Linda Fears, Family Circle’s editor in chief, made a guest appearance Wednesday on the hit competitive cooking show Hell’s Kitchen. Alongside chef Gordon Ramsay, Fears helped decide which of two teams (Red and Blue) created the best holiday dishes for Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo and Fourth of July.
The Red Team eked out a win with its Mardi Gras platter—the Muffaletta Sandwich and Shrimp and Polenta reigning supreme. The challenge winners were Ariel Malone, 26, a country club chef from Hackensack, NJ, and Ashley Nickell, 27, a chef de cuisine from Orlando, FL.
Try the winning recipes in your own kitchen!
Ariel Malone (left) and Ashley Nickell (right)
1 10-inch round loaf Italian bread
1 cup mixed pitted olives, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp chili oil
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/2 cup cabbage
1/2 lb salami
1/2 lb provolone
1/2 lb capicola
1/2 lb mortadella
Divide bread lengthwise; scoop out some of the doughy interior.
Combine olives, garlic, oil and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Spread half of this olive tapenade on bottom half of bread.
Combine vinegar, chili oil, honey and mustard; toss with cabbage. Layer salami, provolone, capicola, mortadella and cabbage. Top with tomatoes and other half of bread and wrap entire loaf in plastic wrap. Place a cast-iron pan on wrapped sandwich and set aside to rest for 1 hour.
Shrimp and Polenta
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells saved for stock
1 lemon, halved
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup white wine
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp blackening seasoning
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup quick-cook polenta
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan
Chives, for garnish
Place shrimp shells in a pot with lemon, garlic, wine, 1 tsp Old Bay, 1 tsp blackening seasoning and 5 cups water. Simmer 15 minutes. Strain.
Transfer 1/2 cup stock into a small saucepan. Reduce by half, add butter and whisk until sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp Old Bay and 1 tsp blackening seasoning over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Set aside.
Bring 4 cups stock to a boil in a medium pot. Whisk in polenta. Stir until it begins to thicken, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in cream and Parmesan. Season to taste.
Spoon polenta on a plate and top with shrimp and sauce. Garnish with chives.