Tag Archives: Announcements

MasterChef – One Year Later; Avon Walk For Breast Cancer; A Special Foodie PenPal Package; and a MAURPOWERFOODIE GIVEAWAY!!!

Last night marked the premier of MasterChef Season 4, and I could not help but feel a rush of nostalgia, as it was just 1 year ago that I was going through the excitement of being one of the top 100 in Season 3. From news appearances to interviews and features in papers, tribunes, websites, and magazines, it was an amazing time. An experience I am so fortunate to have had, and the birth of MAURPOWERFOODIE! Can’t believe that this was but 1 year ago…

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I still have not worn that shirt since the show. But I did do something else for the first time since being on the show. I used the ingredient which quite arguably sent me home… Black Garlic.

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For my dish on the show, I decided to use a smear of black garlic on the plate for presentation and too add a depth of flavor. This did not go over well with the judges (the infamous skidmark remark) and in retrospect was a horrible use of the ingredient. Well I decided what better way to pay tribute to the amazing experience I had on the show and how far I have come since by using Black Garlic the right way in order for a MasterChef Season 4 Premier/Season 3 1 Year Anniversary Dinner. So last night I had my friend Alyssa over for dinner and the show. And the meal was fantastic. Black Garlic Rubbed Steak, Black Garlic Butter Corn on the Cob, and Loaded Smashed Baked Potato. As you can see, Alyssa enjoyed it thoroughly:

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MasterChef was a huge step on my culinary journey and has led me towards many things. As for last night’s premier… what a great episode! Definitely some amazing talent this year, some unfortunate flops, the judges were on top of their game in both entertaining and giving some solid critiques. So happy to see my boy Luca Manfe from Season 3 back after his heartbreaking elimination last year and can’t wait to see what he does this year to redeem himself. One thing some of you may remember me conquering after MasterChef was walking 40 MILES for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!

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Well, I am happy to announce that I am walking again this year 🙂 I have a fundraising goal I have to make of $1800.00, so please, help me out and make a donation to help put an end to Breast Cancer. And be sure to see below how your donations can help you win today’s MaurPowerFoodie Giveaway!

Speaking of that giveaway… I decided to do it because my Foodie PenPal whom I sent a package to last month, Judy Thompson, was nice enough to actually send me one back. So I figured to pay it forward, I would give away a PenPal box just like the one I sent Judy to one of my luck followers. First things first, what did Judy send me? An amazing collection of snack foods: Chocolate covered marshmallows, Chocolate covered potato chips, Chocolate covered cherries, caramel waffle crisps, and almond biscotti. All of which were delicious and have since been devoured.

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Which brings us to what you have all been waiting for… the GIVEAWAY! Your own MaurPowerFoodie PenPal Box, featuring some of my favorite snacks and ingredients and pictured below:

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So, how do you win??? Easy! All you have to do is go to the Giveaway post and follow the simple instructions.

There you have it! It is as easy as that to earn anywhere from 1-8 entries for the MaurPowerFoodie PenPalPackage, and the drawing will be done June 21st at 8:00 PM EST, so be sure to ENTER NOW!!! Winner will be contacted by e-mail to make arrangements to get your address to send your prize to 🙂 Good luck everyone.

Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off. Can’t wait to see who the winner is 🙂

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A MaurPowerFoodie Challenge: July/August 2012

Last month I announced my first ever MaurPowerFoodie Challenge and you got to pick 5 mandatory ingredients! The ingredients picked were Brown Rice, Garlic Chives (Thank you Michael Chen, fellow MasterChef Season 3 competitor), Cantaloupe, Buttermilk (Thanks to Ben Starr of MasterChef Season 2), and Pickled Whitefish from Ikea (Thanks a lot Abe… from law school). Another subscriber, Dave Miller, of MasterChef Season 1, did not get his ingredient of miso in before the other 5, but I went ahead and decided to use it anyways. So here I am, with an odd combination of ingredients to say the least, but I came out with a killer dish in the end! This month I made a Buttermilk Battered Fried Pickled Whitefish, over a garlic chive and lemongrass infused buttered brown rice, served with a cantaloupe miso broth. Anyhow, I am sure you are dying to know how I made it, so let’s go step by step.
First, the broth:

