masterchef mystery box

Submitted by Notions and Notations of a Novice Chef

For the final MasterChef mystery box challenge at home we have: Chorizo, Rosemary, Asparagus, Orechiette, AP Flour, Ground beef, Grits, Canned baby corn, Garlic powder, White rice and Butter.

It’s my personal favorite basket, since the ingredients are all pretty versatile and don’t have the tendency to point to one specific cuisine. My submission is pretty simple and uses three of the above as its main components. Let’s get started:

PARISIENNE GNOCCHI AND ASPARAGUS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Bring water and water to a boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add in all the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Reduce heat to medium low and cook while stirring until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.

Remove pot from heat and add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to prevent the eggs from curdling. Add in the chese and chopper parsley. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch tip.

Let mixture rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Have a rimmed baking sheet ready on the side. Holding the bag over the boiling water, squeeze the mixture out and cut it off with a knife or scissor into 1-inch lengths and let them fall into to water. Continue cutting as many as you can in 1 minute, then stop.

When all the gnocchis have floated to the top, continue cooking for about 3 more minutes. Fish them out with a metal spider and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining dough. Set aside to cool for another 30 minutes.

Trim and blanch the asparagus in salted water. Cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Heat the unsalted butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the gnocchi and cook until brown and toasty. Add in the blanched asparagus and season to taste.

Grate some parmesan cheese or any cheese you like on top before serving.

Enjoy!

Asian Mushroom Meatballs with Rice and Toasted Peanuts

Submitted to MasterChef by Plated

Ingredients

10 ounces Ground Beef

1.5 tablespoons Soy Sauce, divided

.5  tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

8 ounces Button Mushrooms

.75 cup White Rice

.25 cup Peanuts

canola oil

salt and pepper

Prepare Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350[degrees]F. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Discard stems and roughly chop caps.

Roughly chop peanuts.

Cook Rice

In a small pot, bring rice, 1.25 cups water, and a pinch salt to a boil over high heat. Stir once, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and set aside.

Saute Mushrooms

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add mushrooms to pan and cook until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add .5 tablespoon soy sauce and .5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to pan, and cook until absorbed, about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Make Meatballs

Combine sauteed mushrooms with the ground beef, mustard, and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake until browned on outside and no longer pink, about 12 minutes

Toast Nuts

On a baking sheet, arrange peanuts in a single layer. Toast until golden and fragrant, 6-8 minutes.

Plate dish

Divide rice evenly between two plates, and top with meatballs. Sprinkle toasted peanuts on top.

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The Dumpling’s The Thing…
Submitted to MasterChef by thewayweate

Dumplings, may the one food loved the world over. While many cultures stake a claim to the origin of the dumpling (writing can be found over 1500 years old in both Roman-era Italy and Han Dynasty China heralding the joy of dumpling) the culinarians of today could care less. Personally, i’d much rather pursue the next dumpling than debate it’s origins. With a multitude of glutenous deliciousness to choose from, including dumplings from Korea, China, Georgia and a multitude of other nations, diners would be hard pressed to find a cuisine in the world that doesn’t serve a signature dumpling.

If these wonderful treasures wrapped in small parcels are new to you, perhaps one of the finest and most delicious examples available are the wonderful dumplings that are offered in Eastern European and Russian culture. While the recipes provided below by no means attempt to convey authenticity, they are quite celebratory of the spirit, flavor and history of a captivating part of the world, and their enchanting cuisine.


Bleu Cheese Pierogi, Pelmeni in Dressing & Free Form Varenyky

Prepare an all-purpose dumpling dough.

½ Cup Whole Milk
½ Cup Water
1 Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Pinch of Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

In a large non-reactive bowl, whisk the egg, water, milk, Oil and salt together.
Add the Flour, ½ cup at a time, incorporating with a wooden paddle.

Once the dough has formed and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl, remove the dough and place on a floured work surface. Knead the dough for 5 full minutes, adding flour as necessary. Do not add more than ½ cup of flour or the dough will become too tough.

Roll the dough into a large ball and flour liberally, Place in a clean, non-reactive bowl, and cover with a towel. Let the dough rest at room temperature for ½ - 1 Hour.

To make all three dumplings, divide dough into thirds.

