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Old 01-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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GCCC - Kathleen A

Welcome to Golden Chef Challenge: Chocolate.
In this thread you will find a five course meal by Kathleen A. Each course must contain a chocolate element. This entry will consist of pictures, recipes and a description of taste, texture, smell, etc. (Hopefully Goodweed will clarify this)

There will be two other entry threads for the other to contestants and poll threads for each of the voting categories (sorry to have so many polls but they will all be identified by GCCC (Golden Chef Challenge)

Voting can begin whenever you have gone over all three entries and feel ready to start. Polls will close February 12 at 9 pm PST.

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Setting the Theme

To set the stage, I opted to use my chocolate-colored tablecloth. In hindsight, I should have ironed it.

For the wine, I chose a 2009 wine from Spain called Burgais Albarino. It was a white wine that had enough body to stand up to the chocolate, but was light enough to cleanse the palette. It had a fruity undertone. It was not very dry, but was not sweet either. My taster and I enjoyed it.

My courses include:

Course 1 - Soup

Course 2 - Appetizer and Drink

Course 3 - Salad

Course 4 - Entree with Side

Course 5 - Dessert


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Old 01-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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Course 1: Roasted Butternut Squash infused with Chocolate

Components:
Butternut squash, 2 squares of dark chocolate, garlic, chili pepper, maple syrup, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, olive oil, chicken stock, and onion

Cooking:
All but the chicken stock and onion were roasted. Onions were sautéed and then cooked in stock. All was pureed together and heated. Once in bowls, the soup was garnished with a teaspoon of maple syrup, bittersweet mini-chocolate chips, and pieces of fresh sourdough baguette.

Texture and Taste:
This soup was velvety smooth and thick. It seemed creamy even though no cream was included. The chocolate flavor could be detected along with the sweetness of the maple-syrup. The nutmeg and cinnamon added to the sweetness, and the chili pepper gave it a heat that warmed the tongue without pain and went on to warm the body. The small bits of chocolate chips mingled with the sourdough bread and melded into a very satisfying taste that left one sated.

The scent of chocolate and cinnamon could be smelled as well as tasted. Like the taste, the smell was subtle and did not overcome the scent of the butternut squash that seemed almost pumpkin-like.

Though the soup could be served as a meal in a larger serving, the smaller bowl introduced the theme with a pleasant lingering taste.








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Old 01-30-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
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Course 2: Chocolate Martini and Bacon-Chocolate Bruschetta

Components:
Drink: Chocolate syrup, Vodka, Chocolate liqueur, Crème de Cocoa (white), Maraschino Cherries

Bruschetta – Sourdough crostini with bittersweet chocolate chips and crumbled bacon

Cooking/Preparation:
Drink: Swirl chocolate syrup in martini glasses. Mix all three alcohols in a shaker with ice. Shake until frothy. Garnish with cherries.

Bruschetta: Toast crostini with a bit of olive oil. Top with bacon and chocolate chips. Bake for five minutes and serve.

Texture and Taste:
The drink was very chocolaty. The taster and I swirled the cherries to stir the syrup into the drink. It tasted and smelled similar to a spiked chocolate milk.

The saltiness of the bacon combined nicely with the sweetness of the chocolate. The chocolate chips held their shape, but melted beautifully with each bite. The crostini and bacon stayed crunchy. One could smell both the bacon and the chocolate.










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Old 01-30-2011, 10:30 PM   #5
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Course 3 - Salad of Baby Greens with Dried Cherries and Chocolate Nibs

Components:
Baby spinach, baby arugula, baby lettuces, dried cherries, chocolate nibs, red wine vinaigrette

Cooking/Preparation:
Mix the greens with the vinaigrette so that they are nicely coated. Drizzle so the greens are coated but not weighed down by the dressing. Sprinkle on the dried cherries and chocolate nibs. Forget the crumbled goat cheese which stayed in the fridge.

Texture and Taste:
The bitterness of the arugula and sourness of the vinaigrette mingled nicely with the sweetness of the cherries and chocolate nibs. The lettuce and spinach brought a freshness to the salad along with a pleasing crunch and green scent.









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Old 01-30-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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Course 4 - Sea Bass encrusted with Cocoa and Almonds with a side of "Devil Fries"

Components:
Sea Bass – Cocoa, Almonds, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Panko, Flour, Egg, Canola Oil, sea salt

Devil Fries – Long, red, dried chili peppers, canola oil, anchovy, garlic

Dipping sauce – Fresh dill, scallions, and parsley, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, and sour cream

(Devil Fries and dip came from Nadia G.’s recipe file!)

