Chopped Once More
Appetizer - beef tenderloin, nori (flattened seaweed), maple syrup
My first thought was to go with a negimaki, but I just don't think I'd have time. So I'd fry strips of the beef, serve them over a bed of green with a maple vinaigrette. That should free up enough time to make a tapenade (assuming olives are in the pantry) with the nori and some garlic, which I think would taste awesome. Serve toasted strips of french bread with that spread on them, on top of the beef on top of the greens. I think it'd look neat, but still might be perceived as two separate things w/o integration.
Entree - broccoli rabe, crystallized ginger, gouda, mah-mahi
What is it with them with really mild fish (which I just find the least interesting to make or eat)? Okay, the rabe would be sauteed with some red peppers for color. A gouda sauce goes on top of that (since I really do think cheese should be separate from fish, though this set of judges wasn't as dogmatic as the other). Sear the fillets after rubbing them with pepper. Since the sauce is going to be sweet, a lot of pepper. I'd cook down the ginger with some white wine - but not into a glaze (I HATE glazes on fish) - but just to soften it and bleed out some of the intensity of the flavor and disperse it through the sauce. Then, here's my coup - soy sauce and ketchup into the sauce. Trailer park stuff. But I'd need to keep it simple as I got so much else going on and I think the color would be nice too. If it's coming out too sweet it can be corrected easily enough with either hot sauce or vinegar. I think the whole plate would look awesome, but I fear it'd be two separate piles.
Dessert - (no meat this time!) cherries, pumpernickel bread, curry, yuzu juice (described as Japanese citrus like lime)
Wow, the two guys on there hit it right - I'd never think of french toast till it was too late. I fear I'd run out of time, but I think if I got a big skillet going with just a little water on the bottom, I think I'd have time to steam four little ramekins in it with a glop made out of bread crumbs, curry, eggs and sugar. (At worst it'd fall apart when I popped them and I dont' think that'd be the end.) I'd cook the cherries with the yuzu juice and sweeten it enough. If I could manage it at the same time, a creamy sweet sauce with curry (and maybe mango or some other fruit) could be drizzled over or be a second puddle beside the cherry glop.