Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Bonus Challenge Round-Up and Introducing April's Challenge!

The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool's Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
- Anonymous

Happy April! Hope you dodged any and all pranks headed in your general direction and survived another April Fool's Day. The biggest trick April plays on us Canadians is the weather of course, keep the mitts and hats by the door... you just never know.

Another joke on me today? Blogger decided to go ahead and publish soon after I started this post. If you got a teaser of a partial post... you can thank tricky little Blogger!

Something to warm your heart and please your senses on this foolish day - the Ultimate Fish Taco Round-Up! Shall we?

The lady who chose the Fish Taco challenge, Megan of My Baking Adventures was so enthralled by them that she burst into song! Seriously. Add to that her newly found love of panko, and the conversion of her hubby to fish tacos and this was a success of wondrous proportions!

Jenny of All Things Edible created her own take on Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. She made a peppery fruit salsa to go with it and used a combination of tilapia and sole for her fish. A family pleaser, to be sure!

I absolutely loved this dish over at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, and hubby gave Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos two thumbs way up - what more could a gal ask for? Dishes? Yes, he does dishes.

Deb of Kahakai Kitchen made a super light and healthy version of the Fish Tacos by baking the fish, using Greek yogurt instead of mayo and using whole grain tortillas. What isn't missing? Total deliciousness! Fish tacos as health food - thanks Deb!

Natalia from Gatti Fili E Farina quite enjoyed Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. Natalia used flaky cod fillets and thanks to Tyler, she discovered the wonders of panko for the first time. Even better, her kids loved the tacos too!

Reeni from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, was pleasantly surprised by Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. Reeni was never a big fan of even the thought of fish tacos but Tyler's may have converted her; she loved the crispy panko and chili mayo. Instead of Tyler's Mango Salsa, Reeni whipped up her own super spicy Creamy Ancho Chili Slaw to go with the tacos.

Michelle of Big Black Dog absolutely loved this month's challenge, Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos , and was happy to have the opportunity to try a new kind of seafood. Skate was on sale and ended up being the perfect fit for these popular tacos. She even used the leftover mayo for a cole slaw - good thinking!
This challenge was a great success and a fan favourite...
Looking forward to Megan's Challenge for April?
Look no further.....
April's Challenge
Deep-Dish Ham Quiche with Herb and Asparagus Salad, Tyler Florence
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin-olive oil
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced
3/4 pound smoked ham, cubed
8 large eggs
1 quart heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches asparagus (about 1 pound each), stems trimmed
4 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a peeler
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, hand-torn
1 handful fresh mint, hand-torn
1 handful fresh dill, hand-torn
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the pastry: combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg yolk and ice water in a small bowl to blend, add it to the pastry. Work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the counter and a rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin (this may take a little practice) and lay it inside a 9-inch springform pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides so it fits tightly; trim the excess dough around the rim. Place the pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easier to move in and out of the oven, this quiche is pretty heavy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the filling: Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, coat the pan with oil, and add the onions. Slowly cook the onions, stirring, until they caramelize and release their natural sugars. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the onions break down, if needed. Toss in the ham, cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes to get some color on it. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, pour in the cream; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the caramelized onions and ham over the bottom of the crust and carefully pour in the cream and egg mixture; the filling should be about 1-inch from the top of the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until the quiche is set, puffy, and jiggles slightly. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. In the meantime make the asparagus salad.
To make the asparagus salad: In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus for 4 minutes, or until they are just crisp-tender. Drain the asparagus, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain well. Slice the asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan and herbs, drizzle the herb and asparagus salad with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
Loosen the quiche from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Carefully unmold the ring, and transfer the quiche (with the bottom base) to a serving plate. Cut it into wedges, drizzle with a little olive oil, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
Garnish with the asparagus salad on top.
As with the last challenges, feel free to play with the recipe and have fun with it!
Round-up will be at the beginning of May, post at any time during the month, and submit your Megan's Challenge post to us the same way you submit your weekly TFF posts. You are welcome to do the bonus as your weekly TFF submission or as an extra for the bonus round-up.
If I have missed your bonus challenge in this round-up, please email and I will add you in.


Kristin said...

Yea, quiche- since we are drounding in eggs over here, this has become a new favorite meal for us! I'm sorry I didn't get to make the tacos, maybe for a weekly round up post. good job to all who did, they look beautiful!

Debinhawaii said...

Great job Natashya with the round up. Everyones' fish tacos look fantastic and it sounds like we all loved this recipe. Great pick Megan! I have officially forgiven you for the gnocchi! ;-)

Looking forward to making this month's challenge recipe!

Jenny said...

Oh good, something light, and (yes, I'm going to say it!) that doesn't involve a deep fryer!

Reeni♥ said...

I want to have fish tacos again! They all looks so yummy!

Pam said...

Okay, I am definitely going to do this challenge! Great round up!