This week we decided to do another “Chopped” episode. We gave each other ingredients. We weren’t allowed to check-out cookbooks or websites. We were to think of a recipe on our own. Chef Karen was given 3 ingredients: cream cheese, bacon and orange juice. Chef Jonathan was given 2 ingredients: bacon and pomegranates. The following are the results:
Chef Karen: I came up with a dessert called: Cream Cheese Bacon Bites. While I was cooking the bacon, I took puff pastry and after thawing it in the fridge over night, rolled it out and cut it into 2 inch squares. After draining the bacon, I mixed 1 package of cream cheese with 1/4 C brown sugar and 1/4 C orange juice until it was smooth. I broke the bacon into bite-sized pieces and made sure it was fully free of grease. I then put a tsp of the cream cheese mixture on each puff pastry square and laid a piece of bacon on top of it. I then put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. While they were baking, I melted some chocolate squares and added a bit of orange juice to the melting chocolate. Be careful or the chocolate will seize. I then put a drop of chocolate on each puff square.
I was very happy with how these turned out. I’m such a cookbook follower, usually, so this is good to stretch me as a chef. I really didn’t like the chocolate on the top of the bacon; it was a bit too sweet. The salty bacon with the sweet cream cheese, though, was very tasty and I will certainly try these, again.
Chef Jonathan: My dessert was called Pomegranate Gel with a Graham Crust and Creme Chantilly, Bacon and Strawberries. First, I heated the pomegranate juice to boiling, then I created a slurry using cornstarch and water. Meanwhile, I made my graham crust of graham crumbs and butter, pressed into the bottom of the ramekins and baked at 350 F for 10 minutes. Next, I whisked the slurry into the juice stirring rapidly until volcanic bubbles starting forming, until the mixture was at a desired consistency. I cooled the gel, then distributed into the ramekins. Finally, I cooked and cut the bacon, piped creme chantilly onto the cooled gels, and garnished with the bacon and strawberries. All in all, a good recipe, and you all should try it!