It is with great confusion that I report our strangest servery challenge to date. Everything with edible?? There was no clear winner? Rob’s didn’t shave a few years off my life?? Yes, all true. Usually these cooking competitions feature one entry that is the worst thing you’ve ever had in your mouth, one that seems good by comparison, and the rest just various brands of mediocre. But this time…? Maybe it was that we each got 25 minutes to cook. Maybe it was our new and improved kitchen set up. Maybe it was Brian Reinhart. Maybe the theme, THE SPIRIT OF NORTH CAROLINA, made everyone strive for greatness.
Time: ~22 minutes
Dish Name: Stick it in Your Mouth
Description: Southern-style biscuits with bacon cooked in pepper jelly with pimento cheese
For someone who grew up in Syracuse, Rob definitely understands North Carolina food. The bacon was the main issue with this one–it was chewy and hard to eat in pieces. But I’ll take it over strawberries mixed with pickle juice any day.
Time: ~20 minutes
Dish Name: Sheesh-Carolina
Description: Sausage, Shallots, and Cherry Tomatoes on a stick, cooked in Cheerwine
These were actually pretty tasty! I feel like it could have done a little better highlighting the Cheerwine, the main thing that makes this dish North Carolina-related. Brian had never tried it before buying it to make this challenge, so he was trusting in North Carolina to make something great. Of course, his trust was not misplaced.
Time: ~12 minutes
Dish Name: Shakalacky
Description: A Cackalacky milkshake made with Carolina Creamery vanilla ice cream and Mapleview milk
True to my usual strategy of making something quick and easy, I went for a dish with only three, beautiful, entirely local ingredients. Cackalacky is a sweet potato-based hot sauce made in Chapel Hill, and the key to success was using just enough of it to give the milkshake a little kick.
Time: ~45 minutes
Dish Name: Shrimp N’ Grits
Description: Wild-caught shrimp, North Carolina grits, a roux of mushroom and ham gravy
Steven’s was legitimately what we had for dinner. Dude pretty much ignored the time limit because “I’m hungry.” Shrimp and grits is more of a South Carolina thing?? But these were delicious. But can you really still be considered if you took almost twice as long as everyone else? Time limit was 25 minutes…
Anyway, in the end we had a four-way tie with each of us getting one vote. So maybe it’s up to you to decide?? Cast your votes now!