Stress and Stage-fright: A Recipe for Success
For weeks I’ve been stressing about competing in the Food Bloggers Cook-off as part of A Taste of Edmonton.
I’ve never cooked for anyone but friends and family in my own kitchen, and I’m terrified of public speaking! What the heck was I thinking?
Nerves be damned, I put in some hours of planning and testing and here’s what I came up with.
Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf and Mash
This is my spin on the classic meatloaf and mashed potatoes. My mini- meatloafs are made with home ground beef and italian sausage, studded with gorgonzola cheese. and wrapped in bacon.
How could that not be delicious?
I put my spin on the classic mashed potatoes by mixing them with yams, butter, and cream cheese to create a super creamy mash that has way more flavour than the old style version. I topped them with some crispy fried onions and a few pea shoots.
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp italian seasoning (grind 1/2 tsp each of fennel seed, basil, salt, and pepper)
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola (or more)
8 slices of bacon- cut in half
Mix ingredients (except bacon) and form into mini-loaves using an ice cream scoop to portion (makes approx. 15 loaves).
Wrap each mini-loaf with a piece of bacon.
Pan fry each loaf on medium heat to crisp the bacon (on all 4 sides) and load onto a sheet pan.
Finish in the oven at 350 degrees. 15-20 min.
6 medium potatoes
1/2 a medium yam
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup cream cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
half and half cream
Boil potatoes and yams until fork tender.
Mash with remaining ingredients and add cream to reach your desired consistency.
Re-season to taste.
1/4 red onion
Slice red onions and lightly coat with flour.
Deep fry until crispy (approx. 5 minutes).
Season with salt before serving.
Assemble mashed potatoes on serving plate and lay mini- meatloaves on the side.
Top the potatoes with crispy onions and a few pea shoots.
The 3 judges from the competition, Chef Shane Chartrand of Murietta’s, Chef Lindsay Porter of 4th and Vine, and Chef Dave Omar of Zinc were impressed enough with each of our dishes that they each pledged to put one of our dishes on their appetizer menu at their restaurants. Stay tuned for that!
After tasting each dish and a few minutes of deliberation the judges came to a decision. There was a tie for second between Teresa’s Feisty Chicken bowl and Michelle’s Chicken Biryani, and my dish edged them out for the win.
The final result was as close as can be, with only 1 point separating us. I have to say, Teresa and Michelle produced some beautiful looking and tasting dishes, and I feel a bit fortunate to have won.
But I’ll take it!