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Old 04-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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GCC Convenience Store - LPBeier

I shopped at 7/11. It was kind of an interesting experience because almost one year ago I was practically living off their food while my Dad was in the hospital for three months. That and Subway Sandwiches, Tim Hortons and a Thai take-out place.

I looked around for awhile before deciding on a theme for my meal. And it came to me in the one short "food" aisle: What would the Iron Chefs do in a situation like this?

So, I dedicate each course to someone connected with the show, past or present.

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Beverage - Creamsicle Float

I thought, of course, of my fellow Canadian, Kevin Brauch, for this one. I know that he would pick something that was slightly out of the ordinary. Mind you, Kevin would definitely head to his pantry and grab a bottle of Orange Brandy, but I think he would approve of this non-alcoholic version.

One thing I loved last summer was the "Extreme Cream" Creamsicle. It is larger than your usual creamsicle and the orange popsicle shell is so much more orangy. Perfect for scraping off the stick into a large mug or glass and covering with a clear lemon-lime carbonated beverage. I chose a can of Diet 7up as that is what I bought there on a regular basis for Dad.

DH had some, even though he is lactose intolerant - he loved the tartness of the orange mixed in with the ice cream and froth of the 7up. He said he would either use a regular 7up or Sprite, or would have gone with a club soda.

I liked the way it foamed up like a root beer float, and agreed the the orange really added a good kick. I was happy with the diet pop.

Oh, yes, no pantry items were used for this course. Just the pop and popsicle bought at the 7/11.

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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Appetizer - Tuna Crakertini with Lemon Supremes

Iron Chef Morimoto would of course go for a fish appetizer and would, of course, not find much Blue Fin on ice in the 7/11 cooler. However, the little treasure chest I found in the fridges I am sure would have him sharpening his knives (not that he would need them here).

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This box houses a pretty self-contained appie on it's own, but Masaharu and I wouldn't dream of leaving it that way.

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The box contained a foil package with 6 Ritz-like (but smaller) crackers, a tin containing a premix of tuna, mayo, onion and seasonings (pepper was very evident), a spoon/spreader, and a napkin.

I wanted to use every part of this because it was just so perfect. I added some lemon juice and dill weed to the tuna which cut the pepper taste and gave it a much fresher flavour. I then scooped the tuna onto the crackers with a small disher, sprinkled dill over the tops and the plate, and added a small lemon supreme to the top of each.

After using the enclosed spoon to scoop the tuna salad from its tin into a bowl, I decided to add it to the plate in case it was needed to spread out the tuna on the cracker - it wasn't. The napkin stumped me at first, but I used it to clean off the spoon before plating it and then wet it to clean the plate before the photo shoot.

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These were wonderful little bites - you can just pop one in your mouth and experience the snap of the cracker, crunch of the onion, taste of the tuna and that wonderful squirt of tart lemon juice as you bit into the supreme.

DH, who couldn't eat the cracker, did like the enhanced flavour better than straight from the tin. He said the lemon on top was what really made the dish. I tend to agree with him.

Oh for those of you who might not know, a supreme (sue prem) is a wedge of citrus fruit that has been cut out between the membranes and free of the peel and bitter white layer.

Pantry items - lemon, dill
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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Main - KD and Spam Carbonara

My favourite Top Chef (America) is and always will be even now that he is not on the show, Mario Batali. So, I tried to think with an Italian mind as I gazed at all the boxed and bagged items in the food aisle.

It had, of course, to be a pasta dish and they had spaghetti and jarred sauce but that was too easy. I had seen eggs, bacon and cheese and thought of my favourite dish - carbonara. But to use spaghetti and parmesan would just not be up to Mario's standards. He would have fun with this challenge and play it for all it was worth. So, I did too.

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I put back the items I had picked up and grabbed a box of Kraft Dinner, a can of Spam and a carton of eggs. DH looked at me like I was a lunatic.... so I knew I was on the right track.

I boiled the noodles as on the package, cubed the Spam and sauted it in bacon fat to give the effect of bacon in the dish. I beat 4 eggs and mixed them with the packet of "cheese" powder and a 1/2 cup melted butter (not hot). I then drained and poured the noodles into the pan with the Spam and stirred in the egg mixture quickly so it would not scramble. I then cracked black pepper over top, just enough to highlight the flavour.

I will be honest. I was not sure if how this would taste. What I love about carbonara is the mixture of the noodles with the fatty fried bacon and the custardy cheese sauce and it was hard to think of this with KD and Spam.

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I was pleasantly surprised! The cheese powder taste was mellowed and lightened by the egg mixture and the custard texture was almost like the real thing - though it doesn't show well in the photos.

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This close-up shows it the best I could get. The spam didn't taste like spam and Dad, who was my taste tester on this, and is a picky eater, thought it was tasty.

I think Mario would be pleased and I have to say I am too.

Pantry items used - butter, bacon fat and fresh ground black pepper.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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Dessert - Deconstructed Fruit Parfait

Cat Cora has done many deconstructed dishes on Top Chef and so I looked to her for inspiration here. This is my simplest dish. I thought after a heavy pasta dish, a person would prefer something light.

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There wasn't a lot of imagination here - a strawberry low-fat yoghurt scooped into a circle on one side of the plate and then "painted" across to the other side. Then a bought fruit salad was piled high in the centre of the plate, with a trail mix blend of nuts and raisins sprinkled on the other end as a topping.

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The best way to eat this was to take a scoop of yoghurt on the spoon, add couple of nuts , and then add a piece of fruit. I probably in hind sight would have chopped the fruit smaller and put the yoghurt in a small ramekin; however I liked the presentation and the tastes of fruit, salt and creamy blended very well together. Unfortunately I had no one to critique this, but both Dad and DH thought it looked nice (I actually ate it for breakfast).

Pantry items used - none.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:41 PM   #6
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There you have it. I really did this on just for the fun of it. It was actually easier than I thought to put the ideas together and have others in my mind in case we every do this one again.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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Awesome job, LB!!! Your drink sounds fantastic as does your appetizer. I love KD and Spam, so the main is a hit with me. The deconstructed parfait was very clever. Yummy!
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Thanks, Kathleen. Sorry I didn't have any Bling to show off with mine
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
Thanks, Kathleen. Sorry I didn't have any Bling to show off with mine
Me either! Thankfully "Kate" had some. *coughs*
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:24 PM   #10
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These all look great! I have actually done something similar to your main dish, but I didn't think of using egg. Your floats look so refreshing!
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