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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hatrack Recipe Challenge! (Are we finished?!) (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Hatrack Recipe Challenge! (Are we finished?!)
The Rabbit
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Dana, You know that this will disqualify you from competing for the grand prize, don't you?
[Evil]


p.s. There is no grand prize. Please take all the time you need.

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Hank
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I didn't cook the eggplant separately, but I did mix the eggplant, crushed chick-peas, and cheese in a pot on medium until the cheese was melted, which softened them some, and they cooked the rest of the way in patty form.
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brojack17
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Would y'all mind putting a difficulty rating on your recipe's? I'm thinking something like they put on model cars and such. I would really like to try some, but I don't have a lot of cooking experience.
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rivka
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Rabbit, you take great food pictures! And that's hard.
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The Rabbit
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Thanks rivka!
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Dagonee
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Goat cheese and mushroom eggplant canapes

The tricky part here is timing. You want the goat
cheese rounds to come out of the pan right when the egg plant rounds come out of the broiler. The mushroom ragout should only be on the heat for at most 15 minutes after adding the veal stock.

Roast Chick Peas
Drain 1 can of chick peas thoroughly and dry between paper towels.
Toss w/ 1 tsp of vegetable oil.
Lay in single layer on sheet pan.
Roast at 375 until golden brown and crisp, about 40-60 minutes (varies considerably by oven and water content).
Can be done ahead of time.

Goat Cheese Rounds
Form goat cheese into small disks (slightly smaller than egg plant rounds below) with depression on top center.
Beat egg white and 1 tsp water.
In food processor, combine 1/3 cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup roast chick peas, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp sweet paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Pulse until chick peas are small pieces with some chunks remaining.
Dredge in flour (remove excess), egg white, and crumb/chick pea mixture to lightly coat.
Chill for at least 1 hour.
Saute in olive oil until crumb coating is golden brown.

Caramelized Onions
Cut pungent white onion into small, thin slices.
Melt butter in pan on low.
Add onions and salt.
Cook the heck out of them on low until brown, soft, and caramelized and most liquid is gone.
This will take hours. Can be done ahead of time and kept chilled until used.

Mushroom ragut
melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat
Add chopped mushrooms until they give up their moisture.
Add caramelized onions.
Deglaze with 1/2 cup white wine.
Reduce until scant 1 tbsp remains
Add 1 tbsp of reduced veal stock (should be gelatin in consistency)
Keep over low heat.

Egg plant rounds
Peel one Japanese egg plant and cut into 1/4" rounds.
Purge with salt for at least one hour, wring out excess liquid and rinse.
Combine 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tsp. cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Toss egg plant rounds in vinegarette and lay out flat on sheet pan.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Broil 2 minutes per side.
Sprinkle w/ hard asiago cheese and broil for 1 minute.

Assembly
Place eggplant round on plate, cheese side up. Place goat cheese round on top. Top with small mound of mushroom ragout. Sprinkle small crumbs of feta on top.

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The Rabbit
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Sounds yummy Dag. How did they turn out? Anything you'd do differently next time.
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Dagonee
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I'd leave out the feta cheese - no value add.

It needs tweaking, and it isn't as harmonious as I would like. The egg plant rounds as a canape base are great. With the asiago rather than Parmesan,there's a nice sweetness that I should do something more with.

The mushrooms added a little, but were overshadowed by the onions. And that's not necessarily a bad thing - the onions are amazing and go so well with the goat cheese.

I think if I were doing this without the ingredient challenge, I'd do the goat cheese rounds topped with caramelized onions. I'd try a variety of nuts instead of the chick peas - I'm not sure what would be best.

Then I'd use the egg plant rounds for a second dish - maybe just with hummus, maybe with an olive tapanade, maybe with a tomato/balsamic topping. Or maybe ceviche. I'd alter the vinigarette recipe accordingly.

Some lemon juice and some herbs (probably chives or thyme) would have been good additions.

In short, the parts were better than the whole. [Smile] I don't recommend anyone use this recipe as written - it's more a jumping off point.

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Dagonee
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I just read the two recipes already posted, and both look great. Rabbit, your presentation was fabulous!
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maui babe
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This is really fun. All of your dishes sound delicious. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant though, so that gives me pause. I'm interested in seeing the rest of the group's recipes.

I'm reminded of a scene in the movie "Forever Young" where Mel Gibson's character makes dinner for Jamie Lee Curtis and Elijah Woods' characters and she says "I had no idea this meal was lurking in my kitchen" or something like that. I'm pretty good at making a decent meal from whatever's handy. I've even "invented" some original things. But I've never tried anything like this.

Maybe I'll participate in one of your future rounds.

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imogen
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Sounds great. I haven't made mine yet (sorry!) but I can tell you what I'm planning...

I'm going to try a three cheese souffle with chickpea puree (I'd probably call it a persian fetta, goat's cheese and chickpea souffle). Then I'm going to serve it with eggplant crostini with a mushroom tapenade.

I haven't ever made souffle before, so it will be interesting. I decided to add the chickpeas in after trying some creme fraiche hummous at the local markets and thinking the dairy and chickpeas went nicely together. Here's hoping they do the same thing in the souffle!

Edit: Rabbit, I'm very impressed you made papadums from scratch. Looks amazing.

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dkw
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Eggplant Rolls

Picture

3-4 T olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, peeled & smashed w/the side of a knife
¼ cup canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Cumin
Salt & Pepper
1 medium eggplant
4 oz feta cheese
3.5 oz goat cheese
¼ cup fresh grated asiago cheese
5 –6 brown mushrooms
1 ½ T butter
sugar

Sauté garlic in olive oil over med-low heat until golden brown. Coarsely chop chickpeas and add to oil. Season with salt & pepper and a little cumin. Cook until dark golden. Remove garlic cloves (I saved them to make garlic butter) and drain chickpeas, saving the oil. Mix the 3 cheeses and the chickpeas together well (I used a pastry blender, but a fork would probably work). Slice eggplant lengthwise into thin slices. Brush with reserved oil and place under broiler until browned. Turn to broil other side.
Slice mushrooms and sauté in butter with salt, pepper and a little sugar.

Cut each eggplant slice in half crosswise. Form cheese mixture into small logs and roll up in eggplant. Top each roll with a slice of sautéed mushroom and secure the whole thing with a small skewer or toothpick.

***

I used a very small amount of chickpeas, because I don’t really like them, but I tasted the cheese mixture before and after adding them and liked it better after, which surprised me. I think you could at least double the chickpeas.

I had a hard time taking the picture, because somebody kept trying to snitch.

[ April 18, 2008, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: dkw ]

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Rabbit -- that dish looks amazing!

All the recipes sound wonderful and I applaud the creativity.

My first thought was a falafel thing, but I'm not going to make it.

So...I got to taste dkw's recipe and it was fantastic. It had a zing to it that was tough to describe. I think it was the cheese mixture, but there was the cumin and a hint of garlic. Don't know for sure, but it was tangy! A surprise to the palate. I think the amount of chickpeas was just right, actually. They added a texture to the filling, but not overpowering. And I absolutely LOVE chick peas. The eggplant was perfectly done and strong enough to use as a way to hold each roll without the toothpick once they "set" a few minutes.

I'd also like to give a credit to mom's wedding china used in the presentation. She sent it to us after we moved in to our house and it has been waiting patiently to be properly featured.

[Big Grin]

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The Rabbit
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They look wonderful Dana!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
I had a hard time taking the picture, because somebody kept trying to snitch.
So what did John think of them? They don't exactly look like typical toddler food. No cheerios or orange cheese.
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dkw
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John's never been a typical toddler when it comes to food. He got ahold of wasabi kelp-caviar at 8 months and never looked back.

He went straight for the mushrooms. Those big crocodile tears in the picture are because Bob was restraining him until after I snapped the first shot.

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Uprooted
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I am so impressed with all your recipes! Rabbit, I loved the lantana as garnish, I never would have thought of that. And dkw, your little thief stole not only the appetizers, but the show. ;-)
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Dagonee
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I've got to say, mine is the recipe I'm least inclined to make again in the future, although most of the pieces will find their way into things I do.

Good job, everyone!

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dkw
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I mixed my leftover cheese & chickpea mixture into the ricotta & spinach layer of the spinach lasagna we're having for supper tonight. I'm not sure there was enough there to make a noticable difference, but we'll see.

Are we waiting for everyone to finish before we start the next round?

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Zalmoxis
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Impressive and tasty looking.

