mystery box at home

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!

Pumpkin Fettuccine, Roasted Chicken and Spicy Corn Purée

submitted by thewayweate

By the late 1980’s, Americans had already become completely enthralled with the glamour and simplicity of Italian Cuisine. Fresh pasta was something of a national obsession as a new generation of gourmands were introduced to the old-world array of pasta-bilities that Italy had to offer. Also popular in the late 1980’s was a leaning toward low-fat, recipes that relied far more on olive oil than the copious amount of butter called for in the 1960’s and 70’s. Grilled chicken breast became not only a restaurant staple, but an oft featured item on home menus from decadent dinner parties to weeknight whip-ups at home.

With a nod to both of these well held trends of the 1980’s, The Way We Ate offers a dish that would have easily been found in an American dining room or restaurant in the era of big hair, big shoulder pads and even bigger egos.

Pumpkin Fettuccine, Roasted Chicken and Spicy Corn Purée

Prepare the Spicy Corn Purée:

2 - Fresh, whole Jalapeño Peppers

1 - Can of Baby Corn

½ Cup - Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper

Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat, and dry roast the peppers on the skillet.

Press the peppers occasionally into the skillet using a large heavy spoon, turning the peppers frequently to blacken and char them on all sides. Once fully blackened (about 10 minutes) remove peppers and allow to cool. Slice peppers in half, removing all stems, seeds and ribs. Using a small knife, remove the dried blackened skin to reveal the charred flesh. set aside.

In a food processor, combine drained corn, jalapeños and spices. Process on high for about 1 minute with a tablespoon of water, until smooth. Restart Machine and add heavy cream in a stream to processor, and process until combined (about 30 seconds). Set aside at room temperature. 

Prepare the Pumpkin Fettuccine:

1 Cup - All-Purpose White Flour

1 Cup - Semolina Flour

1 Teaspoon - Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons - Olive Oil

2 - Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup - Canned Pumpkin Puree 

2 Cups - Grape Tomatoes

10 to 12 - White Pearl Onions

1 Tablespoon - fresh rosemary

¾ Cup - Tinned Chicken Broth

1 Cup - Sliced Black Olives

1 Cup - Fresh Chick Peas (Casing Removed)

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine the flours, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir with a whisk. Add egg yolks and pumpkin, combining the mixture with hands until fully incorporated. If necessary, add more flour or pumpkin to obtain a consistency that’s solid and moist, but does not stick to hands. roll dough into a tube and cut in four pieces. Press each piece into a disc, and wrap well in wax paper. Place discs in refrigerator to rest. 

Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half and add to a bowl. Peel pearl onions, slice in half, and add them to bowl with rosemary, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine to coat with the olive oil and pour them into a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven on center rack for 20-30 minutes until well roasted, but not blackened. Set aside to cool.

Add cooled ingredients to food processor, and purée well. place mixture in small sauce pan and add tinned broth stirring to combine. over very low heat, reduce mixture by 1/3. (about 30 minutes)

in another small saucepan, Steam chick peas in a vegetable steamer over medium heat, with water in a small saucepan for 15-20 minutes. Place in a small bowl and allow to cool.

Remove 2 discs of pasta from refrigerator (reserving other two for another meal).

On a well floured surface, roll pasta out to about 1/16” thickness in a large rectangle, using a straight or “french” rolling pin.Dust pasta sheet liberally with flour and starting with the shorter end of the rectangle, roll pasta into a tube (as you would a Jelly Roll), and slice tube using a large kitchen knife at 1/2” intervals.  Unroll each noodle and hang on plastic hangers. Repeat with second disc and allow both hangers of pasta to dry slightly.

Prepare The Chicken Breast:

2 - Bone-in Chicken Breasts

1 - tablespoon olive oil

pinch of salt 

pinch of pepper

Rinse chicken breasts under cold water and pat dry. Coat breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prepare a charcoal grill and roast the breasts over medium hot smoldering coals. Turn chicken frequently and roast on all sides for 10 minutes, or until the breasts read 165 Degrees on a thermometer. Remove from grill and tent with tin foil.

Combine and serve the dish:

Prepare a pot with about 1 quart of salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil pasta for 30-60 seconds until done and strain, reserving a few tablespoons of the water, if needed.

In a large bowl combine the pasta, the reduced tomato mixture, the chick peas, and the sliced olives. Toss and add a few teaspoons of the pasta water if needed to loosen the mixture and coat the pasta well. Plate the pasta with one chicken breast per person, and add about ¼ cup of the spicy corn puree over or alongside the chicken. 

