So: Firstly, I find that sharing as much as possible with the Forum when you submit your entry - Chloe showed us her recipe, for instance - makes the judge's job far easier. Especially when it comes to Taste, but it's also your opportunity to sway the judge about your Creativity.
Secondly, give us an idea of how you are presenting the dish, so the judge can visualize what is put before her/him.
Thirdly, announce your dish's title at the top of your entry; contestants present to the judges on the show, saying, "I have made for you today a Portabella Frittata..."...as if you were reading it off a menu, like a fine waitperson describing it in one sentence for a diner.

I'll be back with
(1) The critique of each dish. Then,
(2) The hardest part: The identity of the Chopped-one. Then:
(3) The Basket Items that the 3 remaining contestants will have to use in the 30-minute-preparation of a Dinner Entree that follows their respective Appetizer entries.
See you soon, lovelies.
Guess what: This is not an enviable job.  


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Revision History (2 edits)
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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 12:21am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Pre-Verdict Critique:


GCG: Your plate is impressive for its balance. A customer would be happy to treat it as an appetizer, with its protein/egg-based frittata, providing filling/appetizing substance. I'm a little confused by the fresh basil and horseradish in the same frittata, however, without being able to taste it. But I like the fact that, while the "grapefruit sections salad with walnuts" was kind of a Default "side" on more than one entry plate, yours included oranges and mint. As an appetizer, however, sweetening the fruit may be a bit much. Just the areas I'd point out. But I can envision the dish, and I can see that, if you hustled, you could pull this off: A frittata was a prudent choice for the time allotted.

JillP: You got a head start over Lola, because (having the sense you were unfamiliar with the game) I reminded you this was a dinner, not a brunch, so you changed your entry to deviled eggs from an omelet - not that an omelet wouldn't have made the grade!  You filled these hardboiled eggs with a creamy filling with some garlic and bite, and served them with, yes, grapefruit sections with glazed walnuts. Something green on the plate would have helped. With deviled eggs and fruit salad alone, I feel like I've chosen them from a buffet table; they don't relate to each other as a unified dish, although the citrus does provide acid versus the fat in the eggs.

Lola: You were the most creative with the walnuts, processing them into a pesto with the horseradish, rather than garnishing grapefruit sections with them. The scrambled eggs idea was not, again, something most restaurants would chance on their dinner appetizer menus, so while each entry came with a quandary, that was yours. I'm also not getting a sense of the inherent flavor of these scrambled eggs. I don't know what you beat into them, if anything, but this appetizer should not have to rely upon the side relish for that quality and be bland without it.
Also: I think the diner is missing something green in here. A bed of mustard greens or chard under those "divinely" whipped eggs would have provided that, and perhaps, if sautéed in/with some other ingredient(s) from the pantry, provided some of the flavor we're missing from the eggs, too.

Chloe: Kudos for the detail of your process. And for including other ingredients in your grapefruit/walnut salad! The cilantro and avocado were a nice touch. But I'm missing here the balance required - This is basically a fruit salad, and the diner will consider it a "Side" or a "Salad", but not an Appetizer, especially without any protein other than the egg in the dressing and a dusting of chopped walnuts, and without even a starch such as some sort of noodle, crouton, or chip. The plate arrives, and the restaurant diner feels "Something's Missing" -- then tastes it and says, perhaps, "This is great, but I'm starving!" and/or "Did they leave something off the plate?

(Remember, friends, you can use other pantry items to your hearts' content!
Just remember that the judge will be looking for the character of each of the basket ingredients to shine through these as well.)

That's the Commentary part of the judging. Think it was fun?  

It's well-nigh impossible. No matter whom I chop, I'll be deemed unfair, because I can't taste anything, or for some other reason. I think you're all wonderful and brave souls for "going first". Remember that you will be expected to carry forward the information from the critique of your Appetizer into the following courses, demonstrating a learning curve as to how the game is played...unless you're chopped...and I have to consider that learning curve's likelihood when I choose who steps aside at least 'til the next program!
Remember: The Chopped Champion of this whole 3-course Dinner will have to do what I'm doing now: Judge your neighbor's entries!  