And it's neat to have photos where the presentation is great, but doable (e.g. not food stylist-ed to high heaven).

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imogen
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I think you guys should start the next round. I'm in marking and starting to teach new courses madness, and goodness knows when I'll actually approach the kitchen with any degree of enthusiasm. (It's pasta or Tony cooking at the moment.... luckily, he is a very good cook.)
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The Rabbit
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I wonder what' happened to Temposs?
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The Rabbit
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So, are people up for round 2 or should we wait a bit?
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dkw
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I vote we start choosing ingredients, and if you don't get at least 5 in a reasonable amount of time, then wait.

Also it would be really cool if any of the non-participants wanted to try the recipes and let us know if they work for them. I know that I cook and then try to write down what I did, so feedback on how clear my directions are would be appreciated. And it would be a way for any Hatrackers who are follow-the-recipe cooks rather than make-it-up cooks to participate.

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Dagonee
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What's the next course?
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The Rabbit
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I suppose it make sense to go with soup or salad next but I worry they don't leave enough latitude for creativity once the ingredient list has been selected.

Does anyone have a preference?

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Dagonee
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I prefer soup, but I share your worries. How about we say either soup or salad. A lot of ingredients work for both and can lead to quite a bit of variety.
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dkw
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Judging from the previous round I don't think any of us are likely to just throw the ingredient list in a pot of boiling water or chop it and serve it over lettuce, so I think we're safe either way.

Part of the fun is seeing how differently everyone treats the same list of ingredients.

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The Rabbit
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Or maybe we should say soup and/or salad. That gives some additional latitude.
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Dagonee
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I'm fine with that.

Of course, that leaves two other savory courses (assuming we do dessert) and uses up soup and salad. But we can worry about that in round 4. [Smile]

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dkw
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I suppose "fish course" and "cheese course" are probably a little too specific for this sort of thing.
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The Rabbit
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We could go Italian and have a pasta/risotto/polenta course followed by a meat/fish course.
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Dagonee
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I think that's the way to go - a generic starch course and an entree course.
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The Rabbit
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The same idea would work for various asian cuisines as well.
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The Rabbit
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Sounds like a plan.

If its only the three of us, we could submit 2 ingredients each.

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Dagonee
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Yep. I vote for 2) soup/salad, 3) starchy goodness, 4) entree, and 5) desert.
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ElJay
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You're forgetting the sorbet.

[Wink]

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Tante Shvester
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Passover is done at the end of the week. I'll play.
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rivka
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Good point, Esther. As long as we're dealing with ~a week's playing time, it works for me too.
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LargeTuna
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YAY passover done soon!!! [Smile]
I can eat pasta again [Big Grin] (being Itallion and Jewish has its difficulties LOL)

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rivka
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*shrug* We had matza lasagna for lunch. It was yummy.
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dkw
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Start with one each and see how many people submit one. If it's only 3 after 3-4 days we can each add another.
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LargeTuna
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Matza with peanut butter is my favorite Lunch [Big Grin]

(sounds yummy XD)

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The Rabbit
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Round 2: Soup and/or Salad

If you want to participate, send an e-mail with ONE ingredient to
hatrack_recipes at yahoo dot com by Sunday night at 9 pm EST.


I'll post the list on Monday and people will have a week to prepare their dish.

Ingredients must be things that are commonly available in an average US grocery store (don't send people to a specialty shop) and moderately priced (no black truffles).

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dkw
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Sent. [Smile]

For the starch and protein courses, do we specify that the ingredients we submit are not the “base” ingredient? We don't want to end up with a list like “red potatoes, arborio rice, polenta and lasagna noodles” or “chuck roast, chicken breast, pork loin and tilapia.”

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rivka
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Mine is sent too.

And I agree with Dana.

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Dagonee
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Sent.

I also agree with Dana.

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The Rabbit
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I just moved the deadline for submission up to Saturday night since we already have submissions from everyone who has posted that they will participate and I'm leaving town on Wednesday.
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The Rabbit
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I'm just bumping to make sure all interested parties see it.

Also, I agree with Dana.

For the protein round, do we want to agree on a base ingredient ahead of time or allow that to be a variable.

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Itsame
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I request that the base ingredient be tofu, so that I can steal the recipes. [Wink]
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