Kitchen Knightmares: Boyfriend Trouble

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s crush on dancer Jakob causes problems in his cooking for Juan Pablo.

I’ve decided to forgive myself for mistakenly substituting Sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem Artichokes) for Parsnips in this week’s challenge: Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Tomatoes, and Cinnamon from Bon Appetit’s November 2009 issue.  The fact is I wasn’t paying attention while shopping because I’ve been distracted by a boy.

Jakob, the object of my schoolgirl affection

On Tuesday, for the first time ever, I actually called in to vote for a contestant on a TV competition.  I’m a late convert to So You Think You Can Dance but have quickly developed an enormous crush on Jakob (how cute is it that he spells it with a “k”?).  My Dancetestant Boyfriend is terrifically talented, cute, and humble.  I know, I have a schoolgirl crush, and I can’t help it.

I waited with excruciating anticipation until the show’s host announced the phone lines were open for voting.  And then dialed 1-888-TEMPO-10 and then panicked.  Was that Jakob’s number?  I scanned the DVR back and melted all over again as my beloved looked right into my eyes and held up all his fingers.  I punched my phone again, and voted not once, but three times.

Then a flash of shame took hold and I stopped myself from hitting the redial button to vote again.  What was I doing?  How did I become this person?  I had officially jumped the shark and become a crazed fan.

And so on Wednesday, I raced through the aisles of Whole Foods Chelsea desperately trying to round up my ingredients.  I needed to get home to watch the results show before cooking for Chef Juan Pablo.  And that’s how I was taken in by the Sunchokes Switcheroo.

Definitely add the fresh parsley as a garnish, unless you're SJP

Turns out, the little tubers are a pretty good substitute for parsnips (confirmed by Chef).  And, my passion for Jakob helped him advance to the Final 8.  When he makes it back to NYC, I’ll invite him over to celebrate.

Recipe Reaction: Easy and delicious recipe to make.  Next time I’d add a little bit more cinnamon than recipe calls for to punch up that flavor.  FYI, when shopping at Whole Foods, ground lamb is usually found already packaged—not behind the butcher counter.

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