CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017


CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017

CFE International Salt Fish Recipe Challenge 2017

BacalaRico Pollock Fillets with Grilled Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Tarragon-Dill Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese Crumbles

This summer fresh dish is grilled to perfection utilizing my hybrid smoker/grill, adding a depth of smoky flavor to the flaky texture of the grilled BacalaRico-Pollock Fillets. Once platted, the dish is doused with a creamy-herbed buttermilk dressing, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and crumbled blue cheese. The recipe can be served as a side dish in the form of a chopped salad or plated over long slices of grilled romaine lettuce for a more dramatic effect. 

Special thanks to the folks at CFE International for sending me a generous sample of their fine products to test. I was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor of the salted fish and how well it withstood the heat of cooking. 

BacalaRico Chopped Salad

CFE International carries six varieties of salted and cured fish as well as, on the plank, oven and grill ready entrees. I chose the BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets for the challenge.

BacalaRico brand salted Pollock products, are exclusively sourced premium Pollock from the cold waters of the North Pacific. These products must meet CFE International’s strict quality standards and the finished product is inspected for quality, moisture and salt content to ensure that product specifications are always being met.

CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017Rehydrating the salted fillets is easy work but requires 24 hours of water bathing, rinsing, and a final rest in milk. The milk bath isn’t necessary when rehydrating the fillets however, it gives the fish a delicate-sweet flavor and further reduces the saltiness of the preserved fish. 

BacalaRico Pollock Fillets

Rehydrated Pollock Fillets

bacalarico recipe

BalacaRico Pollock Fillets with Grilled Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Tarragon-Dill Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese Crumbles
Serves 4
CFE International Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017
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For the Fillets
  1. 1 package BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets (package comes with 3 pre-sealed packets, use just one for this recipe)
  2. 2 cups water (just enough to cover fillets)
  3. 2 cups whole milk (just enough to cover fillets)
  4. 1 large shallot, minced
  5. 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  6. 1 tablespoons lemon infused olive oil
  7. 1 bunch fresh tarragon, divided
  8. 1 bunch fresh dill, divided
  9. Pepper to taste
For the Vegetables
  1. 2 heads romaine lettuce, sliced in quarters, lengthwise
  2. 1 bunch whole baby carrots, with tops
  3. 1 bunch fresh asparagus (optional)
  4. 1 bunch spring onions, sliced lengthwise
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
For The Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  2. 1/2 cup sour cream
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  5. 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  7. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
For the Fillets
  1. Rehydrate fillets by placing 1 pouch of salted fish into a air tight plastic container. Add just enough tap water to submerge fillets. Rest fish for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Pour off water and repeat this process 2 times more. For the final rehydration, pour 2 cups whole milk over fillets or just enough to cover the fish. let fillets rest in the milk bath overnight. Before cooking, discard milk and gently rinse fillets. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Season the bottom of a grill style roasting pan with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 of the minced shallot, and cracked black pepper. Arrange fillets evenly in the pan. Sprinkle tops with black pepper to taste, remaining minced shallot, cherry tomatoes, and fresh springs of tarragon and dill.
  3. Cut romaine lettuce into fourths lengthwise and place in a large shallow baking dish. Using a vegetables peeler, remove butter skin from carrots and place in the shallow dish with lettuce, spring onions and asparagus. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat vegetables evenly.
  4. Heat grill/smoker to highest heat. Place roasting pan with fillets in the middle of the grill rack. Arrange lettuce, cut side down on grill with remaining vegetables. Close the grill lid and cook lettuce for 3 minutes or until charred but not wilted. This keeps the inner part nice and crisp. Remove lettuce to shallow dish and continue cooking the other vegetables until they are al dente and set in the shallow pan until ready to plate. Continue cooking the fillets until they are hot all the way through and tomatoes are wired (about 7 -10 minutes total)
For the Dressing
  1. Process all 7 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Notes
  1. Garnish dish with
  2. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  4. Cracked black pepper
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017

For more information about CFE International and their products follow them on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BacalaoCFE/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bacalaoCFE
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bacalaocfe/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bacalao_cfe/

