Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
On Friday I fought a culinary chicken battle that ended with a giant foam core check with my name on it. This was my second attempt to win the Semi-Finals of the Foster Farms Chicken Cook Off, last year wasn’t my year. But this year, I won a giant check, a trip to Napa, the opportunity to cook at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (my favorite prize so far) and the chance to grab another Giant Check worth ten grand.
I’m so excited. Not just because the other dishes I was competing against were incredible and each worthy of their own Big Check, but because, in a way, this Big Check (that currently sits on my bar, in all it’s 4 foot long splendor) serves as a validation for what I do. I’m good at this! See, look, other people picked my recipe out of thousands of other ones!
Maybe that seems silly, I create 3 to 5 recipes a week, post them for you and you seem to like them. You send me emails and post comments telling me that you liked my little creations. That should be enough, right?
But for some reason, that Big Check gave me tangible evidence that my recipes are good. Other people, who don’t even know who wrote that recipe, liked it.
Maybe I have a future here.
For this, I’m resurrecting and re-creating one of my most popular posts.
I love these little cucumber cups, so easy, so versatile, the perfect thing to throw together for a party. They take about 5 minutes, and they look so fancy. I used persian cucumber for these, smaller than your standard English cucumbers and the skin is so thin, there is no need to peel them.
Just use a small melon baller to scoop out a good portion of the middle, or use a paring knife to cut a wedge out of the middle and you can fill them with just about anything.
- 1/2 cup balsamic
- 4 Persian Cucubers
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
- 3 large basil leaves, chopped
- salt & pepper
- Place balsamic in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook until reduced by half (you can also by pre-reduced balsamic, called balsamic glaze, in the market near the balsamic vinegar).
- Cut the cucubmbers into 1 1/2 inch slices. Use a melon baller to scoop out the middle, leaving the walls and bottom in tact.
- In a bowl, add the goat cheese, tomatoes, basil and stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill cups with goat cheese mixture, drizzle with balsamic reduction.