Have you ever dreamed of something and then made it a reality? Dreams can be the inspiration for songs or stories, so why not a recipe?
This weekend, my girlfriend Carla (who’s studying to be a pastry chef) dreamed she took part in a cooking competition, where she and other contestants were asked to make an entree, a main meal and a dessert from a box of left over food. In the end, she decided to follow the recipe from her dream, and see how it turned out.
After waking up she told me the dream and so I started typing it on the computer so that she could remember the ingredients and would be able to remake the recipe later. In the end, after a few words of incentive from myself and her friends, she decided to follow the recipe from her dream, and see how it turned out.
Pictured above you’ll find the meal that featured in her dream of the cooking competition - a strawberry carpaccio entree, black bean salad, and chocolate-coated strawberries for dessert. Click here to read the recipe she developed on her blog (scroll down for the English version). Like any good cook she took inspiration from the recipe, but changed it as she saw fit. Here’s her original dream:
Cooking competition (11 January 2015)
I’m in a competition to see who can cook the best entree, main meal and dessert from leftovers. Each contestant has a wooden box with ingredients inside.
In my box there are strawberries, white chocolate, some unusual salad leaves, beans (already cooked), carrot, coriander, chilli, olive oil, lemon, balsamic vinegar, a little rice (pre-cooked) and tomatoes (already diced). There’s also some leftover lettuce in the box, but it’s so dead, that having seen a little more in the fridge, I asked if I could use it.
I see peanuts in the other contestants’ boxes but it is on the table in the front. I really want to use it with my beans, but I try to contain myself and not ask for some to mix with the beans - since I know that they are not going to give me them and I could be disqualified from the competition for using something that wasn’t in my box.
I feel very confident and determined to win, and so I think very quickly about what I have to do, even though I knew that there weren’t many options and I wanted to do something more sophisticated.
I start by preparing the dessert - I’m not very happy with my original idea because it seems very common and simple. But when I look at the table in front I see that the girls are doing the same thing as me, with strawberries on a skewer, coated in chocolate. The difference is that I have white chocolate and almost no black chocolate, and they have a lot of the dark chocolate and no white chocolate. I decide that I am going to do something a little different and I put the strawberries in the oven. The only thing is that I realise that by doing this, the strawberries will release the liquid inside and afterwards it will be very difficult to cover them in chocolate. I take out the strawberries from the oven - they have already begun to release the liquid - and I put them in the freezer. This way it’ll be easier to cover them in chocolate.
Having solved the problem of dessert, I start work on the entree - realising that I’ll have to present the first meal and don’t have time to lose. I remember that once, when I was doing my cooking course in Salvador, we made a honeydew carpaccio with pink peppercorns in class. Why not do a strawberry carpaccio with balsamic vinegar and these leaves? So I get to work on the entree - strawberry carpaccio with balsamic vinegar. I put the plastic wrap on the top and put it in the fridge so that the strawberry won’t release its liquid in the heat of the kitchen.
From there I start on the main meal. At the beginning I think of cutting the lettuce very finely like I would do for a salad and mixing with the beans, but I realise that this will be too simple and won’t help me to succeed from the point of view of presentation. I remember having seen a meal where the food was placed inside the lettuce, and I decide to make a bean salad and serve it inside the lettuce. I start slicing the carrot very finely to improve the final presentation of the meal.
I’m very relieved and happy that I’ve finished the meal, but I don’t remember if my dream stops there or continues.