- 4 Cups of Mushroom Essence (Tempered)
- 1 Cup of Small Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Cup of Escarole, (chiffonade)
- 1 Cup of Radiccio, (chiffonade)
- 1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 LB Raw Boneless Chuck Roast (Sliced Thin & Tempered)
- 2 T of Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife
- 2 Medium Sauce Pan
- Saute Pan
As chefs at an online cooking school we had to read the Hunger Games (don’t tell the kids) and were taken by some of the dishes. One that caught our eye was the Training Center Meal on Page 76 where Katniss Everdeen ate her fill of Mushroom Soup, Bitter Greens, Pea-Sized Tomatoes, Noodles in Green Sauce (we assume Pesto Sauce), Blue Grapes and thin-sliced rare Roast Beef. With the Hunger Games movie opening on March 23rd, we thought we’d take a stab (no pun intended) at the meal in case any fans want to make it at home to celebrate the premier of the movie.
Smart Kitchen’s Chef Eric O’Neill, took the concept one better than the description on the pages and made this Hunger Games Recipe feel more in the spirit of the story by placing all the main ingredients in a single soup. He uses the Noodles in Green Sauce as a Side Dish and the Blue Grapes as Dessert.
Preparation, is one of the thought processes that separates the cooks from the Chefs. Chefs make sure that their Mise en Place (their workspace and the required ingredients) is all set up before moving on to the actual cooking. Preparation, is the 2nd of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking,™ a novel and proprietary education system that breaks down learning to cook into 4 manageable steps.
The Method described below is to make the our version of the Hunger Games Mushroom Soup.
Begin your Hunger Games Mushroom Soup Recipe, by preparing all of your ingredients, including the Chiffonades of Escarole and Radiccio, Slicing the, cooked but Rare, Roast Beef thin, and making the Mushroom Essence . The Chiffonade is a specialized knife cut, taught in Smart Kitchen’s Beginning Level in the Basic Knife Skills Lesson. Proper Slicing is taught there too. Making Mushroom Essence is also covered in Smart Kitchen’s Beginning Level, but in the Stocks, Sauces & Soups Basics Lesson. Most of these tasks can be done ahead and the results stored cold, out of The Food Danger Zone, until you are ready to use them.
With the preparation out of the way, when you are ready to cook (about 15 – 30 minutes before you plan to eat but the timing is dependent on your skills and pace), place 2 Sauce Pans on the stove top on Medium Heat. When both pans have a little heat on them, add 1 T (Tablespoon) of Olive Oil into each Sauce Pan.
Watch for the 2 olive oils reaching their Smoke Points as Visual Clues that the Sauce Pans have reached a temperature of Medium Heat meaning that the two individual pans are ready to accept their ingredients. Place the slices of raw Beef into one pan and the small Cherry Tomatoes into the other. If you used your hands to place the raw beef wash them quickly to avoid Cross-Contamination.
Lightly Sear the thin sliced Beef on both sides until the outer edges turn golden and a slight crust forms. Each piece should take 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Work in batches if you can’t accommodate all the slices in a single batch. Once properly seared, remove them from the heat with Tongs and set aside on a clean plate. To avoid Cross-Contamination and to practice safe food handling you don’t want to use a plate that has touched any Raw Meat.
The Seared Beef will be Rare when it is removed from the pan per the dictates of page 76 of The Hunger Games. If you like your meat more Well-Done, you can leave it in the pan longer until it is cooked to suit you. The Seared Beef should be out of its pan and on the holding dish, well before the small Cherry Tomatoes Sautéing in the second pan begin to wrinkle slightly as a Visual Clue that they are ready. Remove them from the heat with the Tongs when their skins wrinkle (or after cooking them for 2 minutes) and place them in a bowl to hold them for later use.
Next, De-Glaze the Sauce Pan used to Sear the Beef with the previously prepared and Tempered Mushroom Essence. Heat the Mushroom Essence on High Heat until it Boils, then lower the heat to Low Heat so the Mushroom Essence will Simmer.
While the Mushroom Essence Simmers add in the Chiffonade of Escarole and Chiffonade of Radiccio. Let the combined mixture of Mushroom Essence and Bitter Greens Simmer together for 1 minute before shutting off the heat.
With the heat off, add the Seared Beef and Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes back into the pan. Give everything a gentle stir to incorporate the ingredients.
With everything mixed, this Hunger Games Recipe is ready to Plate and Serve warm. Enjoy immediately before heading off to watch the Hunger Games Movie or store the soup cold in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days before using it or discarding it. Let us know if you like the recipe we are toying around with some ways to make the Cream of Rose Soup mentioned on page 137 of the Hunger Games.
Learn how to make the Pesto Sauce to complete The Hunger Games dining experience by clicking on the photo or link.