Brendan brought his A-game to our Iron Chef-themed gastronomic society meeting on March 6. He swept the appetizer and main categories (the secret ingredient was “finger foods”). That’s a first in EGS’s short history.
His appetizer, tiny Filipino spring rolls, started the evening. They were incredible. Brendan served his treats, which were filled with minced pork and vegetables, on a bed of bean sprouts and radish coins with a sweet and sour chili dip. Brendan used a deep-fryer to cook the spring rolls. His aunt told him to use it outside so that it wouldn’t stink up the kitchen. Smart idea.
Kate paired the spring rolls with Tsingtao beers. Light and crisp, just like the appetizer.
Sabrina went next. She served two appetizers — a chicken wrap with sweet chili hot sauce and a wonton taco filled with ahi tuna (sourced from Billingsgate) and sesame ginger coleslaw with a lime wasabi aioli. Her plate was stunning and everything, including the sauce shells were edible. I particularly loved the lime wasabi aioli, and the ahi tuna was cooked to perfection. Aaron paired her creations with sake.
I went next and kept up the Asian theme by serving a spicy lobster roll on a banana leaf (thank you, T&T) with a citrus chili dipping sauce. Tim paired it with a bottle of pinot grigio.
For the mains, Brendan went first again. He made chicken lettuce wraps. Sounds simple enough but they were packed with flavour, including orange zest and shitaki mushrooms. Kate got crafty and paired the lettuce wraps with a Singapore Sling. She used the original Raffles Hotel recipe (that’s where the drink was invented in the Singapore hotel’s famous Long Bar). The drink even came with an umbrella. Who doesn’t love umbrella drinks?
Sabrina’s main celebrated comfort food. She made a luxe grilled cheese sandwich jam-paced with lobster. On the side were basil, manchego and parmesan potato wedges. Always creative, she served the garlic ketchup in a tomato and the dill sauce in a cored out cucumber “bowl”. The entire plate was drizzled with truffle oil. Aaron tore a page out of the Rat Pack’s playbook and stirred up Manhattans.
I finished the evening out by serving a belt-buster of a main: southern fried buttermilk chicken cigars with a homemade blue cheese sauce. I feel fatter just typing that. The chicken was double-rolled in flour, egg and panko and then fried in shortening. Yes, shortening, otherwise known as lard. The results were amazing but we’ll all be working that dish off for weeks.
I served coleslaw with a lime and sesame dressing in an endive boat to bring some fresh veggies to the plate. Tim, feeling the southern theme, paired the dish with Lynchberg lemonade. So refreshing. It would be a perfect summer drink.
After a night like that, who needs forks! Great idea, Kate.