(Prayer and) Verdict to follow.


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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 12:53am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Okay.
Someone has been chopped.
And you'll see how non- Self-Serving the Verdict is:

Lola has been chopped.

Lola: I have known you almost 8 years, here at dadamo, so it's clear I don't play favorites. Not only that, but you are who you are here on the Forum, my and everyone's helper, guide, and friend, but I could not let that influence this tough decision.
It simply boiled down to your not using pantry/fridge adequately, not fleshing out your plate with the elements required for the presentation of a full Appetizer. (Maybe it's because you're so derned busy here on the Forum fixing everything with that toolkit of yer'n!  ) Your originality with your walnuts, however, is something that I know would have carried into every other dish you'd have provided, and I hope it will inspire the other three as we go forward.

(JillP had submitted an omelet, too, before she changed her entry. However, even there, she included scallions in it, which brought a bit of the garden onto her plate, diversifying the elements. She also had proposed a feta cheese sauce with it. So the fact that you served "scrambled eggs" was not the factor here.)

The upside is: You don't have to work with the other two baskets I shall present to gcg, JillP, and Chloe!

Okay, you other three.
Next I'll give you your baskets.
Let me think this over.
( And I suggest that anyone considering ever producing a "Forum Chopped" program start thinking now about such baskets...as well as whether or not the job really appeals to you!)

See y'all 'round.


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Chloe
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:16am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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OMG...this is so much fun!  

Just a question... Is an appetizer not supposed to be a salad?  I mean if it has protein, isn't that overdoing  protein if you're following an A diet?  A salad usually precedes the meal and is often the first course in a restaurant. Yes?  No?  Or are we not considering our personal diets in this contest?
Just need clarification.  Thanks.

BTW, you're an awesome commentator...not saying that to make brownie points. But you really did
a very good job!....You might want to apply to the real Chopped show and replace Amanda... I'd be happy to see Amanda move on.


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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:40am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe
OMG...this is so much fun!  

Just a question... Is an appetizer not supposed to be a salad?  I mean if it has protein, isn't that overdoing  protein if you're following an A diet?  A salad usually precedes the meal and is often the first course in a restaurant. Yes?  No?  Or are we not considering our personal diets in this contest?
Just need clarification.  Thanks.

BTW, you're an awesome commentator...not saying that to make brownie points. But you really did
a very good job!....You might want to apply to the real Chopped show and replace Amanda... I'd be happy to see Amanda move on.


This is an excellent and fair question. Thanks for it. I actually, in preparing the baskets for the Entrée round, am considering the bloodtypes here re: ingredients to the best of my ability, but be prepared to work with those you may not like or that don't agree with you?

More directly answering you: I actually prepared and was known for vegetarian cuisine, aside from my offerings for the standard carnivore. We're using "restaurant" standards here, and I have to say that a grapefruit/avocado salad without any starch or protein accompaniment, or even substantial vegetable ingredients such as beans (protein and starch, both!) or hard/round vegetables or roots (which can serve as starches, and often do, in a vegetarian establishment) is usually perceived by a patron as a side order or "salad" course. We do tend to look for that...balance on all restaurant plates.

For example: A salad I like very much among a local San Francisco restaurant's "Salad" offerings also contains grapefruit and walnuts, as well as goat cheese (fat, where yours contains avocado for that) but there's a "base": Beets. It's actually called "Beet Salad, with...". Do you see it?

Good question, because - even in Dessert - you'll see that the balancing of a dish's components is critical not only to flavor, but to meeting a certain unconscious expectation of a diner as to what constitutes a Satisfying Whole Dish, complete unto itself, whatever his "type". I found that, when serving vegetarians, too.

And - believe me - what I eat at home does not reflect these standards. I don't have to produce like this anymore, but once you learn it, you don't forget it. No longer "wearing the toque", this little distraction'll have to do.
Glad this is fun for you.
I'm studying some ingredients and d'adamo info before the next round.

