Ready Set Cook
Who besides me misses this show? I loved the concept - 5 surprise ingredients, 30 minutes (or was it 20?), make what you will and be judged.
Is there anything like that out there? Iron Chef doesn't do it for me, because their pantry is so large. Not that I don't enjoy it, but that show is less about the secret ingredient, and more about, how do I make a dish that has [frozen peas!] and the lobster, foie grois, and truffles I brought with me.
Yes! I loved this show. I always wanted to try to do that at home. Have some friends come over with random ingredients, but realized that the pantry on the show, although not as big as Iron Chef, still puts mine to shame.
I also enjoyed this show, and the fact that the chefs were stuck with the people who brought the ingredients as their helpers, rather than having professionals. Some of them were really on their game and helpful, and some of them clearly didn't have basic kitchen skills and would spend 10 minutes chopping an onion that the chef needed fast. Since this was way before the big fishbowl of Iron Chef America and in the old days of the food network, they had some very talented chefs, as well.
I caught this show once and thought it was hilarious. In the middle, they brought out a surprise ingredient--cheese whiz, that had to be incorporated in the meal. The looks on both chefs faces were priceless.