Last summer when I could see grass and not snow, the wife found out that Alton Brown was going on tour. She made it clear that she would love to see him and even wanted the Gallagher-like “poncho seats”. As months went by, she forgot about it… but I didn’t. As it turns out, I learned that a new member of our synagogue worked at the theater. Not being the shy type, I asked if he could help me get premium tickets which were no longer available online. A couple of days later, I got a call that (magically!) two front row tickets were mine if I wanted them. The tickets they weren’t gifted to me, but became my Chanukah gift to us, and they were well worth the price.
The wife and I wait on line for our turn to shake hands, get a picture with Alton, and have him sign both the photo they gave us as well as the VIP pass we wore around our necks. We had questions at the ready. It was left to me to ask for a Battle Yum challenge. Trying to not to sound to hokey, I said to Alton, “We play a family version of Chopped. If you had to give us four ingredients to work with what would they be?” Alton looks pained, as if I didn’t know he wasn’t the host of that show. Then quickly blurts out “Anchovies!” Then for what seemed to be foreeevvveeer, but probably more like 15 seconds he says, “gummy bears and brussel sprouts.” Needing a fourth his brow furrows up and another 10 seconds goes by and out comes “Marshmallows.” We laugh and he laughs at us. Clearly, any evil twisted mind that combined those four ingredients was not laughing with us.
All I could think of as I walked away was “Anchovies? Why did he have to pick Anchovies?!?!?”
Skirt Steak with Gummy BBQ Sauce and Anchovy-Date Salsa
- Enough Skirt steak for 4
- 1 cup Gummy Bears
- 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/8 cup water
- 12 brussel sprouts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 lbs sweet pototoes (yams) peeled and cut into 1" thick pieces
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of ginger
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 anchovy flllets
- 3 tsp capers rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 dates finely chopped
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp raspberry vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Gummy BBQ Sauce
Place gummy bears in a small saucepan. Heat 3-4 minutes or until melted. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Keep over low heat to simmer until served. Sauce will thicken after cooling down.
Brussel Sprouts and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss brussel sprouts in olive oil and place on once side of a 13x9x2 baking dish. Arrange the potatoes next to them in the same baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes. Cover dish with foil.
Bake potatoes for 45min. Uncover and and bake for additional 15min until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slight basting occasionally. Increase over temperature to 500 degrees. Top potatoes with marshmallows and almonds. Return to oven and bake about 3 minutes until marshmallows begin to melt and the nuts begin to brown.
Anchovy and Date Salsa Pesto
Place anchovy fillets, capers and garlic in a mortar and pound with pestle until a smooth paste is formed. Add dates and pound till blended in. Gradually stir in the oil and vinegar until well combined. Stir in parsley.
Heat Grill to high temperature. Coat skirt steak with olive oil and place on grill. Grill 4 minutes each side for a 1" thick piece. Cook for shorter time for thinner smaller pieces as skirt steak will cook quickly.