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Recipe Hacking Challenge #6 Results

10 Jul

Have you been checking in daily, dying to find out the recipe hacking results? Did you forget about this contest altogether? I bet you thought I had! I didn’t. My apologies. What can I say? It’s summertime and I’m easily distracted.

Since you’ve waited long enough, I’ll cut right to the chase. The winner the the 6th Recipe Hacking Challenge is…

Rhi @ The Challenged Cook!

Your burrito is unlike any I’ve ever tried before. You truly hacked this recipe, using inventive substitutes for both the tortilla and the contents. I appreciated that you went beyond the usual lettuce and tomato and added stuff like sprouts, carrots, and cucumbers.

Thanks to everyone who contributed! I really appreciate you sharing your recipes and hope you’ll continue to participate in future hacks.

Violetsouffle – Great idea! We’ve enjoyed your banana-cream cheese wraps for lunch and snacks! At our house we’re also big fans of using peanut butter.

Cathy – Love that you submitted not one, but two recipes! You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve overcome my cumin aversion now. And goat cheese on a burrito? Crazy and unexpected, but good!

Matt – So impressed that your entire meal was homemade! Honorable mention to you for making your own hot sauce and tortillas!

RecipeHacking Challenge # 6: Burritos

4 May

Are you ready for the next RecipeHacking challenge? This time around we’re going to hack BURRITOS! Everyone’s favorite hand-held meal on the go. Coincidentally, this is right in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Burritos lend themselves so well to improvisation. They seem like a natural choice for RecipeHacking. I don’t really feel the need to put an original recipe. At it’s most basic, a burrito is a tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese, maybe some rice and then can be doctored up with whatever meat, veggies, or condiments your heart desires.

What’s your favorite kind of burrito? I encourage you all to think outside the box…or the tortilla as the case may be. Consider toying with the ingredients/flavors/spices/ethnicity…and/or the presentation. Is a burrito still a burrito if it’s not wrapped up in a single tortilla? Does it have to be a tortilla? What else could you use? The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

As usual, please post your recipes in the comments section below. The deadline for this hack is Monday, May 30th.

If you’re unfamiliar with RecipeHacking here’s the basic premise. If you’re interested, you can look back at previous posts to see how we’ve challenged our readers to hack macaroni and cheesebeans and ricepizzathanksgiving leftovers, and shepherd’s pie.

RecipeHacking Challenge #5 Results

10 Apr

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this round of RecipeHacking and helped us get this off the ground again.We look forward to making this a regular feature here on Kitchen Dancing.

Have you been on the edge of your seats all week?! After careful consideration the winner is….

The Greek version of Shepherd’s Pie designed by Shawn!

Shawn really reinvented this recipe. It wasn’t just a matter of tweaking the spices or one small element. We loved the addition of olives, tomato, eggplant, and feta cheese. Plus we appreciated the different take on the potatoes – slicing them instead of mashing them on top. Way to go, Shawn! Bragging rights are yours and a small prize is on it’s way to you!

Honorable mention goes to Ethan Plunkett’s Argentinian version. In a way, Ethan RecipeHacked both Shepherd’s Pie AND Empanadas! Delicious!

Stay tuned for the next challenge!

RecipeHacking Deadline Extended!

28 Mar


The deadline for this round of RecipeHacking was yesterday and so far I’ve received only one submission. I’m trying to not feel too sad about this because I’m sure you all have good excuses. Right? So, in the hopes that more of you have just been ruminating on it but haven’t had a chance to cook your creation, I’m extending the deadline a week. New deadline is Sunday, April 3rd! Spread the word! Go have fun in the kitchen and report back to us about your new invention! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Here is the original post in case you need a refresher.

Here are some hints if you’re having trouble getting started: Think about changing the shape (individual servings vs. one big pie?), flavors (what would shepherd’s pie be like with an asian or mexican twist?), swapping typical ingredients for more exotic or unexpected ones (who says it has to be potatoes on top? or that the filling has to be lamb or beef?). The possibilities are endless and that’s what RecipeHacking is all about!

Winner gets bragging rights and a small prize!

RecipeHacking Challenge #5: Shepherd’s Pie

12 Mar

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day next week I’m choosing a quintessentially Irish dish to hack. Shepherd’s Pie! It’s been a while so if you’ve forgotten how RecipeHacking works or are new to RecipeHacking here’s the general idea. Look back at previous posts to see how we’ve challenged our readers to hack macaroni and cheese, beans and rice, pizza, and thanksgiving leftovers.

Time to get creative in the kitchen! Tweak this Shepherd’s Pie recipe and post your creation in the comments section below. I can’t wait to see how you hack this one! Deadline for this hack is: Sunday,  March 27. The winner will win bragging rights and a small prize!

Here’s a pretty basic recipe for Shepherd’s Pie adapted from Joy of Cooking:


  • 1 1/2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled, quartered, and rinsed
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons kept chilled
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 pound raw ground lamb (for shepherd’s pie) or raw ground beef (for cottage pie) OR 1 pound finely-chopped leftover cooked lamb or beef
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary OR 1 teaspoon dried


Put the potato chunks in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, add a teaspoon or so of salt, and cook until tender but not waterlogged, 10-15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the potatoes. Return them to the pot and cook over low heat for a minute to remove excess water. Then mash, adding the cooking water along with 1 tablespoon butter and salt and pepper to taste. Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over a medium-low flame. When hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and add the meat. Cook raw meat for about 10 minutes, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon; brown leftover meat for about 5 minutes, stirring for even coloration. Spoon off any fat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, herbs, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Allow the meat to cool slightly.