Cooking/Preparation:
Sea Bass - Mix flour, cayenne, cinnamon and dust fish. Dip in beaten egg and press a mixture of cocoa, almonds and panko into the fish. Pan fry in a tiny bit of oil quickly to set the coating. Then bake until done. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt.

Devil Fries – Mash the anchovy and garlic in a frying pan. Layer the dried chili peppers. Spoon over heated canola oil and remove the fries when they puff.

Dipping sauce – Mix it all up and refrigerate.

Texture and Taste:
The cocoa, almonds and panko gave the fish a delightful crust that was aromatic and dry while the fish inside was perfectly cooked and flaked without being dry. One could smell the cocoa and taste it along with the very subtle cayenne.

The devil fries were bright and red. The flash-frying tempered the heat and caused them to be crispy. Seeds inside gave more heat to those who wanted it. One could easily dump them out if they did not. The fries complimented the fish well.

The dipping sauce cooled the chili peppers and was a pleasing addition to the fish. While not like tarter sauce, it gave a cool, clean flavor that made each bite like the first one. The best part of the dip was that it added depth and flavor to both the entree and side without masking the flavors of either.












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Old 01-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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Pots of Chocolate with Sea Salt

Components:
Bittersweet chocolate, intense dark chocolate, milk, heavy cream, eggs, brown sugar, Mexican chili pepper

Cooking/Preparation:
Melt the chocolates in the milk and cream. Beat the eggs with the chili pepper and brown sugar. Slowly stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture beating well. Pour into ramekins and cover with foil. Bake in a water bath until done. Allow to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes then refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle sea salt before serving.

Texture and Taste:
This tasted like the fine chocolates we had in Barcelona. The light flavor of sea salt mingles nicely with the silky texture of the baked chocolate custard. The custard was light and airy, and left a lovely taste of chocolate at the end of the meal.




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Old 01-30-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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Gorgeous, and looks delicious!

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:41 PM   #9
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Beautiful table, lovely looking food. I can almost smell it from you descriptions.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:09 AM   #10
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Wow!!!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:35 AM   #11
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Holy cow, Kathleen...
Without saying too much, all I can say is the bar has been set high.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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Message for FrankZ: She's a keeper!

So impressive, kathleen...way to go! What a fun surprise this was! Because I couldn't imagine how chocolate could fit in to all the different courses and then to see you bring it off so "yummily"...a feast for the senses indeed.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Beautiful table, lovely looking food. I can almost smell it from you descriptions.

Thanks, PF! Those dishes were either Free or 15 to 25 cents with a 15 dollar purchase many years ago at the Supermarket. I love them and use them each day!
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:02 PM   #14
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Really stunning job, Kathleen. WOW!
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenA View Post
Thanks, PF! Those dishes were either Free or 15 to 25 cents with a 15 dollar purchase many years ago at the Supermarket. I love them and use them each day!
My mom got a great set of brown crockery casseroles and cookie jar 50 or more years ago that way at a grocery store. When there weren't cookies in the cookie jar she used it to make her baked beans. She used all of those dishes regularly until she died ten years ago.

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Old 01-31-2011, 06:43 PM   #16
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Thank you for the kind words, everyone! I had a blast making it. Plating is not my strong suit, so I gave a lot of thought to colors that would work on their own. I really have very little artistic ability and am glad to be able to appreciate artistic ability in others.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:06 PM   #17
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I am totally impressed. Well done.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:04 PM   #18
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Nice, looks good!
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:47 PM   #19
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Did I mention "yum"?

The meal was fantastic. I am not a fan of squash but the soup really was good.

The martini tasted like spiked chocolate milk, without being a weird thing that spiking milk is.

I always say there isn't much you can't improve by adding chocolate or bacon to, and the bruschetta had both. I do have to say my bread was better than what she bought (not that we had what she bought, but I know mine was better).

The salad was refreshing but had a really nice vinegar bite to it.

The fish was cooked perfectly. Done to perfection, which can be hard to do with a piece that thick. The chili peppers looked metallic, all shiny, but tasted oh so good, especially with the dip.

The dessert was just pure chocolate wonderful. I did get to sample it early cause she was messing around with the cooking method. So double dose!

All in all.. umm.. YUM.

Mollyanne,

Yeah, I think I will keep her around for a long time. She does have mad chops in the kitchen.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #20
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I have been on vacation for a week and this is the first I've seen of this feast for the eyes, and "food porn" reading for foodies.

What a fabulous job, Kathleen!!

And here I thought Frank was the only chef.
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