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Food Fighters


Food Fighters

"Cortney Anderson-Sanford"

Home cook Cortney Anderson-Sanford puts her best recipes to the test against five professional chefs, including Lorena Garcia, in an attempt to win...[button color="white" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]

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Food Fighters


Home cook Cortney Anderson-Sanford from Seattle, Washington has brought her best recipes to compete against five professional chefs. A wife and mother of two, Cortney feels confident in the kitchen. Her eldest son has high functioning Autism and she is determined to win enough money to bring him and the rest of their family to Maui. For a part of her son's life he would only eat white foods and Cortney's versatility enabled her to alter her cooking style to accommodate him.

Cortney's first opponent is the fusion food trucker Chef Hop Phan, a samurai with a knife and a ninja in the kitchen. She strategically chooses to prepare her French Toast - a dish Chef Phan has only made it a few times in his life. Cortney makes a deep fried French Toast with fruit and homemade ricotta, but forgets her bacon! Chef Phan makes his French Toast with berries and pork belly bacon. In a 3 to 2 decision from the Dinner Party, Cortney wins this food fight!

Next Cortney faces the breakfast rocker, Chef Sarah Simington. Cortney chooses to make her Asian Salmon, hoping to put Chef Simington out of her comfort zone. As Cortney makes her Asian salmon with mushrooms and a sake glaze, Chef Simington creates an Asian Salmon Salad with Sweet Chili Sauce. In a 4 to 1 decision, the Dinner Party decides that Cortney wins!

For Cortney's $15,000 showdown, she goes head to head with Chef Stuart O'Keeffe, host of his own cooking show in Ireland. Cortney chooses to make her chocolate fudge tart for her grandmother, a recipe that has been in her family forever. But little does Cortney know, Chef O'Keeffe majored in pastry during cooking school! Courtney presents the Dinner Party with a chocolate fudge tart with toasted marshmallow, while Chef O'Keeffe makes a chocolate tart with walnut crumble and raspberries. In a unanimous decision Cortney wins again!

Cortney goes up against the king of comfort food, Chef Eric Greenspan, for her $20,000 competition. On a whim she chooses to make her Lobster and Stuffing, hoping to stump Chef Greenspan, but he isn't fazed. Cortney makes poached lobster with a Ritz cracker and seafood stuffing, while Chef Greenspan cooks a fried lobster with bacon and apple stuffing. Cortney runs into trouble when she realizes that her oven is off - she needs to make a second batch of stuffing! The Dinner Party deliberates, and in a 3 to 2 decision Cortney wins despite her oven error!

Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia is Cortney's final and fiercest competitor! The dish they will prepare is biscuits and gravy. Chef Garcia decides to put a twist on the traditional biscuits and gravy and makes Venezuelan comfort food, Arepas. The Dinner Party tastes Cortney's Buttermilk Biscuits with sausage gravy and avocado and Chef Garcia's Venezuelan Arepas and Queso. In a 3 to 2 decision, Cortney wins it all, a total of $100,000!

Food Fighters

Cortney Anderson-Sanford's Recipes

French Toast with Fruit 


3 extra large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
1/4 cup fine white sugar
Salt to taste
6 (3/4-inch) slices brioche
Maple syrup 
4 tablespoons butter
4 sliced apricots
1 pound pitted sweet cherries
Grand Marnier
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons white vinegar 
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Meyer lemons (juice and zest)
1/2 pound thinly sliced bacon
Pam spray
Maple sugar
Micro mint


Pour 3 cups whole milk and 1/4 cup buttermilk into stainless steel or enameled pot. Stir in salt, bring to full boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, Meyer lemon juice and lemon zest. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve, resting in a large mixing bowl. Allow curds to drain into the bowl at room temperature for at least 30 minutes until at desired consistency. Season to taste. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Store in refrigerator for up to four days.


In large shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, sugar and salt. Slice bread in 3/4-inch thick slices (leave in cubes or use cookie cutters for fun shapes). Coat both sides of brioche in egg mixture and let soak for a few minutes while you make fruit sauce.  Deep fry the well drained, soaked brioche for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Drain cooked French toast on rack on sheet pan. Can keep warm in oven but best served right away.


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet. Sauté cherries and apricots in melted butter for a few minutes then add maple syrup and Grand Marnier. Continue to cook for two more minutes. Taste for sweetness - add more syrup or salt to desired taste.


Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Place baking rack on sheet pan, spray with cooking spray and arrange bacon in 1 layer on baking rack. Sprinkle with maple sugar and cardamom and bake until bacon is crispy and caramelized, about 12 minutes. Let cool then slice thinly.