Find CFE International products at these local groceries: Cardenas, H-Mart, Jetro, North Gate Markets, Safeway




Red Beet Risotto-Culinary Fight Club Challenge

Photo by Anthony Martorini

It was an honor to be invited to participate in the Culinary Fight Club Black Box Challenge by Cheferee and Fight Club Host, Anthony Martorini. This very prestigious and coveted cooking challenge was held at the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show last weekend.  The event hosted two Culinary Fight Club Pro Chef Series Mystery Box Challenge’s. Competitors had 45 minutes to cook live in front of an audience and then create 2 perfect plate ups from the supplied box of ingredients plus one infused ingredient for the judges to taste.

Culinary Fight Club is a national organization that hosts live cooking competitions. At each event, attendees watch as contestants from home cooks to executive chefs race for their pantry in 45 seconds. Contestants get to choose from 15 provided ingredients. From there, contestants have 60 minutes to create the most gourmet dish that represents their take on our monthly theme. The audience and judges vote and decide on a winning dish.

Aside from being an incredibly fun event, Culinary Fight Club events exclusively give back to the 501(c) (3) non profit organization Fight2Feed, an organization that partners top restaurants with food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children in our communities.

Culinary Fight Club 2107

My competitors were professional chefs, Adam Pechal and Richard Pannell. Chef Pannell pulled out the win with only 4 points separating first place from third. Although I didn’t win, I stood up to the pressure of competitive food sport competing along side the pros. Here’s a photo of Chef Pannell’s winning dish Bourbon Chicken. Our esteemed Judge for the event was 2 Time World Burger Champ Chef Wade Fortin and a random guest judge from the audience. Sponsors, Bull Outdoor Grill and Gunter Wilhelm Knives. More Fight Clubs to follow in Los Angles, San Diego, Denver, Dallas and Philly.

Red Beet Risotto

Red Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese and Honey

When faced with a “Black Box Challenge” it’s always good to have a few recipes tucked away. The official rules allowed for 3 secret ingredients of the chefs choice. Thankfully, I’ve been working on a Red Beet Risotto recipe for the Oregon State Fair 2017 where I’ll be featured as a guest and doing a live demo the last day of the fair, September 3, 2017. I decided to use the base recipe as my secret ingredients for the Culinary Fight Club Challenge. My three secret  ingredients: arborio rice, red beets and organic chicken broth.  My strategy was to have a base for my dish then use the Black Box Pantry to complement the dish. Just a few moments into the challenge we were all given a required featured ingredient to use in our dish Thai Srira Srira Smokey Hot Sauce  .  I opted to add a protein to my recipe using chicken breast from the pantry items and to accompany the dish, I served roasted vegetables and candied Srira Srira bacon. 

 

RED BEET RISOTTO
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup arborio rice (do not rinse)
  2. 4 cups hot organic chicken stock
  3. 1 cup white wine (optional)
  4. 2 cups shredded red beets (peeled)
  5. 1/2 cup fine chopped onion or shallot
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. 4 tablespoons butter
  8. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  9. 1 small bunch fresh rosemary
  10. 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  11. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Using a medium stock pot, heat pan to medium, add oil, chopped onion and risotto. Stir to coat all of the rice and cook until onions are translucent. Add shredded red beets and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir to combine. Begin making risotto by adding 1/2 cup hot chicken broth. After each addition of hot liquid, stir constantly until stock is almost absorbed by the rice. Continue adding stock until rice is al dente (about 30 min). Remove herbs stems and discard. Stir in remaining butter and heavy cream. Season to taste.
  2. Optional: If using wine add 1 cup to the hot stock before making the risotto.
  3. Candy Bacon: 1/4-pound bacon cooked. Remove bacon from pan leaving about 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Add 1/4 cup Srira Srira Sauce reduce by half. Return bacon to pan and allow to cook until bacon is caramelized (about 5 minutes)
  4. 1 Chicken breast filleted, seasoned both pieces with salt and pepper and sauté in 1 teaspoon oil. Deglazed pan with 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup Srira Srira Sauce. Use to dress chicken when platting dish.
  5. Mixed roasted vegetables: sauté in olive oil, 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup chopped carrot, 1/4 cup sliced leeks.
Notes
  1. Arrange chicken near or over risotto, add candy bacon and roasted veggies to plate, and serve
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

I was thrilled to have my husband Blake step into the Culinary Fight Club ring as my sous. I’m still in the process of recovering from shoulder surgery so he helped with all the chopping and stirring required. We had an amazing time together. He tells me he a professional sous after helping me win the Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas!! I think he’s right! 

