S1E11 (Individual) – Sculpin

Employment Status: 3 Follow-Up E-mails and LOTS of working 🙂

The final five were taken on a fishing trip to catch the fish, in this case Sculpin, that they would cook with later that day and serve to three top food critics:  Jeffrey Steingarten of Vogue magazine, Tanya Steel of Epicurious.com, and Barbara Fairchild of Bon Appetit magazine.

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The chefs were scored on a scale of 12. David (Saffron Butter Sculpin) had the best dish with a score of 11.5. Lee (Braised Sculpin over Fennel Couscous) came in second place with a score of 8 followed by Sheetal (Tomato Curry Sculpin) in third place.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.09.24 PM   Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.11.14 PM

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Whitney (Pan Seared Sculpin), with a score of 5, and Sharone (Spring Asparagus Citrus Salad), with a score of 4, were declared to have the worst dishes of the day, which resulted in both of them being sent to the pressure test.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.08.03 PM   Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.14.57 PM

This challenge was yet another one that I had to make substitutions for. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get freshly-caught California Scorpion Fish in Louisville, Kentucky (Go figure…). I did some research though and saw that it is mostly just a mild-falvored white fish with a medium texture. So I figured that Tilapia (which is readily available almost everywhere) would work well.

I decided to do an Asian-inspired dish that was both sweet and spicy. This took the form of sweet-chili tilapia with baby corn and sugar snap peas over pineapple sticky rice. To make 2 very significant portions of this dish, this is what I used:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 20131031-192622.jpg3/4 of a cup of pineapple juice
  • Splash of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 9-ounce filet of tilapia
  • 3/4 of a cup of Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 35 sugar snap peas
  • 8 baby corn, cut in small chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
  • Several tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Pinch of toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This dish is REALLY easy to make. I first cut the tilapia filet into small pieces and marinated them in the Thai sweet chili sauce. Then, I started the rice.  I brought the water, pineapple juice and coconut milk to a boil and then added the rice to simmer for 10-15 minutes (until rice was done).

Next, I sautéed the onion, pepper, garlic, peas and baby corn with some olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper until the vegetables were tender. (See 1st photo below). After that, I added the tilapia and thai sweet chili sauce to the pan and cooked for a few minutes until the fish was cooked through. (See 2nd photo below for finished component).

20131031-192629.jpg   20131031-192638.jpg

 Then, I plated the fish and vegetable component over the sticky rice and garnished it with toasted sesame seeds. (See finished product below).

20131031-192648.jpg

Sweet-chili tilapia with baby corn and sugar snap peas over pineapple sticky rice

This dish was really easy and straightforward. It was very tasty (although a little on the spicy side) but the presentation was pretty basic. While I thought it tasted great, I’m not sure how it would have fared with the critics given how simple the dish was. But since I didn’t serve canned tomato sauce or “disgusting” fish liver, I think I would have been safe from the pressure test.

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