Battle of the Roots

It’s that time again! We took a 3 month hiatus from our cooking battles, but it started once again. This time, the theme was Root Vegetables and Tubers. Priti and Chirag chose the theme and hosted this battle. What a versatile secret ingredient!

Manish and I were responsible for the appetizer and cocktail course. Our idea was to arrange a “three course” amuse bouche of sorts… We were going to start with a crudite of radishes and carrots, and place them on our himalayan pink salt brick. A little sweet cream butter was going to accompany these crudites. We were going to halve a cooked purple fingerling potato, hollow out the center, and pipe in a sunchoke puree. We were going to lay a piece of wild boar bacon on top – sort of a play on the double stuffed potato. Then we were going to created a “scalloped scallop.” A seared scallop, topped with tiny little rounds of scalloped potatoes, resembling scales of a fish. Sadly, we were unable to follow through with the prep of this course due to scheduling issues that morning, so we stepped out of the competition. But our kind competitors allowed us to partake in the meal, and judge! So, here are the highlights from the evening…

1st Course Battle RootThe first course, created by Sejal and Rick, showcased the earthy and spicy tones to what some of our favorite root vegetables pair best with! A perfectly pan grilled “Indian spiced” lamb rib chop was accompanied by a sweet potato and rosemary puree as well as a refreshing carrot soup. Such delicate flavors with an incredibly robust appeal! The colors and flavors of the dish were so vibrant and melded so harmoniously.Entree Battle Root

The main entree combined aspects of both comfort and elegance – which resulted in a gorgeous presentation and delicious flavors! A maple glazed pan seared salmon fillet was served over a sunchoke and purple potato puree. Alongside was a savory and rich root vegetable cobbler, and a hearty pasta that had some more roots folded into  it. Every “theme” element was incorporated beautifully in this dish by the hosts, Priti and Chirag.

Finally, dessert (the winning dish!) was brought to the table by Jigna and Piyush. I think that I can speak for everyone at the table when I say that we were all incredibly impressed by the use of the normally “savory” ingredients in this decadent dessert. DSC_0875The gorgeous plating offered a warm sweet potato cake accompanied by a coffee-caramel sauce, a fennel gelato, a chocolate-ginger gelato, a fennel brittle, and a drizzle of raspberry coulis.

The Fennel Brittle

The Fennel Brittle

The flavors went so well together – the earthy and warm spices from the cake and the caramel were such a lovely contrast to the fresh and bold flavors of fennel. I was surprised at how well the chocolate and ginger matched – it was as though all of these components were MEANT to be eaten together. Kudos to to the “Fanwood” Bardolias!!

To my fellow food battlers – as always, it was such an honor and pleasure to dine with all of you – thank you for the amazing meal, and for giving me a reason to smile on a not so bright day. Love you guys!! :)

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