Blake

My sweet Blake looking fine in his apron!

 

 




Ice Cream Depot Review and Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream Recipe

Ice Cream Depot Review and Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream Recipe

The folks at Ice Cream Depot gifted me one of their World’s First At-Home Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine to review right before the holidays. Unfortunately, I had shoulder surgery November 2016 and I’m still suffering with just the use of one arm.

Photo courtesy of Ice Cream Depot

Despite the doctors recommendation, I’m feeling well enough to finally post my review of this amazing machine and an associated recipe Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream with Homemade Nutty Cinnamon Granola.

My recipe has been submitted to Chef’s Roll Milk Competition and is my take of food trend predictions for 2017 using milk as an ingredient. My prediction and many other food trend enthusiasts agree, we should be eating ice cream for breakfast!

Making the argument for ice cream at breakfast is simple because it’s delicious, and very nutritious. Matcha mascarpone ice cream is made with whole milk and heavy cream and packed with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Matcha green tea powder is high in antioxidants, loaded with Catechin, EGCg.  It enhances a sense of calm and boosts memory and concentration, it also increases energy levels, and endurance. Another crazy fact, Matcha burns calories and detoxifies the body and fortifies the immune system. This nutritious bowl of ice cream is fortified with more protein and fiber by adding a home-made granola made with an assortment of nuts and whole oats. Mascarpone cheese adds a decadent creaminess to the ice cream as well as, 4 percent of your daily calcium needs. In addition to keeping your bones strong, calcium plays a role in the function of your heart, muscles and nerves, too. Another nutritional plus of mascarpone cheese is the low sodium content. With all the health benefits in a bowl of ice cream, it sounds like a really good choice for breakfast to me.  So skip your morning donut and have some ice cream for breakfast. 

About the competition:

Calling all CALIFORNIA Chefs and Cooks – show us your food trend predictions for 2017 using MILK as an ingredient or in a perfect pairing for a chance to win awesome prizes! From the entries, our panel of judges will pick 12 semi-finalists that will win a custom Got Milk Chef Spoon, then 4 finalists will be chosen and receive a special Got Milk apron by Lost Car Chef Apparel. The selected Grand Prize winner will get a $750 KitchenAid Commercial Blender! The contest is NOW OPEN for submissions until January 22nd 10pm PST!

Enter here: http://bit.ly/CRgotmilkcontest

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream

 

My package included, 20 soft serve, milkshake and drink mixes! The professional-quality soft serve ice cream maker can make an assortment of frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen adult beverages right at home. The good news, the Ice Cream Depot SX1000 Home Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine comes fully assembled, all you need to do is plug it in. It makes batch after batch, in just minutes with no bowls to freeze; just pour in your mix, set the timer and walk away. Dispense when you’re ready, it’ll keep your soft serve cold for hours until you’re ready to enjoy.

The machine makes 35 ounces, (1.125 quarts) of frozen product (roughly 8-10 soft serve cones) Makes either soft serve, slush drinks, milk shakes or adult beverages and weighs approximately 45 pounds. It takes up a bit of counter space but is compact enough to easily store when not in use. 

The first week we had the ice cream maker I had to enlist the help of my husband because of my shoulder. He loved how easy the machine was to use as well as, the ease of using the pre-packaged ice cream mixes. The pre-mixed product is blended with water or milk resulting in a beautiful creamy soft serve.

We tried all of the flavors over the course of a few weeks. Our favorite flavors are Butter Pecan soft serve, Chocolate soft serve, Caramel Macchiato Frappe; the big kids loved the Margarita mix.  The only favor my family didn’t like was the Strawberry. It was just too sweet and had an artificial aftertaste.