Bleu Cheese Piergoi

3 Medium sized potatoes
¼ Cup Crumbled Bleu Cheese
½ Large Yellow Onion
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/8 Teaspoon Table Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2-4 Cups Vegetable Oil
½ Cup Sour Cream

Peel and chop potatoes into 4-6 pieces each. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Set pan over medium high heat to boil. Once boiling reduce to medium low and simmer potatoes for 15 minutes. When tender drain potatoes in a colander and allow them to completely drain out. Meanwhile, Chop ½ onion very fine and add it to a saute pan with the butter set over medium heat, turning  the onions frequently. Caramelize onions slowly for about 15 minutes until deep golden brown, but don’t allow them to burn. Reduce flame to low if necessary. Remove from flame and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Add cooled onion and butter mixture and potatoes to a metal bowl and mash them. Add salt, pepper and mustard and combine well. Add Bleu Cheese and fold in with a spatula. Set mixture aside.

Using 1/3 of the All-Purpose Dough, knead dough slightly over heavily floured surface. Roll dough into a rope and cut off 1 inch sections using a heavy knife. Roll each section into a disc using a straight or french rolling pin. Stack the discs on top of each other, adding flour in between each layer.

Using 1 disc at a time, place 1 heaping teaspoon of the potato mixture on a disc. fold the disc over into a half-moon shape and pinch well. Crimp edges using a fork. Repeat for all the remaining disc, placing the pierogi on a floured plate.

In a deep frying pan, add about 1 inch of Vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat to 350 Degrees. Fry the pierogi in batches and let them drain over absorbent paper. Serve the Pierogi warm with a side dish of sour cream.

Pelmeni in Dressing

1 Large Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
1 Pound Ground Beef
2 Dill Pickles
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
½ Teaspoon Table Salt
½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
½ Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill, Finely Minced

Peel and coarsely chop onion and add to the work bowl of a food processor, Coarsely chop the pickles and add them with the garlic to the work bowl. pulverize the onion with the garlic and pickles until very finely chopped. add the mixture to a bowl. Add Mustard, Soy Sauce, Salt, and pepper to bowl and combine well.

Using 1/3 of the All-Purpose Dough, knead dough slightly over heavily floured surface. Roll dough into a rope and cut off 1 inch sections using a heavy knife. Roll each section into a disc using a straight or french rolling pin. Stack the discs on top of each other, adding flour in between each layer.

Using 1 disc at a time, place 1 heaping teaspoon of the Beef mixture on a disc. fold the disc over into a half-moon shape and pinch well. Fold the two points of the moon over each other and press, making a purse shape. Repeat for all the remaining disc, placing the Pelmeni on a floured plate.

Heat 2 quarts of salted water over a very high flame, and bring to a boil. Reduce water to simmering and add the pelmeni. Pelmeni will need about 6-8 Minutes to cook and is generally “done” when floating. Remove a single pelmeni from the water and check inside that the meat is cooked.

Remove remaining pelmeni with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain well in a colander.
Meanwhile prepare the dressing in a large, non-reactive bowl by adding the sour cream, vinegar and dill. Combine well. Add the drained pelmeni and coat them well, but carefully in the sauce, using a rubber spatula. Serve the Pelmeni in the sauce, about 4-5 for each person, and add more dill as garnish if desired.

Free Form Varenyky

1 Large Yellow Onion (divided in half)
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
½ Pound Ground Beef
1 Dill Pickles
¼ Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
¼ Teaspoon Table Salt
¼ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
½ Cup Medium Grain Rice
6 Medium Sized White Mushrooms
½ Large Yellow Onion
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
6-8 Large Iceberg Lettuce Leaves, Minced Fine
1 ½ Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce


Peel and coarsely chop ½ of the onion and add to the work bowl of a food processor, Coarsely chop the pickle and add it with the garlic to the work bowl. pulverize the onion with the garlic and pickles until very finely chopped. add the mixture to a bowl. Add Mustard, Salt, and pepper to bowl and combine well. Set mixture aside.

Chop the mushroom very finely and set aside. Chop ½ onion very fine and add it to a saute pan with the butter set over medium heat, turning  the onions frequently. Caramelize onions slowly for about 10 minutes until medium golden brown, but don’t allow them to burn. Reduce flame to low if necessary. To this mixture add the mushrooms and allow them to cook down, about another 10 minutes. Add minced lettuce leaves to mixture and allow to wilt. Add balsamic vinegar and soy sauce and stir all the ingredients well.

Add the rice to the mixture and coat the grains well. Turning frequently for about 2 minutes. Add the water to the mixture, ½ cup at a time, allowing the water to absorb between each addition. Turn frequently. After all water has been incorporated. Set aside to cool for five minutes then add the onion mixture to the rice mixture.

