Chopped Challenge Round 1: Brit

date April 13, 2020 location The Kitchen

Several years ago, Brittany and I played a game with two other couples where one couple would host dinner while the remaining guest couples would scheme together at the grocery store and show up to the meal with "mystery ingredients" - the more exotic, the better. The hosting couple would be forced to prepare a meal with the mystery ingredients and whatever else they had in their kitchen, a game based on the Food Network show "Chopped".

With the pandemic having us look to alternative forms of entertainment, and a recent shopping spree of shelf-stable pantry items having us look to make room in the cabinet and freezer, my wife and I decided to play a 1 on 1 version of the game using some ingredients that were nearing their expiration date. The rules are as follows:

- All 4 ingredients must be used
- Each chef is given 24 hours notice of the ingredients, and may leverage the internet for inspiration

The dish will then be judged on the following criteria:
- Taste
- Use of the mystery ingredients (does the recipe showcase the ingredients or hide them)
- Plating/Presentation

Oh, and just like the show, there is only 1 ice cream maker. First come, first served.

Brit's Mystery Ingredients:

- Pancake Mix
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Salmon
- Champagne Mango

Brit's Plan: Salmon Croquettes with Black Eyed Pea Purée and a Mango Sweet Chili Drizzle

For the Croquettes:

1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup Pancake Mix
1/4 cup Corn Meal
1/2 cup Bell Peppers, diced
1/4 cup Mayonnaisse
1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
2 Garlic Cloves, minced

For the Mango Sweet Chili Sauce:

1 Champagne Mango
2 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

For the Black-Eyed Peas
1 package Frozen Black-Eyed Peas
1/4 cup Butter
Salt, to taste

Preparation Steps:
For the Croquettes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until cooked.

In a large mixing bowl, pull the salmon apart with two forks. Add the onion, pancake mix, corn meal, bell peppers, mayo, cajun seasoning and garlic cloves.

Combine into batter, then form into patties about 4 inches in diameter.

Fry patties on a greased, medium temp pre-heated skillet for about 3 minutes per side.

For the Mango Chili Sauce:
Combine the mango and sweet chili sauce in a blender and blend until smooth, store the sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle.

For the Black-Eyed Peas:
Add 3 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add black-eyed peas, return to a boil then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 40 minutes covered. Remove from heat.

In a blender, combine melted butter, cooked peas, and salt. Blend until smooth.

To serve, spoon the black-eyed peas on a plate, top with Croquettes. Carefully squeeze out a zig-zag pattern of the mango chili sauce on the cakes.