Iron Chef Aug 09 - Entries

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Amfibius, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Since scon didn't make an entries thread, i'll post this and Ma Baker can edit the title if she likes :) So here is my entry.

    Almond Crusted Chicken, Light Flourless Almond Lemon Cake

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    Ingredients - (clockwise from top left) chicken marylands, capsicum, whole and slivered almonds, almond meal, basil pesto, chevre cheese, shallots, lemons.

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    Start by roasting the capsicums.

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    Marylands partially deboned, cheese and pesto stuffed into cavity, then sealed with toothpicks and twine. Egg wash applied.

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    Capsicums skinned and ready.

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    Slivered almonds being toasted.

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    Capsicums sliced and arranged in a pretty pattern.

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    Chicken was removed from the oven halfway through cooking. An egg wash was re-applied and the toasted almonds stuck on the chicken by hand to create a scaly pattern. Then back into the oven to fully cook.

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    Completed dish.

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    Money shot!

    Light Flourless Almond Lemon Cake

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    Ingredients - 120gm sugar, 150gm almond meal, 2 lemons, 3 eggs, 100gm butter, zest of one lemon.

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    Whisk the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together. Then add the eggs one by one, and finally the lemon juice.

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    Fold in the almond meal, and this is what you get.

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    Pour the mixture into a buttered baking tin and arrange the almonds on top.

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    Into the oven at 190C for 30 minutes. Take out and allow to cool.

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    Finished dish.

    And now for some money shots!

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  2. nanaglenmum

    nanaglenmum Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nana Glen
    Alors Mes Amis...........Les Macarons!

    Sorry folks, just trying to sound snazzy! lol! Given the theme ingredient, I figured I just had to go the Macaron. Unlike its Aussie counterpart Macaroons, the macarons have no coconut in them. They are basically ground almonds folded through meringue that are then sandwiched together with some sort of super rich, super sweet filling. I've been reading all about them online lately, apparently they are now even more popular than the cupcake! For the real deal, you have to travel to Paris, but here is my humble homage!

    Macarons

    This recipe comes from Helene of Tartelette. I highly recommend her site - not only are her recipes amazing (yes, I have tried a few), but her food styling and photography are gorgeous too.

    INGREDIENTS:
    100g egg whites
    50g caster sugar
    200g icing sugar
    110g blanched almonds, whole or ground

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    Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks, then gradually add caster sugar until you have a nice glossy meringue.[​IMG]
    Combine the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse them until the almonds are finely ground and well combined with the sugar. (This also means you don't have to sift the sugar first)
    Fold the almond/sugar mix into the meringue with a few quick strokes at first, then gently until it has the consistency of magma. It should take no more than 50 strokes. (At this point you can add food colouring if you wish)[​IMG]
    Place the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe small rounds onto a lined baking sheet (baking paper or silicone are fine).
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    Allow the macarons to sit for an hour to harden their shells before baking at 150oC (or 130oC in a fan forced oven) for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
    For my filling, I had some left over chocolate ganache in the fridge from a zebra cake I had made earlier this week, so I just whipped it with the electric beaters to lighten it a bit and piped it onto half the macaron shells, and placed the others on top.
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    Sorry, I know it's a really bad photo - but I thought it was pretty funny!!

    The chocolate ganache was made as follows:

    250g good quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
    125ml cream

    Bring the cream to a full boil (ie starting to rise up in the pan), remove from heat and whisk in finely chopped chocolate until you have a smooth, lump free consistency. Cool to room temperature and use. (It is also delicious on hot pancakes...mmmmmmm! A great way to suck up to hubby and the kids!)
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    You can keep the macarons in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for up to 3 months, just be sure to return them to room temperature before eating them. They really are beautiful. They have a lovely, light, crispy shell, with a soft and gooey centre, followed by the yummy filling. Yum yum yum! [​IMG]
     
  3. doug81

    doug81 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    Dark Scorched Almond Fudge

    I was going to be putting this one up in the recipe thread anyway, and it has almonds, so easy entry for me :D It is dead simple to make, quite cheap (especially as the ingredients were on special) and very flexible.

    Ingredients


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    250gm dark chocolate
    250gm condensed milk
    150gm dry roasted almonds

    yes, only 3 ingredients for this one!!!