Using 1/3 of the All-Purpose Dough, knead dough slightly over heavily floured surface. Roll dough into a rope and cut off 1 inch sections using a heavy knife. Roll each section into a disc using a straight or french rolling pin. Stack the discs on top of each other, adding flour in between each layer.

Using 1 disc at a time, place 1 heaping teaspoon of the Beef/Onion mixture on a disc.
Using your fingers first bring up two points of the disc together over the mixture, then the opposite two points, creating four points of the disc to meet over the mixture inside. Pinch together and twist to create a purse shape with a sealed top. Repeat for all the remaining disc, placing the Varenyky on a floured plate.

Heat 2 quarts of salted water over a very high flame, and bring to a boil. Reduce water to simmering and add the Varenyky. Varenyky will need about 6-8 Minutes to cook and is generally “done” when floating. Remove a single Varenyky from the water and check inside that the meat is cooked.

Remove remaining Varenyky with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain well in a colander.
Serve the Varenyky cooled to warm, about 4-5 for each person, and add more dill as garnish if desired.

Submitted to MasterChef by sayattheexplorer

My desire to highlight all the ingredients was really stumped by the mystery box at first. I had extremely pungent  ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, blue cheese, mustard, and Kosher dill pickles. Bringing these flavors out to the same plate and have them not fight each other is no easy task. Drunk Quebecois food and a refreshing Thai salad to balance the weight of the blue cheese gravy made so much sense! I went all out and got intoxicated to test the recipes!

Larb with an international profile

Instead of the traditional fermented fish and lime elements, I used soy sauce, mustard, pickles, and balsamic vinegar. Rice, beef, nuts and the overall flavor profile remain true to the traditional dish that is both Laotian and Northern Thai. Bright and deep in umami, satisfying and flavorful! 

Poutine with blue cheese

Poutine is a specialty of Quebec, typically served as fries with cheese curds and brown gravy. I used blue cheese curds, soy sauce, and beef broth to make mine. It was not surprisingly phenomenal when sober and divine when intoxicated. 

Go to my blog for the detailed instructions to execute this great plate — bon appetit, have fun and stay tuned for the next challenge!

3

Submitted by statelysandwiches

It’s not very often I read a sandwich description that leaves me wondering how those ingredients found their way onto the same plate. The Vermonter was one of the few state sandwich combinations that made me raise an eyebrow. It starts out pretty standard with sliced ham, turkey, and Vermont cheddar (of course). Green apples add a nice crunch but the twist is that these ingredients are all held together with cinnamon raisin bread. The Vermonter takes sweet and savory very seriously.

When I opened this week’s Plated box, I immediately knew I was going to create a variation of The Vermonter. The flavors create an unexpected bite and one that leaves me asking for a second helping.

THE VERMONT BURGER
4 Italian Sausages
1 pound Ground Turkey
Pinch of Garlic Salt
Pinch of Cumin
1 Egg
1 small Onion
Vermont White Cheddar Cheese
1-2 Green Apples
8 slices Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Butter
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE
1.5 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1.5 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Remove sausage from casing and combine with the next four ingredients. Place in the refrigerator.

Slice onion. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Add onion and cook until caramelized.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. White cheddar is crumbly so rather than full slices, simply cut enough small cracker-sized slices to cover bread. Cut green apple into thin slices. Lightly butter both sides of the cinnamon raisin bread and set aside on a baking sheet.

Combine all ingredients to make honey mustard sauce and set aside.

Remove ground meat from the refrigerator. Form thin burger size patties and cook on the stovetop for 4 minutes a side or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, place bread in the oven. Once lightly toasted, remove from the oven and top one side of the bread with cheese. Return to the oven until cheese melts.

Top the bread with the cooked burger, honey mustard sauce, caramelized onions, and green apple slices. Enjoy!

Grilled Asparagus with a Poached Egg, Served Over a Rosemary & Parmesan Grit Cake

Submitted by jerryjamesstone

It wasn’t until the first MasterChef Mystery Box At Home Challenge that I cooked with grits. I have eaten them before but being a vegetarian and living in California, they’re tough to come by. One of my favorite things about this challenge between MasterChef, Tumblr, and Plated, is that I am forced to do sh*t I would never do. From Basil Lassis to Hummus Jalapeno Poppers, as a food blogger… this challenge has been hella sweet. It has me thinking outside of the box!

When grits made a second appearance, I had to use them! What better way to bring it all home for the last challenge, right? Thank you, MasterChef!

So let’s get to it so you can eat the hell out of this tasty dish!

