Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The Taste of Success
Iron Chef Wannabes, a six-week class that explored sustainable food choices, ended its final session with a healthy (and yummy) competition. Young chefs from the class brought dishes made with local ingredients and gave presentations about the challenges of their culinary creations.
Our judges were: Chef Kurt Lucas, vice president of product development for Organic Fresh Fingers; Assistant Director Kim Baldwin (a former 4-H food judge for the Yamhill County Fair); and KBZY radio personality Kate Kelly, who has both studied culinary arts and hosted her own cooking show. The judges provided comments and feedback on all the dishes, highlighting one dish in each category.
And the winners are...
Chef Cari McCrae, age 9
Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Grapes, and Sage
2 ¼ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
½ cup seedless red grapes (about 8 ounces)
1 medium onion cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (or ¼ stick) melted unsalted butter¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
This dish was chosen by Kim Baldwin who appreciated its appeal to the vegetarian diet. She complimented Chef Cari on the presentation of the evenly cut squash pieces and the sprig of sage handpicked from grandmother's garden. All ingredients in this dish were local.
Sisters worked together to create "Emily and Lindy’s Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup". Chef Kurt Lucas complimented them on their efforts to find local ingredients for their soup. The girls called stores until they located the most local ingredients at Roth's Market. Here are the ingredients to their dish. The rest is magic!
Ingredients: 5 lb. organic Oregon fryers chicken, 1 Herminston Sweet Onion, 4 green onions, ½ cup fresh parsley, 2 stalks celery, 2 large carrots, egg noodles. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Chef Lucas called the seasoning in this dish "perfect!"
Judge Kate Kelly selected Emersen's corn muffins and commented on his presentation, which included muffins in several fun shapes topped with small pinwheel. Pairing the apple butter with the corn muffins was a surprising and tasty twist, said Kate.
According to Emersen, the most challenging part of this dish was mixing the dough by hand.
Chef Emersen Price, age 8
Emerson’s “I Can’t Believe It” Corn Muffins
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Stone Cornmeal
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Stone Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cups milk
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine all dry ingredients. Mix.
3. In another bowl combine all moist ingredients. Slowly add to dry ingredients bowl.
4. Mix until blended. Pour 1/3 Cups into muffin cups.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
Chef Emersen Price, age 8
Big E’s Big Apple Topper
3 cups of homemade apple cider
2 lbs. of apples, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup of honey
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
¼ tsp Ground Allspice
1. Over medium heat, boil the cider 15 minutes.
2. Stir apples into cider and reduce heat.
3. Cover and simmer, stir often. Cook for 1 hour’ish.
4. Remove from heat. Mash with fork.
5. Stir in honey and spices. Return to low heat.
6. Cook uncovered 15 minutes. Stir often until thick.Transfer to sterile jars and chill in refrigerator until serving.
And now for the dessert winners...
Chef Cassie Schnider, 13, made a terrific cobbler using berries she picked this summer in Minto Brown Park and then froze for later use. Judge Kim Baldwin appreciated the creativity in both presentation and ingredients. Cassie used leaf cutouts for the crust and used local date sugar instead of cane sugar. Because date sugar isn't as sweet as cane sugar, Cassie had to adjust the recipe a bit, but the result was a cobbler that didn't overwhelm the slightly tart taste of the berries.
Blackberry Cobbler – serves 12
1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill white flour
1 ½ cups date sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoons Bob’s Red Mill baking flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup and 1 tablespoon Cold Rose Valley butter
¼ cup and 2 tablespoons boiling water
3 tablespoons Rumford Cornstarch
¼ cup and 2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon and 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
6 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, ½ cup of sugar, baking power, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in ¼ cup boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.
3. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Mix in remaining 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries. Transfer to a cast iron skillet, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Drop dough into the skillet by spoonfuls. Place skillet on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the dough is golden brown.
Chef Lucas complimented the young chef on his use of a family recipe. The texture and flavor of these sugar cookies were “very nice” and “really moist”. The presentation was also very attractive with a beautiful serving tray and colored frosting.
Chef Solomon Baez, age 9
Grandma Silbernagel’s Sugar Cookies
1 Cup Margarine or Butter
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
Mix first four ingredients together and then add:
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 Cup Flour
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. Soda
Mix all ingredients together and then flatten
Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
8 oz. Cream Cheese
Box Powdered Sugar
1 tsp.Vanilla Food Coloring
Pear Croustade with Lemon Pastry and Almonds was rated by Judge Kate Kelly as B.W. (BIG WOW)! The crust was perfectly balanced with pear and the presentation was "absolutely gorgeous" with a "phenomenal" texture. Below are the delicious ingredients that went into this dish:
Chef Elea McCrae, age 7
Pear Croustade with Lemon Pastry and Almonds
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup or stick chilled unsalted butter cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices
¼ cup or more whipping cream
1 lb. firm but ripe Barlett pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 lb. firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
whipping cream (for brushing)
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Vanilla icecream (optional)
And last but not least...
Sisters Lindy and Emily made it a team effort, producing not only a hearty chicken noodle soup but also "Double Chocolate Chip Muffins". Chef Lucas appreciated how nicely the muffins puffed up and how much cocoa powder was used in the ingredients. All agreed with Chef Lucas that the muffins were "awesome."
Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 Willamette Egg Farms eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose Bob’s Red Mill flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dagoba cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup Mallories milk
2/3 cup Darigold butter 2 ounces semi-sweet Western Family chocolate chips
Congrats to all the participants and thanks to our generous judges!