Chopped/Vegan: Your Time Starts….Now!

Chopped/Vegan: Your Time Starts….Now!

Welcome to a very MOFO edition of Chopped/Vegan. This one is gonna’ be off the hook for so many reasons. (That is, if people even say “off the hook” anymore.) Number one is: it’s Chopped/Vegan and it’s always an amazing time! Also, it’s the Post Punk Kitchen 10 year anniversary and I want to give away prizes like nobody’s business. And finally, this Chopped/Vegan is super duper special because it’s neither an entree round or a dessert round. Yet you can make something savory or sweet. It’s a friggin’ riddle, and I’ll give you a moment to catch up.

OK. Have you guessed what it is?

That’s right, it’s the Chopped/Vegan BRUNCH ROUND! Which means, you can go either savory or sweet here. Heck, you can go BOTH! OK, now lift your jaws up off the floor, sweep up the confetti and compose yourself.

So…before getting boring and going into the rules and stuff, let me announce the mystery basket ingredients. (But you still have to read the rules, ok?)

The four mystery basket ingredient for Chopped/Vegan Brunch are… (drumroll please, but like a synth-pop Depeche Mode kinda drum roll.)

Butternut squash, popcorn, fresh rosemary, and apricot preserves!

Ooh, I think this is gonna be a good one! Now read the rules and then we’ll get to the other fun part…the prizes!

Here’s the deal:
Create a BRUNCH utilizing all four ingredients as little or as much as you want. You can also use any other items in your pantry.

Here’s the rules:
You must use from-scratch, vegan ingredients to the best of your ability (if it’s covered in packaged vegan cheeze and made out of trademarked faux-meat products, sorry but you won’t win.)

Submissions will be judged on perceived taste, creative use of the mystery ingredients and presentation. The photograph is important, so if you’re not a professional photographer, use natural light where you can, try to use a real camera (not a cell phone) and remember, flash on food photos is rarely appealing.

There is no time requirement, so take all the time you need. This competition and the prizes are open to everyone, everywhere!

Here’s how to enter (please read carefully):
On Sunday Oct 14th at 5pm EST, you can begin to post your entries in the comments of this thread. Please don’t post before then because a) you don’t want your ideas stolen do you? and b) it makes it harder to go through when entries are interspersed with questions and other comments.

Your recipe can be posted anywhere, so long as it’s public and everyone can  see it  (your blog, Facebook, FlickR, Geocities, etc.) All entries must be in by 3 PM EST on Monday Oct 15th. Please make sure when you leave your comment, that a valid email is used so that you can be contacted if you win. I will pick the winners on Tuesday October 16th and announce them in a brand new thread.

Your entry must contain 3 things: the title of your dish, a picture of your dish (you can have more than one pic), and a description of your method. Please mention all ingredients used, not just the four mystery ingredients. Describe what you did as best you can so that people can recreate it if they like! A recipe would be ideal, but not totally necessary.

The Chopped Champion will receive:
~Fame, respect and the Chopped Vegan title
~A $50 Vegan Essentials Gift Certificate
~A signed copy of any of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s (um, that’s me) softcover cookbooks
~A Post Punk Kitchen Apron
~I’ll throw in some other prizes, like vintage spatulas, candy, drawings and whatever I feel like sending you. It’ll be good, promise!

And this time, there will be prizes for 10 Runner-Ups!
~5 cheftestants will receive a signed copy of any of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s (um, still me) softcover cookbooks
~5 cheftestants will receive a Post Punk Kitchen apron!

If you need a little inspiration, here are two past Chopped/Vegan competitions from my Facebook. The entree round and the dessert round.

And if you have no idea what Chopped! is, then you can read about it here, and watch a few episodes (warning: lots of animal products, sometimes pretty gruesome looking ones.) There are also episodes on Hulu.

Ok everyone, good luck, and your time starts….now!!!!

166 thoughts on “Chopped/Vegan: Your Time Starts….Now!

  1. Is the popcorn already popped or in kernel form? I was just thinking yesterday, “Why doesn’t chopped ever put popcorn in the basket?” This should be fun!

    1. I mean, it can go either way. I think popping it yourself would be yummiest but people will probably buy it already popped, too. If it were a real basket, I would put it in in kernels.

    1. You can do two, but they should make sense together if you wanna win! So if they are two totally unrelated recipes then the cook would lose points in the creativity department.

