Sisterhood of the Traveling Pans: Master Chef Challenge

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on October 23, 2012

in family, friends, Uncategorized, vegetables, vegetarian

Holy crud, I’m behind on posting. I got so sidetracked with all the chocolate, and then all the anniversary stuff (have you entered yet?) I completely forgot to give you all the rundown of our last Traveling Pans gathering!

The theme/challenge was an interesting one: choose a recipe from a “master” chef that we’d never made before and create it for the group. I had the hardest time choosing what to make, since I took on a variety of challenges a couple years ago during and after Project Food Blog.

Originally, I was going to choose a Morimoto recipe and make some sushi creation, but finances limited that one. Then, it hit me: my favorite “master chef” is Rick Bayless. While I’ve made his Mole Rojo before, one of my favorites from Frontera is the pork tacos “al pastor.” And so, that’s what I made. And for the first time in blog history, I neglected to take a picture of it. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but it was delicious. And I made my own tortillas too… I think I’ll have to recreate it soon.

The rest of the meal was stellar. Seriously remarkable food created by some truly amazing people. We started with a delicious cocktail inspired by Jessica’s apple cider sangria. It’s truly dangerous and delicious stuff!
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We spent some time just enjoying each others’ company, since it had been quite some time since we’d seen each other. Of course, photos ensued:
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We’ll get to that cake later. Everyone began the last-minute preparations for their dishes. Eo made a delicious appetizer/side dish (Bobby Flay I think?) of buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, and ciabatta, all skewered together on a sprig of rosemary.
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Fresh, homemade brioche was sliced by Beth,
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Mom’s fried chicken, a recipe by Bobby Flay, was warmed in the oven for maximum crispiness
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Tina made a delicious potato-wrapped sea bass with melted leeks and red wine sauce. I can’t remember whose recipe it was, but it was perfect, and picture-perfect.
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Amy made a tortilla española from Ferrán Adria’s El Bullí cookbook, featuring a very strange ingredient: potato chips!
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The table was beautifully set, as usual
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Oh, hey, you can sort of see the fixings for my tacos there. The green salsa, white casserole dish, and plate of tortillas are all up front!

Eo had the most adorable salt and pepper containers!
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Beth brought, along with her brioche, a soup from her days in France: artichoke, parmesan and black truffle soup, with which we ate the brioche topped with black truffle butter. It was the most unique and delicious dish!
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In addition to her amazing fried chicken, my mom brought fresh corn fritters with spicy honey. They were SO delicious!
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Then came dessert. Eo chose a recipe from (I think) Mark Bittman for a maple-pear upside down cake. I’ll be making this one for sure since the flavors were so quintessentially fall.
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Liz chose a recipe from Art Smith for his famous hummingbird cake. It featured pineapple and banana, and a perfect cream cheese frosting. YUM!
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In all, it was a glorious evening full of delicious food and wine, and most importantly, great conversation. I can’t wait for the next meeting, which, promises to be full of delicious desserts.

I’m having a blast reading all of your suggestions for the blog in the future, and I’m fully planning on implementing all of them at some point! You have until Friday afternoon (about 4 p.m. CDT) to leave a comment and enter my blog birthday giveaway!


This recipe blog post has been Digiproved © 2012

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn (eating bender) October 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Gosh I miss the Traveling Pans sisters! What an amazing meal and evening with great women. Everything looks incredible as per usual. I hope to be able to time a future trip back to Chicago with one of your get togethers!
Jenn (eating bender)´s last blog post ..Pane e Vino


Mara @ What's For Dinner? October 23, 2012 at 5:38 PM

We so missed you Jenn! Everyone asked how you were doing :)


Jenn@slim-shoppin October 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM

What a great idea for a dinner party! Love it!

All the food looks amazing Mara!


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