I was happy to try home-made recipes next and curious to see the difference in home-made versus the pre mixed packets. I was extremely pleased with the result. 

I tried three home-made recipes to date and all of them have turned out beautifully. My favorite thus far is my contest recipe so I’ve chosen to share it with you.  

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream with Home-made Nutty Cinnamon Granola
Serves 6
My take of food trend predictions for 2017 using MILK as an ingredient. Seriously...who wouldn't want to eat ice cream for breakfast?
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the Ice Cream
  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered Matcha
  4. 4 large egg yolks
  5. 3/4 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  6. 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  7. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  8. pinch salt
For the Granola
  1. 3 cups old-fashioned roll oats
  2. ¾ cup slivered almonds
  3. ½ cup pine nuts
  4. ¼ cup sun flower seeds
  5. ¾ cup crushed pecans
  6. 1 cup dried cranberries
  7. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 5 tablespoons butter
  9. 1/3 cup honey
  10. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ice Cream
  1. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar and mix with a handheld mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine milk and cream and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar, bring to a simmer (do not boil). slowly add warm milk to the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Turn heat to medium low and cook stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes) again, do not let the mixture boil. Turn off the heat, add the matcha and mascarpone. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a glass bowl add lemon juice and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Cool over an ice bath for about 30 minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture to aid cooling process. Pour custard into ice cream maker and process per the manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately or transfer soft serve ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm. About 2 hours
For the Granola
  1. Pre heat oven 325 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment
  3. In a large bowl combine oats and nuts. Stir to combine
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt butter with honey. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Spread granola evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes until golden brown. About 20 minutes.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest) I give the Ice Cream Depot SX1000 Home Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine a 10! I really love this machine! Thank you Ice Cream Depot for gifting me the machine for review. I’ll be using it for upcoming Birthday parties, office gatherings, anniversaries, ice cream socials. My family and friends are going to love it too!

Ice Cream Depot has generously offered a personalized discount code for At Home with Rebecka blog subscribers ‘ATHOME50’ Visit their website and SAVE $50 on your purchase of an Ice Cream Depot machine.

Here’s another fun idea, make Ice Cream Sandwiches…YUMMY!

matcha Ice Cream sandwiches




Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food network Clash of the Grandmas RebecKa Evans Photo courtesy of Food Network

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Rebecka Evans-Photo courtesy of Food Network

I’m happy to say that my Food Network debut went better that I could have ever expected. Four grandams battled it out on Food Networks new Holiday series “Clash of the Grandmas” and I took home the First Place win and 10K Grand Prize with my Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice-cream Sandwich.

Hosted by Cameron Mathison, Holiday-Themed Cooking Battles
Begin Sunday, November 13th at 10pm ET/PT
NEW YORK – October 13, 2016 – Grannies with top-notch cooking skills kick off Food Network’s holiday season with the six-episode primetime competition series Clash of the Grandmas, premiering Sunday, November 13th at 10pm (all times ET/PT). In each episode, host Cameron Mathison welcomes four grandma super-cooks to the kitchen – but only one emerges as the $10,000 winner. From Thanksgiving stuffing transformations and savory hand-held mac and cheese creations to decadent desserts, these grandmas are reinventing dishes with masterful home-cooking skills.” 

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice-cream Sandwich.

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice-cream Sandwich. Recipe by Rebecka Evans. Photo Courtesy of Food Network

If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be a competitor on Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas” I would have laughed. It’s been months since I filmed the show and even after winning, I’m still pinching myself in disbelief that it ever really happened.

You may be wondering what it takes for a grandma like me to be a part of Food Network and win 10K. The first hurdle is to make the conscious decision to put yourself out there and audition for the show.  Honestly, I think this is the most difficult decision in the entire process. So many thoughts run through your head as you think about your ability to compete under such stressful circumstances. “Do I have what it takes?” “Can I finish my recipes on time?” “What will I look like on TV?” After working through the anxiety my competitive nature takes over and I jump headlong into the process.

