Friday, March 25, 2011

Dessert Wars. March Challenge. Emerald Isle.

Since January, I've been playing along with a fun new site called Dessert Wars, created by Reeni of Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice and Momma Cupcake of Cupcake Bandits. Each month has a Challenge and a Dessert Theme ...
.. and March's theme for the Dessert Wars contest is GREEN. I was betting on that, but there's a twist.
From the Dessert Wars website:
Since St. Patty's day is in March we thought it would be fun if we celebrated the color green! And not just anything green but foods that are naturally green!
Ladies, I accept your challenge. Let's go GREEN.
Our challenge was to make a dessert that involves two green ingredients - sort of a Chinese challenge in which we had to pick one from Column A and one from Column B. The instructions read "at least one" ingredient from each column. The instructions also said to go outside your comfort zone. I would say that I challenged myself. I tested my abilities and resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking.
So Rosie, being Rosie,
is determined to use as many ingredients from each column as she can and actually produce something edible. You gals want me to go out on a limb? You want me out of my comfort zone? I'm out there. Wish me luck. Column A contains traditional dessert ingredients: Green apples Green Grapes Limes Pistachios Honey Dew Kiwi Green Pears Mint Pandan Column B contains non-traditional ingredients: Avocado Green Tea Cucumber Green Chilies Wasabi Basil or other green herbs Vegetables, like spinach, peas Lemon grass Green chile peppers Green cheese
And here's my dessert:
Rosie's Emerald Isle.
My dessert this month for Dessert Wars is two part.
The first part is a lime jello made with green tea with green apple, green pear, and avocado slices, awash in lime juice, layered with a pistachio pudding and garnished with Wasabi peas, toasted pistachios, sliced green grapes, and minced serrano chile. Let's see: lime green tea pistachio green apples green pears avocado Wasabi peas grapes serrano chili That's ten ingredients- 5 traditional and 5 non-traditional ingredients.
My ingredients: lime jello 1 cup green tea (I used 4 tea bags.) pistachio pudding 1 pint heavy cream 1 avocado, thinly sliced 1/2 green pear, thinly sliced 1/2 green apple, thinly sliced imagine a couple of limes up there And for the garnish: 1 serrano chile, minced toasted pistachios, crushed Wasabi peas Brew 1 cup green tea. Prepare the lime jello according to package directions Instead of 1 cup boiling water, I used 1 cup boiling green tea. Stir to dissolve jello. When dissolved, stir in 1 cup cold water. Juice limes and pour juice into 8 1-cup ramekins. Layer thin slices of apple, pear, and avocado in the ramekins, covering with lime juice to prevent discoloration. Pour lime jello into each ramekin and refrigerate until set. Next prepare pistachio pudding according to package directions. I used heavy cream instead of milk. Pour over top of lime jello. Return to refrigerator for several hours to set. Dip ramekins in hot water for a few seconds and invert onto serving plate. Garnish with Wasabi peas, toasted crushed pistachios, sliced green grapes, and minced serrano chile. Now, on to Part 2 of this dessert - Cucumber Lime Granita. I'm making a green tea mint-infused simple syrup for a lime and cucumber granita with green pear and green apple sauce, kiwi, green pepper, basil, and parsley. That's another 10 ingredients - 5 traditional and 5 non-traditional.
For the simple syrup, I used 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup packed mint leaves, and 4 green tea bags. Combine water, sugar, and mint leaves. Bring water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Turn off heat. Add in tea bags and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove solids.
Here's the green tea mint infused simple syrup after steeping.
Next, a chunky pear and apple sauce.
I peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 pear and 1/2 apple, added a tablespoon of sugar and maybe 1/4 cup water. Simmer until it cooks down to a chunky pear/apple sauce.
1 cup of green tea mint-infused simple syrup on left. 1 cup of chunky pear/apple sauce on right.
The ingredients for my granita: 1 cup green tea mint-infused simple syrup 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped 2 TB finely minced green pepper 1 kiwi, peeled and coarsely chopped 4 limes, zested and juiced 1 TB mint, minced 1 TB parsley, minced 1 cup apple/pear sauce And imagine there's some basil in there - 1 TB minced. Combine all in processor and puree. Pour into an 8 x 11 inch pan. Put in freezer. In 30 minutes, rake the granita with a fork. Put back into freezer. Every 20-30 minutes, rake the granita until you have the consistency you want.
This smells so fresh and fruity and GREEN. To serve, invert pistachio and lime ramekin onto plate. Garnish with minced serrano, toasted pistachios, Wasabi peas, and sliced grapes. Spoon the cucumber-lime granita alongside.
I loved the icy texture of the granita. It complemented the creaminess of the pistachio pudding and the smoothness of the lime jello and was a nice cooling, refreshing counterpoint to the heat of the wasabi and green chili.
For those of you who like my step by step instructions with photos, check out this post.
The March prize package includes:
BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan Dessert Wars Become a warrior.


Marilyn said...

Rosie's Green!


Rose II said...

You are so creative, Rosie. Good job!(Hey, are the wasabi peas a nod to SLop's corn nuts on her Kwaanza cake? :D )

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh Rose, I wish! I'm not that clever. But thanks for thinking so.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Rose, I meant, Yes, YES! The wasabi peas bow to SLop's nuts!
(What was I not thinking?)

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Now, if I could only figger out how to do a Star of David with pipe cleaners and blue icing and faux pearls. I'd be the smartest thing on the block!

Lora said...

Wow 10 ingredients. I am seriously impressed. That granita sounds interesting and refreshing.

Elizabeth said...

WOW! I had trouble figureing out how to use 2 ingredients, and you've figured out 10?

Lisa said...

This is such a clever and creative dessert - jello and pudding on green steroids! Love it, and LOVe the addition of wasabi peas! Good luck to you!