Can I Still Cook Like a Top Chef: The Vending Machine Challenge

The next time I’m near a vending machine I’m selecting pork rinds. What’s that? You’re telling me I’m not going to be able to find pork rinds in my local vending machine.

Tell me about it. Seriously Top Chef Canada? They took a classic quick fire challenge, the vending machine, and messed around with it. Last time I checked you can’t purchase pork rinds, and nori in a vending machine. Trevor ended up winning, and received a pretty good advantage: a pimped out tent on their camping excursion. Not that it helped him against mother nature the following day. Carl was nice enough to help him out with his dwindling fire.
David “the risk taker” Chrystian was his wild self this episode, running around with, what looked like, a bad Halloween costume.

Trista won with her smorgasbord brunch, winning a Weber barbecue (insert product placement joke here). Ryan, the self proclaimed douchebag, was sent home with his rabbit duo.

Next week looks like a pretty good episode, with Marcus Samuelsson as a guest judge and how uncomfortable Trista makes all the guys as she cries in the waiting area.

This week I’ve decided to take on the vending machine challenge with Ruffles All Dressed potato chips.

Home Made French Fries with All Dressed Seasoning

8 large white potatoes
1 80 g bag of Ruffle Potato Chips

1 tbsp salt
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder

2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1. Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes so they are crinkle cut, if you don’t have one you can cut them by hand with a knife. (Make sure they’re cut approximately the same size, to ensure even cooking.)
2. Blanch the potatoes (this is quite different then blanching tomatoes btw) Heat your vegetable oil on high for about 5 minutes, then add the fries. Reduce the heat to medium right away, and leave the fries in there for 45 seconds to a minute.
3. Take the fries out and drain. Let them cool for about 15 minutes.
4. In the meantime make your seasoning by combining the salt, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
5. Crush 2 large All Dressed potato chips, and mix it with the seasoning.
6. Mince parsley and set aside for the garnish
7. Heat vegetable oil, and fry the french fries until they are floating.
8. Take the fries out with a slotted spoon and add a tablespoon of the seasoning and mix until evenly distributed.
9. Plate and garnish with minced parsley.

The Results:
The last time I made fresh fries was culinary school, and it was a daunting task. The chef came around with a ruler to make sure they were cut evenly. I was a bit nervous but once I got over my fear of cutting the potatoes, it was super easy. I think I’m going to be making homemade fries more often. The fries definitely had the all dressed taste to them. Considering I actually did a vending machine challenge, and didn’t use nori, I think this week was a huge success.

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