Monday, March 22, 2010

Battle Breakfast

Jamie and Alessandro, the winners of Battle Cheese, played Sherri and Becky, the winners of Battle Beef, in Battle Breakfast on Saturday March 20. Here are the results:

Becky and Sherri Dish #1: Hawaiian-style ebelskivers made with macadamia nuts, filled with mango-banana butter, and topped with toasted coconut and homemade coconut syrup

Served with Kona coffee and orange juice

Becky started off the day with an islandy take on Swedish round pancakes, called ebelskivers, which have recently come into fashion in New York. Judge Mary Beth declared that they reminded her of Thai coconut pancakes, and Danielle bemoaned the fact that some of hers had been singed.

Becky and Sherri Dish #2: "The Full Monty" Irish-Breakfast Bread Pudding Casserole

Becky's ode to Irish breakfast was filled with fried potatoes, roasted tomatoes, bangers, and bacon. Rich and creamy, judge Sam said "I can't finish this now, but I'm setting it aside for later."

Becky and Sherri Dish #3: Chinese Dim Sum: Pork and chive dumplings, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and duck eggs rolls

Served with Milk Tea with "sago" bubbles

Sherri's ode to dim sum, the Chinese breakfast served on carts around Asia, was well received.
"Fried things are good," declared one judge.

Becky and Sherri Dish #4: Québecois Maple Tart served with a candied bacon tuile and Pancake Batter-flavored ice cream

Served with a maple-apple champagne cocktail

Judges liked the smooth texture of the homemade ice cream, though some questioned if it tasted more like vanilla than "pancake batter." The tart was less sweet than expected in a dessert, leading several judges to question why it was so savory.

Jamie and Alessandro, Dish #1:

Pumpkin muffins with cream
Served with a choice of cappuccino or Moroccan mint tea

Jamie's pumpkin muffin was a throw-back to his childhood. His mother would bake these muffins, and serve them with cream instead of butter. ("I really enjoy pouring cream into the muffins," said one judge. "I'd like to just pour it into my mouth," said another.) The judges loved the muffin's moist texture and the flavor ("There's so much butter in this, it's almost a travesty to call it a muffin"), but debated the addition of pumpkin seeds. They also loved the accompanying drinks, and the showstopping disposable serving ware.

Jamie and Alessandro Dish #2:

Yogurt-honey parfait with toasted almonds
Served with papaya topped with mint pesto

Jamie explained that he never liked the taste of papaya—until he tasted it with lime. Many judges agreed that the combination was lovely. "Papaya usually has a slightly vomity after-taste," explained Judge Mary Beth, "but not with the lime." Other judges disliked felt the papaya didn't pair well with the yogurt. "I'm German," explained Judge Grimm "I wanna be able to mix everything up in a bowl."

Jamie and Alessandro Dish #3:

Open-face egg sandwich with candied bacon, dill, and roasted asparagus
Served with a Venetian Bellini

Alessandro had worked at Harry's Bar in Venice, the home of the bellini, so it was no surprise that it was made just right. The egg sandwich was also a hit with many judges, though a few wished for salt or cheese.

Jamie and Alessandro Dish #4:

Cereal-studded crêpe topped with
homemade toblerone ice cream and salted caramel

Judges were torn on whether the cereal's added crunch was a bonus or a bust, as they were with the texture of the cereal (some called the Toblerone bits too crunchy) and the caramel sauce, which firmed up when it was poured over the ice cream. "It's like Magic Shell!" declared judge Mary Beth, comparing it to the childhood sundae topping.

Congratulations to Jamie and Alessandro—the winners of this round!