Chopped! Dinner Party: Fall Edition

Loosely based off the show, this dinner party consisted of 5 rounds. An appetizer, first course, main course, fourth course, and dessert. The catch? We all had to incorporate the same 5 ingredients into our meals. Each “team” picked an ingredient and the courses were drawn at random. The four ingredients we had to work with were: maple syrup (Linzi & Chris), apple (Nikki & Joe), rice vinegar (Kim & Kyle), curry (Michael & Kyle), and pecans (Tori & Jeremy).

The Contestants (sans myself)

Nikki and Joe were suppose to start off the meal with the appetizer, but unfortunately Nikki wasn’t feeling well and they couldn’t make it. Michael and Kyle were suppose to follow with the first course, traditionally a soup or salad, but they too were unable to attend. Instead, Tori and Jeremy, who had been randomly assigned Fourth Course started off the night with their dish – a delicious salad!

A blue cheese, apple, pecan salad with a maple vinaigrette.

The salad was fantastic! The maple & rice vinegar vinaigrette was really sweet and worked well with the blue cheese. (Although the curry was non-existent, Michael had backed out of the competition early enough that this missing ingredient was excused.) Next, Kyle and Kim prepared the main course.

Curried pork roast stuffed with apples and maple candied pecans topped with a rice vinegar garlic aioli.

Served with apple and maple candied pecan rice pilaf.

Scrumptious! The sweet apple and maple candied pecan stuffed pork worked really well with the savory aioli. To end our delicious meal, Chris and I created a dessert worthy of the title ‘Sweet Genius’.

Maple curry ice cream topped with a maple apple compote served with butter pecan vinegar sugar cookies.

I’m really happy with how our dessert turned out. It was a total team effort. Chris taught me how to make the ice cream, he candied the pecans, I made the cookies, and he handled the compote. When we had first made the maple curry ice cream the curry was overpowering, but it had mellowed out after three days in the fridge. Paired with the compote and cookies it tasted amazing. As promised, Chris and I will post the recipe soon. :)

As I said in my first Chopped! Dinner party blog post, there are no losers in this version of Chopped… only fat & happy winners. Overall it was a really great way to test out our knowledge of flavor profiles and force us to create something we’ve never had before. We’re all deliciously full of new-found food knowledge!

Bon appetit!

P.S. If you would like to see all of our food making process photos, please check out Chris’s flickr sets: Maple Curry Ice Cream and Chopped Dinner 2012. Yum!