Outing myself as a fan of The Next Food Network Star – review of Kelsey’s winning dish!


We’re seven episodes into season four of The Next Food Network Star, and although it’s a few weeks late, I wanted to share a review of a featured dish with those who may be interested. Remember the winning dish prepared by Kelsey (who, sadly, was eliminated last night) for the Red Lobster challenge? Well, yours truly tried out her creation a few days after it aired. Since I spend a little time on the message boards, I know that some people don’t have access to a Red Lobster restaurant and would like to know how her Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with White Chocolate Beurre Blanc fared. I’m happy to report: It was fabulous! Look, I’m not one to order a grilled fish fillet when I go to a seafood joint. Like many people, I’d much rather have a plate full of crustacean (when you’re on a budget like mine, this stuff is a rare treat, so it may as well be something you really want). But I was determined to try the Food Network winner, and I am SO glad I stuck to my guns. Like other viewers, I was dying to find out how white chocolate tasted fused into fish. Fortunately, with the mildness of tilapia and the subtlety of the chocolate (as the recipe reveals, Kelsey only used two tablespoons), the primary flavors of the beurre blanc are actually coconut milk and butter. And the macadamia? Fabulous! The crust, which Kelsey achieved by coating in egg before dredging in the crushed nuts, was exactly what I’d hoped – just enough crunch, yet still delicate enough not to break the fish. Now, here’s a tip for those of you who were intrigued by the rice side that Kelsey prepared alongside this in the episode: Red Lobster is not offering the entire dish, only the tilapia with beurre blanc (after all, that sauce is what helped her win the challenge). Fortunately, the new Red Lobster sides (I tried the Lobster Mashed Potatoes) are an excellent complement as well. If you try this one out before they pull it from the menu (“a limited time,” I presume, means until the end of the Next Food Network Star season), be sure to let me know!      


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