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary (1 minced)
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

1. Add 3 cups of milk, 1 tsp of salt and 2 sprigs of rosemary to a saucepan and bring it to a boil over a medium-high heat.

2. Remove the rosemary sprigs and slowly add in 1 cup of grits, stirring while adding. Reduce to a medium heat and cook covered until grits are tender; about 20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and mix in 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon minced rosemary.

4. Pour mixture into a 9x9 baking dish and let cool, til grits are firm and can be cut like cake. About 30 minutes. Cut into 3” squares. Wrap cake(s) in tinfoil and place in the warmer. Depends on how many servings you are making.

5. Grill 5 spears of asparagus (more for more than a single serving), by trimming them, tossing them with enough olive oil to coat, and grilling them.

6. Fill a small sauce pan with about 4 inches of water, bring to a simmer. Add in 1 tsp of white vinegar and while stirring the water in a circular motion, slip in the egg. Cook the egg for 3 to 5 minutes.

7. Plate the grit cake, grilled asparagus and top with a poached egg. Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Herbed Rice with Black Bean Relish and Creamy Basil Dressing

Submitted to MasterChef by delishytown

The ingredients in the MasterChef at Home Mystery Box this week were: Salmon filets, bacon, black beans, balsamic vinegar, rice, fresh basil, fresh mint, and Plain Greek yogurt. I knew that the salmon had to be the star of the show, but I definitely wanted to use the bacon. I decided to break out the electric smoker for this dish, & wrap the Salmon in bacon. I finished it under the broiler to crisp up the bacon. It was soooo good! Every bite was heavenly and smoky and fresh. This was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made.

Here’s how I made this delicious Smoked Salmon:

Rinse 1 cup of rice a few times until the water runs clear. Add to a pot with 4 cups water and a pinch of salt. Simmer until al dente, drain and add back to the pot. Add 1 tsp chopped basil, ½ tsp chopped mint, sprinkle of celery salt, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of dried dill. Toss together with a fork, then cover and set aside to steam.

Drain and rinse black beans. Add to a bowl with 1 small chopped Persian cucumber, 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar, ¼ tsp minced garlic, ½ tsp fresh chopped basil and ½ tsp chopped mint, and season with celery salt and pepper.

Turn the smoker to about 180 to 200 degrees. Soak apple and mesquite chips in water. Remove any bones from the salmon. Rinse and pat dry. Drizzle the salmon with some of the balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with a little brown sugar, season with salt and pepper. Smash and chop 1 large garlic clove, (reserve ¼ tsp of this garlic for the dressing) spread the rest of the garlic on the fish. Slice a lemon very thin, you need about 4 thin slices of lemon depending on the size of the filets. Place basil leaves on the fish, top with the lemon slices, wrap with the bacon. Crisp up the remaining bacon for garnish. Place the fish in a shallow foil pan and into the smoker. Smoke the fish about 25 - 35 minutes. When it comes out, it should be most of the way cooked. Turn the broiler to high, sprinkle a little more balsamic vinegar and a pinch of brown sugar on top. Broil a few minutes until the sugar bubbles and the bacon crisps up.

While your Salmon is in the smoker, make the creamy basil dressing. In a small bowl add 10 - 15 basil leaves, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, celery salt and pepper, ¼ tsp smashed & minced garlic, juice of ½ lemon, 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar, and a tiny pinch of brown sugar. Blend with a stick blender.

Serve the Smoked Salmon on a bed of Herbed Rice with the Creamy Basil dressing and a side of Black Bean and Cucumber Relish with Crispy Bacon Crumbles. Yum!

Hipsterfood highlighted the fragrant fennel in this veganized homage to fettucine alfredo.

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Fennel & black pepper cream sauce

  1. Chop the fennel bulb into a small dice.
  2. Put a tablespoon of coconut oil into a large sauté pan on high heat. Toss in the fennel and let it sear for a minute, then turn the heat to medium-low. Squeeze in about a tablespoon of the grapefruit and let the fennel brown & cook down for about five minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn’t burn.
  3. Remove about 1/3 of the cooked fennel and set aside. Pour the coconut milk into the pan with the fennel, stirring to remove any coconut clumps, then also add in 3 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 heaping tablespoon cornmeal, a pinch of fine salt, and about 2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Stir everything together, turn the heat to as low as possible, and let it heat until everything else is ready, stirring occasionally. If it isn’t thickening up, add in cornmeal 1 teaspoon at a time until it thickens into a cream sauce.