Asian Salmon 


4 (6-ounce) salmon filets w/skin 
1/2 pound cleaned, chopped mushrooms: brown and white shimeji, shiitake, maitake, straw and

1/2 cup mushroom soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
1-3 teaspoons Sriracha
3 (1/8-inch) slices fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
3 scallions, green only
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cold butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pickled ginger
1 tablespoon pickled ginger juice
Canola oil
Furikake for garnish
Pea shoots for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in hot skillet. When oil is almost smoking, sear salmon (skin side down) until skin is crispy and brown. Turn salmon over (skin side up) and finish cooking in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove salmon from oven just before meat is cooked through. Hold salmon in pan, off heat while completing sauce.


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in sauté pan over high heat. Add mushrooms by size and sauté 2 minutes. Place mushrooms in bowl. Turn heat to medium, add shallots to pan and cook for one minute. Add pickled ginger, pickled ginger juice, fresh ginger, sake, soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon juice, brown sugar and sesame oil. Cook until sauce begins to thicken, then adjust for taste. Slice scallion greens into 1/2" diamond-shaped lengths. Add cold butter and scallion diamonds to sauce. Toss mushrooms with a bit of sauce. Spoon over salmon. Garnish with toasted furikake and pea shoots.


Chocolate Fudge Tart 


Marshmallow fluff
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2-1/2 ounces finely chopped unsweetened chocolate+
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water|
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat condensed milk, water and espresso powder in saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate. Stir constantly until mixture comes together and is thick and bubbling. Add vanilla and butter. Let set at room temperature. Spoon chocolate over graham rounds. Top with peanut butter crumble and marshmallow, then torch until brown. Serve with peanut brittle.

1-1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs 
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 
1/4 cup sugar

Combine ingredients; press into 1/4 sheet pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes. Cool on wire rack and cut rounds with biscuit cutter.


Toast 1/4 cup graham crackers, 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter and 1 tablespoon sugar in skillet until crumbly.


Lobster with Stuffing 


3 raw fresh Maine lobster tails
2 cups toasted 1/4" bread cubes
4 tablespoons diced shallots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
2 ounces chopped raw shrimp or sweet Oregon shrimp meat
2 ounces Dungeness crab meat
2 ounces bay scallops
1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers
3 lemons
1/2 cup dry sherry
3-4 pounds butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Paprika or Espelette pepper powder
1/2 cup dry Riesling
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Chive blossoms
1 to 2 cups chopped celery heart leaves

Boil lobster tails for 5 minutes in salted, sugared water. Chill in ice bath drain.

Sauté chopped celery, 2 tablespoons shallots and scallions in 1/2 cup butter until clear and cooked through. Add sherry and Riesling, cook for one minute, turn off heat. In bowl, beat two eggs, salt and pepper. Mix in bread, Ritz crackers, parsley, crab, shrimp and scallops. Add butter, sauté liquid until stuffing comes together - add more liquid if stuffing seems too dry. Press into greased quarter sheet pan. Bake in 450-degree oven for 10 minutes until top is crispy and brown.

Melt one stick of butter in pan. Add 2 tablespoons minced shallot and garlic. Sauté until clear. Add 1/4 cup sherry, 1/4 cup Riesling, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for five minutes. Slice lobster tails into 1-1/2 inch medallions and quickly warm in shallot butter to complete cooking. 

Toss celery heart leaves, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Cut rounds of stuffing, place lobster medallions on top of stuffing with shallot butter. Garnish with celery salad, pulled apart chive blossom and Espelette powder.

Every time you make this, enjoy and think of Ghe and Gamp a long, long time ago at Anderson's Lobster Pot in Naugatuck, Connecticut!

Biscuits and Gravy


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups half-and-half 
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
2 shallots, thinly sliced 
1/4 pound fresh chorizo
12 ounces sliced smoked chicken 
Apple sausage
2 tablespoons honey
2-4 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper
Fresh pomegranate seeds
Roasted, salted pepitas
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon olive oil
Flowering cilantro

Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and toast lightly. Add minced garlic, whisk in broth. Add half-and-half, chipotle peppers (to taste for heat level), lime juice, lime zest and honey. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sauté loose chorizo in a hot skillet, turn to medium heat. Add sliced sausage and shallots and cook until browned. Stir chipotle béchamel into sausage pan, keep on low heat.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Grate cold butter into flour and stir gently to combine. Add 2/3 cup buttermilk, and stir until mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding a little more buttermilk if needed (Do NOT make dough too wet).

Scoop dough onto well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll or pat dough into a 5" x 8 -1/2" rectangle about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Cut rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits (or use a biscuit cutter). Place biscuits on parchment paper on baking sheet and brush lightly with beaten egg. Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes or until they're a light golden brown.


Cut avocados into 1/4-inch dice in a bowl; add lime juice and finely chopped chilies, including seeds if desired. Gently stir in lime, oil, salt and pepper, pepitas and pomegranate.


Split biscuits in half on a plate. Top with sausage gravy, avocado relish and cilantro - enjoy!

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