  2. Roasted Butternut Squash Quiche with Rosemary Popcorn Crust and Apricot Reduction Sauce
    Crust:
    3 cups popped popcorn
    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
    1/3 cup plain soy milk
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Filling:
    6 -8 cups cubed butternut squash
    1 medium onion, chopped
    5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    4 cups chopped fresh kale
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    14 ounces firm organic tofu, drained
    juice of one lemon
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar

    Reduction Sauce:
    Oil and caramelized bits of onion and butternut squash from roasting pan
    1 ½ cups high quality white wine
    ½ cup walnut champagne vinegar
    6 ounces organic apricot preserves
    Pinch of salt
    1 tsp cornstarch
    3 T water

    Method:
    For crust: Place popcorn in food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until popcorn is ground. Remove any hard, unpopped kernels. Remove ground popcorn from food processor and measure out approximately ¾ cup; return ¾ cup to food processor. Set aside leftover ground popcorn for use in filling. To the ¾ cup ground popcorn in food processor, add whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and chopped rosemary and run until the mixture is finely ground. Place mixture in a medium bowl.

    In another bowl, mix together soy milk and olive oil. Gradually mix with dry ingredients to form soft dough. (You may not need all soy milk/oil mixture.) Press dough into 9 inch pie pan, making sure to cover bottom and sides of pan evenly. Prick crust with fork several times and bake for 10 minutes in 350 oven. Set aside to cool.

    For filling: Toss butternut squash, onion, rosemary, and 2 T olive oil in large bowl and spread on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in 350 oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until squash and onion are softened and have nice caramelized spots (stir once or twice during roasting process). Remove and set aside to cool. Steam kale for approximately 3 minutes or until cooked through but still bright green. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and drain. Set aside.

    In food processor, crumble tofu and add 3 T olive oil, lemon juice, and cider vinegar. Process until smooth and remove to large bowl. Add roasted butternut squash mixture, steamed kale, and remaining ground popcorn to tofu mixture, folding carefully so you don’t smash the pretty squash pieces! Fill the pre-baked crust with filling mixture and smooth the top. Bake 45 minutes in a 350 oven.

    For reduction sauce: While quiche is baking, deglaze the roasting pan with white wine, scraping up all the yummy caramelized bits. Pour white wine and pan scrapings into saucepan, add vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until liquid is reduced by about half. Add apricot preserves and return to boil. Reduce and let simmer for a few minutes. Mix cornstarch and water and slowly add to mixture, stirring and cooking until sauce thickens. Serve warm over quiche slices.

    I posted a picture on the Post Punk Kitchen facebook page. I can provide a few more pictures highlighting the ingredients and making the crust.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Forgot to mention, tho it is probably obvious, that I don’t have a website or blog. I’m old! Guess I need to get my teenagers to help me figure this stuff out!

        1. Hi! You may need to change your permissions so that people can see the picture? If you normally have them restricted, put them on “public” just for this!

  3. Not sure everyone has soup for brunch? But me and my friends do during the cold winter months? And so did my family by force today. Apricot glazed roasted butternut squash, chickpea, rosemary, harrissa and hot sauce soup with salty nooch popcorn served over roasted chickpeas. if you poor a bit over some of the popcorn, or old bread, it’s a nice sloppy satisfying pick me up in the morning kinda like Lablabi is.

  4. Heyo! For the competition, we had a sweet vs. savory crepe showdown (a competition within a competition)! Each crepe used all of the required ingredients. Here’s what they were:

    Savory crepe: Curried Lentil and Squash Crepes with Apricot-Rosemary Chutney
    Sweet crepe: Candied Rosemary Squash and Grand Marnier Poached Peaches with Apricot Cream

    (As a bonus, we also whipped up a boozy brunch bevvie to go with it – Rosemary Limeade.)

    Here’s the link: http://www.the-real-meal.com/2012/10/vegan-sunday-brunch-episode-17-sweet-vs.html

  5. This is the first time I’ve participated in a cooking challenge, and it was a lot of fun! I decided to go the savory route, and who doesn’t love a hearty bread pudding? My entry is “Curried Butternut Squash Bread Pudding” (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4824026402742.2189783.1358955844&type=1). The curry paired with the apricot preserves and the rosemary in the sauce is a bit unexpected, but it gave this rustic bread pudding a lot of depth and complexity. It was a big hit in our family (our daughters loved it), and I’m already planning on making it again for Thanksgiving (if not before!).

