After some missteps with the last few Top Chef Recipes, it looks like I am back on track with this one, because this dish was GOOD. Really, really good. Sweet, complex, flavorful, and filled with a vast mixture of ingredients that, when combined into one dish, brought together a delightful variety of flavors and textures.
And the dish was invented by my two favorites: Kevin and Jennifer.
Sure, I love the Voltaggio brother's, too, but one of them has a Michelin star. That is like asking Tiger Woods to play golf against... me. Ok, maybe not me, but someone who golfs a lot, like... Justin Timberlake.
I'm reaching here. It's early and I know nothing about golf.
When I first looked at the ingredient list, I almost fainted. All in total, there are roughly 30 ingredients required for this dish. And there are a lot of steps. And some hard-to-find ingredients. The main protein for the dish was a Kobe Beef skirt steak, but unfortunately, I was unable to find Kobe beef, so I had to stick with plain old skirt steak. Secondly, the dish called for sambal, a southeast Asian condiment that seems to come in several different variations that can either be spicy or sweet. Obviously I could not find this.
Other than the extensive ingredient list and many steps, this recipe is actually quite easy to make. Plum tomatoes are combined with ginger, garlic, star anise, fennel, cardomom, shallots, beef scraps, chicken stock and sugar to make the most incredible broth. And when I say incredible, I mean I-want-to-drink-it-by-the-glass, which is probably the reason Jennifer won the challenge (the broth was her creation).
I marinated the strip steak in hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, basil, soy sauce, molasses, and orange juice. I wanted to drink that marinade after the meat was sitting in it as well, but I'm sure that would have been dangerous.
Finally, a salad was made by blanching and shocking baby bok choy, grilling an Asian pear and cutting it into batons, shaving fennel, and supreming mandarin oranges (I had to use clementines) and tossing it in a lime-fennel vinaigrette.
Although time consuming, the dish is not very challenging and comes with a huge payoff.
Click here for the recipe.
On a different note, I'm very upset with the person that was sent home this week. Sure, said person annoyed me a little bit on the show, but really, that person is a far better chef than some of the remaining chefs. There is always one chef who goes home way too early (Remember Tre from Season 3? Heartbreaker.), but it always stinks.