Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Really, I CAN cook!

About a month ago, we had a team building exercise here at work. It was probably one of the most fun activities we've had in long time. There were about 40 of us in the kitchen of our cafeteria. We were all given the same ingredients and had to whip up a meal that would be judged by our resident Chef (highly trained and award winner), the VP of HR, and the VP of our department. We had steak, potatoes, and the secret ingredient: brussel sprouts. We had access to anything in the kitchen.

Our team chose to do a pepper crusted grilled steak, mashed potatoes, and however you cook brussel sprouts. We also sauteed peppers and onions as well as mushrooms in bleu cheese to top the steak.

At first, we were at a loss. What to do? What to do? So, I whipped out my phone (thanks, company, for giving it to me) and looked up how to make brussel sprouts - which I've hated the whole one time I've tried them. We put them on to boil and then found some bacon. After frying up the bacon, we crumbled it and added the 1/2 boiled sprouts and a bunch of walnuts to it. We then popped it into the oven to bake.

Then, we set about chopping peppers and mushrooms while I covered the steaks with pepper and kosher salt. It looked like way too much pepper, but I was just doing what Bobby Flay or Jamie Oliver would have done. (See? TV can be instructional.) Potatoes were boiled and veggies sauteed while we grilled the steaks.

The result? Our team WON! Two of the teams were very close, but what really put us over the edge? My steaks!!! They were perfectly peppered! Yay for us! And the brussel sprouts? LOVED them! Maybe it was the bacon. Maybe it was the bacon fat. Maybe it was the walnuts. Whatever. I'm totally making these bad boys again!

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