  6. I made a five-course brunch; each course was a standalone Chopped/Vegan recipe. A menu post is here: http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/five-course-chopped-vegan-brunch-menu.html, and individual recipe posts are linked below.
    1. Amuse bouche (shoehorned into a cocktail): skewers of candied butternut squash and apricot-rosemary caramel corn in an apricot belini with muddled fresh rosemary. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/apricot-bellinis-with-caramel-corn-and.html
    2. Soup course: butternut, apricot, & rosemary bisque with apricot-rosemary caramel corn croutons. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-apricot-rosemary.html
    3. Salad course: Rosemary+ apricot glazed squash rounds over apricot cabbage, served with clover sprouts and crushed popcorn. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/sweet-apricot-rosemary-roasted.html
    4. Main course: Apricot, butternut, and rosemary pancakes made with popcorn flour, served with apricot-rosemary syrup and candied squash seeds. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-pancakes-with-popcorn.html
    5. Dessert course: Sundaes! Apricot, butternut, and rosemary coconut milk ice cream with lemon zest, served with apricot sauce, crushed caramel corn, and candied squash seeds. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/apricot-butternut-rosemary-ice-cream.html

    1. I love this chocolate chip pukpimn bread that my grandma made when I was a kid. Now I have the recipe and make it sometimes but it brings up the memories of sitting around the fireplace on cold snowy days!! The Blogfrog really appreciates your subscription and welcomes any questions or comments anytime!

  7. aaand of course I left my camera at home so I can’t attach the pic until I get off work 🙁 but…

    I made a benedict! popcorn and rosemary biscuit, crispy butternut squash “bacon” with the apricot preserves, tofu eggs, and a rosemary hollandaise.

    I ground the popcorn into flour and used it to make drop biscuits with the rosemary. I marinated thin strips of squash in brown sugar, apricot preserves, paprika, liquid smoke, salt, pepper and broiled until crispy, marinated and grilled some tofu, and used vegan mayo as a base for my hollandaise and added some fresh rosemary at the end, and then just assembled it all together. so yummy. I will follow up with a posting as soon as I get home from work!

  8. Butternut squash pierogi in a rosemary beurre blanc with an apricot balsamic drizzle and crumbled hazelnut popcorn brittle.

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151190074979000.486546.604443999&type=1

    Approximate recipe:
    2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubes
    Dried thyme
    Dried rosemary
    Salt
    Pepper
    Olive oil
    Cinnamon
    White pepper

    5 cups popcorn, popped and salted, and crushed
    1 c hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
    1 c white sugar
    1/4 c maple syrup
    1/4 c water
    3 tbs apricot preserves
    1 tbs earth balance
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/4 tsp salt

    White flour
    Water
    Olive oil
    Salt

    1 large onion, finely diced

    Apricot preserves
    Balsamic vinegar

    1/2 shallot
    2 tsp fresh rosemary
    1/4 c white wine
    1/4 c veggie broth
    3-4 tbs coconut cream
    Almost a stick of earth balance

    Roast the butternut squash with dried herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil until tender and even a little caramelized. Prepare brittle. Dissolve sugar in water and maple syrup, boil til 270 degrees, add preserves and earth balance, boil to 290 degrees. Add salt, vanilla and baking soda, stir together and then quickly stir in the popcorn and hazelnuts. Spread on a greased cookie sheet and cool.
    Fry onions til slightly golden, season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and mash in the roasted squash. Season with salt, white pepper, and a touch of cinnamon. Add about 3/4 c of coarsely ground hazelnuts. Now make the pierogi dough! Before you roll out the dough, set the apricot preserves and balsamic vinegar in a small pan over low heat and let it reduce down. Then lightly sauté the finely diced shallot and fresh rosemary, just until fragrant. Add the broth and wine and reduce until there are only about 2 tbs of liquid left. Add a tbs or two of coconut cream. Turn off heat. Finish preparing pierogi and boil for about 4 or 5 minutes (or until floating) and remove from water with a slotted spoon. Finish the beurre blanc by stirring in the earth balance one tbs at a time, until a thick emulsified sauce forms. Balance the taste with some extra coconut cream. Serve the sauce over the finished pierogi and add a little touch of the balsamic reduction and some crumbled popcorn brittle. Devour. Devour some more.