I started with a whole cantaloupe, which I juiced. Take a look at this melon. Ripe, fresh, and delicious:

I then sauteed some garlic in a bit of olive oil. I added a little bit about three stalks of chopped green onion. I also put the stems in there to get some more flavor out of them, but remember to remove them at the end. Next, add the cantaloupe juice (I used 3/4 of the melon’s worth and then poured myself a glass of the rest of the refreshing nectar). Bring this to a boil and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Then add just a little bit of hot pepper sesame oil. Remember, a little bit of this goes a long way, so no need to be heavy handed. So it looks like this:

Now, remove from the heat (VERY IMPORTANT! YOU DO NOT WANT TO BOIL THE MISO). Add 1 1/2 tsp of white miso paste and stir allowing the miso to dissolve completely in the broth. Set aside and simply reheat when ready to use!

Next we have the Brown Rice. This is pretty simple. Take 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cut up stalk of lemon grass (big chunks are better because you are removing it after cooking), some finely chopped garlic chives, 2 cups of water, and 1 tbs of butter and put it all in a pot. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 50 minutes.  Remove top, remove lemongrass chunks, and stir.

Next is the buttermilk batter. Again, really easy. First take 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tbs of garlic powder. Sift the dry ingredients and put in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, lightly beat 1 egg and then add 1 cup of buttermilk to the egg and mix together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until you have formed a smooth, liquid batter… like this:

Finally comes the roughest part of this challenge. Doing something with pickled whitefish from Ikea. And yes Abe, I even went and got it from Ikea… See:

This stuff is extremely salty and slimy, so I wanted to do something to get some of the moisture and salt out of it so it did not simply fall apart while it was frying. I simply took the pieces of fish out of the pickling juice and let a paper towel sponge out some of the moisture and salt along with it.

After I had sponged out some of that moisture came the easy part. I heated peanut oil up to 350 degrees, battered the fish, and fried it in the oil.

This leads us to the assembly of the plating. First a nice circle of rice in a bowl, leaving enough room around the sides for the broth.

Next a few pieces of the fried whitefish on top of the rice.

Then add broth around the sides of the rice, pouring a little bit on top of the fish (we don’t want to soak the batter and get rid of that amazing crispy outer shell).

Finally, I topped it off with a little bit of caviar and there we have it!

In my first MaurPowerFoodie challenge I think the score definitely goes MaurPowerFoodie: 1; Challenge: 0. While I am very happy with how this whole dish turned out, the best part was that broth. It was killer! I will most definitely be using that broth on a regular basis. Rich in flavor and color, definitely make yourself a nice cup of cantaloupe miso soup, maybe with some shrimp.

Which leads us to the next month’s challenge! Remember my 5 mandatory ingredients are up to you and based on the first 5 comments to this post (provided they are available to me at a somewhat reasonable price). You must follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post for me to use your ingredient suggestion. One ingredient per person. Then I will take the ingredients and in September make my dish and do a post about it. Then, on that post, I will take suggestions for the next month’s challenge ingredients. Be creative but also be thoughtful, because as fun as it would be to watch me squirm with some odd ingredient combo’s, it would also be great to give you all new recipes you can use at home when looking for something delicious. Remember, for me to use your ingredient, you must BOTH follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post. I will definitely use the first 5 ingredients and then as many of the others as I can.

The creative juices are flowing, so let’s get this party started. Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off.

 


A NEW MaurPowerFoodie Challenge: You decide my monthly culinary quest!!!!

Hello everyone! Since I was tossed out of the MasterChef Kitchen, I have really started branching out from my cooking style and now it is time to take the next step. I have decided to really start challenging myself as a chef and you are going to be the ones to challenge me. So every month I am going to gather ingredients based on your comments on my MaurPowerFoodie Challenge posts. I will use the first 5 ingredients (provided they are available to me at a somewhat reasonable price) plus as many of the other suggested ingredients I can to create a (hopefully) stunning and delicious dish. I will then post pictures, a recipe, my thought process in creating said dish, and maybe even a video here and there of my frantic creative process in the kitchen and/or at the store.

