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Food Fighters

FOOD FIGHTERS (NBC)

Food Fighters

"Nick Evans"

Home cook Nick Evans puts his best recipes to the test against five pro chefs -including Duff Goldman...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.nbc.com/food-fighters" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]

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Food Fighters

Recap

Nick Evans, a home cook and food blogger from Denver, Colorado, faces five pro chefs this week on Food Fighters. Nick is hoping to use his winnings to put a down payment on a home for his wife and future family and help his sister out with some bills. Since it's all about his family, Nick is determined to win.

The cooking cowboy, Chef Kent Rollins, faces Nick first. Nick strategically chooses to make his Chorizo Tacos, hoping Chef Rollins isn't very familiar with them. However, Nick's instincts fail him - Chef Rollins loves chorizo! Chef Rollins' dish is more traditional with peppers, onions and adobo sauce, while Nick goes more eclectic, adding sweet potatoes to his tacos. Time runs out, and the Dinner Party makes a hard decision. With $5,000 up for grabs, Nick looses his first battle to Chef Rollins.

Ready to redeem himself, Nick faces diva chef Elise Wims in the second round. He chooses to make Chicken Wings and Dipping Sauce, a no-brainer for Chef Wims. She decides to make Lemon Herb Chicken Wings, dipping them in sauce before she plates them. On the other side of the kitchen, Nick makes Apricot Habanero Wings with a blue cheese dipping sauce. In a 3-to-2 decision, Chef Wims wins, leaving Nick with two losses in a row.

Next up, Chef Vic Vegas, the owner of a restaurant on the Vegas Strip, battles against Nick. Nick decides to make his Mashed Potato Pizza, stumping Chef Vegas. Nick's pizza is topped with bacon and Brussels sprouts. Chef Vegas puts a Mexican spin on his pizza, using a tortilla and mashed French fries instead of mashed potatoes. In a unanimous decision from the Dinner Party, Nick wins $15,000!

For the $20,000 showdown, Nick faces Chef Casey Thompson and chooses to make his Veggie Burger and Chips. The majority of his patty consists of mushroom with Swiss cheese on top and a side of sweet potato chips. Alternatively, Chef Thompson goes for the fresh approach, making her patty with garlic, shallot, ginger, parsley, chickpeas and avocado on lettuce. She makes plantain chips to accompany the burger. In a 3-to-2 decision, the Dinner Party decides that Nick wins!

Nick's final opponent is Chef Duff Goldman, the cake king. Nick will cook his Eggs Benedict, a dish Duff feels extremely comfortable with. Nick's Eggs Benedict features smoked salmon and pickled onions, while Chef Goldman lays his eggs on toasted brioche with pancetta. With a total of $70,000 up for grabs, Nick takes the final showdown, winning enough money for a down payment on a house!

Food Fighters

Nick Evans' Recipes

Chorizo Tacos with Chipotle Cream Sauce

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INGREDIENTS
1 pound chorizo 
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 sweet potato, matchstick
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon veggie oil
1 poblano pepper, sliced thin 
Corn tortillas 
Cotija Cheese 
Cilantro
Kosher salt 

QUICK PICKLED ONIONS INGREDIENTS
1 large red onion, sliced thin
2 limes, juice only
1 teaspoon kosher salt 

CHIPOTLE CREMA INGREDIENTS
1 cup Mexican crema
1/2 lime, juice only
2 tablespoons Adobo from canned chipotle

Add chorizo to a cast iron skillet over medium heat and mash into pieces. Let cook for a few minutes, then add tomato paste, a few tablespoons of water, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir together to make a light sauce and continue to cook.

In a separate pan, add sweet potatoes with oil and cook. If you are in a hurry, add some water to the pan to quickly steam the potatoes. Add brown sugar at the end to caramelize the potatoes a bit.

Add sliced peppers to chorizo and cook until the peppers are soft and chorizo is browned.

Stir together crema ingredients. Stir together pickled onions - which need to sit for 15-20 minutes ideally.

Grill tortillas lightly and build tacos with crema, chorizo mixture, sweet potatoes, onions, Cotija cheese and cilantro.

 

Apricot Habenero Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

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INGREDIENTS
2 pounds chicken wings 
1/2 white onion, grated 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 habanero peppers, seeded and minced 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1 cup apricot jam 
1/4 cup water 
Salt and pepper 

BLUE CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper

Fry wings for 10-12 minutes at 350° until cooked through. While wings fry, add butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add grated onion and minced garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook until veggies are soft, about 4 minutes.

Remove stems and seeds from habaneros. I recommend wearing plastic gloves while working with habaneros. They are very hot and if you accidentally touch your eyes or something, it will really burn. Mince habaneros very finely. If you don’t use gloves, wash your hands well immediately after handling the peppers.

Add habaneros to saucepan along with apricot filling, soy sauce, water and paprika. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Puree sauce in a food processor and return to heat to reduce further. Glaze should be thick.

When wings are done, remove them from pan and add them to a large bowl. Toss with apricot sauce. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing.

