105degrees, L1/W3/D5: crab cakes, chocolate torte, & a challenge
Hello, everyone! I just made the 5 hour drive home to Kansas City (in the rain, bleh), so I’m home sweet home! Even if it is for less than 48 hours. It’s late (almost 10pm already!), so let’s get right to the good stuff.
The first thing we did this morning was pull out yesterday‘s falafel. I popped a couple of these while they were still warm from the dehydrator—LOOOVE them!
The blonde macaroons were also done. I really liked the flavor, but if/when I make them again, I’m going to shred the coconut much finer.
You know what else was done? Yesterday’s crab cakes. And boy, were they uuugly.
I have no idea why they turned that unsightly brown color (and neither did Russell), but I worked with what I had. We made a sweet corn ragout and a crisp slaw to serve with them.
I reeeally liked this creamy fresh corn ragout, at least.
I know, I know. They don’t look like real crab cakes at all. But do they at least look like “yummy mushroom-veggie patties”?
I could only hope that’s what they were, because I wasn’t too keen on even trying them. I would never touch a real crab cake, so selling me on a raw one wasn’t easy. I set my plate out for tasting, though, and was surprised when Russell said it was his favorite! He complimented me on being able to pull together the right flavors and execute a dish well even if I wouldn’t enjoy it myself. That’s definitely one skill I really wanted to pick up while at 105, so I couldn’t have been more delighted! (And hey, at least the inside looked kinda crab-cakey.)
My mouth watered much more for what was next: plating our chilled chocolate tortes from Wednesday. We squared them off to make them prettier. Yes, there was scrap-snackage.
Along with a vanilla crème sauce and a fresh raspberry coulis, it was especially fun to get creative with this plating.
Not many words will be needed for this one.
Ohhh…come to mama!
This actually reminded me a little of the chocolate part of that cake that Matt and I just ate in Dallas. It’s light, almost fluffy, and melts in your mouth like a dream.
Cheeky raspberry sticks its tongue out at you!
Want a bite?
YES. Oh, heavens yes.
What on earth could we follow that up with?! Something totally out of the ordinary, in fact. Russell paired us all up and gave each twosome a tray full of almost-past-its-prime produce from the fridge that needed be used up by the weekend. The challenge was to create a dish, any dish, using every single item on the tray. We weren’t allowed any additional ingredients except herbs, spices, and oils. It was like a Top Chef “quickfire”! I forgot to take a picture of our tray before we started, but here’s what we were given:
Cabbage – spinach – mushrooms – butternut squash – red onion – apple –
tomato – sundried tomatoes – oranges – lemons – walnuts – red miso –
chipotle chiles – purple bell peppers.
So what did Comenius, my Swiss collaborator, and I put together with this motley medley of produce?
A small masterpiece, that’s what.
Our dish included this cabbage leaf “lasagna” of sorts, layered with marinated mushrooms, orange slices, and a chunky sundried tomato sauce. Comenius had taken the helm with this one…
…while I’d concentrated on the stuffed pepper halves, which we softened in the dehydrator. One contained a spinach-walnut salad tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.
The other (my personal favorite part of our dish) held a tasty, cumin-laced butternut squash-apple-chipotle purée.
Not bad for zero forethought or preparation and only an hour of work, eh? Comenius and I were both super-proud of how it turned out!
Have a great weekend, everyone!