Now I don’t want to keep you all waiting, so this challenge starts now! You must follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post for me to use your ingredient suggestion. One ingredient per person. Then, at the end of the month, I will take the ingredients and in August make my dish and do a post about it. Then, on that post, I will take suggestions for the next month’s challenge ingredients.

Be creative but also be thoughtful, because as fun as it would be to watch me squirm with some odd ingredient combo’s, it would also be great to give you all new recipes you can use at home when looking for something delicious.

Remember, for me to use your ingredient, you must BOTH follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post. One ingredient per person. I will definitely use the first 5 ingredients and then as many of the others as I can.

The creative juices are flowing, so let’s get this party started. Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off.


MasterChef on Fox… An update, some pics, and a preview!

Hey everyone!

As you may recall me mentioning in an earlier post, I was recently in California filming as I was one of the top 100 Amateur Chefs selected from all over the country to compete on this year’s season of MasterChef on Fox! The show premieres June 4th. Be sure to tune in to watch me compete.

Well, there was an updated preview, and that’s right, I, the MaurPowerFoodie, was in it a few times.

Watch as I listen and take in the Judges’ Opening Speech!

Then see me again as I am cutting and preparing my dish!

See my home-made stove top smoker!

See me get the crowd revved up as I finish cooking!

See me present my dishes to the Judges: Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliott

And finally… See none other than Gordon Ramsay tear apart the plating of my dish!(Not gonna lie, this was tough!)

 

Was the dreadful plating enough to be my downfall, or did the quality of the food prevail? Find out on MasterChef this season, June 4th, 9 PM, on FOX.

At the very least  we know I was not the worst dish in the competition (also featured in this clip!) You can see the entirety of the preview clip and a list of all 100 finalists here!


Master Chef Season 3

I am extremely excited to finally be able to announce that I was selected as on of the top 100 amateur chefs in the country and was granted the opportunity to compete on MasterChef. The show premieres on June 4th at 9 PM. It was an amazing experience for which I will always be grateful, not only for the step it allowed me to take on my culinary journey, but for the amazing people I met and have become such a huge part of my life. To be able to cook a dish for Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot was a true honor. What did they have to say? You will have to tune it to find out.

Please be sure to check out the premiere and keep your eye out for me, Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur.

For more information, be sure to check out the official press release or Fox’s MasterChef page.


The James Beard Awards

Last night was ever prestigious James Beard Awards. I wanted to share the winners with you as I know I will be making an effort to try the cuisine of these outstanding chefs, restaurants, restauranteurs, wine programs, and bars:

Outstanding Chef: Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park (NYC)
Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard (San Francisco)
Rising Star Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar (NYC)
Best New Restaurant:  Next (Chicago)
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH):  Bruce Sherman, North Pond (Chicago)
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama (Hoboken, NJ)
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI): Tory Miller, L’Etoile (Madison, WI)
Best Chef: New York City: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT): Tim Cushman, O Ya (Boston)
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY), Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce (Seattle)
Best Chef: Pacific (CA, HI), Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles)
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS): Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club (Birmingham, AL)
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV), Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten (Athens, GA) and Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene (Atlanta)
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT), Paul Qui, Uchiko (Austin, TX)
Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional, Paul Grieco, Terroir (NYC)
Outstanding Wine Program, No. 9 Park (Boston)
Outstanding Bar Program, PDT (NYC)
Outstanding Service, La Grenouille (NYC)
Outstanding Pastry Chef, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Chicago)
Outstanding Restaurateur, Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants (Seattle)

To see pictures of the awards, check out FoodRepublic. Also for more information on the awards and foundation check James Beard Foundation.

Check in for a Mother’s Day post this weekend!

Till next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing out.