Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mystery Basket Challenge


Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!

We had to choose at least one ingredient from each list and create our own recipe:

List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

Of course, there aren’t too many recipes out there that call for, say, Parsnips, Chipotle peppers, and maple syrup…

… but we did find one. And we followed it. Just to be perverse, since every time we’re supposed to follow a recipe, we don’t; it made sense that this time when we shouldn’t follow a recipe we did.

Roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes with caper vinaigrette

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It reminded us why we usually don’t follow recipes. It was fine. We love roasted vegetables and eat them all the time. I guess that we just didn’t get any added value from the added work of following a recipe.  Fortunately, we came to our senses and did a bit better with the next two attempts.


Espresso rubbed steak and Chipotle-spiced parsnip and plantain fries

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This was quite simply out of this world. The espresso rub is something we’d made before. Overall we didn’t really care for it. This time. being paired with the sweetness of parsnips and plantains, the dish was fantastic. It was pretty exciting that using items from these crazy lists actually made an improved combination.

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Chipotle-spiced parsnips and plantains

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Eggplant and goat cheese croquettes

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these were a simple blend of roasted eggplant and crumbled goat cheese. We rolled them in breadcrumbs then fried until golden. They’re napped with a maple-miso-balsamic sauce that was vastly improved (like so many things) with a generous squirt of sriracha.


  1. Your croquettes look gorgeous - such a beautiful golden crumb - and I want to try chipotle parsnip chips now. I love the sound of the sweetness and the smoky spice. Fantastic job on this challenge!

  2. I really like the sound of the croquettes, nice job on the challenge this month.

  3. Oooh love the fries, nice idea :) And the croquettes, drool-able!

  4. Espresso-rubbed steak and eggplant-goatcheese croquette really sound and loook delicious...great job!

  5. I love all the different interpretations you made but the espresso rubbed steak and the croquette sound hevenly and I look forward to trying them