I'm relieved that you were okay with the game so far. Thanks for the feedback.


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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:51am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Okay - another note - re: originality:

On the TV show, everyone has to prepare and serve at the same time, so the contestants do not see each other's dishes until their own are seen, too.

Last round, all three of you served a "grapefruit salad with walnuts".

Do you think we can avoid that somehow?
Like, if you delay in posting your dish, you are more expected to combine the ingredients in some other way? It's that or establish a "Posting Time-Window", which I think would be oppressive to real people with, hello, lives.

Ideas, please. For a game that "sticks" around, I mean.


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gulfcoastguy
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:10am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Hmm, well walnuts were the stickler. They had to be used otherwise a grapefruite juice/tequila spiked sorbet might have been nice. Might not have gone with the frittata but maybe a variation on a Mimosa made with grapefruit would have worked.
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Chloe
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:21am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from san j
Okay - another note - re: originality:

On the TV show, everyone has to prepare and serve at the same time, so the contestants do not see each other's dishes until their own are seen, too.

Last round, all three of you served a "grapefruit salad with walnuts".

Do you think we can avoid that somehow?
Like, if you delay in posting your dish, you are more expected to combine the ingredients in some other way? It's that or establish a "Posting Time-Window", which I think would be oppressive to real people with, hello, lives.

Ideas, please. For a game that "sticks" around, I mean.


Not sure how to solve this issue....Personally, I didn't read anyone else's posts prior
to coming up with my recipe...I was just walking around my kitchen looking at my own pantry/
refrigerator items and I've made a version of my grapefruit salad before without a dressing.....Many times on the real show, people are making similar dishes. In a virtual game, though, the judge
isn't tasting so this makes it all the more difficult unless the recipes themselves are very
detailed....including specific spices and herbs.  I personally think if there are too many rules, this game won't be appealing....It might be a game where we (this particular group of 4) play once a week and just one game on one day, following whatever rules you deem acceptable... even though the thread can stick around for 4 other people to join and play at other times, different days..  I think because you created the thread, this should be something that works for you......but I just think that if it starts to feel too much like an obligation/job, people will feel frustrated having to meet time restrictions if they're got very busy lives.

The fun of this I think was the spontaneity of the moment.  Four people noticed your thread and
participated.  Perhaps you keep the thread open and active just so people notice it...even if we take
a little break to talk about the issues you've described in your last post....how to compose a balanced
dish-- flavor wise.  I think we all could learn a lot about that subject given your expertise.

I sort of think we all have to be present and ready to participate at the same time, within a few hours.....and even that is so random, given we all don't even live in the same time zone.

Less rules might work better...but like I said, it's your thread....and I have no problem with however
you'd like this to go. If I can be here and play, I will....

Perhaps if the thread sticks around, the game can start any time 4 people show interest.  You can
always keep asking if people are ready to receive an appetizer and start working on it. The most
difficult part is going to be fitting it into a time frame.  I honestly don't have a good solution for that.
Nor can I really figure out a solution for the originality issue.

Those ingredients were challenging for me....I could only think of quiches or salads.  And could
not for the life of me figure out how to use grapefruit in a quiche.  Now that I'm re-thinking my
options I'm wondering if there were any truly unique ways to use those 4 foods.

I think my biggest issue as a home cook is that I've been eating a BTD for over 20 years...and A type foods...
so even eggs were a challenge given the original A diet wasn't very egg-y....and I'm allergic to eggs.

And I'm rather a novice when it comes to working with meats and animal proteins.  I rarely eat anything
except turkey or fish.  And I don't drink so I know nothing about cocktails.

What would you have done with those ingredients?  


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:40am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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You're right, Chloe - this is a lot of work.
I hadn't counted on that.
But I do figure that much of the work is in this, the first Dinner. It's here that we're talking about this stuff, trying to adapt a really good TV game to an internet Forum, a game that can hang out in "Stickies" and be fooled/tooled around with by others in the future, even. In time, maybe our own "version" will evolve, too, but we've gotta start somewhere.

