Last weekend my husband and I had one of the best date nights EVER. For his birthday, I bought us two seats at a local cooking school to participate in their Ultimate Burger Challenge. My husband and I competed in against two other couples- think Top Chef! Our challenge:
To create the Best Tasting/Unique Burger in
10 ingredients or less.
After two hours of concepting, shopping and cooking all couples needed to present their final burger to a panel of judges. Couples were ranked on Burger Taste, Uniqueness of Recipe, Ingredients and Plate Presentation. The concept of cooking drastically changes when the sky's the limit on ingredients. Since we had already paid a flat fee, we had full reign of any meat, produce, spice, cheese and bread we wanted- cost was not an issue. As a stay at home mother who is very conscious about stretching her dollar at the grocery store, I needed my husband to remind me to turn off the money saver mode of my mind.
Here's what we chose to make:
Organic grass feed beef burger topped with a fried goat cheese round and heirloom tomato slice rounded off with a fresh homemade garlic basil aioli sauce served on a grilled ciabatta bread bun. On the side we also made Baked Brussel Sprouts with the garlic aioli dipping sauce.
Prior to starting the competition, all of the couples were instructed to make three identical dishes- one for the judges and two for the couples to enjoy. Two hours seems like a lot at the beginning but let me tell you- time fly's when you're cooking under pressure. At first everything is very calm but as the judges begin to count down the time left, the pressure is on!
After our presentations to the judges on what we created (just like Top Chef) all of the couples were able to sit, talk and admire (lust) after everyone's dishes which we were all able to sample after the verdict was given.
Another couple and us tied for FIRST place!
What did I win you ask??
The pleasure of meeting two other couples, spending 4 hours with my terrific husband, a night out without children, the reminder that I LOVE to cook, an experience that I'll cherish for life and oh yeah...the title of 1st place- I can't help it, I'm competitive ;)
Below I'm adding links to similar recipes we used to create our burger. I would recommend this type of class to anyone who loves to cook or just likes competition. It was a blast.
Basil Garlic Ailio Sauce (just add in fresh basil leaves):
Fried Goat Cheese:
Crispy Brussel Sprouts:
Grilled Ciabitta Bread (omit the tomatoes):