  9. Hi!
    I submitted my recipes in the comments early this morning, but it looks like my post is still awaiting moderation. It’s past the deadline though- does that mean I missed out? Here’s my info again:

    I made a five-course brunch; each course was a standalone Chopped/Vegan recipe. A menu post is here: http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/five-course-chopped-vegan-brunch-menu.html, and individual recipe posts are linked below.
    1. Amuse bouche (shoehorned into a cocktail): skewers of candied butternut squash and apricot-rosemary caramel corn in an apricot belini with muddled fresh rosemary. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/apricot-bellinis-with-caramel-corn-and.html
    2. Soup course: butternut, apricot, & rosemary bisque with apricot-rosemary caramel corn croutons. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-apricot-rosemary.html
    3. Salad course: Rosemary+ apricot glazed squash rounds over apricot cabbage, served with clover sprouts and crushed popcorn. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/sweet-apricot-rosemary-roasted.html
    4. Main course: Apricot, butternut, and rosemary pancakes made with popcorn flour, served with apricot-rosemary syrup and candied squash seeds. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-pancakes-with-popcorn.html
    5. Dessert course: Sundaes! Apricot, butternut, and rosemary coconut milk ice cream with lemon zest, served with apricot sauce, crushed caramel corn, and candied squash seeds. http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/apricot-butternut-rosemary-ice-cream.html

  10. I posted my five entries earlier this morning, but it looks like my comment is still awaiting moderation. It’s now past the deadline, so I hope that doesn’t mean I missed out! In case it was too link heavy and got flagged as spam, here’s the main post that shows the five-course brunch menu and links to each recipe: http://micahludeke.blogspot.com/2012/10/five-course-chopped-vegan-brunch-menu.html

    Here’s the menu:
    1. Amuse bouche (shoehorned into a cocktail): skewers of candied butternut squash and apricot-rosemary caramel corn in an apricot belini with muddled fresh rosemary
    2. Soup course: butternut, apricot, & rosemary bisque with apricot-rosemary caramel corn croutons
    3. Salad course: Rosemary+ apricot glazed squash rounds over apricot cabbage, served with clover sprouts and crushed popcorn
    4. Main course: Apricot, butternut, and rosemary pancakes made with popcorn flour, served with apricot-rosemary syrup and candied squash seeds
    5. Dessert course: Sundaes! Apricot, butternut, and rosemary coconut milk ice cream with lemon zest, served with apricot sauce, crushed caramel corn, and candied squash seeds.

  11. I posted mine hours ago and it is still waiting for moderation. Here is the link to my blog:
    http://stpeteveganfoodswap.wordpress.com/.
    I made two entries that I posted today in seperate posts.
    #1.Rustic Breakfast Pizza-popcorn and rosemary pizza crust with a spiced butternut squash and apricot preserve butter drizzled with rosemary lemon cream cheese icing
    #2. Popcorn and Rosemary Crusted Tofu with Butternut Squash and Apricot Preserve Chutney
    I hope I still have a chance to win.

  12. I totally didn’t see this until last night (I got exciting blog-related news on Thursday night and forgot to check the MoFo blog!) and I worked today so I couldn’t make it in time, BUT, here’s what I would have made (and I even had half the ingredients cooked and prepped!):

    Autumnal Apple Galette:

    Take a home made pie crust (I even had a prepped pie crust in my fridge!) roll out to about 10-14 inches diameter. Now, leaving about a 2-4 inch perimeter, spread a mixture of pureed roasted b’nut squash, apricot jam (this is traditional French style), chopped fresh rosemary and a little fleur de sal and cinnamon in the center of the dough, kinda like how you would put sauce on a pizza! Then, cover that inner circle with apples that have been peeled and dressed as for apple pie (with apple pie spices, flour, sugar, lemon juice, whathaveyou). Fold up the undressed edges of the dough slightly over the filling, this is how your galette stays together. Sprinkle dough edges with sugar and the apple center with a “popcorn crumble” (finely chopped popcorn, brown sugar, vegan butter, and some real flour to hold it together). Bake at 400 for about an hour, or until crust is golden and apples are juicy.

    I may make this tonight anyway!

    XOXO

  13. Pingback: Vegetarian Cookery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *