Stump the Chef: Fig, Zucchini, Wasabi
C'mon. When was the last time you cooked with figs? Culinary wunderkind Matt Weaver evidently does it all the time. Watch and see what he whips up.
Introduction: One season chef, three random ingredients and three tough judges! It’s time for Stump the Chef! Today, award winning Chef Matt Weaver will set his creative culinary skills against his toughest opponent yet. Let’s see today’s random ingredients.
Fig, zucchini and wasabi. Now, let’s play Stump the Chef!
Matt Weaver: Maybe veggies oil and fig sauce. Now, that’s too easy. That’s it! I’m taking this one the funky town.
Male: And he’s off, getting funky in this Stump the Chef kitchen with Chef Matt Weaver jumping right into the zucchini today. I’m so glad to see him using this. You know, that’s one of my favorite fruits.
Male: It is also one of mine. It’s often confuses with vegetable and people think that it’s a cucumber sometimes which is not.
Male: Well, you know that’s interesting we just unseasoned that with a little salt and a whole lot of sugar. I’m guessing he’s doing that to get some nice caramelization going in the zucchini while he grills it.
Male: What’s even more interesting is the fact the zucchini is actually the immature fruit of the zucchini flower. The female flower is a swollen ovary.
Male: Well, I think I just lost my appetite.
Male: You know that’s right. Thousand’s of farmers every year go into the fields and rip the young away from those poor zucchini flowers. All so we can eat.
Male: Pulling out the old trustee blender now with the zucchini out of the way, grilled up, looking fantastic. It looks like Chef Weaver has now peeled up this figs, put them into the blender with a little bit of milk and he’s blending that up now. And I got to say I’m two for two today. I love the zucchini and the fig is really one of my favorite fruits.
Male: We know the fig is actually a false fruit. It is the flower and the seed of the fig tree that kind of grow together into a flower tumor, you could say.
Male: Oh, you’re just hell bends on ruining this dish for me today.
Male: Oh, no. Come on. Figs are beautiful. In fact, I give them to my wife every year for anniversary because nothing says I love you like a dozen fig muttons. It looks like Matt’s straining this now into a pot maybe making some sort of sauce for that grilled zucchini we saw earlier, adding a little heavy cream to it now. I got to say, I’m stump. Any ideas?
Male: Well, I think Matt’s actually fulfilling my wish and making me a shake. Now that would be funky.
Male: Sorry to interrupt guys. But it’s time for Matt’s tangent.
Matt Weaver: Wasabi is the Japanese version of horseradish and it’s made from the roots of the Asian plant. Now, not related to Western horseradish, these roots are made into a bright green condiment which has an extremely intense fiery taste, believe me. Though, also we used in Japanese soups, wasabi is usually served with sushi or sashimi. Now, my favorite wasabi dish is a wasabi spiced flowerless chocolate cake. Now, that’s hot chocolate. Enjoy!
Male: Meanwhile back in the kitchen.
Male: And with the zucchini and the fig out of the way now, it looks like Matt has moved on to some sort of mixture that he’s pouring into a pot there.
Male: So that’s not the figs?
Male: No, that’s not the fig. What he did was he took some egg’s curd, quite a bit of sugar into that together with some heavy cream and he whip that up. I’m not exactly sure what he has in mind here but that’s quite a lot of sugar. And we have sugar here, a lot of it. We’ve got sugar on the zucchinis and figs. This is awfully sweet.
Male: You can see there he took that fig mixture and tempered it into the eggs that he’s now whisking on the stove. So we’ve got eggs, sugar that reduced fig mixture and he’s straining the entire thing into a chilled bowl now. Weird!
Oh, my god. So that’s what Matt had in mind today. If I’m not mistaken, that’s the drum to an ice cream maker.
Male: Wow! I mean, really wow! That is going to be funky. Got a nice sweet ice cream, how’s the wasabi going to work in here? What do you think?
Male: I have no idea. You can see there, he took that mixture that we saw I’m making earlier, put it into the drum and then ran that in the ice cream maker for quite a while. He probably had that basin in the freezer for at least 24 hours, getting it prep for this.
Male: I’ve got to say, I’m absolutely shock. Giving these three ingredients today, the absolute last thing I would have imagine that Matt was going to make, it would have been ice cream.
Male: Oh, the last think I thought it was going to be a sandwich but ice cream is not too shocking to me. Back in the day, me and my folks would sit around and we make prune ice cream. Of course, we do it by hand and now it just automated stuff.
Male: We saw there he put the zucchini in there, and as long as this couldn’t get any weirder. The wasabi is going in next, the third ingredient of the day. It looks like our ice cream is going to have a nice little kick to it.
Male: That’s right the ice that burns.
Male: I have to find out what he’s thinking today. Matt you’re making ice cream? Are you insane?
Matt Weaver: Yes! Today, I am certifiable. I’ve made vegetable horseradish ice cream. Judges will never see this one coming but it tastes so good. No worries.
Male: You know for making something this crazy, Matt’s sound pretty confident.
Male: Yeah, I really do have to clear something up here. The zucchini is actually fruit, figs are flowers, and wasabi is made from the root.
Male: Now, that’s interesting! As the last step here, you can see he’s putting a little bit of green food coloring into that, just to give it a nice bright, green color. And do not brush your teeth with that stuff because it will stay for a long time. I know.
Male: So, that’s what happened to you.
Male: Among other things, yes.
Male: It’s plating time.
Male: Going through a very simple presentation, today serving up the ice cream in individual Ramekins for the judges.
Male: Well, with such a risky dish, Matt’s going to let the food speak for it self.
Male: You know for once, I couldn’t agree with you more. It looks good to me but let’s see what our judges have to say about that.
Male: Today, I was given wasabi, zucchini and figs so I'm sorry guys I took the easy way out. I made ice cream. What I’ve done is I’ve taken zucchini. I caramelize it on the grill, cut it up, mix it up with a fig ice cream and at the end I added some wasabi for fiery cake. I call it the firing ice cream. Check it out.
Female: Right away, I taste the wasabi and I do like this dish. I liked the chunky consistency that’s in it. It’s almost like if you’re eating ice cream with nuts and it gets that same effect. The wasabi is good. It’s not hot. It’s not overpowering or anything like that. The flavor is really good. It’s unique and it’s different and I think it’s a hit. I like it.
Male: So, you took wasabi, zucchini and figs and mix it together as an ice cream which I was kind of scare at first but when I actually ate it, I had to eat it a few times to really get the full effect of it and I thought interesting. So, I’m going to tell you like we say it back where I come from. It was called the law. That means it was good and you passed, sir. I called in the law.
Female: After taste was great. I'm not a fan though of wasabi, zucchini and figs but I’ve got to say after the initial taste of the wasabi just kind of smack me in the face considering I'm not used to that flavor. I actually kind of like it. It’s one that will grow on me, I think. I think you passed.
Matt: Thank you.
Male: Let’s see the verdict. That belongs on a five-star menu. Matt, you passed.
Matt: It is unanimous. I took this dish to funky town. I'm really proud of my self. I’ve never put these flavors together before. I didn’t know what it’s going to taste like but it was so good. I had fun. I hope you had fun. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen. Thanks for joining us, see you next time.
Male: That’s it for this episode of Stump the Chef.
Stump the Chef: Fig, Zucchini, Wasabi
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