Platinum Chef Challenge Round 3 Wrap-Up

I’ll start with a confession. Here goes – I am a terrible hostess. I did not participate this round. It’s not that I didn’t want to or intend to, but things have just been so crazy these past couple weeks, I never had enough time to polish off my ideas, nevermind actually have time to buy the ingredients and make the dish(es). I’ll tell you would I probably would have done if I had the time – peaches poached in port wine and honey, and some kind of Asian inspired shrimp dish involving peanut butter and green onions.

The good news is, those who participated more than made up for my lack of involvement, coming up with some delicious dishes involved honey, peanut butter, wine, seafood and onions. Let’s check them out out…

Tara, aka The Cooking Fiend, made a Crunchy Noodle Salad involving all of the ingredients in one dish! It looks so colorful, delicious and refreshing – a great summer meal.

Where I was stumped by the wine (pretty much because the other ingredients were all making me think “Asian!”), Kate found the perfect solution by using Sake in her orange chicken. I’ve never drank sake, so now I am curious! She also made some fantastic looking shrimp with peanut noodles – look at that cilantro! yum.

Michele of Eat, Drink, and be Married is excited about the opportunity to be more creative with her cooking, and it really shows in this round! First she made shrimp in honey cream sauce served over spinach fettuccine; this looks really divine and the flavors just blended together so well. Then she drew upon a childhood memory of Thanksgiving with her Dad, and remembered a particular peanut soup that they enjoyed together. She decided to recreate it and add a dollop of hot pepper jelly, thereby crafting a pb&j soup! I imagine the sweet, spicy, and salty flavors created quite a delight in that bowl.

Meg also joined in with a main dish and a dessert, unfortunately she thinks her dessert was a flop, but I find that hard to believe! Her honey shrimp skewers look colorful and delicious, I bet the honey glaze was awesome. For dessert, honey peanut butter fudge was deemed “sickeningly sweet” – but seeing as “too sweet” has never been a problem for me, I can’t imagine this sweet and salty combo could be so bad!

Finally, an entry from Nestie Bakingblonde, who was creative and generous enough to pick the ingredients for this round. She made a shrimp pizza based on a dish her friend enjoyed on her honeymoon. It may sound a little “different”, but let’s remember, different is divine! It reminds me of something you could find at CPK, certainly not your plain old pizza. For dessert, she enjoyed a creation named “peanut butter suicide”. I imagine you might want to stay away if you tend to find certain desserts “too rich”, but if you’re like me and that is a completely foreign concept, it might just be dangerously delicious! Here are her recipes:

Honeymoon Shrimp Pizza
Drizzle of EVOO
1/3 cup sliced Onion
2-3 Green onions chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced fresh Mushrooms
1/4 cup Dry white wine
1 tsp minced Fresh Oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried Oregano)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound fresh Shrimp (peeled)
3/4 – 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce (more or less to taste)
1 TBS Honey (more or less to taste)
3 TBS unsalted butter Softened
1 block Cream Cheese, softened (8oz)
1 box of frozen Baby Spinach (Thawed, rinsed and then squeezed dry with a cheese cloth)
Favorite Pizza Dough (can be homemade or store-bought)
10 oz Shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare Pizza pan or stone (spray with PAM, and/or sprinkle with corn meal.)
In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm the EVOO. Once heated, add onions, green onions, garlic and mushrooms. Stir occasionally until vegetables are slightly tender. Remove pan from heat and add wine, oregano, salt and pepper. Return to heat. Continue to cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften. Toss in the shrimp and continue to cook over medium heat until the shrimp is cooked through. Turn off heat and set aside. While the shrimp/veggie mixture cools combine combine Worcestershire sauce, honey, butter and cream cheese. Stir until smooth and creamy. Gently stir in drained spinach. Fold in the cooled shrimp/veggie mixture. Spread dough out to desired Pizza size (can make several smaller ones if desired) Par bake in preheated oven for 2-5 minutes as desired. Spread the shrimp/veggie/cream mixture evenly over crust(s). Evenly sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and continue to bake until browned and bubbly!

Peanut Butter Suicide
Ice cream (Your choice, but I recommend: Vanilla, Chocolate, Butter Pecan or Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup)
Peanut Butter Bites (recipe to follow)
Peanut Butter Sauce (recipe to follow)
Chopped Nuts of choice (peanuts, pecans, walnuts or cashews (I like to lightly toast in oven and then cool))

In individual bowls place one or two Peanut Butter Bites. Scoop one or two scoops of favorite ice cream on top. Drizzle with warm Peanut Butter Sauce and top with chopped nuts. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Bites
2/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (a little more or less depending on texture)
1/2 box (about 20) Nabisco Lorna Doone Cookies
1 bag Ghiredelli or Nestle Milk Chocolate Chips (12 oz)
1 dollop of Crisco or 1 tsp grated Paraffin Wax

In a medium size bowl stir together the peanut butter and half of the powdered sugar until combined. Slowly add more powdered sugar as needed until you reach a spreadable consistency (Not too wet, not too dry, use your judgement and taste preference) Carefully spread (with a knife, spatula or your finger (lick it clean afterwords of course!, ha ha) the peanut butter mixture over each cookie and place side by side on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Place baking sheet in fridge to allow the peanut butter mixture to firm up a bit. While the cookies chill, place a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl!!) or use a double boiler over low heat. Melt the chocolate chips and dollop of Crisco or wax stirring occasionally and not allowing any water to touch the bowl or chocolate mixture *Can also melt in microwave in 20-30 second intervals stirring at each interval until melted and smooth. Line another baking sheet with waxed paper (large enough to hold all cookies without touching. Once the chips are melted, remove the baking sheet from fridge. Gently place one cookie on a large fork or slotted spoon and dip it into the melted chocolate. Carefully tap the fork/spoon on the side of the bowl to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place each one on a sheet of waxed paper and let them cool at room temperature. Store in airtight container either at room temp or fridge in your house is really humid or hot.

Peanut Butter Sauce
1/2 cup golden corn syrup
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 TBS water

In a small saucepan combine corn syrup and peanut butter. Stir over medium heat until melted. Gradually stir in water until smooth.

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One Response to “Platinum Chef Challenge Round 3 Wrap-Up”

  1. 1

    Nirmala — July 28, 2007 @ 6:32 pm Reply

    You have a beatiful blog. Love the food and the pictures! Can’t wait to read more.

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