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9.07.2008

Fusion Dinner and Cookie Contest Update



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Thanks for all your encouragement. I didn't win but had a marvelous experience. The French Pastry School is a class act. They gave each contestant a t shirt, apron, a French Pastry experience gift certificate worth $75( watching their Master chefs give demos and instruction), hand crafted Chocolates, a wonderful demo on site with Chef Instructor Laura Ragano. She showed us how to make Madelines and Finaciers. We each got an instruction booklet with valuable recipes , tips, and photos. They even fed us lunch and there was not registration fee. I'm so tempted to enter the pie competition but I t falls on a day when I have 2 other things going on. Plus the expense in producing 4 final pies and the experimentation up to is just to much for me right now. I have a London trip coming up in a few weeks. Totally unexpected , but I am excited! I consciously chose not to make a sugar cookie with royal icing as decoration because that can mask a really good cookie. Only one other contestant used chocolate. I knew they wanted more than a 'fashion cookie'. The winner was a student at their school ( UNFAIR!) who managed to make a decorative yet tasty cookie. They were pistachio leaf shaped cookies( 1st picture second row) that screamed autumn. 3rd place was the lady next to me with these delicate almost fried like lemony sugar cookies. They were rich , but I thought she would be ruled out because hers looked under the required 1.5 inches. 2nd place was this cherry filled sugar cookie. I was shocked at the props used in competition and had to run and get a serving plate at World Market. Next time I know better. The judges were another treat! We had some Chicago top pastry chefs including Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery who you always see on those Food Network competitions.





Anyway...Its Sunday and you know how much a nice Sundaydinner means to me and Certain Someone.This dinner had a lot of fusion going on . And it was all expermital and improvised, so no comments on it not being traditional, etc.. I know its not. Certain Someone requested Red curry in his chicken. I haven't made a Thai Red curry before and totally improvised the Glamah way. I have this cast iron wok shaped pan I love to use from oven to stove top. I rubbed 3 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste all over the 3 large chicken breasts with skin and bone. I let them sit and marinate with some chopped garlic. I then added some water, sealed in foil, and slow cooked in the oven for an hour to make the chicken nice and tender. I hate tough fast cooked flavorless white meat. I then chopped some small Thai eggplants, and a whole onion to add, and bake some more.



A nice broth was brewing. I took the wok pan onto the gas range and let it simmer some more. I thought it was to much liquid at first, but added a can of coconut milk nevertheless. Certain someone micro managing me complained I left the bones in . I took the breasts and removed the skin and bone. Then he fussed because he wanted the skin I threw away. I told him who wants non crispy skin!Anyway we were left with nice huge chunks of tender white meat. The bones and skin had made the broth more flavorful, sop they served their purpose. I finished it with lots of Basil Leaves.


I also served some Wehani brown rice.This rice took 50 minutes to cook and yielded a great aroma. A new favorite. I decided to try using my chick pea flour to make chickpea pancakes. Indian style. Basically it was 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup chick pea flour, chopped chilies, onions, coriander seeds( my twist), salt, water, etc. Mix, knead, let rest for 1 hour, and fry up. Certain Someone thought they were dry, but we sopped them up with all that coconut red curry sauce. What a fusion Thai elements with Indian elements. Its Glamahs kitchen so she can do what she wants. We enjoyed it and found it very filling. All the bulk in that rice. Thankfully it wasn't to spicy, which was my fear. I love spice, but sometimes you just want it easy.

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31 comments:

Heather said...

Aw, poo. Next time, though! I entered a couple recipe contests a few weeks ago, and will find out at the end of September and in January whether I made the cut.

The brown rice sounds great - I love the smell, too. So nutty and sweet.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Darn! Next time, Well it sounded fun and you learned alot. Did you say London?? Lucky you! Is CS going too? That will be a nice break for you. Need another travel companion?

Ivy said...

Well don't let this disappoint you. There is always another time and it was a great experience and it seems you had fun.
Great recipe and must try brown rice. Lucky you going to London.

Paz said...

Great job with your red curry dish! You've made me hungry now. Thanks a lot! LOL!

Paz

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm sorry to hear you didn't win... Anyway, it's good to know you had a great time there! That Sunday dinner looks fabulously scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Núria said...