.:BTS & You:. Out

BTS Suga, Jimin, and Jin as your brothers while respectively dating Jungkook, J-Hope, and V | Where you haven’t come home yet (for why?), a mysterious box is left in your house, and you’re at a crowded mall with your boyfriend and overprotective brother

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!


Submitted by hipsterfood

When I got this week’s mystery box, I found myself a little stumped. The only non-animal-based ingredients were yellow squash, corn on the cob, onion, green beans, and a variety of apples. But the longer I thought about it, I realized that all of these ingredients are a part of all of my favorite fall meals. And what’s my favorite fall food of them all? (Besides pumpkin chai?) Hand pies!

This hand pie is savory and sweet, like Thanksgiving stuffing & cranberry sauce. The black beans add a much needed bite and give it another great fall flavor as well. Try these out for a burgeoning-September-weeknight meal and enjoy!

This filling recipe makes enough for about a dozen hand-sized hand pies.

1 medium white/yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 corn cob, kernels shaved off
1 handful green beans, 1 inch pieces cut on a bias, ends trimmed
1 granny smith apple, diced small
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt, pepper, ½ tsp each cinnamon, cumin, paprika
2 tbsp coconut oil

Dough recipe can be found here.

1. Put the onion, corn, oil, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika in a hot sauté pan and cook down until the onions are translucent, stirring to prevent burning.
2. Add the squash, apple, green beans, and black beans, and mix together. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes and pour in about ¼ cup water.
3. Let it cook down for 5 minutes, then mash it up a little with a potato masher or fork. Toss on some salt & pepper to taste.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F. If you don’t already have the dough prepared, do so now. Spread out the dough into a rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Top half the dough with the filling, then fold the dough over and crimp the edges with your fingers. (Be gentle or the dough may break.) Slice a couple of holes in the top to let some of the air out during cooking.
5. Place the hand pies on a greased baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Eat them while they’re still warm!

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!

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.


cookingwithleftovers’s Shrimp & Grits Cottage Pie​

First MasterChef blogging challenge.

What is this mystery basket shipment all about? 11 ingredients??

Well, a glass of wine later and this is what we’ve come up with… A hearty, comforting, and cozy meal using 8 of these ingredients.

I only wish I would have caramelized up the fennel in the shrimp mixture. Just pretend I did that…


●     1 cup cooked lentils (½ cup dry)

●     1 cup cooked and chopped shrimp

●     2 cups cooked polenta (½ cup dry corn meal)

●     2 cups cooked grits (½ cup dry)

●     ½ can (1 cup) coconut milk, divided

●     1 tablespoon soy sauce, divided

●     1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

●     A sprinkling of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles (¼ cup?)

Stack up the layers in a small greased dish. One at a time.

Bottom layer- Shrimp and Lentils: Cook the lentils by heating 1 cup water and ½ cup dry lentils to a boil and then turning them to low for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Cook up and rough chop the shrimp and then add to the lentils. Add a ½ tablespoon of soy sauce and saute up for a few minutes to combine. Season.

Second layer- Polenta: Heat up ½ cup coconut milk and 1.5 cups water until almost boiling, then add ½ cup corn meal and turn to low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in ½ tablespoon soy sauce. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Third layer- Cheese Grits: Heat up ½ cup coconut milk and 1.5 cups water until almost boiling, then add ½ cup grits and turn to low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season. Add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese and mix. Let cool for 10 minutes. Makes about 2 cups

Top layer- Cheese: ½ cup shredded cheese and Gorgonzola sprinkles..

Cover and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, uncovering it for the last 5 minutes until it is a gooey, cheesy mess.. Serves 4.

I think this is the most work I have ever done for one dish.

But of course Cottage Pie is fitting since it was a dish fit for leftovers.

MasterChef fan Larry McAllister submitted this to masterchefonfox

1 dozen fresh oysters, cleaned and shucked

1 cup fresh made garlic basil parmesan pesto

¼ cup flaked parmesan

Fresh lemon 1-2

¼ cup brandy

Clean and shuck oysters.

Light grill

Make pesto

Place oysters on grill until they start to sizzle, give a generous squeeze of lemon, place ½ tablespoon of pesto on top of oyster, sprinkle with parmesan and grill until pesto starts to flatten out, remove from grill, add a dash of brandy and enjoy!