Lentil “meat”balls

  1. Cook the lentils until tender, about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
  2. Strain and pour into a mixing bowl with the reserved cooked fennel, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, two heaping pinches minced fresh fennel leaves, 5 tablespoons cornmeal, and salt and pepper.
  3. Using a potato masher, mash everything together until the lentils are broken down and everything is combined. Form them into golf ball-sized pieces. Keep adding in corn meal, one teaspoon at a time, if they’re not sticking together.
  4. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil, letting it get very hot. Add in a few meatballs at a time, turning them as they brown on each side. Let them cook until all crispy on the outside.

Cook the linguine until tender, then serve with the sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

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3

Pumpkin Curry
submitted by cookingwithleftovers


This is a meal for a cold winter night. It just happens to be the dead of summer, but the pumpkin in this Master Chef Mystery Box beckoned for this dish to be made. The power is in the spice mixture. It is spicy but creamy and rich..

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken, cubed
½ cup pearl onions, peeled and sliced
½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 can chicken broth (2 cups)
½ can pumpkin puree (1 cup)
1 cup fresh garbanzo beans, shelled
10 grape tomatoes, quartered
5 baby corns, halved
Spice mixture- 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/3 teaspoon chili powder
The chicken was on the bone so I cut it off and then into large cubes. Coat it in the spice mixture. Sweat the onions and jalapeno in some oil for a few minutes, then add the chicken and sear on medium high heat for 5 minutes.

Add in the pumpkin, stock, tomatoes, beans, corn, turn down the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes until thickened up a bit. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

Either eat in a bread bowl (me) or over a bit of rice (Meg). Either way, garnish it with avocado and it will blow you away..

Box 2 items: chicken, pearl onions, grape tomatoes, jalapenos, garbanzo beans, black olives, pumpkin, baby corn, and chicken stock.

We just ate the olives for dessert.

Braised Chicken with Garbanzo Puree and Herb Tomato Jalapeño Salsa:

submitted by talkinsnack

Braised Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breast, skinless with bones
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • bunch of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of pearl onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 can of chicken stock

Garbanzo Puree:

  • 1 cup of fresh green garbanzo beans, de-shelled
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Herb Tomato Jalapeño Salsa:

  • 1 cup of diced grape tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeños
  • lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Ingredients In My Mystery Box:

  • 2 chicken breast, skinless with bones
  • pearl onions
  • jalapenos
  • fresh shelled green garbanzo beans
  • grape tomatoes
  • can of black olives
  • can of chicken stock
  • can of baby corn

In a large bowl, marinate the chicken breasts with slices of ½ a lemon, sliced garlic cloves, thyme, jalapeño (sliced with seeds), good drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well using your  hands, cover the bowl and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, take the de-shelled green garbanzo beans, garlic, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of water and puree in a food processor. Add more water a tablespoon at a time to get a creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mix, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside in a bowl.

For the salsa, take the diced tomatoes, and diced jalapeño with seeds removed and add to a mixing bowl. Add the basil and mint. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside in the fridge. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven proof deep pan, drizzle some olive oil and heat at medium high. Remove chicken breast from marinade, discard the marinade, and grill the chicken meat side down in the pan for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Add the pearl onions to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden (add more oil if needed at this point). Add the white wine to the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Bring the chicken back to the pan and sauté with the onions and wine until wine is almost evaporated. Then add the chicken broth, season with some salt and pepper, and bring the broth to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender. 

To plate, spread a spoonful of the garbanzo puree on a plate. Cut the meat of the breast away from the bone, and slice the chicken, add to the plate. Then add a spoonful of the fresh salsa. Drizzle olive oil over everything and enjoy!

Try your own MasterChef Mystery Box at Home with platedmeals for FREE! Plated is now offering 50 free boxes to MasterChef fans. Click here to get yours!

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jerryjamesstone’s Breakfast “Panna Cotta”

Inspired by the Italian dessert panna cotta, this breakfast recipe is pure indulgence.

The bottom layer is a “salted” caramel made using soy sauce and brown sugar;  it’s as tasty as it is weird. The middle is stuffed with creamy coconut and vanilla bean grits. And it’s all topped off with a thin layer of grapefruit-fennel marmalade. This dish can easily be made ahead for a breakfast on-the-go or just as a healthier dessert.

Soy Sauce Caramel
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cream

1. In a small saucepan gently combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Warm over a medium-low heat until combined, then bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and soy sauce.  

