One of my favorite cooking shows out there is Chopped. The competitors are asked to make a dish in a short amount of time from a basket of random, miscellaneous ingredients. Their crazy, innovative creations always inspire me to cook and whip up some spectacular dish of my own. I had always thought it would be fun to enter a Chopped-like competition but never thought I’d get a chance to until recently.
To celebrate Earth Day, our school hosts a Celebration Fair, where many student groups set up booths and activities related to Earth Day. A student group called Real Food Hopkins hosted a “Veg Fest” competition, where 4 student chefs competed to see who could make the best vegetarian dish. They gave us the list of ingredients a few days beforehand so we could come up with a recipe (a bit more time than they give you in Chopped). The students then prepared the recipes the night before the competition to hand out as samples to students at the fair. On the actual day of the fair, we cooked our dishes in front of everyone and had the judges taste them.
The list of ingredients they gave were: beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, kale, fingerling sweet potatoes, white button mushrooms, and French shallots. After tossing a few ideas in my head I thought of creating a twist on the Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich by using a veggie patty filling. This was a completely original recipe and actually turned out pretty great the first time I made it. I used the same recipe for the competition and although I didn’t win, the sandwich got some rave reviews from friends and students for being “creative and delicious.”
- 1 cup carrots, peeled intro thin strips
- 1/2 cup radish, chopped into thin slivers
- 1/2 shallot, chopped into slivers
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups fingerling sweet potatoes
- 2 cups white button mushrooms, chopped into small bits
- 1 cup red kale, chopped into small pieces
- 1 red shallot
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 3 French baguettes (8-in long)
- salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce or Srirarcha
- In a medium bowl, mix together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Using a vegetable peeler, peel outer layer of carrots and discard. Then continue peeling into long, thin strips. Using a knife, thinly slice radish into small circles. Thinly slice shallots. Add the carrots, radish, and shallot into the vinegar bowl and stir. Let stand at room temperature.
- Boil water in a large pot. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into small cubes. Steam sweet potato cubes for 15 min, until tender when poked with a fork.
- While sweet potatoes are steaming, peel and mince shallot. Roughly chop mushrooms and kale into small pieces. In a medium pan, sauté shallots. Then add mushrooms and kale. Stir for about 5 minutes, until cooked well.
- Transfer the steamed sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the mushroom-kale mix and mash together. Add soy sauce, egg, and breadcrumbs and mix well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Using hands, form sweet potato mix into small ½ inch balls. Press gently to flatten.
- In the same pan as before, heat oil to medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato discs and fry on both sides until dark golden on the outside (about 30-60 sec each).
- Cut baguettes horizontally. Mix mayonnaise and hot chili sauce together. Spread on the bottom inner side of the baguette. Add sweet potato discs and top with the pickled carrots, radish, and shallots.
Can you believe it is already the end of August? I feel like I just returned home and now I am already packing my suitcases again. Summer is quickly coming to an end and I still have so many recipes on my “To make” list!
I made this tart for a dinner at a family friend, Linda’s house last Friday. Since I had to work that day, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to make it. So the night before, I made the dough for the crust and chopped up the fruits.
The next day, I rushed back home after work and went straight for the refrigerator so I could get my dough. I rolled it out very thin and arranged the fruits in a pretty pattern.
The most challenging step (which really is not that challenging) was folding the crust onto the fruits without breaking it. Thankfully, my mom was there to assist with her expert dumpling folding skills! After that, I brushed the crust with egg and sprinkled sugar on it.
Just 30 minutes of oven-time later, I had a spectacular galette! Just in time for the dinner!
This beautiful fruit tart with a free-form crust is an iconic summer dessert. It is technically called a galette, which is a French dessert. It is literally overflowing with fresh nectarines, strawberries, and blueberries. The best part was how easy it was to make. The ingredients are simple and there are not many steps.
RUSTIC FRUIT TART (GALETTE)
2 nectarines, sliced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
3/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg (for egg wash)
additional sugar for sprinkling
Filling: Mix fruits together in a medium bowl. Coat well with sugar and vanilla. Set aside and allow mixture to soak.
Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the cubes of butter and mix until roughly blended.
Add ice water and stir with a fork until mixture becomes dough-like. Knead dough so it comes together. Shape into a ball and flatten. Wrap with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a thin 12-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet.
Arrange fruits onto center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border on the outside. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit carefully, making sure not to break it.
Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle additional sugar on it. Bake for 25-35 minutes (or until crust is golden brown).
Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature!
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Summer=berry season=me eating lots of berries.
My mom and I came back from our weekly trip to Costco this weekend with 2 huge boxes of strawberries and blueberries. How could the 4 of us possibly finish eating all that fruit?! Well, knowing me and my obsession with berries, it actually wasn’t going to be much of a challenge. Even though they are incredible eating just plain, they can add a lot to other foods like salads and desserts!
Arugula has a slight bitter taste so to offset this, just add some strawberries and blueberries for some sweetness. For a dressing, you can easily make balsalmic vinegar dressing that goes along perfectly with the salad. This is a simple recipe that can be put together in minutes!
A fresh, sweet salad for summer
ARUGULA SALAD WITH BERRIES
6 cups baby arugula
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsalmic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
pinch of salt
Avocado slices (optional)
Rinse arugula and lightly dry. In a medium bowl, mix blueberries and chopped strawberries with arugula.
In a small bowl, pour in olive oil. Slowly, pour in balsalmic vinegar while constantly stirring. Add garlic and salt to taste. Mix well.
Add dressing to salad and toss.