Today things really heat up, so to speak, in the Cook of the Week Challenge.
On Page 3 we get a look at the recipes the first four contenders developed using their recipe challenge ingredients, and you get a chance to vote for your favorite recipe at dailyherald.com/contest/cook.
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Week 2 Recipe ChallengesFisher Nut Chef's Natural Walnut Pieces, turkey breast, figs and quinoa
Fortune Fish tilapia, cherries, butternut squash and brown rice
Michael Lalagos of Schaumburg vs. Ann Marie Nordby of Arlington Heights
Watch for the recipes the cooks create with these ingredients on Sept. 14.
Each week for the next three weeks, four more contestants will face off in two unique recipe challenges, and you can vote as their recipes are posted. If you're already a member of dailyherald.com, use your existing sign-on information. If you're logging on just to vote in this contest, you will have to register.
I came up with the challenge ingredient pairings not to stupefy these talented cooks, but to have them look at some common -- and maybe not quite so common -- proteins, produce and pantry staples in a new light.
The cook who submits the winning recipe, as determined by our panel of chefs and food professionals and reader votes, will advance to the next round. On Nov. 2, four finalists will face each other in a live cook-off at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield-Schaumburg.
So, what would you make with root beer, round steak, parsnips and orange? Each week on our Facebook page (facebook.com/cookoftheweek) we invite you to share how you'd prepare the week's challenge ingredients. Post an idea, a recipe or even upload a photo or video of your creation.