My friends have been talking about Top Chef for some time and we finally coax another friend to a friendly competition in the kitchen. We had Pat vs. MK in a little battle that satisfied the others aka sous chefs and me, the occasional saucier and pâtissier.
Lamb shoulders in olive oil, lemon and rosemary marinade
& bread with thyme butter (MK’s)
Ribeye steaks in brown mushroom sauce with balsamic mushrooms,
frisee and carrots in lemon mustard dressing
& Yorkshire pudding (Pat’s)
Mash with bacon
SB’s salad (not part of the competition)
My caramel pots de crème (not part of the competition as well)
Bulla vanilla ice cream with Japanese chocolate sauce
Here’s the video I shot (pardon the shakiness — sticky fingers). If unable to view, click here:
Most important things happen at a table.
Food, friends, discussion, ideas, work, peace talks, and war plans.
It is okay to romanticize things a little bit every now and then: it gives you hope.
– Frank Chimero, advice to a graphic design student
In the end, I think we spent so much time laughing and talking till we forgot it was a competition. Yet all in all, it was thoroughly good for the soul and stomach. Did I mention I love cookouts?
And here’s the recipe I used to make the caramel pots de crème. This was my second attempt at it and I wasn’t sure it’ll turn out because my first was made in a shallow lasagna dish for utter indulgence. But thanks to this recipe, it turned out nicely with caramel oozing from the center like lava.
- Butter for greasing
175g/6oz granulated sugar
50ml/2fl oz water
750ml/1 1/4pt milk
75g/3oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Brush 8 x 125ml/4fl oz ramekins or moulds with melted butter.
- Place the granulated sugar and water in a pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture turns golden and starts to caramelize.
- Remove from the heat immediately and pour enough hot caramel into each ramekin to cover the base.
- To make the custard, heat the milk in a pan over a low heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk together the caster sugar, eggs and vanilla essence for 2 minutes, then stir in the warm milk. Strain the mixture into a jug and pour into the ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the custard is set. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.