FNCC Challenge: Claire Robinson

The food network chef for the challenge this week is Claire Robinson.

Claire who?  I had never heard of this person, but I've been out of the country for three years so I guess there's a few things I've missed.  Apparently she's the host of a new show that concerns itself with cooking dishes with only 5 ingredients.  That's an idea that I can get onboard with....some of the recipes that I've tried or have seen recently are very ingredient complicated.  I like simplicity.

I picked her Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe and my first reaction to tasting it was "Meh." It could have been me, I don't know.  My family were sort of "Meh" as well.  The recipe came with problems...Foodtv.com apparently couldn't be bothered to list ALL of the directions, so I had to guess at the end.  See for yourself here..  Also, the cooking times listed were underestimated in my opinion.  40 minutes wasn't long enough to cook the potatoes.  With those complaints, here we go..

Cube sweet potatoes.

I used grade A maple syrup since that's what I had (recipe calls for Grade B.)

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (I think more would have been better.)

Olive Oil...

2 tablespoons.  I'm not entirely sure why this much oil.  It wasn't really necessary to keep them moist and didn't help crisp them up.  I would reduce this amount.

Sea Salt..

2 teaspoons...

Ground pepper..

Stir it up and stick in preheated oven set to 400 degrees.  Recipe said roast 30 minutes, checking at 15.  They were rocks at 15.  Still rocks at 30.  Still hard in the middle at 45 and almost done at an hour.

Ah...my favorites...shallots.  Come here my pretties.

Thinly slice them.  Wipe tears because you forgot to turn the tap on while slicing.

Sautee in pan with yet ANOTHER 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  I like my evoo as much as the next gal, but this recipe is bordering on excessive IMO.

Sautee until they start to carmelize.

Pour in 2 tbsp maple syrup.

Fancy balsamico that I can get here in Naples...

2 tablespoons of that.

Sautee another 5 minutes until nice and carmelized.

Stir together with roasted potatoes.  This is where the recipe directions ended.  I served at this point.  The potatoes were sort of bland but the shallots were divine....

Completed dinner with the home made cranberry sauce, best turkey gravy ever, roast turkey and stuffing.


Sarah said...

This recipe was my second choice. Good to know they were not anything spectacular. I would tend to agree with you...carmelized shallots with balsamic vinegar AND maple syrup...mmmmmmm! It all looks pretty :)

Thanks for cooking with FNCCC!

newlyweds said...

Looks like it would be delicious, the only thing I can think of about the cooking time is maybe you could have put them on a rimmed baking sheet, and they would have cooked faster. I agree the shallots sound amazing!

marylillian said...

It's too bad they didn't turn out as you planned. The rest of your dinner looks delicious!

The First-Year Wife said...

That's so weird that they just didn't list all of the ingredients. Your results look really great, too bad it didn't taste so hot.

Ticia said...

So, I won't recommend this to my Mom who loves sweet potato recipes. What a shame, it looks good.

Susie said...

Your experience was like mine. I wasn't impressed with this chef at all:-(

SnoWhite said...

I had never heard of Claire before this week either and I haven't lived out of the country ;)

This was on my list to try too -- glad you tried it out :)

Pigs Do Fly said...

Balsamic glazed onions (with honey) is one of my favorite type of pan sauces for chicken. I bet shallots and maple syrup would be fabulous; I will try that next time.

I honestly think this chef is just too simple for most of us on the challenge. We're not novice cooks who need basic recipes, and it seems like that's most of what her recipes are. I think she uses an awful lot of salt and pepper too; probably because she doesn't have enough ingredients left to actually use some good flavored herbs and spices ;)

Lucy Marie said...

Sorry you weren't overly impressed with them. I thought that recipe looked good. Maybe a bit more syrup would help?

Gina said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Newlyweds: Maybe a baking should would have worked better, but I just have one at the moment and it was holding a tented turkey!

Lucy: Yes!

mub said...

I looked at making this one but couldn't get ahold of any syrup. I'm glad to know I wasn't missing out on too much.

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