My First Four Ingredient Challenge

I signed up to be included in a challenge that Larry from The BBQ Grail came up with, where each month a bunch of idiots with grills (I use the term idiot mostly referring to myself) take a common list of four ingredients that actually may have nothing in common.

For my first challenge, I think I hit the jackpot! The ingredients are:

  1. Potatoes.  I can do potatoes!
  2. Peas.  Peas are one of my all time favorite veggies, no problem there
  3. Melon.  I like melon, but I’m starting to wonder what to do with this… Here’s a hint: I copped out on this ingredient a bit!
  4. Tofu.  I have no problem with… wait… did I read that right?… Tofu?!?!?

Ok, so I’m stuck with the list, just like everyone else. I’ll make the best of it!

I started with a brick of very firm tofu, and I did what I’d heard tofu-heads say to do. I drained t and put it between paper towels with a cast iron skillet for a weight, for about 30 minutes. I think sliced it into 8 slabs. My hopes weren’t high, but I put a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper on it, and put it on the grill.

September 2011 Challenge

On Our Grills Challenge

I will say that the tofu grilled well, over a medium heat fire, and it took grill marks really well. While the tofu was grilling away, I added potato cubes that I’d partially cooked already, coated with olive oil and salt and pepper. For the peas, I used snow peas, lightly coated with olive oil.

September 2011 Challenge

Once everything was done, I plated the grilled ingredients along with some basil chimichurri sauce I whipped up. How I copped out on the melon was I just put cubes of melon as a side dish, with a bit of fleur de del salt.

The results look pretty decent…

September 2011 challenge


After trying the tofu, my wife and both figured we could do without grilled tofu for a while. A long, long, long while. We did try it. That’s about all I can say.

I haven’t checked out next month’s challenge, but I hope tofu isn’t included!

And other entries in this months challenge are:

Larry Gaian of The BBQ Grail – ENTRY HERE

The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed on as one of the top BBQ blogs.

Paul Haight of No Excuses BBQ – ENTRY HERE

The No Excuses BBQ website was started in January of 2009 as a way to record the author’s goal of cooking outdoors at least once a week throughout the year and showing the results to the world. Somewhere along the way things got out of control…

Chris North of Nibble Me This –ENTRY HERE

The Nibble Me This website was created to share Chris’ misadventures in live fire cooking. ”I have no culinary training….I’m just entertaining myself with fire and food”.

Kristina Vanni of “The Daily Dish”ENTRY HERE

Kristina has been writing “The Daily Dish” for for the past two years. The blog covers a wide variety of recipes, but firing up the grill truly lights up her passion for food! She was named ”America’s Next Pork Personality” by Guy Fieri for one of her grilled pork dishes, won the outdoor grilling division of the National Beef Cook-Off, and her winning grilled lamb-burger took her all the way to the land Down Under with Meat and Livestock Australia. The “4-Ingredient Challenge” is a fun and exciting way to get creative on the grill!

Bob Fukushima of Bob’s Brew & Que – ENTRY HERE

Bob started Bob’s Brew and ‘Que in August of 2009 with the intent of sharing his views on food and drink. Originally focused on BBQ and Homebrew, it was inevitable that the influences of his upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s wealth of ingredients as well as his heritage as an American of Japanese ancestry would help focus his blog, as it has his approach to food and drink.

Marc Van Der Wouw of Grill Adventures - ENTRY HERE

Grilladventures by broadcastmarc is started on march of 2010.I started the BBQ thing when I was 30,before that we eat a lot outside.have fun,but when the kids came in our life We start serious cooking.Most of it is realy healthy I think;-)The grill has a special place in my heart,We love to do things outside..Everything I make is an adventure,and sometimes we use the books.We try to grill as much as we can year round.

Jerry Russell of Cooking by the seat of my Pants! – ENTRY HERE

Cooking by the seat of my Pants began life as a way to document our culinary misadventures. Since then it has become our way to encourage people to cook without boundaries or recipes. To just get in the kitchen and cook something from the heart

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. You’re in luck, tofu won’t be in next month’s challenge. And hopefully, never again. Looking at Larry’s post, it is unlikely he will forget this one for awhile.

    Nice grill marks, though… ;)
    zydecopaws recently posted..A 4-Ingredient Meatless MondayMy Profile

  2. Ha ha, that was our experience too. Your tofu LOOKS excellent, beautiful, actually. Too bad the texture/taste didn’t live up to appearances. I won’t be buying tofu any time soon either. Great job Curt.
    Chris recently posted..On Our Grills SeptemberMy Profile

  3. Curt, that is a beautiful presentation, and you did a lot right. It isn’t for everyone, but I applaud the effort and a tough list to start off with. There are certainly easier ones ahead.
    Bob recently posted..Four Ingredient ChallengeMy Profile

  4. The flavor was just nothing, which is why the chimichurri, but the texture was just the worst. It was kind of like chewing on something between a sponge and an eraser.
    Curt recently posted..My First Four Ingredient ChallengeMy Profile

  5. I think I completely lucked out by using the tofu as a filler for twice baked potatoes. I mean, I’m fine with tofu in miso soup or blended into a smoothie, but the texture on its own is simply horrific. So glad that next months ingredients are far more tame.
    Jerry (CbsoP) recently posted..Twice Baked Potatoes with Smoked Tofu, Feta and PeasMy Profile

  6. Jerry,

    I would try your smoked tofu, and I agree that using it as filler instead of entree is the way to go. I don’t mind tofu in hot & sour soup, if it’s not in huge pieces. I like my grill marks, but I wish I’d been more inventive with this one.
    Curt recently posted..My First Four Ingredient ChallengeMy Profile

  7. I’m rather surprised you didn’t do more with the tofu… I grill it all the time with great success, and it’s one of the very few ways I’ll eat it. The trick is threefold: Drain/press well, slice it thinly (way thinner than you have them here), and then marinate the hell out of them with strong flavors (I usually go for a garlicky, gingery sauce). pat them off afterward, then let sit out for a few hours before grilling. Nom! I know it’s a bit of a process, but it really does turn out tasty, and the texture is much different.

  8. devlyn,

    You’re right, I should have done a lot of other stuff with it. I did press it, but I didn’t marinate it. The texture was the worst part, and, if I ever get the nerve to try it again, I’ll definitely slice it thinner! I’ll try letting it sit out like you say… I may just try it soon to prove to myself if I can take the stuff or not!
    Curt recently posted..My First Four Ingredient ChallengeMy Profile

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