And, the secret ingredients are….

I love food.

Secret ingredients: sheep's milk cheese & pomegranate

I love food so much, and I adore food surprises– discovering new things to eat, and new ways of cooking them.

This is why I keep watching Chopped.  Yes, Food Network (also available on Hulu for folks like me that don’t have cable).  They give the contestants four ingredients for each course, and they get to be creative food geniuses!  Yes, there is drama, and yes, there are sarcastic judges.  But, the food!  I love it!

So, of course, after talking about the awesomeness of Chopped, we got together with buddies and decided to have a little Chopped fun of our own.   And it was great!  Paul and Nicole brought us four secret ingredients, and we gave them three.

Paul and Nicole had to cook with….Pheasant, Oyster Mushrooms, and Bosque Pears.

Secret ingredient: Oyster Mushrooms

Yes, pheasant.  I don’t think it would ever occur to me to make them cook with Pheasant (I certainly don’t know how to cook it, or even where to buy it), but my father-in-law recently went Pheasant hunting, and put five frozen bags of pheasant in our freezer.  Five.  With feathers on.  Hm….

Ben and I had to cook with (cue dramatic drumroll please)….Pomegranate, a hard sheep-milk cheese that I can’t remember the name of, Cranberries, and Lamb (cut up as stew meat).

After we revealed the secret ingredients to one another, we drank a bottle of champagne and walked to the grocery store (grocery stores are way more fun after champagne). We got whatever we (secretly) thought we’d need to cook, and came home to get started.

The Final Result:

Paul and Nicole made ginger-marmalade Pheasant with butter sauteed Oyster mushrooms, brown sugar & walnut yams, and wine poached pears with Vanilla spiced ice cream.  (Yes- ice cream!)

Pheasant

Ben & I made a somewhat less sophisticated meal: Lamb Curry with basmati rice, a pomegranate & sheep’s milk arugula salad, and cranberry chutney.

Pomegranate and Arugula Salad

Holy awesome in my mouth, that I otherwise wouldn’t really think of making.

This made for a really fun way of cooking with friends.  What secret ingredients would you bring to the table?

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