Here are the (belated) results of the Top Chef Challenge. Below are pics and thoughts from the participants!
First of all, I didn't follow the rules.
I didn't feel like buying a bottle of port wine or gorgonzola cheese. We were going to make a pie with feta later in the week so I used the stinky goat cheese. I used a 3 dollar bottle of shiraz as my port substitute. I didn't buy any beets and almost used the canned ones in my pantry - but figured the vinegar they were soaked in would mess with the sauce. I also almost didn't buy the shitakes because they were sooo expensive, but found them by the pound and only got what I needed. I also don't own a food processor and had to use my blender which creates another unique problem. Nothing that can't be overcome though.
I suppose you can call my version the traditional white trash version.
My reduction sauce was more like cheap shiraz with nice herbs. It was fun to make though and really pretty by the time I added the butter. Oh, I didn't add a half a pound of butter either nor did I mount it. Only about 2tbs and I threw it in. I'm not sure what "mount" means in the cooking world, but in mine it doesn't involve butter. Well, it could but not in this case.........
I also made herb roasted potatoes for the potatoes. I don't have a top smoker in my stove unless something falls on the bottom and catches on fire. I'm working with a Holiday model with a busted seal that causes my knobs to melt when it's on too long.
The steaks turned out well. Mike said it was the best steak he'd had and then took it back to say "the best steak I've had at the house." I wasn't sure what crusting was so I just patted the steaks with the mushroom mix before broiling.
All in all, it was good although I forgot to cook something green. I was too wrapped up in everything else I suppose.
Well, here it is. I think it probably would be better with the reduction, but I've never made one and the 3 quarts of port threw me for a loop.
Great idea, lots of fun. Never made anything like that. Excited for the next one and to see everyone elses.
When I picked this I kind of ripped through the recipe pretty quickly and I wish I had read it a little more carefully. It turns out that it is exactly what I didn't want to do in that it's expensive and very difficult. My bad - sorry gang.
The first thing I did was rewrite the recipe so that it could be made for two, not eight. That brought the amount of port down to about a half a bottle, or five bucks worth. Not bad. I decided to make the gorgonzola/mushroom crust in advance and then the port sauce, and when all of that was ready I fired up the potatoes and the steaks. Again, I missed that "smoker" nonsense for the potatoes so it was olive oil, salt and pepper and into the oven with them. Nice and simple. The steaks cooked up in the pan well; I think I may actually prefer that to grilling because it's easier to control the temperature so you can get the exact amount of doneness that you want. Also you can use the fond at the bottom to make a sauce (which I didn't need to here because I already had one).
Let me say that the whole meal was unbelievable. The sauce was ridiculous with all the different layers of flavour. Mine turned out to be very sweet, almost syrup-like, which I'm still not sure was supposed to be the case. I may have overcooked it a little bit. Regardless, it was incredible, and I may make it again for my lovely sister who is down here on vacation.
Thanks everybody who joined in and I'll be doing another challenge soon, although not a Top Chef challenge. The next will be selecting a basic recipe (ie. lasagna, pizza) and having everyone "get creative" with it.