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  • Writer's pictureYara Suki

And Your Secret Ingredient Is...

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

I should have known that after years of watching Chopped it would all catch up to me. Talal invited Daddy and I to a face-off. He thinly veiled it as an opportunity to 'practice' for my future(?) debut on Chopped. When in reality... it was Talal wanting yummy food. I mean.. Can you blame him?

Talal was the host of the show. He selected and announced the ingredients that daddy and I had to cook with. He monitored us to make sure there was no fraternizing. He even bought little prizes for the competitors. Mommy was no innocent party either! She was in on it and had a big appetite, too.

While daddy and I slaved away, they enjoyed the show and even had the time to think up a scorecard for the event.

Our secret ingredient was short ribs. Of course daddy and I laughed at the choice. This cut of meat needs hours on the fire, so what had originally been planned to be a timed affair, ended up being a little loose-y goose-y.

Daddy and his chef hat went the traditional route with his protein, braising it as one would expect. Where he experimented was in his sides. He made a three-layered potato dish - white potato, purple sweet potato and regular sweet potato. He cooked each separately with a matching seasoning and layered them just before serving. He also made a mix of greens with sliced almonds (I have to admit that I'm writing this post almost a year and half after the actual event, so my memory is a little shaky here.. couldn't tell you what greens we're talking about). But take my word for it.. it was yummy!

I took the unexpected route and used the Korean-cut short ribs. I painted them with gochujang and hit them on high heat to create a crusty. caramelized layer. I chopped the meat off the bones and tossed them into a pan of sautéed cabbage and julienned carrots before stuffing them into egg roll wrappers. On the side I made a quick noodle stir fry. I may or may not have noticed that daddy made an entire entree. It was a competition and my meal wasn't going down without a fight.

Talal and Mommy acted like real judges. Or was it that they acted really judgy? Either way, the silently deliberated and completed their scorecards, while daddy and I took a load off and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Our final scores were 30 and 29. I won by 1 point and as it turned out, my originality saved me!

At Home

With Mommy, Daddy & Talal

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