Spread the meat in a 9-inch pie plate or baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, making irregular peaks with the tines of a fork. Chop the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter into small pieces and scatter over the top. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and heated all the way through, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving in the baking dish.

RecipeHacking 4 – Results

6 Jan

It’s been awhile since we last posted about RecipeHacking. Thanks to all the great ideas our readers had for ways to hack Thanksgiving leftovers, our food coma lasted all the way through New Years this year. But we’re back with results from the 4th RecipeHacking challenge.

We have to applaud all the submissions from this past RecipeHacking. Did you know you could create pate’, blintzes, croquettes, and pot pies all from your Thanksgiving leftovers? Check out all the recipes here.

In the end, we were most charmed with Karen Renzi’s Sweet Potato Croquettes. We thought it was a really unexpected way to use sweet potatoes and loved how simple and accessible it was. However the thing that sealed the deal for us, was that we saw endless possibilities to tweak her recipe. Adding turkey to the potatoes, using stuffing instead of breadcrumbs, even dipping them in cranberry sauce… Sometimes the best hack is a recipe that can be hacked again.

We also wanted to give a special shout out to Jamie Folsom whose recipe, “Fight for Your Right to Paaaaaaate’!!” had us in laughing out loud. We loved the humor, and the way Jamie took something really unappetizing and turned it into a real treat.

Stay tuned for big news about RecipeHacking in the coming weeks and months.

RecipeHacking Challenge # 4: Thanksgiving

21 Nov

This time instead of choosing a specific recipe to hack we’re opting for a seasonal theme: THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get creative with the remnants of your turkey day feast. You can choose to hack one component of the meal or many or all. Not all Thanksgiving dinners are created equal but we’re working on the assumption that there’s usually turkey/tofurky, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing (a.k.a. dressing depending on where you’re from), mashed potatoes, vegetables (green bean cassarole? peas and onions?, sweet potatoes/yams?, squash? etc. etc.), and often pie. It doesn’t matter if the dish you choose to hack is traditional or not. What does matter is that it was part of your original Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s not obvious, please explain how your dish or ingredient was initially used and then how you chose to reinvent it.

Now to be clear – this ain’t no turkey sandwich challenge. We know you can do better than that!

As usual, please post your recipes in the comment section of this post. The winner of the Thanksgiving Leftover RecipeHacking Challenge will win bragging rights and a small prize. The deadline for this challenge is December 11th.

If you are new to RecipeHacking check out a description here and our previous rice and bean, macaroni and cheese, and pizza challenges.

Recipe Hacking Suggestions?

19 Oct

Hello readers and RecipeHacking participants –

So I have a few ideas for the next RecipeHacking challenge but I would really welcome your input. Is there anything you’ve been cooking lately that you think would be well suiting to being hacked? Generally when choosing a recipe to hack I’m looking for a dish that has multiple components that can be translated in new ways. For example with the pizza challenge, there were three general parts with the potential to be altered: the crust, the toppings, and the sauce. Some folks altered the crust, while others decided to interpret the sauce or toppings in a different way. I’m always interested in recipes that can be played with in terms of substituting ethnic ingredients or can be adapted to suit any course in a meal – for example the fruit pizza dessert one person submitted in the last challenge. Send me your best ideas and maybe, just maybe, your suggestion will show up as the next RecipeHacking challenge. Submit your daring dish ideas below in the comment section of this post. Thanks!

And the winner is….

4 Oct

Big thanks to all of you who participated in this RecipeHacking Challenge! What yummy creations you came up with!

The winner of this month’s challenge is Kate G. for her figgy pesto pizza! Congratulations, Kate! Not only did you take a pizza recipe and hack it – but you took a pesto recipe and hacked that too! We loved that you got inventive putting figs in the pesto sauce and used them as a topping as well. With the chicken and cheese it sounded like a match made in heaven. As well as RecipeHacking bragging rights, you win a gift certificate to to the market of your choice so you can keep getting creative in the kitchen!

Honorable mentions go to Cathy K. for her zucchini and cheese crusted pizza and Harriet C. for her fruit pizza dessert. We loved that it wasn’t just about interesting or different toppings but that you were rethinking the pizza from the ground up. Kudos to Rachel W. as well, for the most interesting ethnic twist. We’d never even heard of Ajvar before reading your post.

Anyone interested in revisiting all the wonderful recipes that were contributed, here’s the original post and comments.

Stay tuned – we’ll be looking to you all for some ideas for the next RecipeHacking challenge!

RecipeHacking Challenge 3 Deadline

11 Sep

We’ve gotten some great responses to the third RecipeHacking challenge. Thanks to those of you who have shared your pizza creations already!

For those of you who have been pondering your pizza but haven’t posted yet (you know who you are) – time to get cracking in the kitchen! Check out the recipes already posted by your fellow competitors. Think you can do better? Prove it!

The deadline for posting recipes is a week from today, Friday – September 18th. Judging will take place over the weekend and then we will reveal the winner.