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    Add the condensed milk and chocolate in a large metal or glass mixing bowl. Boil the kettle and pour just over a litre of boiling water into a large pot. Sit the mixing bowl on top, making sure it doesn't actually touch the boiling water. No more heat is required!


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    This is after 4 minutes, which is time to start mixing it around. Keep folding the mixture around for a couple of minutes.


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    At about the 6 minute mark it will start to solidify quite rapidly.


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    Fold through all the almonds. You'll need to work fairly quickly and mix them around.


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    Scrape the mix into your chosen container and refridgerate. To flatten the top of the surface, put some baking paper over the top and use your fingers to flatten it as it's pretty malleable. As a side note, square or rectangular containers work best, but for this size I only had round.


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    I left mine overnight, but 3 hours should be plenty.


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    Fudgey goodness :thumbup: I had to run a knife around the edge and sit it in a pot of warm water for a minute to get it out. In a square container I usually put baking paper around the edge which makes things a lot easier!


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    I could think of nothing better to have scorched almond fudge with than a coffee, so it was Aeropress time :D

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    This fudge keeps for a couple of weeks at least, but it rarely lasts 7 days as it's so damn good! This fudge is very versatile, and when the chocolate was out for $1.90 and condensed milk was $2, it is a bargain. There are tons of things you can do with it too, such as:

    add mint or orange oil for flavoured fudge
    roll into balls and then refridgerate, then dip in chocolate for home-made truffles
    roll flat between two pieces of baking paper for an alternative to chocolate fondant icing
    mix through honeycomb and nougat, then fill a small pastry case for toblerone tarts

    Anyway, hope you give this one a try. Enjoy :thumbup:
     
  4. mrs dan77

    mrs dan77 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Under a large rock!
    Roasted trout with almonds, chocolate almond meringue pie and almond milk icecream

    Fire Roasted Trout ingredients:

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    The trout itself was an afterthought - I was just cooking it, thinking about putting it in Geek Recipes, and then I realised I could submit it as part of my entry. So the ingredients are a bit all over the place. This is what was left of the Rainbow Trout. :). As the ingredients photo was taken after the meal was consumed, this is all I have!

    So I got the gutted fish, and stuffed the cavity with dill sprigs and 1 lemon sliced thinly. Just really simple, clean flavours.

    Then, slash cuts into the flesh on either side, so all of the flavour can penetrate. Get about 1 tablespoon of softened butter, and mix the zest of the lemon, about 6 capers finely chopped and half a clove of crushed garlic. Rub the flavoured butter all of the outside of the fish, and wrap in baking paper and then foil.


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    I cooked my fish with some heaped coals from the fire, you could also whack it in a moderately hot oven for about 15-20 mins.

    While it's cooking, thinly slice a small amount of red onion, and drizzle some lemon juice and salt over it - this helps soften the flavour of the raw onion.

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    Gently toast the slivered almonds. You need about 1 1/2 times as much as you think you need - allow at least 1/4 of a cup per 200gm trout.
    I toasted my almonds in the fire - feel free to do any other way.

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    Pull the trout out of the oven/fire, and dress it with herbs to serve in the bag. I topped it with the macerated onion, some extra sprigs of dill and some mint and snowpea flowers from the garden, and finally sprinkled over the roasted almonds.

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    Almond milk icecream and chocolate almond meringue pie ingredients.

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    So, firstly I soaked about 250gm of almonds in water. They need 2 days at least.

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    I put the cherry tomato there as a size reference. The almonds swell up significantly from the soaking.

    Once the almonds have swelled, blend/vitamize them to help liquify. There will still be small lumps.

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    Then, strain the lumpy liquid into a cheesecloth or a new rinsed chux cloth, and hang it like you would hang yoghurt or cheese.

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    For the sake of time, I squeezed out the liquid by hand. Here is the liquid white gold - almond milk! It tastes fairly similar to coconut milk, but a little milder. It's essentially the smae process.

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    The remaining ground wet almond will be used later.

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    The almond milk now needs to be cooked, to change the structure of the protein and thicken it for the custard. While it's being heated, steep it with the vanilla pod. Split it down the middle, and scrape out the black seeds. The vanilla pod can go in too, but will need to be taken out when it has finished steeping.

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    The custrad base for the icecream is 10 egg yolks and 2 egg whites beaten with about 2/3 cup caster sugar until thick and pale, while being cooked over simmering water.

