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Food Fighters


Food Fighters

"Annie Smith"

Home cook Annie Smith battles five pro chefs in hopes of winning enough money to provide her daughter with a speech-generating device! [button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]

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Stay-at-home mom Annie Smith from Corona Del Mar, California has brought her best recipes to compete against five professional chefs. A wife and mother of two, Annie hopes to defy the odds and come home with $100,000 - which she would use to purchase a speech-generating device for her daughter who has a rare neurological disorder and is unable to speak. Even though she has no culinary training, Annie isn't scared of any professional chefs and is determined to win!

First up is Kent Rollins, the cowboy cook. Annie strategically decides to make her raspberry soufflé - a dessert Chef Rollins has never made. With 20 minutes on the clock, Annie starts making her classic raspberry soufflé, which she serves with a rich chocolate ganache, while Chef Rollins decides to make bread pudding. Adding another twist to his dish, Chef Rollins adds whiskey to his chocolate and raspberry sauce. When the dishes are complete, the Dinner Party, a group of regular Americans who love to eat, must decide which is best. In a 3-to-2 vote, Chef Rollins wins! Disappointed but not discouraged, Annie prepares for her next opponent.

Manouschka Guerrier, private chef for rich and famous clients, will go head-to-head with Annie in Round 2. Chef Guerrier specializes in Haitian cuisine and fusion of flavors. Annie chooses to make her chicken pot pie, in hopes of putting Chef Guerrier out of her comfort zone. Annie is successful; Chef Guerrier has never made the dish before. She plans to focus on the flavor of the filling, while Annie sticks with her take on the traditional comfort food. There's $10,000 at stake, and Annie takes it, with a 4-to-1 decision by the Dinner Party!

For Annie's $15,000 showdown, she competes against the versatile Chef Sharone Hakman. Annie chooses to make her chicken fettuccine alfredo, with hopes of stumping Chef Hakman, incorporating sundried tomatoes and jalapenos into her alfredo sauce. Meanwhile, Chef Hakman realizes his chicken isn't cooked, and with time running out, he barely has time to recook it. In a 3-to-2 decision, Annie wins $15,000, which is enough to buy her daughter the speech-generating device!

Annie's fourth competitor is restaurant owner and Chef Antonia Lofaso, who specializes in international cuisine and spent six years working at the famous restaurant Spago. Annie chooses to cook a dish from her roots, Vietnamese sweet and spicy shrimp with coconut rice. Chef Lofaso chooses to make her sweet and spicy shrimp with mushrooms and chili sauce. The Dinner Party deliberates, and in a 3-to-2 decision, Annie wins $20,000 - which she already has plans for. Annie hopes to go back to school to become a psychologist.

Annie's final and fiercest competitor is celebrity chef G. Garvin, and the dish they will prepare is seared ahi tuna, one of Chef Garvin's favorites. Tensions run high during this food fight. Annie's seared ahi is accompanied by a coriander and cabbage slaw, while Chef Garvin pairs his with jasmine rice and rock shrimp. In the end, the Dinner Party decides Annie is the winner! She wins a total of $90,000, and in addition to the money, Adam presents her with the speech-generating device for her daughter. Annie will finally be able to hear her sweet daughter say, "I love you."

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Annie Smith's Recipes

Raspberry Soufflé with Chocolate Ganache

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5 room temperature egg whites
1/4 cup + 3 teaspoons sugar
6 ounces raspberries
Powdered sugar
Lemon zest

Whip 5 room temperature egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. While mixer is running, sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over egg whites.

Puree raspberries, 3 teaspoons sugar and lemon zest in blender. Pour puree into bowl, then gently fold in egg whites. Fill ramekins with mixture, level tops with knife. Bake in lower third of oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until soufflé has risen and tops are light brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon raspberry liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

In medium saucepan, heat cream and chocolate until melted over medium heat. Add raspberry liqueur, espresso powder and vanilla.

Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon and Cream Sauce


1/2 cup chicken, shredded and/or chopped 
1/2 Yukon potato, small dice
1/2 rutabaga, small dice
1/4 white onion, small dice
1/2 carrot, small dice
1/2 celery, small dice
1/4 cup peas
2 tablespoons butter
Chicken broth
1 cup chardonnay
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup organic shortening, cubed and chilled|
2 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup ice water
1 cooked bacon, rough chop
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary 
1 tablespoon fresh grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In food processor, add flour, salt and rosemary, pulse until combined. Add cubed shortening and butter, pulse until mixture is roughly the size of small peas. While processor is running, add ice water until mixture looks like wet sand and barely comes together. Dump mixture onto floured surface, form into ball then divide into two disks, careful not to overwork dough. Ideally, allow dough to rest 30 minutes wrapped in plastic.

Roll out dough at 1/4" thickness. Cut out using 4" diameter biscuit cutter. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water) and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Put potato and rutabaga into small saucepan. Add water and boil until just able to pierce with fork. Heat pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion, carrot, celery, thyme and rosemary. Cook until onion is soft, but not brown. Add chardonnay. Remove vegetables from pan. Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 1 tablespoon flour for 30 seconds. Add heavy cream and chicken stock, stir until reduced and thickened.  Add cooked potato and rutabaga, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Break crust into shards, mix with rosemary and grated parmesan. Spoon filling into ramekins, top with crumble mixture and serve.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Arugula Pesto


1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 chicken breast (butterflied)
2 tablespoons diced sun-dried tomato
Juice of half lemon and 1 teaspoon zest
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces fresh fettuccine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Boil cream. Add jalapeno, garlic, lemon juice, zest, sun-dried tomato and 1/3 cup parmesan. Reduce until thickened. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Sear chicken in hot pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side. Toss fettuccine and sauce together. Top with sliced chicken, micro greens optional.

3-1/2 cups arugula leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon lemon zest 
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in blender except olive oil. Drizzle in oil while blender is running, careful not to completely liquefy, compromising texture of pesto. Season with salt to taste.

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Coconut Rice


12 large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
8 ounces mango nectar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups jasmine rice
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
1-1/4 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup roasted chopped peanuts
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Sriracha to taste

Season shrimp with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Heat oil until hot, add shrimp. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side until pink, then remove from pan. Add minced garlic and ginger, cook 20 seconds. Deglaze pan with mango nectar. Add pineapple, red bell pepper, cilantro and Sriracha, reduce until sauce thickens.

Add rice, coconut milk and stock to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until rice is cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Stir in peanuts, shredded coconut and lime zest.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Coriander and Cabbage Slaw

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1/4 cup whole coriander
1 tablespoon Togarashi
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 kumquats
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced green onion 
1/4 Asian pear, julienned
1-1/2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 red jalapeno
1 teaspoon fresh mince mint
Splash of yuzu
Splash of sake

Cut red jalapeños on the bias thinly, then add to rice vinegar and sugar. Heat sauté pan over high heat with 2 tablespoons grape seed oil. Coarsely grind coriander seeds in spice grinder.

Pat ahi dry with paper towel, then season generously with Togarashi, salt and pepper. Sprinkle coriander seeds heavily onto ahi, pressing lightly to adhere. Sear ahi on all sides for 1-1/2 minutes, then remove from pan and slice into 1/4-inch slices.

Remove red jalapeños from vinegar mixture, then add yuzu and sake to vinegar. Toss remaining ingredients together, season to taste. To plate, mound slaw. Place tuna on top, sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and pickled red jalapeño.

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