Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Donkay Challenge Part IV

This time it was Audrey's turn to cook. Chef Jeff, Justyn and I met up at Lunardis off Branham and Meridian to go shopping for her mystery box. Chef Jeff and I spoke on IM to determine what we would get and he jokingly mentioned goat. I missed the joke and thought he was serious! When we got to Lunardis we decided to get the protein part first. Lunardis has a great selection of meats, some already marinated, sausage, lamb and even veal. I was thorougly impressed. We ended up getting a couple pounds of pork tenderloin and sausage.

Next we hit up produce. We all wanted to get different things but decided on a head of radicchio, cauliflower, roma tomatoes, artichoke, portabello mushrooms, red onion, and a couple sections of banana squash. I did feel a little guilty for getting such random ingrediants, but Audrey's a pro!

For starch, we originally got some asian noodles, but later found some awesome fresh Pappardelle pasta. Justyn wanted to incorporate cous cous so we got her a box of that as well. We threw in several other items which you'll see in the pictures.

Oh yeah, I also got these cashews which were spiced with Chinese pepper, sesame seeds, pineapple, soy sauce and lemongrass. I thought that would be interesting.... and that's exactly what they were. Interesting flavor, but I wouldn't buy them again.

When we got to Audrey's place she immediately perused the variety of products she would use. The rule was that she could use whatever she wanted and didn't have to use everything. That's fair... I mean if I got the ingrediants we picked for her, I'd be at a complete loss.

Here's her menu.

The method she used was similar to when I did the challenge. Break everything down, and then cook it up. I won't bore you with the details so here are the pictures.

Done and plated!

I was blown away by her skill level! First of all, the portabello mushrooms topped with cous cous and sausage were absolutely delicious. Both Justyn and I thought that it could be a regular item on a restaurant menu. The green beans were a little limp, but the flavor was there. As for the pork tenderloin, it was perfectly cooked and the marinade was flavorful. I didn't really like the artichoke because the cous cous stuffing sucked out all the moisture. However, the cous cous tasted good. I hate to say it, but I think she might win this challenge. A couple other people are supposed to compete, so we'll see! Now I just need to go to Michaels and pick up stuff to make trophies.

PS - When we watched Hell's Kitchen I was so full that I went into a food coma and missed it when Chef Ramsey called the cooks "donkeys"! Luckily I have it recorded on the DVR at home.

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