The next step: Contestants are required to fill out a very long written application, send in head shots, photos and videos of their food, and family, all in hopes of being chosen. After that…the waiting begins. I was surprised when I got a phone call that evening from a talent scout at Triage Entertainment. She introduced herself as a representative from Food Network and told me she was submitting my application to the producers for Clash of the Grandmas! I was ecstatic of course as I did a little happy dance and maybe even shed a few happy tears. Unfortunately, getting picked for the show doesn’t come that easy, this was just the first step in a very long process.

I spoke to several different producers over the next three weeks; they loved me but every conversation ended with “You look too young to be on the show.” How am I  supposed to respond to that? I took the news as a compliment but felt that my grandma status was being overshadowed by an old perception of what grandmas should look like. I guess I’m not your “typical” grandma; but I have a true grandmothers heart. I proudly earned grandma status six years ago with the birth of our first granddaughter Amber. Since then, we’ve welcomed three more granddaughters: Alexis, Annalee, Norah. We have also welcomed one grandson, Owen into our lives.  They are all precious human beings, that I adore. After speaking to producers throughout the process, I thought my chances of being picked for the show we’re slim to none! 

My beautiful grand babies Alexis, Annalee, Amber, Norah, and Owen Photo by Rebecka Evans

After waiting several more weeks and going through more interviews, I finally got the coveted final-cut Skype interview! It was my moment to shine, so I prepared several of my favorite recipes for the producers that day. A few weeks later I got the call and they said yes!  The next step sign a contract with Food Network

Crunch time: After all that waiting and hoping, emails and phone calls started to roll in and didn’t slow down until my hotel reservations were booked, my flight was booked, and I was on my way to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Did I mention my hubby got to travel with me? Food Network asked my husband to join me so they could interview him about my cooking skills during the filming of my episode. However, I had a suspicion they might use him for more than just an interview.

Food Network CLASH Rebecka Evans

Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Rebecka Evans (Danville, CA) Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee) Photo courtesy of Food Network

After arriving at the studio I met the other grandma’s. Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee). We all took a minute to size each other up while the crew got us into our granny aprons, fixed our makeup and fluffed our hair. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much fun it was going be together on the set the Clash of the Grandmas. These beautiful ladies were talented cooks with big personalities, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Although we were all there to win, it was obvious that each grandmother wanted to represent their families and grandchildren in the best way possible and none of these grandmas we’re going to throw anyone under the bus. 

Finally, with a lot of tenacity and focus mixed with prayers and supplication, I walked into my first television competition without any knowledge of what to expect. It was nerve-racking, amazing, and wonderful.

Cameron Mathison-food network

Cameron Mathison Emmy-nominated actor and television host is the co-anchor of the most-watched entertainment news program in the world, Entertainment Tonight. Photo courteous of Food Network

The Food Network made the experience shine with our host Cameron Mathison.  His kindness and fun personality put us all at ease. Not to mention, he’s one good looking man. He treated us grannies with respect and dignity but he didn’t go easy on us when it came to the competition. 

First, the four grannies create handheld versions of mac and cheese to hold the family over until dinner.”

I was sure I’d be sent home the first round after I created and hand-held mac & cheese taco with tequila dipping sauce. I was struggling with the size of my pasta being too big to fit the taco shell just as my tequila sauce burned. I had to make another sauce without having the opportunity to taste it before Cameron announced the cooking time was up. Thank goodness the judges Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, Jamika Pessoa liked my dish well enough to send me to the second round and it was great to have some positive feedback heading into the second round.

Next, they have only 30 minutes to make meatloaf for unexpected guests, with the help of unexpected sous chefs: the grandpas!”  FULL VIDEO HERE

Best sous chef EVER! Photo courteous of Food Network

I was happy to hear meatloaf dinner was our challenge for the next round and felt very confident until Cameron announced he had a surprise group of sous chefs waiting in the wings. Our husbands walked onto the set and there was my man wearing an apron! I suspected something like this might happen when Food Network asked that he travel with me to the show. By the looks on their faces, the other grandmas were really in shock, however due to the fact I know my husband’s picky palate and that we work well together, I was not as overwhelmed. I made my Blackberry Hoisin Meatloaf with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus.  I put Blake in charge of making the potatoes while I focused on the meatloaf. He was the perfect sous and assisted me so well, I made it to the final round. 