Coconut & Vanilla Bean Grits
1 13.5oz can coconut milk
1/3 cup grits
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt

1. Add the coconut milk to a small saucepan and warm over a medium-low heat.
2. Add in the sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds.
3. When mixture begins to simmer, add in the grits and cook on a low simmer for about 10 minutes, until the grits are tender.
4. Remove from heat and let stand.

Grapefruit-Fennel Marmalade
½ grapefruit, juiced
1 cup sugar
2 ounces shaved fennel

1. Add the fennel to a small saucepan and sauté over a medium-low heat until just tender and aromatic.
2. Add in the grapefruit juice (I added the pulp too) and the sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until fennel is translucent.

Breakfast “Panna Cotta”
1. Using 8oz widemouth mason jars, cover the bottom layer with Soy Caramel, then the grits, and top off with a thin layer of grapefruit marmalade.
2. Cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready for the most amazing breakfast ever!

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps with Lettuce Kimchi and Ride

by MasterChef Junior Season 1 Winner Alexander

Ingredients:

½ lb ground beef

salt and pepper

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp freshly minced ginger (if possible)

1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

2 tbsp soy sauce

a few pinches of red chili flakes

1 tsp sesame oil (if possible)

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

cooked white rice- 1 cup rice, 2 ½ cups cold water and salt. (such as short grain, or sushi rice)

lettuce for wrapping

salmon roe for garnish

Directions:

Heat a large pan with a drop of olive oil. Place in the onions and brown, then and the garlic (and ginger) and cook until it is slightly browned. Add in the beef and season with salt and pepper and chili flakes. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon, lime juice, and cilantro. Once beef is browned and cooked through, and in the soy mixture. Cook for another minute, then finish with chives. Set aside, serve with rice and quick kimchi. Assemble and garnish.

For the kimchi:

3 cups cored lettuce

salt

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp grated ginger

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sugar

water

chili flakes

Directions:

In a large bowl, massage the sliced lettuce with ¼ cup of salt until it starts to soften it. Then add water to cover, then weigh it down with a plate and put plastic wrap over top. Let it rest for about 50 minutes (or longer if you can). Rinse the lettuce about 2 or 3 times, then pat dry. In the meantime, mix together the sugar, garlic and chili flakes until it forms a paste. Then add spices of your liking. Mix the paste with the lettuce and let stand until time to plate.

Adobo Rubbed Ahi Tuna with Caviar Chimichurri over a Creamy Garlic Creme Fraiche Risotto
by MasterChef Season 2 Winner Jennifer Behm

 

Adobo Rub 1 Tsp each - Cumin, zataar, sumac, red pepper flake, salt and pepper – Fine grind Caviar Chimichurri 1 cup parsley – fine chop ¼ cup cornichons – fine chop 1/3 cup kalamata olives – fine chop 4 lemons – zest (reserve for later) & juice ¼ cup EVOO Salt & pepper to taste Creamy Garlic Creme Fraiche Risotto 5 cloves of garlic - smashed 1 onion – rough chop 1 small shallot - fine diced 1 ¼ cup chicken stock 2 bay leaves ¼ dry white wine 1 ¼ cup aborio rice ½ cup crème fraiche 4 chives – fine diced Vegetable oil – for cooking Tuna & Adobo Rub 1. Trim tuna to 2 long even rectangles 2. Combine ground cumin, zataar, sumac, red pepper flake, salt and pepper 3. Rub over tuna covering all sides, let rest for 10 minutes (while preparing chimichurri) 4. Preheat pan with vegetable oil that just covers bottom 5. Sear tuna 60-90 seconds each side 6. Allow to rest Caviar Chimichurri 1. Combine - parsley, cornichons, kalamata olives, olive oil, caviar and lemon juice
2. Add salt and pepper to taste Creamy  Garlic Creme Fraiche  Risotto 1. Bring chicken stock, garlic, onion, bay leaves to a boil, allow to steep for 10 minutes 2. Over medium heat lightly toast rice, be sure to not brown to much, add shallots 3. Add enough stock to cover rice, do not move rice allow liquid to absorb into rice, do not let dry completely, add half the wine and enough stock to cover rice again, continue this process until the rice is soft 4. Add the crème fraiche, chives, and salt and pepper Place creamy risotto on plate, slice tuna ¼ thick, place over rice top with chimichurri and lemon zest.
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Sumbmitted to MasterChef by dinnerwasdelicious

Mystery Box Ingredients

Ground beef
Iceberg Lettuce
Sour Cream
Mushrooms
Rice
Blue Cheese
Pickles
Mustard
Soy sauce
Peanuts
Balsamic
Russet Potatoes


Seeing the array of ingredients from Plated, we knew that a trio of Pierogi was the perfect dish for this Mystery Box–  not to mention a great excuse to eat our weight in sour cream (not that we’d ever need one). We’re proud to say that we used every single item, except for the rice and peanuts.
Pierogi are a classic Polish dumpling, stuffed with meats, cheeses, and carbs. They’re a perfect, pan seared main dish. Hearty without being heavy, Pierogi adapt easily to fill up your favorite vegetarians.


