Endeavors: Dancing with the Chef’s Table (Samba)

For the Chef’s Table that occurred last night the theme chosen was Ballroom Dance styles… courtesy of moi. 🙂

So what were the dance styles that people were allowed to pick out of the hat? Well they include:
– Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Argentine Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep
– Rumba, Cha Cha, Paso Doble, Samba, Jive, Swing (East Coast or West Coast), Mambo, Bolero
– Polka, Two Step

Why not Salsa? Too easy… that would have been waaaaaaay too easy. Besides the Salsa is sometimes known as the lazy man’s Mambo because the Salsa hits on the down beat (1 and 3) whileas the Mambo hits on the off beat (2 and 4). Yes, I am that kind of a geek… so sue me…

But not really sue me.

So I managed to pick the one dance that I claim to be weakest at: Samba.

And I also managed to pick the course that I would have a gloriously difficult time with: Soup!

Salad would have been soooo much easier.

Whenever someone in the dancing world shouts “Samba” the immediate connection is the Brazilian Carnivale… aka one big massive party. Which led me to having a party in your mouth… which lead me to fireworks… aka Pop Rocks!

Right, a recipe that uses Pop Rocks… I am so getting shot.

I also decided to go and research online more about soups that may have been served during the Brazilian Carnivale… Oddly enough the internet provided a couple of possiblities:
Brazilian Artichoke Heart Soup
Caldo Verde
Sopa de Frijoles Negros

What I also found online is a blog called Flavors of Brazil which has a post that focuses on Carnivale.

Then I found another website that mentions a few other street foods that are rather common including the pao de queijo translated as simply: cheese bread.

Win… I settled on creating a bowl made of cheese bread, and put some sort of artichoke soup in it – originally I was going to top it off with a piece of meat (probably a churrasco) that is typically on a skewer placed across the top but decided against it – and hope that the flavors blend.

Great! That’s a lot of pre-work and production work during the Chef’s Table, but if done right would be absolutely perfect. So now what? Well I originally brought the idea up to my mother (who arguably is one of the stronger cooks that I know) and she suggested for an easy way out that I use the pastry sheets that already have a sunken part to pour the soup into. When I said that I prefer the create all the pieces from scratch as much as possible she tend put up the suggestion of creating a popover… oooo popovers, I can do that.

With a few more tweaks and teasers I figured that I would be ready to create a test batch sooner than later (as I originally thought). So how did the test batch come out?

Well apparently it was a win… after a few trial batches of cheese bread I found a mix that I rather enjoyed. Take that a step further I decided that cornmeal based artichoke soup didn’t work and replaced the cornmeal with cream instead (yes I went with cream artichoke soup). Then I topped it off with a bit of feta cheese… and to make the soup pop: PopRocks!

It was fun to listen to the PopRocks popping in the soup having a party in your mouth as well as in the soup. What was even more fun was how a couple of people asked for seconds for the whole thing and later for just the cheese bread.

All in all, this was probably one of the more fun dishes and who knows what is going to happen with the next Chef’s Table.

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