Then, the final two grandmas try to freeze out the competition by producing an ice cream sandwich worthy of the $10,000 prize using liquid nitrogen.”

Rocking the goggles using liquid nitrogen. Photo courteous of Food Network

Making it to the final round was beyond my comprehension. I was competing for $10,000 and I was also about to experience cooking with liquid nitrogen for the first time in my life. I was exhilarated about the opportunity to get my hands on the liquid nitrogen and found myself feeling like a kid in a candy store. Gloves check, goggles check, liquid nitrogen check! I was having so much fun with the liquid nitrogen, I got carried away and over froze my ice cream. I had to warm it up bit in the oven to release it from the sides of the mixing bowl. Despite that one set-back, my last recipe went off without a hitch and the judges loved it.

Rebecka Evans and Barbara Mayo The last two standing. Photo courteous of the Food Network

The final decision with my competitor Barbara Mayo.  We both stood hopeful to be the top winner and yet thrilled for the other grandma if she wins. There’s nothing better than true camaraderie between competitors. Barbara created a delicious goat cheese and basil ice cream sandwich with lemon cookies. I got the chance to taste the ice cream before we went to the judging table. The flavors were delicious and creamy and by any account, a winning dish. I believed it would be her name they called in the final moment; yet however, with Gods good favor,  fate, or just plain good cooking, Cameron announced me as the winner. 

Food network Clash of the Grandmas

I WON!  Photo courtesy of Food Network

Mexican Sugar Cookies

Heirloom Mexican Sugar Cookie Recipe Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans

My winning recipe: Mexican Biscochito Ice cream Sandwiches with Cinnamon Infused Tequila Ice Cream made with liquid nitrogen!

Biscochitos -Mexican Sugar Cookies are a Holiday tradition in my family. The are a crispy butter or lard based cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico.

The recipe for making the cookie has been greatly influenced not only by local and indigenous customs, but also by recipes brought to New Mexico by immigrants from other Hispanic countries. It is served during special celebrations, such as wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious holidays (especially during the Christmas season).  Source: Wikipedia

You can find my family recipe for Mexican Biscochito cookies posted on At Home with Rebecka  December 2010 HERE. Due to my contract with the network, I’m unable to share the full recipe for my winning ice cream sandwich. You can make your own version using store-bought ice cream as the filling. It may not be exactly the same as on the show but I can guarantee they will be delicious.

Clash of the Grandmas video links and memorable moments

REBECKA’S FLAMBE

GRANNIE’S 10 Rules for Great Cooking

Clash of the Grandmas Schedule and air dates

Unofficial full length youtube video Standard Youtube License.

Tune in for the final episode of Clash of the Grandmas and watch my friend Ally Phillips in “Grandmas World Tour” Sun, December 18, 10|9c Read more at:

A special thanks to Food Network, Producers, Staff, Cameron Mathison, and Judges: Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, Jamika Pessoa




Stirrings Mixology Contest: Hot Buttered Blood Orange Rummy

Stirrings Mixology Contest: Hot Buttered Blood Orange RummyStirrings Blood Orange Rummy

 

My Hot Buttered Blood Orange Rummy will warm your insides and get your jingle bells ringing this holiday season! This recipe creation was made with Stirrings all natural original craft cocktail mixer Simple Blood Orange Martini mix and the Stirrings Simple Pomegranate Rimmer, for the Stir It Up Holiday Mixology Challenge.