While your Baba might raise an eyebrow at iceberg lettuce, balsamic, and blue cheese in pierogi– she’ll be stealing this dough recipe at first bite. The acid in the sour cream keeps the wheat’s protein nice and soft, giving you an easy-to-roll dough that doesn’t get tough, no matter how many times you have to re-roll the scraps.


Pierogi
3 cups All Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
½ tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
1 batch Pierogi Filling (below)
You’ll also want: tons of Sour Cream, Chopped Parsley, and Sliced Pickles for Serving
Makes: 25-30 Pierogi

Sift together the Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder. In a large bowl, whisk the Egg and Sour Cream until they become a well-combined, satiny yellow. Add the Flour mixture into the Sour Cream and Eggs all at once. Mix until a shaggy, lumpy dough just hardly forms, and set aside for five minutes to rest. At this point, the dough will look pretty hopeless but giving it a chance to rest lets the moisture balance out.


This down time is a great chance to fill your largest, pot with cold water, season lightly with salt, and start to bring it to a boil.
When your 5 minutes are up, press the dough into two equal balls. Roll them out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch sheets.


Using a cookie cutter or just a well-floured drinking glass that’s about 2 ½ inches in diameter, cut the dough into circles, re-rolling the scraps until it’s all used up. Using your rolling pin, slightly press the center of each circle to elongate them slightly from the center.


When it comes to actually filling the pierogi, less is decidedly more. Place a scant tsp of your filling of choice in the center of each piece of dough. Lightly wet the edge of the dough, cleaning away any filling that’s out of line, and fold the dough onto itself, over the filling. Pinch the pierogi closed using your fingers or a fork. Be sure to seal them very, very well, so you don’t crud up your water.

Once all of the pierogi are sealed, drop them in batches into the rapidly boiling water for exactly 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Pull the pierogi out of the water with a slotted spoon and drain well.
They freeze or store great after a quick toss in some neutral-tasting oil (to prevent sticking).


When you’re ready to serve, fry them until golden brown and crispy.


Caramelized Mushroom Filling
2 Yellow Onion (about the size of a tennis ball)
2 tbsp Olive Oil or Butter
2 lb Mushrooms
3 sprigs Thyme
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Roughly chop the Onions and sweat them in butter over medium-low heat until translucent. Roughly chop the Mushrooms and add to the Onions, along with the sprigs of Thyme. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the mixture takes on a nice, nutty aroma and a deeply caramelized brown. Deglaze the pan with the Balsamic, remove the thyme and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Process them until they form a chunky paste. Season well with Salt and Pepper, and set aside until cool enough to handle.


Beef and Pseudokraut Filling
1 head Iceberg Lettuce
¼ tsp Caraway Seeds
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
½ cup White Vinegar
¼ cup Pickle Juice
½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ Pickle, finely diced
1 lb Ground Beef
2 tbsp Mustard– we used yellow, because it’s what was in our Mystery Box but, if we had our druthers, we’d go for an intensely horesradishy grainy one.
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Bay Leaf
Black Pepper, to taste
1 Egg Yolk


Remove the green pieces of the Iceberg Lettuce and reserve for other preparations. Finely chop the core, any thick or white stems, and add to a bowl. You should yield between 1-2 cups.


To the lettuce, add the Caraway and Fennel seeds, Vinegar, Pickle Juice, Salt, and ½ of a finely diced Pickle. Let this weird concoction sit for at least half an hour, or up to overnight in the fridge. Drain very well– we stuck ours in a Chemex filter and gave it a good squeeze, but you could wring yours out in a clean dish towel– and set aside.

Brown the Beef well in a skillet, breaking it into very small pieces. Add the Mustard, Soy Sauce, Bay Leaf, and the pickled Lettuce. Sautee until any excess moisture evaporates, and the Lettuce is a little soft. Season with Black Pepper. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare your dough.
Because Ground Beef is well, um, ground, it can be a little hard to maneuver. Right before your Pierogi, fold in an Egg Yolk. It won’t add much noticeable flavor or texture, but it will help the Beef stay together.


