Former Cooks of the Week TerrieAnn Jones and Diane Hagopian narrowly edged their culinary competition in online voting, yet still narrowly lost the opportunity to advance to the next round in the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge.
Our panel of chefs and food professionals (learn more about them on Page 3) favored Jamie Andrade's Root Beer-Glazed Round Steak Braciole with Roasted Red Potatoes in a Root Beer-Tomato Sauce over Jones' Smothered Round Steak with Parsnip Puree in the Gale's Root Beer recipe challenge. Oscar Menoyo's Barbecued Kungpao Chicken Thighs with Kohlrabi-Apple Slaw and Split Pea Dal won over Hagopian's Surprise Lettuce Wraps in the Ying's Kitchen Kungpao Sauce challenge. Online voters are the tiebreakers when necessary during the elmination-style competition.
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Week 3 recipe challengeRose Packing chorizo, spinach, yogurt and wonton wrappers
Jay Deihs of Arlington Heights
Mary Beth Riley of Elk Grove Village
Black Swan Barbecue Sauce, ground beef, brussels sprouts and polenta
Glenn Sasveld of Naperville
Mark Clemens of Elgin
Here's are some of the judges's comments:
Root Beer-Glazed Round Steak Braciole
Gale Gand: The dish seemed overly complicated to create and I didn't really get the grated cheese at the end. Does it really need it?
Keith Willis: I felt this recipe was presented very well; a bit more polished for my taste.
Smothered Round Steak with Parsnip Puree
Gale Gand: I thought the dish was straight forward and looked delicious.
Hagop Hagopian: Nice and simple with concentration on a few ingredients. Seems to have a nice flavor profile that is not confusing.
Kungpao Chicken Thighs with Kohlrabi-Apple Slaw
Hagop Hagopian: Too many ingredients. Mint garnish? ... the plate has too many colors and confuses the eye.
Ying Stoller: The plate is pleasing, as the colors complement each other well. The crunchy texture of the coleslaw will contrast nicely with the smoothness of the split peas. Overall presentation is good, but might be over-seasoned with too many different spices. Sometimes less is more.
Surprise Lettuce Wraps
Ying Stoller: I like to see the use of raw kohlrabi and apple as a topping to give contrast to the texture and cold over hot. The use of oil in the marinade might be unnecessary, since the thighs already have some oil of their own.
Keith Willis: The lettuce wrap was also presented nicely just a little more straightforward and common, but still looked delicious.