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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Deep Fried Pickles……..

Got your attention, didn’t we? We decided to have a Dill Pickle Throwdown this week. If you’re not sure what a “throwdown” is, check out this website: http://www.foodnetwork.com/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/index.html Here is our fun with a “two city throwdown”!

Chef Jonathan: I decided to go with a tex-mex theme for my Deep-fried Dill Pickle, using a Cajun-spiced dredge. I tried both an egg-based and a water-based dredge, and found that the water-based dredge worked better due to the consistency of a paste. I did both whole and sliced pickles, and found that the sliced pickles worked a lot better with the dredge, and they came out a lot better once they were fried. I also made a Cajun Aioli, which complimented the pickles well.

Karen: I chose to use the Bick’s Baby Dill Deep Fried Pickle Recipe. http://www.bicks.ca/recipes_sub.aspx?rid=5070&247SEM LOVED them! It was easy to make and easier to eat! The only thing I changed was the dip. Instead of what they recommended, I used 2 TBS of mayo with 1 tsp of horseradish. That’s a favourite dip of ours. Not sure they were as “spicy” as the recipe made them sound but they were good and we enjoyed them! Here are some pics…

Ready to go into the oil

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Deep Fried Pickles with Horseradish dip

 

Week #29 – Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Freeze

Chef Jonathan: Love this recipe, it is great for cooling down on a hot summer day! It’s very easy, and it tastes amazing! I did make some adjustments though…..First, I crushed the oreo cookies in a food processor to make a crumb, then mixed that with  the melted butter and pressed into the bottom of a 9×9 in. greased pan. I then scooped out ice cream, let set for a minute, then spread evenly on top of the chocolate crumb crust. Next, I made a chocolate sauce, using semi-sweet chocolate, then I spread that over top (sense the theme yet?). I then piped rosettes of whipped cream and quartered oreos and placed them decoratively on top. I froze it for 2 hours, and voila!

                                                                                      

Karen:  We wanted to find a great cool recipe for the first long weekend of the summer.  We did just that!  If you like mint chocolate (which I do!), you’ll love this easy and cool recipe.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but made a few minor changes.  First of all, I smashed the 26 Oreos and then mixed them with melted butter.  I figured it might be easier to cut that way.  After I put them in the pan, I put it in the freezer while the ice cream softened, a bit.  If you don’t let it soften, it’s quite hard to work with.  Also, your Cool Whip should have a refrigerator consistency for easier spread-ability.  I layered the ice cream over the smashed cookies, then poured the chocolate topping over it.  I then added the Cool Whip and instead of broken pieces of Oreo cookie, I topped the whole thing with Mint Aero Bubbles (not sure you can get these in the US – I think they’re Canadian but use something minty and chocolatey.)

This recipe was a nice ending to an outdoor dinner on the deck.  I will make it, again.

*Note:  There will be 4 Oreo cookies left over…… Just a warning 🙂  If you decide not to use them on the top, you can easily add them in the beginning step to the 26…. OR just eat them!

Here is the website where we got the recipe with the instructions:

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/ice-cream/oreo-mint-chocolate-chip-freeze.html?source=fork_fb_oreo_chocolate_freeze

 

Week #28 -Deconstruction……..

This week we’ve deviated from our “one recipe” and decided to do some food deconstruction. following is an explanation for all of you non-foodies out there.  To make things more challenging, we gave each other the task; we couldn’t choose it ourselves.

Food deconstruction: At heart, any deconstructed dish should contain all the classic components found in the “original.”  The difference is in the preparation.  When creating a dish utilizing deconstructive techniques, the ingredients are essentially prepared and treated on their own.  It is during the plating and presentation stages that everything is brought together.

Chef Jonathan: Chef Karen chose for me the classic dish, Chicken Pot Pie. I found this challenging, but once I separated each component and started to deconstruct it, thinking about the properties of each, how I could adapt them and make it new, I realized the possibilities were almost endless. I decided to recreate my dish into Lemon Chicken with Garlic Mixed Vegetable Puree and Fleur de Sel & Italian Herb Focaccia. For the chicken I seared two chicken breasts, then placed sliced lemon on top, and put in the oven for about 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, for the puree, I cooked carrots, peas, and corn, then puree in a food processor, adding chicken stock, garlic, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. For the focaccia, I took my pate brisee, (you can use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls) rolled it out, cut into rectangles, and I brushed it with an egg wash, then I distributed fleur de sel and italian herbs. I then baked for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. All in all, a great challenge, and the most important thing about deconstructing, is learning more about the food you’re working with!

Karen: Chef Jonathan gave me Hamburger and French Fries for my task.  I was a bit befuddled but finally figured out what to do.  I started with the “french fries” part.  I shredded some red potatoes, mixed them with egg – to bind them – as well as salt and pepper and chopped garlic.  I then made them into little pancakes and deep fried them to a golden brown.

For the “hamburger” part, I marinated a small steak in BBQ sauce and then bbq’d it on the grill.  I then sliced it up into strips, placed it on top of the potato pancakes and garnished the whole thing with pickles, red onion and tomatoes.  The partakers were allowed to use ketchup where needed. 🙂

The comment made after the first bite was “if you take a pickle, tomato, onion and piece of beef at the same time, it takes like a hamburger.”  Mission accomplished!