It’s that time of year again. Time to grab your most inspired, most creative, most lip smacking recipes and join me in friendly competition for the 2nd annual Pacific Foods Everyday Chef Challenge!
Last year I entered my Chicken and Asparagus Saute with the determination to win (I didn’t quite pull it off but managed to finish with a respectable showing nonetheless) and this year I’ve had the distinct honor of being asked to participate as a celebrity judge. Little ol’ me, a judge, can you believe it?
First let’s chat a bit about what the challenge entails. There are four categories where you can submit recipes.
- Drinks judged by Lori Lange of Recipe Girl
- Appetizers and sides, judged by muah, me, and myself
- Main dishes judged by Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- Desserts judged by Nicole Hamaker of Pinch my Salt.
Enter as many times as you wish in any or all of the categories. You can vote for yourself and for others; one vote per recipe per day. All recipes have to incorporate at least one Pacific Foods product. There are many delicious options to choose from; everything from almond milk to carrot ginger soup. You can scan the complete list of products HERE. If you’re looking for inspiration, be sure to set your gaze on last year’s entries. With so many top notch culinary ideas at your fingertips, I guarantee you’ll spark up a winning combination of your very own.
Next up, let’s talk prizes – there are some doozies up for grabs this year. Each of the judges were given the honor of picking the spoils for their assigned category. Prizes waiting to be won include:
- In the drinks category a Vitamix Pro valued at $450
- In the appetizer and sides category a Kitchenaid professional 600 stand mixer valued at $400 along with Whisk and Bowl Attachment valued at $50
- In the main course category a 6 ¾ quart Le Creuset Wide Oval French Oven valued at$130.00, a Le Creuset Round Grill and Griddle Set valued at $180.00 and a Breville Cordless Immersion Blender valued at $120.00
- In the dessert category a Kitchenaid professional 600 stand mixer (great minds think alike) valued at $400 and an Ice Cream Maker Attachment valued at $80.
Last but certainly not least, there is prize for the people’s choice selection; the all around biggest vote getter. Get ready because the winner of this honor will receive an 11 piece Le Creuset Cookware set valued at $1000.
You can find the complete set of rules over at the Pacific Foods Every Day challenge website. The contest begins Monday and runs through November 14th so grab up your apron, put on your best game face and let’s get cooking!
To kick it off, I’ve created a simple yet satisfying soup using Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Broth. One of the aspects about this recipe I love is that it can be as hearty or light as you want it to be. I’ve added in chicken and noodles to turn it into a bit more of a meal, but for a lighter course, you could easily remove one or both. You can also turn it vegetarian by simply subbing tofu for chicken and veggie broth for chicken broth.
Begin by grabbing up a large sauce pan and adding in a splash of sesame oil on medium high heat. Salt and pepper a little cubed chicken and toss it into the hot oil. About halfway through cooking add a smattering of fresh ginger and garlic to the mix.
Set the cooked chicken aside and to the same pan add in a quart of Pacific Foods Chicken broth, a can of coconut milk (shake, shake, shake that can), a splash of lime juice and a little curry and lemongrass.
Let it heat up for a few minutes and slide in a few greens. Ok and one brown; definitely not forgetting about you Mr. Mushroom.
Let all those beautiful veggies simmer in the soup on medium heat for about 5 minutes and then add the chicken back in. Boil up a package of chow mein noodles (you find them in the Asian section of your grocery store), spoon a few into the bottom of your bowl and pour a cup of the finished soup over the top.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours? The contest doors open on Monday and I look forward to seeing you there!
Chicken Curry Soup
Yield: 8 Servings
Total Time: 45 min
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Pound Chicken, Cubed
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 Quart Pacific Organic Chicken Broth
1 15 Oz. Can Coconut Milk
1 Lime, Juiced
4 tsp Curry
1 tsp Lemongrass (I used dried)
1 Leek, Chopped
1/4 Green Cabbage, Sliced
4 Oz. Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Jalapeno, Diced
1/2 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 6 Oz. Package Chow Mein Noodles
Salt to Taste
Heat up the sesame oil on medium high heat.
Salt and pepper the chicken and slide it into the pan to cook up.
When the chicken is half cooked, add in the garlic and ginger and continue cooking until no pink remains.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set to the side.
To the same pan add in the chicken broth, coconut milk, lime juice, curry and lemongrass.
Let it heat up for about 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
Slide in the leeks, cabbage, mushrooms, jalapeno and cilantro. let simmer for about 5 minutes. Salt to taste.
In a separate pot, boil up the chow mein noodles. Add a spoonful of the cooked noodles to your serving bowl and pour a ladle of soup over the top.
Serve and enjoy.
I am working in conjunction with Pacific Foods as a guest judge for their Everyday Chef Challenge. As always, the recipe and all opinions are completely my own.