As for your geographical concerns: Right now, all three contestants are on the East Coast: You in the NE, the other two in the SE. I'm in California, but I don't think that's mattered so much, thus far, do you?

I dunno.
Instinct says that if everyone takes it seriously enough to commit to ONE program, but NOT so seriously - mentally - as to care who wins or loses, but rather to pick up ideas for balancing / flavoring dishes or using/combining ingredients in original ways... then...Everybody Wins - even the spectators/lurkers! Sometimes a little competition forces you to try new things in the kitchen, use ingredients in novel ways: That's what that game is all about, IMO.

- - - -

I'm a little "fried" on this, myself at the moment, lovey.
I certainly couldn't play this role regularly/ all the time.
And, I'm realizing, it really does take a certain...personality and energy --- that of a Game Show Host! I "sort of" have it. But I've got a limited amount of Extraversion to go around, you know? And, for now, I'm tapped out...  


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Chloe
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:49am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes, you have it....good job, game show host!  Also you played judges.  No wonder you're tapped out... you've worn so many hats today!  Thanks for the fun!  

Off to bed.....yawn!


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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 4:26am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe
Those ingredients were challenging for me....I could only think of quiches or salads.  And could
not for the life of me figure out how to use grapefruit in a quiche.  Now that I'm re-thinking my
options I'm wondering if there were any truly unique ways to use those 4 foods.

I think my biggest issue as a home cook is that I've been eating a BTD for over 20 years...and A type foods...
so even eggs were a challenge given the original A diet wasn't very egg-y....and I'm allergic to eggs.

And I'm rather a novice when it comes to working with meats and animal proteins.  I rarely eat anything
except turkey or fish.  And I don't drink so I know nothing about cocktails.

What would you have done with those ingredients?  

Chloe: You gave me a great deal to think about, with the first part of your post, which I didn't quote. It's all percolating.
But I wanted to get back to you about these other issues.
First: I hope my example of the Beet Salad at the San Francisco restaurant made sense to you. If I were your coach, in your home kitchen, and you asked me: What do you think of my grapefruit/avocado salad, I'd love it, if it were good, but I'd tell you: If you want to serve this at a holiday dinner or social affair and send it over the top, follow the lead of that restaurant and use the whole thing to accent some "more important" vegetable, you being an A and not wanting any more protein with your Appetizer. This way, you're meeting your own health needs, but you're also elevating your dish a notch, to a more expert and satisfying level. Think of a benef. or neutral vegetable that would tie those ingredients together for you - Blanched cabbage or cauliflower, maybe, if you're permitted these - or, if you have the time, something marinated underneath your salad, like rappini/rabe or green beans? Now you've built something. You might have really wow'ed me if you'd awakened the humble turnip by blanching thin slices or juliennes of it to the bite, and then dressing it - first with your grapefruit/avocado/onion pieces, and then with your horseradishy mayo and cilantro. I'm wondering if you see it, because Avocado is basically a Fat, period. And that's why I called yours a "fruit salad".
I have served dishes such as marinated cold asparagus as a wonderful appetizer, so I'm sort of agreeing with you (but marinating would have taken us over our 20-minute limit). If you re-read my reference to your needing to consider a protein in your salad, it was clearly in light of the fact that you had not provided an adequate vegetable foundation. "Especially" was the word I used.
So, the coach answers you, and I hope that helped, really helped.

In answer to your question as to what I'd personally have done with that basket, my mind teems with possibilities. But since I'm concocting baskets for your next two courses, why don't we finish the meal first? Then I'll provide you with those ideas.

And I like that you asked. This is where we can invite Audience Participation:
When the whole meal is over, lurkers/spectators may be asked to post what they'd have done with the basket ingredients; THAT's not something done on the TV show, and could be a strong educational feature of our (not "my", as it will evolve) show.

Thanks, Chloe.  


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