CHOPPED Thursdays Round #3 - Melanie's Turn

Disclaimer - I would have posted this last night, but had a LITTLE (lol) bit too much wine...oh well - we had a great time last night - so here's the long-awaited update!!! :)

Welcome back to CHOPPED Thursdays!!!  Melanie is the chef tonight, and I was in charge of determining the 4 basket ingredients, so I chose Wild Mushroom Ravioli (2 packages), Thinly Sliced Chicken Breasts (2 packages), Camembert Cheese, and Fresh Kale.  Total Spent = $29 (juuuust under the $30 mark).

With the timer set for 30 minutes...we gave Melanie the GO to begin.  There was already a pot of boiling water, and the oven was already pre-heated.    

First thing Melanie started to do was clean the Kale (thankfully - because if you don't, it's like eating dirt - eww).  She saved the Kale in the collander for use later on. 

Next, she started to clean and slice the chicken breasts.  She wanted them in bite-sized strips for her sautee pan.  While she was cutting up the chicken, she began to heat some oil and garlic in a sautee pan.  OHMYGOD that smelled delicious, and we were all starving, to say the least. 

Now she turns her attention to the Camembert Cheese.  Trying (at first) to cut off the hard "crust", she decides to just cube up the cheese, and throw it in a sauce pot with some Light Cream.  Letting the cheese melt down and combine with the cream was a great decision by Chef Mel. 

Turning her attention back to the chicken breast, she threw them in the pan, and began to cook them.  After getting a little sear on the pieces, she added the Kale and let it wilt down a little bit.

Now for the Wild Mushroom Ravioli.  Knowing that it only takes a couple minutes for them to cook, she threw the Ravioli in the boiling water, waited for it to get to the top of the water line, and drained the Ravioli.  She then plated the Ravioli at the bottom of the bowls with about 7 minutes left on the clock.

Back to the Camembert Cheese sauce, she was having a little trouble determining what spices to add to the sauce to add depth of flavor.  She finally decided on some Cinnamon, and added walnuts to the mix for some texture. 

Melanie was a confident chef in the CHOPPED kitchen. And she glanced up at the clock, realizing there was only 30 seconds left.  Quickly plating her chicken and kale over the Ravioli, the Camembert Cheese sauce went right on top, strained through a slotted spoon, losing the walnuts in the process. 

As a garnish went FLYING across the kitchen (in the form of kale), it only reached 2 of the 4 plates, and the time was up!!

Here's the Entree:  Mushroom Ravioli with a Camembert Cheese Alfredo with Sauteed Kale and Sliced Chicken.

Now...the "Judging" begins....

Entree Summary:  The Mushroom Ravioli, while delicious, wasn't actually repurposed into anything.  It was just cooked.  The Kale and Chicken was SLIGHTLY underseasoned, and also tasted delicious, was also not repurposed.  The Camembert Cheese Alfredo was the most delicious items the judges have eaten, here in the CHOPPED kitchen, and we all loved the depth of flavor that was achieved by adding the Cinnamon and Walnuts (although we never got to taste them as part of judging - we did later - YUM!!)

To summarize, Melanie did a fantastic job - she took a seemingly "easy" basket, and made a delicious meal.  Great Job Mel!!!

Next week, it's my turn to be the Chef in the CHOPPED kitchen.  I must admint, I'm extremely nervous.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!! :)

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