Chicago mom shares how to throw a MasterChef partyThursday, September 12, 2013
If you're like me and love watching Gordon Ramsay do pretty much anything, then you've been following along with MasterChef. I don't want to give any spoilers here, but thought I'd show you ways to throw a MasterChef finale party. With a few tips from Pinterest, you can make it a great night! We had a low-key version with three different five-ingredient mystery boxes and I'll feature one of those recipes below.
A color theme of red and yellow is pretty simple to create a basic tablescape. Think a white cake with the MC logo and a candy bar for your guests in the signature colors. Another fun twist to any party is to have the guests be the entertainment. In honor of the show, have them do the cooking. Whether it's through a mystery box of ingredients or encouraging them to learn how to make something new, like sushi or souffle, it should be an interesting night. The possibilities are endless. You can make the party more upscale for adults or kid-friendly in honor of Junior MasterChef starting in just a few weeks.
One of the biggest elements of MasterChef is the "mystery box" challenge. The contestants receive a few surprise ingredients and create recipes on the fly using other things in the pantry. The main criteria is plating, taste, and use of ingredients.
My mystery box ended in a Asian Tofu Stir Fry.
Mystery box ingredients: tofu, walnuts, cayenne pepper, ginger, orange juice. I have never cooked tofu before, so this was a challenge. Other ingredients included Teriyaki marinade (store bought), a splash of salt, raw broccoli slaw, 1 red pepper, thinly sliced, 1 carrot sliced into thin discs, ¼ of an onion sliced thinly, fettuccine noodles broken in half and cooked al dente, ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
Cook a half box of pasta noodles until al dente. Blanch 4 oz. of walnuts in boiling water for 3 minutes, strain, and coat in a mixture of powdered sugar, dash of salt, dash of cayenne pepper. Bake for 10 minutes and then place in a bowl to the side.
Cut one block of tofu (extra-firm) into cubes. Marinate in a mixture of marinade with a splash of fresh orange juice. I marinated my tofu for a few hours, but an hour or so should work. Using a wok with a splash of olive oil, cook all vegetables until desired texture (I prefer mine more on the raw side, but feel free to cook until your desired outcome). Remove and put to the side. Add marinated tofu and cook for 1-2 minutes each side. Combine with vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
Place noodles in the bottom of a bowl and top with stir-fry mixture. Mix a remaining one cup of store marinade with ¼ cup orange juice, dash of cayenne pepper, and a few grates of fresh ginger and "cook" over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Pour over stir-fry dish. Garnish with cilantro, 1 orange slice, and candied walnuts. Voila!
For never having cooked with tofu, I think I did pretty well and all of the dishes of the night were so delicious. From a beautiful shrimp appetizer to a melt-in-your-mouth dessert bruschetta, I was impressed. Have you ever done a cooking party? We'd love for you to share on our Pinterest page.