Masterchef Mystery Box Challenge - The Idle Ramblings of a Teenage Cook Blog at - 283227

The Idle Ramblings of a Teenage Cook

Masterchef Mystery Box Challenge 
Sep. 1, 2012 6:39 pm 
Updated: Sep. 8, 2012 2:33 pm
Of all the culinary competition shows on TV, Masterchef, featuring amateur chefs and brutal judging (curse you Joe Bastianich), is my favorite. So when I felt it was high time for another Food-Off in Mendham’s own Kitchen Stadium, it was this show I decided we should imitate. More specifically, the Mystery Box Challenge.
For those of you who are not familiar with this culinary brain-child of sadistic show directors and the Devil, the Mystery Box Challenge (MBC) is when contestants are given a box of 15 ingredients and are told to make a dish with ONLY these ingredients. They don’t have to use all of the ingredients but they can’t go get more. (Obviously, they already had salt and pepper because without that you’re screwed)
It is hard for them.
Imagine how hard it was for us.
Without much ado about nothing (love ripping off Shakespeare) the competition began! Me and my sister versus my dad. (Not exactly even, but there you go.)
So the competition began!
Our mystery box consisted of broccolini, butter, lobster tails, avocado, Idaho potatoes, mango salsa, jalopenos, lemon, tomatoes, salmon, red sea salt, salt and pepper, honey wine vinegar, ground turkey, olive oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, frozen sweet potato fries, watermelon, and wild huckleberry chocolate.
Yeah, we had the same reaction. What the heck do you do with huckleberry chocolate?
Armed to the teeth with every culinary utensil available and wearing my Tebow t-shirt for the Lord’s blessing, I instantly jumped into the competition with my sister at my side.
Now, before I skip the competition and go right to the judging just like every show out there, I must say something about the honey wine vinegar. Giving my father honey wine vinegar ---it’s not cool, dude. Him and honey wine vinegar are like Julia Child and butter. He can never have too much of it and anything he puts it on tastes like heaven up and died on it. So the unfairness of that all, yeah…..
Anywhoooooooo (God, I hate it when people say that but it just seemed so appropriate here)
In the hour, my sister and I made Oven Roasted Salmon with a Watermelon Mango Salsa, Turkey & Onion Meatballs with Mixed Potato Homefries, and Poached Lobster tail with Grilled Tomatoes, Sauteed Broccolini, and a Lemon Avocado Mousse.
My father made Oven Roasted Salmon with a Spicy Sweet Warm Watermelon Tomato Dressing, Turkey Mango Avocado Burgers with a Faux Guac, Sauteed Lemon Butter Broccolini with Lobster Bits and Honey Vinegar Sweet Potato Bake. Is it wrong that I copied and pasted his menu from his blog?  Ummm….. No.
AND FINALLY, it came down to the judging. Our epic judging panel consisted of amazing Italian food chef and crock pot extraordinaire my mother, and The Living Food Vacuum a.k.a. my seven year old brother who would like me to note that he likes Batman. …..okay.
Much like our box of food before the beginning of the competition, the thoughts running through the judges head as they did whatever judges do aside from destroy hopes and dreams were a complete mystery to us.
So……after much deliberation………and eating…………the verdict came……. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
Badadadadadadadadadadadada……you get the idea.
Wait…what? A tie? No, no, no- he most certainly lost. Right?
Well, apparently not.
Well, that’s it folks! The judges failed to provide me with bragging rights and I discovered that roasting watermelon is a culinary miracle!
Tune in next time when I try to figure out what to do with huckleberry chocolate!
By the way Dad, you lost.
Sep. 1, 2012 6:59 pm
Girl, you and sis rocked that challenge, IMO. Don't tell dad that, but, come on, the salmon and salsa sounds wonderful. Turkey meatballs, oh, yea. You poached that lobster? well, yes! You made Mousse! Good job girls. Oh, tell little brother that Batman does rock. Yea, that chocolate is a mind bender. Use it to dip the fries in??,,no,,no, forget I suggested that. Hopefully next time something a little more "friendly" for dessert.
Sep. 1, 2012 7:26 pm
Have you watched Master Chef Australia? It's better than The USA Version.
Sep. 1, 2012 8:18 pm
What a great challenge and sooo much fun. Btw, chocolate is good on avocados.
Sep. 2, 2012 3:48 am
What a great thing to do together! You will remember this for a long, long, time, and every time you do, you will smile! Simply marvelous!
Sep. 2, 2012 5:39 am
Great job ladies! In my book you are the winners hands down! Being able to do that in the kitchen is amazing!
Sep. 2, 2012 7:20 am
If I wasn't laughing so hard at your Julia Child comment, I would be correcting you on the real verdict in this throwdown.
Sep. 2, 2012 9:34 am
Caty24, Masterchef is my all time favorite competition cooking show! I love your blog (where we're getting the REAL story of how this throw-down went-down) Good job!
Sep. 2, 2012 11:11 am
I would still be standing there, trying to figure out anything to do with ANY of that. I am very impressed!
Sep. 2, 2012 12:22 pm
I have never even heard of huckleberry chocolate, so using it would surely be a challenge. Your family is living proof that kids do not need a bland boring chicken tenders diet! Well done - all of you.......oh, and tell your brother, I like Batman too, LOL!
Sep. 2, 2012 1:58 pm
Sounds like there was some payola to the judges to me :)
Sep. 2, 2012 2:08 pm
If you can cook as well as you write, you are truly an excellent chef. Exciting challenge...questionable outcome! Looking forward to a rematch!
Sep. 4, 2012 6:31 am
Girls-what a competition! Keep cooking and maybe you need some so called unbiased judges-like your friends!
Sep. 4, 2012 7:24 am
Your cooking and writing skills are very impressive....and so entertaining....can't wait for next time.....
Sep. 4, 2012 7:32 am
Caty24 - Great blog and what fun! Making memories for a lifetime :) I want to know, did your dad get the poochy lip and pout when you beat him - because you did BEAT him! Tell your brother - I agree Batman is cool!
J. Dub 
Sep. 6, 2012 8:15 am
Sep. 8, 2012 2:33 pm
What a great blog and what fun you had! Sounds like your mother is aiming for a high-paying diplomat position and your brother just doesn't want to get grounded.
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About Me
My mother and father started teaching me how to cook as a young girl. I've always loved to cook, but baking is my true favorite. I love making cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.
My favorite things to cook
I LOVE to bake! I could bake, just bake, for hours on end. Which I have done. And it is awesome.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I guess my family has a few traditions. Like that I make the chocolate cookies. Or that Christmas cookies made without Great-Grandma's cookie gun aren't as good to me.
My cooking triumphs
Probably, no suprise here, chocolate chip cookies and guacamole.
My cooking tragedies
Salt. I either put too much, or not enough. And pepper. Same problem.
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