I"VE been watching a lot of Chopped on the Asian Food Channel. It's a weekly cooking challenge between established cooks and chefs in America. Each episode features four chefs who are given a basket of "mystery" ingredients to cook up a three-course meal. After each course, the contestants are judged and the one that was least impressive gets "chopped". The last chef standing is awarded US$10,000. The "mystery ingredients" (they get a surprise basket before starting each course) are truly a hodgepodge of everyday ingredients that probably traditionally don't go together. Thus, the chefs need to be creative ... and they only ehave 20 mins to whip up one dish.
I love the show. Most often, the chefs impress me with their resourcefulness and their creativity. But sometimes, it's quite amusing to see these professional chefs stumbling in the kitchen, making common mistakes with in prep and while cooking ... makes your realise: whoa! chefs are human too?
So ok, this ain't a TV review. What I am getting to, albeit it a long winded manner, is that I've been watching Chopped so much, I've been issuing people challenges right, left and centre. Before my brain registers what I'm doing, I would have engaged someone in a challenge. Usually, the "someone"s I challenge are more competent cooks that me. Take this cinnamon roll challenge for example. Marty was talking about making these rolls months ago ... long before I got hooked on bread making myself. So last week I stated my intent to make them and we kinda got into a friendly challenge. Make it this weekend and post our recipes up at the same time today. I was pumped.
And then I got home and realised just what I'd gotten myself into. I felt like the hog that challenged the roadrunner to a race. (don't go scouring the Internet for this fable, it's made up!)