Flying Flour, Splashing Spices, Roomful Aromas

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"CHOPPED" The Home Version

The Combsman came in from the bike ride/grocery stop and called me to the kitchen.  When I made my appearance he proudly placed a pack of diced ham on the counter saying, "Your secret ingredients are:
diced ham, medium shrimp and .  . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . .

freeze dried hash browns.  The clock starts now.

Just like the chef contestants on the show, I glared at the ingredients he presented as though each would speak at any moment.  Nothing was coming so I let the free writing spirit in me take over.  Quiche, omelet, and then it came: A simpler version of the Carolina Shrimp and Grits.  The hash brown potatoes in place  of  the grits. Make a cheesy rue sauce (no fancy culinary words here, I'm a good ol' Southern cook by the seat of my britches kind of 'chef').

I love surprises!
From the fridge I selected a red pepper and a nice sweet onion. These I diced and added to a hot pan with a bit of olive oil.  Saute was happening.  the oil for the hash browns was getting ready while they soaked.  Freeze dried, remember?  Never before seen much less appeared in this kitchen.  Strain the potatoes, add to the skillet.  Love that sing of flash fry, turned down the flame and paid attention to the onion/pepper combo.  It was ready to come out of the pan.  This is when I added the shrimp for a fast fry.  Aromas were building and things seemed to be working for me.  The timer showed I was 14 minutes in to the given 30.  I felt pretty good and in control.  I removed shrimp with a pink blush from the pan and let these rest in a bowl while I heated a tad of oil, stirred in a bit of flour to make the rue.  I added milk and made the whisk magic work for me.
And I didn't get CHOPPED!
 But, I didn't get a 10K prize either!
Reward: A Tasty Dinner with Combsman

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