 

Mashed Potato Pizza with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

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INGREDIENTS
1 batch pizza dough
2 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4-5 cloves roasted garlic
Salt and pepper
8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella
8 ounces fontina or other cheese
8 ounces bacon
12-14 large Brussels sprouts, halved and sliced
Olive oil

Preheat oven with pizza stone at 500°. Cube potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Mash potatoes with cream, butter, garlic, half the mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper.

Roll out pizza dough and transfer to a pizza peel. Drizzle with olive oil and spoon mashed potatoes over dough. Cover with cheese. Slide pizza into oven and bake for 12 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and cheese is melted.

For topping, slice bacon thin and add to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook until fat is rendered out of bacon, about 7-8 minutes. Add sliced sprouts and continue to cook until sprouts are starting to get crispy. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove pizza, top with Brussels sprout topping, slice and serve!

 

Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Chips

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INGREDIENTS
1.5 pounds cremini mushrooms 
3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms 
1/2 cup white onion, diced 
1 cup bread crumbs 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup oat flour (or other flour) 
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
Pinch of salt 
2 cups breadcrumbs (for forming patties) 

SRIRACHA MAY INGREDIENTS
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce

BURGER FIXINGS
Buns
Swiss cheese
Tomatoes
Pea Sprouts

Wash and grate cremini mushrooms. Add dried mushrooms to a few cups of boiling water to reconstitute. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add grated mushrooms. Add diced dried mushrooms as well once reconstituted. Let mushrooms cook until they release their liquid and dry out a bit, about 7-8 minutes, stirring regularly. Add onions and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Stir eggs, flour, breadcrumbs and other ingredients together in a bowl. Then add cooked mushroom mixture. The finished mixture should be wet, but not liquid. It should roughly hold its shape. If it is really wet, add more breadcrumbs or flour in 1/4 cup batches.

Sprinkle two cups of breadcrumbs in a large baking dish. Form six large patties with mushroom mixture. As you form the patties, place them in the breadcrumbs and turn them to completely coat each patty in breadcrumbs, forming a crust. Once all the patties are formed and in the breadcrumb mixture, let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Grill burgers over high heat for 5-6 minutes per side until the outside is nice and crispy. Add Swiss cheese if you want during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Serve with typical burger fixings on grilled buns.

For mayo, add yolks, mustard and 1/4 cup canola oil to a beaker with immersion blender. Blend until mixture thickens. Add rest of the oil and continue to blend until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and Sriracha.

 

Eggs Benedict with Salmon and Pickled Onions

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INGREDIENTS
2 sheets of puff pastry, cut into eight circles 
8 eggs, poached 
8 ounces smoked salmon 
Capers 
White vinegar, for poaching 

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 egg yolk
1 cup clarified butter
1 lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chopped capers
Pinch of salt 

PICKLED ONION INGREDIENTS
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

Thaw puff pastry according to directions and use a large cookie or biscuit cutter to cut four circles from each sheet of puff pastry. Place puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375° for about 18-20 minutes until puffed and browned.

To make Hollandaise, whisk together egg yolks, lemon, water and salt. Set over a small pot of simmering water and whisk until steaming and frothy. Start adding melted butter to yolk mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking furiously while you add. Continue to add melted butter until all the butter is used and sauce is silky and thick. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped capers.

To poach eggs, add about 1/3 cup white vinegar to a high-walled pan filled with 3 inches water. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Swirl water with a slotted spoon and gently lower eggs into water. Depending on the size of your pot, you should be able to do at least two at a time. Let eggs poach for three minutes (large eggs). Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and let drain briefly on a paper towel.

Split puff pastry between four plates (two per plate). Top each pastry with about an ounce of smoked salmon. Top each benedict with onions, a poached egg, and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Add fried capers and chives as an optional garnish.

For onions, combine ingredients in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and cook until vinegar evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Then kill heat.

INGREDIENTS
2 sheets of puff pastry, cut into eight circles 
8 eggs, poached 
8 ounces smoked salmon 
Capers 
White vinegar, for poaching 

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 egg yolk
1 cup clarified butter
1 lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chopped capers
Pinch of salt 

PICKLED ONION INGREDIENTS
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

Thaw puff pastry according to directions and use a large cookie or biscuit cutter to cut four circles from each sheet of puff pastry. Place puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375° for about 18-20 minutes until puffed and browned.

To make Hollandaise, whisk together egg yolks, lemon, water and salt. Set over a small pot of simmering water and whisk until steaming and frothy. Start adding melted butter to yolk mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking furiously while you add. Continue to add melted butter until all the butter is used and sauce is silky and thick. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped capers.

To poach eggs, add about 1/3 cup white vinegar to a high-walled pan filled with 3 inches water. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Swirl water with a slotted spoon and gently lower eggs into water. Depending on the size of your pot, you should be able to do at least two at a time. Let eggs poach for three minutes (large eggs). Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and let drain briefly on a paper towel.

Split puff pastry between four plates (two per plate). Top each pastry with about an ounce of smoked salmon. Top each benedict with onions, a poached egg, and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Add fried capers and chives as an optional garnish.

For onions, combine ingredients in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and cook until vinegar evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Then kill heat.

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