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    Whisk the cooled almond milk and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot to the custard mix. I also needed 1 tablespoon of cream and a sprinkling of salt, as mine was a little too sweet. Almonds are quite a bit sweeter to use than cream, which I typically use!
    Pour into small containers and freeze. You will need to keep half of it as custard, for the pie.

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    If you have one, an icecream machine will make this a lot easier, but I just processed it several times throught the freezing process. Each time it got a little lighter, until it was scoopable.

    With the pie crust, I creamed 125gm of butter with 1/2 cup of caster sugar, and then added 1/4 cup cocoa powder (not pictured) and 75gm almond meal.

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    Add enough flour to make a firm pastry (about 1 cup.) Put it in the fridge to firm up, then roll out between two pieces of baking paper and line a pie dish.

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    Blind bake it on 180oc for 15-20 mins, until the base just starts to firm up.

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    The filling for the pie is made from the leftover custard from the icecream, plus the ground wet almonds.

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    I also added 1 block of Lindt chocolate (not pictured) and 2 extra egg yolks, to help it set.
    Pour this into the pre-baked pie shell. It needs about 15-20 minutes, but you want the centre to stay slightly undercooked, so monitor it carefully - overcooked and it will go dry.

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    Beat up 4 of the remaining eggwhites from the custard into soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup catser sugar and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot to help stabilise the meringue, then pour onto the hot base. Use a flat-bladed knife to make peaks in the meringue.

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    Bake for 10 minutes in the oven at 200oc (rotate it halfway to cook it evenly,) then turn the oven off but leave the pie to cool in the oven. Check it regularly, and leave the door ajar after another 10-15 minutes, or when you are happy with the meringue crust. Cooling it in the oven helps to form a really nice crispy crust on the meringue.

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    Serve it hot or cold.

    Money Shot! :weirdo:

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    Reflections:

    I was going to do a strawberry frangipane tart instead of the chocolate almond meringue pie, but I changed my mind as I went (I'm a woman. ;)) So my initial ingredients listing was a bit lacking.
    I also added the trout to my line-up as an afterthought, so there really isn't enough pictures to convey all I want, but hopefully enough to get the general gist.

    The trout was really good. If I was going to change anything, next time I would peirce the foil in places so that the smokiness from the fire could penetrate. I also overcooked it slightly (so hard to guess when it's embedded underneath hot coals) but it was very forgiving and stayed very moist. The almonds really did suit this dish perfectly, and added a nice soft crunch as well as great flavour.

    The icecream was a little sweet, as I already mentioned. (And technically, it's not even icecream, but "ice confection", because there isn't enough of a percentage of cream in it to meet the definition, lol!) I guess I didn't think though how much more sweet the almond milk would be in comparison to cream. But it was lusciously thick and creamy, and not even a hint of icy granules anywhere!

    But the pie was my favourite. I took the idea from a lemon meringue pie, but knowing how well nuts and chocolate go together, I modified it.
    It tasted very similar to a rich chocolate mudcake, but had the texture of a baked custard. It was very unusual - such heavy flavours in such a light texture, but it was so moist and delicious! The topping ended up like a pavlova - cripy shell on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside.
    The shortcrust pastry was a little thick, if I was going to be picky, and I wonder if the pie would have been better with a plain almond shortcrust pastry, rather than adding the cocoa to it to make it chocolatey? Next time, I guess! :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  5. scon

    scon Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Pear and Almond Tart.

    As I sit in the ruins of what used to be my house, I have come to a realisation. I am no baker.

    Lessons learnt:

    1) I have no idea whatsoever how to make shortcrust.
    2) Packaged puff pastry is a godsend.
    3) Don't try to make pizzas at the same time as making dessert.
    4) Don't use all of your slivered almonds to take a photo for Iron Chef when you need them as ingredients.

    Anyhow... here is what to do:

    Get these ingredients.

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    Poach pears in a cinnamon sugar syrup. Make a almond paste out of eggs, sugar, flour, scalded milk, contreau and almond meal. Make a piss poor attempt at a sweet shortcrust pasty, be disgusted and throw said pastry in rubbish bin. Turn to prepackaged, storebought puff pastry, blind bake in a flan tin. Spread bottom of pastry with cranberry jam.

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    Then pour in almond paste, push in halved cored peeled pears. Brush with cranberry sauce, mixed with contreau and the liquid from poaching the pears. Eat with lots of yummy vanilla icecream and vow never to bake again.

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