10 Ingredient Challenge

When my mom’s group gets together without kids for a Mom’s Night In, we usually have a lot of food. And wine. And sometimes we have theme nights and contests. Recently, we had a Top Chef-esque 10-ingredient challenge. You had to use 5 of these 10 ingredients to make a dish:


That 5th ingredient makes it difficult.

You can also use whatever else you want (i.e. salt, butter, flour) but it has to include 5 of these ingredients.

I decided to make a tart. I have never made a tart, nor one with such specialized ingredients. I found this recipe for a chocolate pear tart, and adapted it thusly:

1. I food-processed basil with sugar, to make basil-sugar to incorporate the basil.
2. I used peaches and mangoes instead of pears. I did not add anything to make them sweeter.

This is how it looked. The crust got a little brown.


It tasted pretty good, but here’s the thing. The dark chocolate goes better with the sweetness of the fruit, but the bacon would have been better, I think, contrasted with a milk chocolate, to give it that sweet/salty contrast. So it was really difficult to marry all these ingredients in the tart.

Here’s a recipe for a milk chocolate bacon tart.

Everyone else made a cheese corny dish, but alas, my dish did not win.

The chocolate part was really good, so I’d make it again with the pears, as pictured; or if I wanted the bacon, I’d do the milk chocolate bacon tart.

The basil was subtle and imparts a cinnamony type of flavor, rather than straight basil.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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