Potato, Chive, and Blue Cheese Filling
1 lb Russet Potatoes
½ cup Sour Cream
4 tbsp Blue Cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp Chives, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste


We don’t cook much with microwaves, but they are a Potato Perogi’s best friend. Nuke your Potatoes until tender– 5-8 minutes, depending on their size. Scoop the Potato from its skin, mix with the Sour Cream, and gently fold in the remaining ingredients. The filling should be very, very dry– and, depending on how funky your cheese is, it might be a little bit blue. Season well with Salt and Black Pepper, and pretend like you labored over a hot stove all day.

Sweet Basil Lassi

Submitted to MasterChef by jerryjamesstone

Sometimes the best recipes are just the simplest. Frothy, crisp, and refreshing, this lassi brings a Thai-twist to the traditional yogurt based drink. And don’t worry, no Thai basil is required.

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk (conventional or rice)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 5 fresh mint leaves

1. Add half of the yogurt, half of the milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, the basil leaves and the mint leaves to a blender. Blend well and pour into an ice filled glass.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender, and blend well.

3. Pour the blended lassi into the glass, creating the floated look. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

delishytown’s Citrusy Coconut Thai Linguine with Grilled Coconut Shrimp, Fennel & Grapefruit Salad, with Peanuts, Coconut Flakes and Thai Basil Oil

I was contacted a couple weeks ago by Tumblr asking me if I wanted to be part of a MasterChef Mystery Box At Home Challenge. Hell yeah I do! I love MasterChef!  They got back to me right away, I’m in! They said they’re going to send me boxes of food to cook with. Ha ha, that’s awesome. On Friday afternoon the UPS guy pulled up with the first box from “Plated”, a company that sends fresh ingredients along with easy to follow recipes to people who want to cook dinner, but are to busy or tired to go the the store and figure out what to make. Inside was a silvery mini cooler full of ingredients, ice packets, and a letter which said my challenge was to create an “elevated dish using some or all of the ingredients” 

Here’s what I had to work with: Green lentils, shrimp, linguini, soy sauce, grits, corn meal, a fennel bulb with fronds, a grapefruit, gorgonzola cheese, cheddar cheese, and unsweetened coconut milk. I wanted to use as many of the ingredients as possible. 

 I decided to make a Citrusy Coconut Thai Linguine with Grilled Coconut Shrimp, Fennel Grapefruit Salad garnished with Peanuts, Sweetened Coconut Flakes & Thai Basil Oil. It came out so delicious! I was a little thrown by the grapefruit because it has such a strong taste, but it was really good. My husband and I agreed that it was a refreshing bite against the creaminess of the coconut sauce.

Here’s how I made this dish:

For the shrimp marinade: Mix half the can of coconut milk, 1 tblsp miso paste, 2 tsp soy sauce, chopped fresh garlic, fresh grated ginger, a little brown sugar, black pepper, 1 tsp rice vinegar, & red chili paste. Place the shrimp in the marinade and set in the fridge.

Mango Coconut sauce: In a blender, blend until creamy the other half of the coconut milk, a few grapefruit segments, ¾ of a fresh mango, peeled and cubed (set aside the other ¼ mango for the salad), ¼ tsp smashed garlic, ½ tsp fresh grated ginger, ¼ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, a dash of red pepper flakes. Blend and set in the fridge to cool. 

Clean the blender and blend Thai basil with grape seed oil. Pour into a squeeze bottle and set in the fridge.

Cook pasta al dente. Drain. Season with a sprinkle of soy sauce and a few dashes of sesame oil. Toss and set in the fridge to cool.

For the salad: Thinly slice a fennel bulb, peel and segment grapefruit, slice yellow bell peppers, and the ¼ fresh mango. Toss with a little grapefruit juice, lime juice and sesame oil. Set in the fridge to cool.

Heat a grill pan to high. Brush the grates with a little grape seed oil. Grill the shrimp for 1 minute on each side, and remove to a plate, do not overcook. They continue to cook as they rest. 

Toss the pasta with a little of the cooled mango coconut sauce, smear a little of the sauce on the plate, swirl the noodles into a nest. Add some of the salad on top of the noodles, top with grilled shrimp, garnish with sweet coconut flakes, crushed peanuts, fennel fronds, and Thai basil oil.

Yum! Thanks MasterChef and Tumblr! This was a really fun and delicious challenge. Tonight I’m going to make lentil scrapple with the lentils and grits for Meatless Monday.