Hey, don't worry :D! there will be more contests and you have learnt many things here! Plus you had a great time and you got all that pictures and recipes :D

Certain Someone was probably more than happy with your fantastic fusion dinner ;D

Darius T. Williams said...

Ahhh - it sucks you didn't win. But-that's okay...next time though, um, remember, I like cookies - lol. I'm only a hop and skip away.

Fusion dinners...thos are the best!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You rock for taking this on! It sounds like an amazing experience, and that the school treated you all WELL, in any case.

The Sunday dinner looked gorgeous, too.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Awwwwww! Yours looked so good too! Next year you will have had all of this experience under your belt and will have it in the bag!

Jeanne said...

You were robbed!! I would have found it very stressful eyeballing the competition - well done you for standing your ground. And at least if you enter again you will have had the experience - will know about props etc etc.

The red Thai dish looks amazing - I love Thai curries.

And it's such a pity that it looks as if our London meet-up won't happen :( But at least I'll be in Chicago next month :)

Deborah said...

Well, it sounds like a great experience anyway!

And your Sunday dinner sounds delicious - but then again, all of your Sunday dinners do!

Cynthia said...

I think a Sunday meal really sets the tone - is erases all the stress from the past week and at the same time, prepares you well for the start of the new week.

Jen said...

The cookie contest sounds like a really good time even though it is a little shady that one of the cooking school students one. I love your flower shaped cookies though.

Seems like a good time to let you know that I've passed 2 blog awards on to you...

Christina said...

It's a bummer you didn't win (and it seems a bit like it was a conspiracy, =P), but it sounds like a great experience!

Nina Timm said...

My mouth is watering for all the flavors going on in that meal!!!! A certain someone is very picky?????

linda said...

Better luck next time, for what it's worth, I like your cookies much better than the other ones. Decorated cookies are nice to look at but tastewise they are usually not very interesting.
The meal looks delicious!

Dee said...

I'm sorry about the contest, Coco :( but at least you had fun! The red curry sounds amazing. I'm on a curry binge - just ask my hips! And I'm loving the Wehani brown rice, which is something I'll NEVER find in my neck of the woods :(

bren@Flanboyant Eats said...

no win this time :( okay y does that brown rice look like our arroz congri?? wow! and chicpeak pancakes...is that the full recipe???

i swear i wish i had more time to explore!

Emiline said...

You were robbed! Not cool!

Can't wait to hear about London. That'll be so much fun.

Mmm, rice.

Dana McCauley said...

Wow, I want to go to the French Pastry School - that sounds like a good consolation prize.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love Thai flavours - what a great Sunday dinner. I'd like seconds of those chickpea pancakes too.

I think your cookies looked tops! I'm always saying to the children that it's the taking part that counts but then I never enter anything - wonder why - fear of losing probably.

Nik Snacks said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself at the competition and go so many things out of the experience: tangible and non.

Your dinner sounds so incredibly delicious! I would have needed to use a cookbook the entire time.

Did you hear? I got a new job as a baker! WELL, an addtional job.

kittie said...

Mmmmm - that picture is making me hungry for Thai curry - even though it is only 10am!

Good luck with the next contest!

Dharm said...

Winning isnt everything and as long as you had a good time, then that makes you a winner! Your dinner spread looks just amazing!

marye said...

HEY!
I was wondering if you had done that yet..they look like winners to me..
and the chicken sounds fabulous.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

You'll get it next time! :)

Your cookies look great! Sounds like a fun experience anyway!

That dinner looks like another winner! You are awesome!

Zen Chef said...

Why is it everytime I access your blog from my laptop my system crashes. You know, you might be too sexy for my computer. Too glamah! :-) My Iphone seem to be okay though...

That chicken fusion dish looks and sounds delicious to me. Yum! At what time is dinner? :-)

Susan said...

A cast iron wok? I want one, I want one...

Sorry you didn't win the competition. : ( Ground hazelnuts and chocolate are luscious.

Gabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabi said...

Whoa- sorry I missed out on wishing you good luck for this! Your cookies were the most luscious from that array! I would have chosen them.

Wow a London trip -lucky you!
Love the Sunday meal too :)

Blog Princess G said...

Just catching up. Reminds me, I haven't had supper yet and I here I am salivating. Yum yum!