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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Culinary Combat : Italian battle with rice

Bartolotta di Mare (Wynn) on Urbanspoon This American Iron Chef battle was all Italian with the main ingredient rice. The chef now is from Las Vegas and has an impressive background but would his experience “flourish in the battle”? Among his awards as one of the best new restaurants in America (By Gourmet magazine) and was up for some James Beard awards. Not too shabby.


His flagship restaurants BARTOLOTTA Ristorante di Mare and BARTOLOTTA Ristorante di Mare have quite a following.

My son keeps telling me I don’t know what real Italian fare is (I love Cinzetti’s in Overland Park, KS). I am always on the look out for better Italian fare and recipes so I was interested to see how this battle would play out.

The judges loved the taste of both competitors dishes. I thought Batali was a little more creative and original and seemed that he had an edge with the entrees. My vote before judgement was Batali by +5. He won by +3 so I was right in the ballpark with my assessment.

BARTOLOTTA has the interesting Sweet Rice and apple fritter which looked fantastic. I would like to find a recipe similar to it. (see more below)

Batali Bartolotta

taste 27 26
plating 15 14
originality 15 14
score 57 54

I found some interesting recipes at http://www.godecookery.com/allrec/allrec04.htm
In these Desserts and Sweets I found

Apple Fritters
Beer-battered fried apples in sugar - contributed by Michael F. Gunter
1 1/4 cup ale or beer
1 Tbs. dry yeast
1 cup flour
optional: 1 egg or 2 egg yolks
3-4 apples (e.g. Macintosh)
1/2 tsp. salt
oil or shortening for frying
confectioners sugar
Heat the beer to lukewarm. Put the yeast in a medium sized bowl and add 1/4 cup of the beer; stir and let sit about 10 minutes. Mix in the flour, egg yolks or egg if desired, salt, and remaining beer. Beat the mixture and then cover the bowl. Leave in a warm place for about an hour. It should at least double in bulk.
Peel the apples, core them and cut into wedges or rings. Put the apple slices in the batter and stir to coat them. Fry quickly in oil or deep fat. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.

It sounded good eventhough it did not have rice like in this battle but it could be added.

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