WeekNight Dinner Challenge Episode Preview

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Coming up tomorrow is the episode featuring the winning recipe of the Week Night Dinner Challenge. Check out the promo video for a sneak peak at tomorrow’s show!

And, since we got so many great entries for this contest, here are three of our picks for honorable mentions:

Faux Vietnamese Pho from Heather Scholten:

For the Broth
10 c water
2 tbsp Beef “Better than Bouillon” base
8 peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt (or 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt)
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 (or 1/8 tsp ground cardamom)
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon)
8 whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds


1/2 lb flank steak, sliced super thin against the grain
8 oz rice stick noodles, cooked and drained according to package
1 lime, wedged
Cilantro, basil and/or mint
Thinly sliced: carrots, onions, green onions, ginger, jalapeno or cayenne peppers
Minced garlic
Bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, (Fish Sauce) for serving


1) Add 10 cups of water to a large stock pot.  Whisk in the 2 tablespoons of beef base and sea salt.  Toss in the ginger and peppercorns.  In a tea strainer basket or a piece of cheesecloth add the remaining spices and close the tea strainer securely (or tie off the cheesecloth) and add to the broth.  Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, prepare the rice noodles according to the package.  Drain just before serving or the noodles will stick together.
3) Slice flank steak super thin against the grain.  Cut into strips that will be bite sized.  Slice all veggies super thin and arrange on a plate for serving at the table.
4) To serve: add a portion of noodles to a bowl, ladle beef broth over and shake the bowl a bit to incorporate the beef broth into the noodles.  Lay the slices of raw meat over the noodles and add another ladle or 2 of broth.  The boiling beef broth will cook the meat in your bowl.  Garnish with veggies and sauces of choice at the table.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this delicious Vietnamese Pho or Beef & Noodle Soup as much as we did!

Note: All of the sauces and rice noodles should be located in the ethnic food isle at your local supermarket or online at  www.amazon.com. Spices should be in the spice isle or can be found at Cost Plus World Market or www.amazon.com

“Black Bean, Corn and Goat Cheese Tacos for Busy Nights” from Janisse Scott:


2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn, frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
4 radishes, thinly sliced

Directions: Place the olive oil in a skillet set over medium high heat.  Add the black beans, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine, cooking until the beans and corn are warmed through.
Scoop the mixture into taco shells and top with romaine, radish and goat cheese.

Rigatoni with Sausage and Arugula from Thomas Bohne:

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.

This pasta really packs in the flavor. You get a great spice from the sausage and pepper from the arugula. The sauce draws real depth from the wine and pork fat while maintaining sweetness from the San Marzanno tomatoes. The fresh basil and oregano cuts through the richness with herbal notes.


1 oz olive oil
1 large onion; chopped
3 cloves garlic; chopped
2 lb. Hot Italian Sausage; bulk
1/2 cup Chianti (any dry red wine)
28 oz. San Marzanno tomatoes (whole)
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
16 oz. Rigatoni
2 cups (packed) fresh arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil; sliced thin
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano; chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan; fresh grated

Directions: Heat oil and add onion, cook until translucent. Add garlic and sausage. Cook sausage until browned and add wine and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 30 min. Cook pasta according to time on pkg. In a sauté pan wilt arugula. When wilted add to sauce along with basil and oregano. Toss pasta with sauce and plate in wide shallow bowl. Great to serve family style. Garnish with cheese and basil.

Tune in tomorrow at 11 am to watch LSQ make the winning recipe, “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”!

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  • Linda D. May 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Lucinda,

    Your chicken dinner today looks great. Is this “chick pea” week. On Wednesday, the teacher guy made his vegetable dish with chick peas and now today’s chicken. Yum!!
    I printed out his radicchio recipe and will be making it as a side for my guests tomorrow night. I taped the show, so I can make it step by step with the two of you. Have a great weekend.

    Linda D.

  • Jessica May 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I’ll have to try them out in these recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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