Stirrings sent qualified bloggers their choice of two delicious mixers and rimmers for the contest.  I can tell you, this baby will warm you to the bone with holiday cheer not to mention, spiced rum, cointreau, and cinnamon whisky! I’m thrilled to be adding this delicious libation to my holiday recipe repertoire. 

blood-orange_6 pom-rimmer

Hot Buttered Blood Orange Rummy
Serves 3
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Stirrings Simple Blood Orange Martini Mixer (may substitute Pomegranate mixer)
  2. 1 2.5 ounce container Pomegranate Rimmer
  3. 1 ounce cointreau
  4. 3 ounces spiced rum
  5. 1 ounce cinnamon whisky
  6. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  7. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  8. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  12. 4-6 cups very hot water
  13. 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish
  14. 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish
For the Batter
  1. In a small bowl, blend butter, brown sugar, and spices together until well combined
  2. Hold at room temperature until ready to use. Refrigerate leftover batter later use. Allow to reach room temperature before using.
For the Cocktail Mix
  1. Blend Stirrings Blood Orange cocktail mixer in a cocktail shaker or glass pitcher with cointreau, spiced rum and cinnamon whiskey. Shake or stir to combine
To Make the Blood Orange Rummy
  1. Add a few pomegranate seeds to the bottom of 3-4 six ounce holiday hot mugs.
  2. Use one pomegranate seed or water to dampen the rim of the hot mug. Dip each mugs rim into the pomegranate sugar
  3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon hot butter-batter to each glass.
  4. Pour cocktail mix into cups to about the halfway mark then pour steaming hot water to the tops of each cup, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace.
  5. Cinnamon stick serves as a stirrer and garnish. Stir with cinnamon stick until batter is dissolved...ENJOY!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

I know you’ll want to purchase Stirrings all natural original craft cocktail mixers for your next holiday gathering. Find them at your local Store Locations: Bevmo, Total Wines & More, Draegers, Mollie Stones, Hi Time Liquors, Pacific Ranch Market, Daniels Market, Bristol Farms.  You can also follow Stirrings on  Facebook Pinterest Instagram and Twitter.

#STIRRINGSMIXOLOGYCONTEST

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Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Simple Sesame Palmiers

Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set; the pans will be banging to see who becomes the winner of their first annual “Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” Where there are (almost) no rules, only originality and the pursuit of great taste!

 The top entry will be awarded $1,000.00; second place $500.00; and third place $250.00 and of course, bragging rights to friends and family.

Bonelli Fine Foods gifted 75 eligible bloggers free products for the competition. I took the challenge to create an original recipe with great taste using a choice of three Simply Sesame spreads: Vanilla Bites, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom, and Pure Roasted Sesame Original flavor.

Simple Sesame vanilla-with-almond-bits Simple Sesame pure-roasted-sesame Simple Sesame Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom

I choose the pistachio and cardamom flavor knowing it would be prefect for making French Palmiers. I just knew the subtly flavor of cardamom blended with holiday flavor of pumpkin purée and cinnamon sugar would make a delightfully crispy treat. The result, is a perfectly crisp palmier with a hint of delicious holiday pumpkin flavor.

A Cinch to make, frozen puff pastry takes all the hard work out of making this delicious cookie not to mention,  the flavor variety’s of the Simply Sesame spreads offer a vast versatility in recipe creation. 

Simply Sesame states that all spreads are GMO free and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (and without additives, sugars, or colors), and will leave you with long-lasting high energy.

You can find Simply Sesame products directly from Bonelli Fine Foods on Amazon.com and local speciality stores in your area.

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Easy French Palmier's

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers
Yields 30
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 puff pastry sheet(s)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  6. 1 10 ounce Container Simply Sesame Pistachio with a hint of Cardamom
  7. 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  8. ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  9. 2 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thaw the puff pastry sheet according to the package instructions
  3. Roll pastry out on a floured surface to smooth and even out the edges
  4. Mix the sugar and spices spice together in a small bowl
  5. In another small mixing bowl combine, 1 simply sesame spread, pumpkin puree and
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar mixture
  7. Spread ½ the wet mixture in a thin layer over each puff pastry
  8. Sprinkle the flavored sugar evenly over each pastry. Reserve about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling over palmiers
  9. Roll one side of the pastry dough to the halfway mark, and repeat with the other side.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies about 1/2 an inch thick, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Sprinkle with any additional flavored sugar
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until slightly puffy, and remove from the oven.
  13. Carefully flip all the cookies over, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sesame seeds and return to the oven for 6-10 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges are golden.
  14. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Easy French Palmier