I have issues. BIG issues. Like announcing a GangUp Challenge at the start of summer when everyone and their brother, mother, father, uncle and cousin-twice-removed goes on vacation and doesn’t have time or isn’t here to participate.
Mental Note To Self; Do Not Hold GangUp Challenges in the Summer.
Many thanks to my sweet son-in-law who was eagerly awaiting this next challenge and had oodles of time to devote to it. Lucky him! He has way too much fun with these challenges and obviously needs to get out more.
I split mine over a 2 week period, lord knows I had plenty of time to mess around with the ingredients due to my blog being lost in cyberspace.
Let’s get this short show on the road then shall we? Here is the list of ingredients we had to work with, which are a nice random showing of the first of summer’s fresh produce.
Scott, my son-in-law, as mentioned before, is the Head Chef in their household. My lovely daughter never inherited the cooking gene from her mother other than she used to make a mean bowl of KD in her younger years. Scott has an extremely artistic background too. He is an accomplished artist and is also an exceptional guitar player(having been part of band for a number of years prior), so these artistic talents of his have transferred over in his cooking creations. He isn’t afraid of any ingredient (except sweet potatoes, he refuses to have anything to do with them) and he has come up with a great meal out of this challenging list of ingredients.
Here is his creation…
That is a plateful of food!!! and I swear those roasted radishes almost look like mini red potatoes. An excellent job integrating all the ingredients Scott, I am impressed (again!)
Look here, he even gets all pro on me with his drizzling and plating techniques…
He used all 10 ingredients and added two…eggs and crackers. Here is his recipe:
½ cup chopped rhubarb
1 green onion finely minced
3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp vinegar (depending on taste)
1/8 tsp salt
A dash or two of black pepper
1/3 cup oil
Combine rhubarb, onion, sugar, vinegar and salt in a small pan. Simmer approx. 10 minutes until rhubarb is soft. Whisk in pepper and oil. Pour into a jar or container and allow to cool.
Simple cream sauce
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heated milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture is well blended. Gradually stir in hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to boil and thickens. Simmer, stirring frequently, over very low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in cream.
Roasted Radish and pea salad with rhubarb vinaigrette
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut off all but the top 1/2 inch of the radish tops and slice the radishes in half. Toss the radishes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the radishes until they are tender about 20 to 30 minutes.
Sauté peas in butter for a couple of minutes, until warm but still firm. Add radishes and toss with lettuce. Drizzle rhubarb dressing over the top and enjoy.
Crispy chicken wrapped asparagus
Pound the chicken breast until thin. Coat in flour, egg and crumbled crackers.
Wrap around asparagus and cook at 350* for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through. Place over a bed of rice and drizzle the cream sauce over the top.
That really was a delicious looking plate of food and hope it tasted as good….but…AHEM…. someone needs a refresher on the rules of this here game! I count no less than 5 (FIVE!) extra ingredients in that there compilation above: Butter, Vinegar, Sugar, Milk and Green Onions.
BAD. Very Bad.
But forgivable only because you are a family member.
Plus, it was a tough list to work with.
The only other entry into this latest challenge was myself, how sad is this go-round? So here are my creations, I came up with 2 different picnic salad options…
Chicken, Spring Vegetable and Rice Salad served over a bed of Spring Greens
Baby Romaine with Peas and Radishes drizzled with Rhubarb Dijon Dressing
I loved the cold chicken and rice salad. We have been under an extreme heat spell for the last couple weeks and it was nice to have a cold meal instead of a piping hot one on a 95 degree day. The salad dressing was…um..unique. The jury is still out on whether I will make it again given the odd ingredients, it was on the tart side, some sugar would have definitely helped and maybe now that the challenge is over I will add some to use up the rest of it.
Here are the recipes for the above, if you feel like being adventurous…
Rhubarb Dijon Dressing
1 1/2 cups diced Rhubarb
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, place the water and rhubarb and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp. In a blender or food processer, add rhubarb and remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Chicken, Spring Vegetable and Rice Salad
½ cup fresh Pod Peas, shelled and rinsed
½ cup Brown & Wild Rice mix, cooked to package directions (you should have about 2 ½ cups cooked rice)
6 Asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1 ½” pieces
2 large Radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts grilled, cooled and cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook rice to package instructions, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl; chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Place shelled peas and asparagus pieces into a medium saucepan, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp (do not overcook veggies). Drain and immediately plunge veggies into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Leave in ice bath until cold (about 20 minutes); drain and place veggies in a large bowl, set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk mustard and mayo with salt and pepper, adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Combine cooled chicken with rice, peas, asparagus and radish slices, add dressing and toss to coat. Serve over a bed of fresh spring greens.
Makes 2 servings.
Ok, so I also made an illegal change. I left out the flour only because I added Dijon and Mayo and had no idea what to do with the flour. So which is the better of two evils? leaving one ingredient out or adding 5 more? 😀
Looks like I really can’t chastise my son-in-law now can I?
Thanks Scott for joining in, I would be terribly lonely otherwise. Next time we do this, I may be modifying the rules some…I have some time over the next couple months to ponder what I want to do.
I hope you have enjoyed the latest round of our cooking challenge and hope to see more participants in the next one!