I would so love to be on ‘Chopped’. I think I would be good on the show, as I am often throwing together meals with a strange variety of ingredients. I don’t mean the ingredients themselves are strange-my P.S. has never purchased durian (thanks, hon!), but the combos often are strange. Then it’s time for the Mother of Invention. That’s me.
A container in the fridge contained a good heaping cup of shredded beef left from making beef broth with meaty bones. The rest of my recipe needed to evolve around that beef. I had the usual sweet red bell peppers on hand, I could see them sautéed in strips with the beef. And of course onions thinly sliced and also sautéed. The choice to make was whether to make a sauce for them and put them over rice, or include potatoes in the sautéing.
My P.S. had brought home a bag of freshly dug small potatoes from the Heritage Center last week and I decided they would be a nice touch to my ‘Chopped’ dish. But I wanted them roasted, so they were mostly cooked like the rest of the ingredients. I texted P.S. and asked him to scrub and roast a good handful of the small potatoes and let them cool and I would make dinner when I got home from the office.
I also asked him to thinly slice half a large onion and the large red bell pepper and have them ready. It was the least he could do; it was actually his night to cook. He doesn’t usually mind being my sous chef if he doesn’t have to cook the whole meal or do the clean-up. Emphasis on the “no clean-up” part.
When I got home I was ready to fry. I heated a large skillet on medium high, gave it a drizzle of olive oil and sautéed the onions until they were fairly browned, about 5 minutes. I added the peppers and let the two veggies saute for another minute or so.
Next I added the potatoes which I’d cut into fourths, about 1” cubes, and tossed them around and let them cook until they were heated through. That was about 5 more minutes. I added a sprinkling of garlic salt, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper for seasoning.
I’d chopped a quarter of a head of cabbage into thin strips while the veggies were frying. I tossed the cabbage and the shredded beef into the skillet and let them sauté for about 5 minutes. I wanted the cabbage to still have a good texture. I added another drizzle of olive oil, tossed it all together a final time, and served my ‘Chopped’ entrée with a handful of spring lettuce and a drizzle of Greek vinaigrette for garnish.
It was a pretty plate; the red peppers brought color to what were mostly brown and white ingredients. The green of the lettuce made it look like it belonged in a fine dining establishment. Who says dinner on trays in front of the tv has to be boring?
We enjoyed the flavors of the meal we’d thrown together in under 30 minutes. My P.S. was impressed at my creation and said it was a “hearty meal”. I loved the rich flavors tied together with the olive oil. I see chefs on tv drizzling olive oil on everything and think the food must taste very oily. In this dish, I can see why it is so popular. It makes the flavors pop.
If I had to give my dish a name, as they do on the television show, I’d say I made “a deconstructed beef stew”. It had beef, veggies, potatoes and cabbage. My mother makes a Hunter’s Stew using most of the same ingredients and we always loved those dinners as kids. This meal was almost the same flavors, minus the extra broth.
The only difference from my meal and a ‘Chopped’ creation was that I didn’t have a smear of something on the plate. There were just smears left on the plates afterwards, when we had devoured our tasty food.
As I told my P.S., I would do so well on ‘Chopped’; this meal took me exactly 20 minutes; that’s appetizer round timing. With 30 minutes for the entrée round I’d kick hiney! He reminded me that he’d done the potato roasting and chopping of some veg. I shrugged and said the leftover roasted potatoes were a basket item, as well as the diced onions, strips of red pepper, and container of shredded beef. I got the husband patented eye-roll (hpe).
Deconstructed Beef Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion; cut into strips
1 sweet red pepper; cut into strips
1 lb roasted miniature potatoes
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 lb leftover shredded beef
¼ head cabbage; shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful of spring lettuce mix (optional garnish)
Vinaigrette (optional garnish)
Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute onions until they begin to brown. Add peppers and sauté for another 5 minutes, just until they lose their crunch.
Quarter or dice potatoes into 1” pieces and add to skillet. Cook until they are heated through. Add seasonings.
Add cabbage to skillet and another tablespoon of olive oil. Saute until the cabbage begins to lose its crunch; about 5 minutes. Taste test for seasonings, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Serve hot with garnish of lettuce greens and a drizzle of vinaigrette.