Sunday, June 29, 2008

Battle Parmigiano Reggiano - June 29, 2008

We’re easy to spot now. No need to seek out the lone Crate & Barrel picnic table set up under the Jacaranda tree. Just look for the tricked out Coronado Concert in the Park wagon, capable of transporting multiple tables, chairs, serving dishes, platters of gourmet food, bottles of wine, and 15' flag poles flying the American and Navy Flags! It will be parked next to the other Chefs’ wagons and strollers on the perimeter of the ginormous picnic blanket donated by Sparky. That’s how it was for Battle Parmigiano Reggiano and our largest crowd yet!

New challengers, Todd & Kate Shallan and Joe & Karen Moore, eagerly tested their skills in the heat of Kitchen Stadium. Chef Todd’s winning Banana-Parmesan Tarte Tatin with Maple Creme Anglaise didn’t last long and we were all thrilled when a second one was unveiled. Chef Joe’s Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Chimichurri Sauce, beautifully garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps, also received action during the voting. However, it was Iron Chef Kai’s Italian Sausage & Beef Lasagne that squeaked into second place behind Joes’ Banana Tarte Tatin.

There were so many entries this week, making it impossible to taste everything. In addition to those mentioned above, we enjoyed Kate’s Macaroni & Cheese, Jim & Melinda’s Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, Kerry & Jack's Chicken Parmesan, Pammy’s Salad, Brad’s Garlic Butter-Parmesan-Salami Crostini, Susan’s Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with Balsamic Creme Reduction Vinegar, Mary’s Lasagne Il Fornaio, John’s Reggiano Creme Moulee, and my Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Torte.

We also celebrated Âine's 5th birthday. Âine came to Coronado with Dad Kyle to visit Grandpa Bob and Aunt Mary and celebrate her birthday.

It’s going to be a busy week with Jim and Melinda’s Annual Beach Party on the 3rd, the Parade, festivities and fireworks on the 4th and Battle Blue Foot Chicken on Sunday the 6th. Now, a little about our Secret Ingredient...BLUE FOOT CHICKEN!!

Blue Foot chicken is an American variety of the French chicken breed, Poulet de Bresse. Like many other chickens, the Blue Foot has a red comb and white feathers. Where it is different is that it has steel-blue feet — a trait so admired that the feet are usually left on for presentation. It is slaughtered later than the usual chicken and then air-chilled. It is believed that these two factors give it a stronger flavor and texture. In keeping with its elite status, the blue foot currently sells at roughly 10 times the usual price of most other chicken. It is almost always sold with the head and feet on. Peter Thiessen and Bob Shipley are credited with breeding this bird in the late 1980s.

Extra points if you actually use Blue Foot Chicken, but please don't leave the feet on for presentation). Let the Battle Begin!


Denise & John

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