Saturday, August 11, 2007

Top Chef Recipe: 5

Welcome to week 5's Top Chef recipe edition! Thank you once again for voting this week-a total of 32 of you participated and I couldn't be more thrilled! Let me start out by saying that I have failed to incorporate one item in this week's recipe. I tried-I really did! But after 3 tries of my idea not working, I had to move on. The missing ingredient this week is: Squash.

As you can see below, I cooked off the spaghetti squash (a specific suggestion from Danielle) and placed it in a well greased ramekin. I then put it in a 400 degree oven to see if it would crisp up. It did not.
Next I thought about frying it to see if that would work. The first time I tried it, the squash looked as though it would crisp but quickly went from yellow to black. The second time I tried it did turn golden brown but when I tried to take it off of the mold I was using it instantly mooshed up into a spaghetti squash mess.

Because I only have one day to shop and experiment (because I work on Sundays) I decided to take one for the team and move on. I am sorry. My first idea was to make a crispy cup of squash to put the potatoes in-something different. After the did not work I thought I could make a small domed cage to place on top of the dish as garnish. That didn't work either, so instead, I simply ate the yummy goodness that it is all by itself, steamed and went on to other things...

This week's introduction to Wasabi gave me Asian Persuasion-and the fact that the Oranges won with the beef made it an obvious choice for me. I thought that the tomatoes and the squash would be a difficult addition, but was confident I could make something of it....another hiccup in my Asian Persuasion is that I thought I had Scallions here at home and did not buy them, therefore, my plates have no garnish. I promise to do better next week.

Fresh Tomatoes with Garlic, Mint & Chili Oil:

Orange & Garlic Beef Skewers over Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

For the Tomatoes:
2 Cloves of Garlic
3 Mint Leaves
2 T. Chili Oil
1 Fresh Tomato, Sliced
Scallions, to Garnish

1. Using a Chef's Knife or a Mortar & Pestle, smash garlic, salt and mint into a rough paste. Add the oil and let sit for a few minutes.

2. Thinly slice a tomato and place them on a clean plate. Drizzle chili oil over the tomatoes and garnish with fresh scallions and black pepper.

For the Orange & Garlic Beef Skewers & Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
3 oz Orange Juice
1/4 C. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 t. Honey
1 t. Red Pepper Flakes
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 C. Chicken or Beef Stock
Zest of 1/2 Orange
1 Scallion cut for garnish
1 Strip Steak
6-8 Wooden Skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

1. In a glass bowl combine all ingredients except for steak and zest.
2. Cut strip steak into 1/4 inch pieces and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. Thread skewers through beef and grill until done to your liking. Alternately, you can broil the skewers as well.
4. To make a sauce, reduce marinade and stock in a sauce pan to 3T. Drizzle over plated beef and garnish with zest and scallions.

For Wasabi Potatoes
1 Potato
1 T. Butter
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 t. Wasabi Powder
1 T. Heavy Cream
1/4 t. Salt

1. Boil potato until tender and drain. Mash or rice potato gently until no lumps remain. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix.

Notes from the Chef:
I honestly did not know how to incorporate tomatoes into an Asian dish as I can't recall ever seeing them in this cuisine, even in school. I had to search on the Internet for some ideas, and found the recipe you see above. It called for me to crush the tomatoes as well though, and I thought that the slices would be a better overall presentation.

As far as the squash goes, I am disappointed it didn't work. I thought there was a chance it might, but obviously I was wrong. I have one more strip steak left over and I plan on making another dish with it and the squash later this week. I will post that recipe as well.

I enjoyed the steak marinade immensely. I think though that I would have liked it a little bit sweeter, and therefore, if you are like me, I would recommend maybe adding more honey, or perhaps some hoison sauce-2 T. or far as the wasabi mashed potatoes go-they were pretty good. We make some at the club and I don't like theirs as much as mine-but if I had to choose, I would keep mashed potatoes simple (or a little fancy with truffle oil) and wasabi on my sushi...


Bond said...

Well missy.... tomatoes on the side and no squash... a C+ for this addition... but because we like your desire and your multiple attempts with the squash, we are letting you move on to the next round... please be careful next week, because the competition is getting fierce and we can not let you slide again.


yummy beef

crazy working mom said... for the squash, I don't know how it would've worked! Who voted for squash anyhow!!! *LOL*

Marilyn said...

If I only gave myself a day to put together a new sign technique I'd go bonkers.

This looks very yummy. I wonder if I can find Wasabi powder locally.

Asara said...

Hooray, zest! :D

Travis said...

Vinny is harsh judge!! I give you an A for effort and creativity, even though it didn't work out.

I'll pass you on personality!!

Mags said...

Bond: Tomatoes on the side isn't the problem-they're Chinese in nature, it's the squash I'm angry about.

Marilyn: Wasabi powder is sold in my local grocery store here...I think it's cropping up more and more now a days-mine was in Stop & Shop here in CT.

Trav: Aw...thank you!

Danielle A. said...

I give you an A because you attempted something different with Spaghetti Squash. Cheers! :) Maybe next time.... ;)

Mags said...

Thanks Danielle! If it worked, it would have rocked!

Comedy + said...

I like the tomatoes better than squash. Well done. Oh I promise that I vote in each section. Have a great day. :)

katherine. said...

I am always amazed at how creative you are...I'm with CW Mom...who voted for squash anyhow!!

Amazing Gracie said...

Here's my dilemma: What the heck is chili oil? I have a clue but not certain.
The meat sounds delish and I love squash!

FRIGGA said...

Those tomatoes look really good, and man do I love garlic! :-)

Proxima Blue said...

With this receipe you approached it the same way I approach my arts and crafts.
"". I'm no great artist by any means, but I try and I even post pictures of the things I don't like so much with a paragraph or two. That way others know it's ok to fail when trying something new, and maybe they have an idea to do it better if I try it again or they do it on their own.

Always nice to meet another not afraid to make mistakes. I look forward to the Vegetarian one. I could never be Vegan though. You know I have a cheese addiction don't you? 2-yr aged Gouda and sharp cheddars mostly. :>

Take Care,