Friday, December 3, 2010

Marx Foods' Iron Foodie 2010 is FINALLY here! - Fennel Pollen Waffles with Vanilla-Chile Syrup and Maple Whipped Cream

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Iron Foodie 2010 | Here's Why that will be me:
MarxFoods.com -- Fine Bulk Foods The Foodie BlogRoll

Hi everyone!  Forgive me for not posting this earlier...I just know that people were itching to see what everyone made, and wanted to leave it for the last second.  It's going to be a long post so bear with me.  That being said, the mystery items were something to behold, for sure!  Maple Sugar, Smoked Sea Salt, Fennel Pollen, Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Dulse Seaweed, Aji Panca Chilies, Tellicherry Peppercorns, and Porcini Mushrooms!  WOW!
With so many ingredients, and many I had never seen before, I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little nervous.  Researching on Marx Foods' website helped...but I still really wanted to do something amazing.  So, with that, I went to work.  I first made a (pretty delicious, if I say so myself) sandwich: porcini and chili encrusted chicken breast which I browned and topped with a chili mayo and fried dulse seaweed.  It was good.  It was really good.  But would it be enough to win me an Iron Foodie battle?  I watch Iron Chef America a lot, and they incorporate lots of sandwiches, but I still felt something was missing.

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I saw that Marx Foods' was practially gearing us to go for an entree.  I would say that definitely 6 of the 8 ingredients did in fact scream ENTREE to me.  But, two didn't.  The Bourbon Vanilla Beans (quite honestly the prettiest I've ever seen), and the Maple Sugar.  And these two got stuck in my craw.

Sure there were delicious Porcini Mushrooms, Aji Panca Chilies, and gorgeous Tellicherry Peppercorns but what could I do with the Bourbon Vanilla Beans and Maple Sugar?  I did what I always do when I am stuck; I went to sleep.  By the time I woke up the next morning, I began to believe I had my answer.  Whereas many competitors would go for a savory dish, I was going to make mine sweet...and hopefully, that would prove that I was a worthy Iron Foodie!

Using the Aji Panca Chilies, Maple Sugar, Fennel Pollen, and Bourbon Vanilla Beans, I was going to make:
Fennel Pollen Waffles with Vanilla-Chile Syrup and Maple Whipped Cream
The Fennel Pollen tasted to me so much like licorice that it seemed to be a great base as my waffle.  Originally, I wanted to make a vanilla syrup but with the whipped cream and licorice-y waffle, it was way too sweet.  One Aji Panca Chile later, and I had my solution.

The bad part about making this is now John wants these every morning!  I've created a monster!
Fennel Pollen Waffles with Vanilla-Chile Syrup and Maple Whipped Cream
Serves:  4
Waffles
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Fennel Pollen
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Vanilla-Chile Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Maple Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Maple Sugar

Make the syrup first. 
Reconstitute the dried chile.  Then, in a large skillet, combine the water, sugar, and chile.  Leave the chile whole so it can easily be removed (believe me, it lends a good amount of flavor).  I cut off the top and bottom though and removed most of the seeds so none crept into the syrup.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.  Cook until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.  At this point, split the vanilla bean in half and scrape.  When the mixture thickens, remove the chile, stir in the vanilla and let it cool to room temperature. 


Next, make the waffles. 
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and then add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well, until the mixture is smooth (few lumps).  At this point, I start the waffle maker.  I spray the waffle maker with cooking spray when the green light is lit.  This is again a hand-me-down appliance (I have a lot of those, don't I?), but it's useful.  Then I pour in about 1/4 cup of batter and wait until the green light comes back on.  I don't spray cooking spray in between batches.  This waffle maker just doesn't need it!

Last, make the Maple Whipped Cream:
Have you ever eaten waffles with whipped cream?  Well, if not, you're missing something big.  That's my favorite way to eat them, so I knew I had to have some whipped cream over the top of this crazy waffle.  The maple sugar was perfect.  I knew I didn't want to make a maple syrup (too easy), but this reminded you of a real waffle while being different all at the same time.  And, if there's anything an Iron Foodie does, it's re-invents ingredients!  I used a hand-mixer to beat the cream and sugar together.  Within 2 minutes, there were light peaks forming, and that was perfect for me. 
Then, I put it all together!

Two waffles, syrup, and whipped cream on top!  I don't know what my competition will come up with, but I can with 90% certainty, guarantee that Marx Foods never inteded their secret ingredients to be used as a breakfast!  I think that makes my entry not only unique, but fun too!  The links above are all links to the Marx Foods website whether showing you how to reconsitute dried chilies or scraping vanilla beans, they are things I've learned along the way, that I think everyone should know!  And, their products are linked in, too!

I know I've said thank you a million times, but because Marx Foods isn't judging this, and YOU are, I'm going to say it again.  There were over 100 entries to be in this competition, and they easily could have chosen higher-profile, larger, more follower-type blogs.  I would have understood--in fact, it would have gotten their products out to a larger number of people. I've only been doing this for a few months and have yet to reach the profile power of bloggers like Jersey Girl Cooks (she is honestly one of my faves).  I don't intend to be small forever, and Justin and Marx Foods is helping me get there.  So a sincere thanks to them (even if they did have me freaking out over these secret ingredients). 

Don't forget to vote! 

Until the next time my oven is on...

2 comments:

  1. I would never have thought to use the ingredients for a breakfast dish--what a great idea!

    Delicious!

    (Fellow challenger here)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great take on the ingredients! Those waffles look great and this is certainly an original dish! Thanks for participating and best of luck in the polls!

    ReplyDelete

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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