Break out the fat pants, EGS cooked up American cuisine for its summer meeting. Think comfort food. Lots and lots of good old-fashioned, rich, heart-stopping comfort food. We should have had a cardiologist on stand-by.
Katherine and Tim hosted the meeting at their house on July 2, so of course we also celebrated America’s Big Day: the Fourth of July. For our token American, Kate, we broke out the red, white and blue. We also invited a special guest, Brendan’s sister, Carmen. With another judge in the mix, the pressure was definitely on.
Katherine began the appetizer round with her ode to Mickey Ds, a Bic Mac slider. She served it with a buttermilk onion ring. Tim paired the dish with another American classic, Coca-Cola.
Sabrina went next with her gourmet take on the Philly Cheesesteak. She served beef carpaccio on mini-sour dough rolls with cheese espuma, chives and smoked sea salt. They were so pretty and yummy. Aaron whipped up a Bud Light Lime slushie to go with the appetizer.
Brendan rounded out the first round with another “heart healthy” option: deep-fried, bacon wrapped mac and cheese. They were little pieces of heaven fried in peanut oil. Kate made a pitcher of spiked Kool-Aid to go with it.
After the votes were tallied, Katherine’s fast-food classic clinched the appetizer round.
The next round almost killed us. Take Katherine’s main course — fried chicken and waffles. She used Thomas Keller’s fried chicken recipe. The acclaimed American chef serves a version of fried chicken and waffles at one of his many high-end restaurants. Tim offered two drink selections, either Pabst Blue Ribbon beer or Jack Daniel’s iced tea.
Sabrina also picked a southern American classic for her main – a Carolina pulled pork sandwich with homemade smoky BBQ sauce. She served it with a baked mac and cheese loaded with bacon, panko crumbs, thyme and parsley. Aaron paired the dish with refreshing strawberry basil lemonade.
The round ended with Brendan’s dish: a steak sandwich served with a roasted red pepper and gorgonzola spread on a homemade ciabbata bun. The sandwich was topped with caramelized onions and arugula. On the side were homemade potato chips (I could have eaten an entire bag!). Brendan made the chips by thinly slicing Yukon potatoes and then frying them in peanut oil. Kate helped Brendan out by making the buns and sandwich spread. She also went above and beyond the call of duty in the drink department by make beer hats for the boys and decorated plastic wine glasses for the girls.
In the end, it was a neck-and-neck race between Sabrina and Brendan. B’s steak sandwich eventually won out. Thanks to Kate for bringing decorations and dessert — a patriotic JELL-O poke cake.