Kelly the Culinarian: Media meal: Top Chef budget dishes

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Media meal: Top Chef budget dishes

As a journalist, budget dishes have a special place in my heart and probably will for the rest of my professional career. It's just a fact I have to accept.

Tonight's episode was specifically geared for this lovely economy we're in too. I felt like it was a tailor-made episode for families living on a budget.

The quickfire challenge was to make a meal in 15 minutes. I don't think it's that huge of a challenge, people do that all the time. They also had to use Uncle Ben's Rice ... product placement all the way.

Antonia won the quickfire with a rice and salad combo with grilled skirt steak. It sounds like a very odd combination, but I'll give it a try now. If it impresses Oprah's personal chef, I'm sure it's good enough for me.

The elimination challenge was to create a meal for four on a budget of $10 with one hour of prep time, utilizing the assistance of adorable kid chefs. Again, I'm not sure how big of a challenge this is, people do this all the time, every day. The only challenge I saw was that they had to shop at Whole Foods, another product placement. I could easily check that challenge off if I was shopping at Aldi. This show has made meals from gas station crap, I'm sure they could make a five-star meal from Aldi.

The winner of the elimination challenge was Antonia, again. There were some great dishes, like a spaghetti putanesca and a fried spaghetti and all kinds of chicken.

See, I want to see more of these budget challenges. This is how the average American lives, not the gourmet fantasy I'd love to live.

Next week: Wedding wars! I love the wedding episode, I can't wait.

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