S1E7 (Pressure) – Ingredient Identification

Employment Update: Completed a creativity exercise for a full-time job for after my temporary gig, Found a place to live in Louisville, Talked to a Job Placement Agency for after December

With the Blue Team’s loss in the hamburger challenge, they were put into a pressure test in which they had to visually identify as many of the 25 displayed ingredients as possible. Tony was eliminated after only identifying 9 items correctly.

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While the judges never revealed what all 25 ingredients were, the contestants were able to successfully identify: rhubarb, okra, nectarines, beef filets, smoked salmon, catfish, golden raisins, plantains, blue cheese, star fruit, tomatillos, butternut squash, macadamia nuts, rosemary, papaya, black-eyed peas and lemongrass.

And from what I could see on TV, I was also able to identify what I thought to be: brie, golden delicious apples, and morel mushrooms. Since this was not a cooking challenge, I decided to treat this like a mystery box challenge come up with a dish that featured some of these.

I looked at a bunch of recipes to find something that could utilize some of these ingredients together and was most intrigued by this:  Macaroni and Gruyère Cheese with Butternut Squash, Smoked Salmon and Dill. So I decided to adapt it and make my own version. I came up with this: Macaroni in a brie-gruyere-truffle cream sauce with butternut squash, smoked salmon, mushrooms, fresh rosemary, and a parmesan-macadamia nut crust.

I pretty much followed the recipe but made a few adaptations:

  • Used Rosemary, Sage, Nutmeg, Pepper, and Truffle Salt instead of the recipe’s given Dill, Salt and Pepper
  • Used Brie as half of the cheese that was called for and Gruyere for the other half
  • Put mushrooms, green onions, and red bell peppers in the cream sauce (I wanted to use morels like in the test but I couldn’t find any at my store)
  • Topped the dish with shredded Gruyere, Parmesan, and Smashed Macadamia Nuts

The pictures below show the finished cream sauce and the casserole before and after baking.

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This dish worked wonderfully. It was a lot of prep work but it was delicious and kind of exotic and it makes you look like a creative genius (even if you totally stole it from the internet). I highly recommend giving it a try and putting your own little twist on it.

I am moving to Louisville on Monday and starting work on Wednesday. I hope to continue posting in my free time but the posts may become less frequent. Make sure to stay tuned though because I’m definitely not giving this blog up. It is too much fun and I am learning so much!


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