I’m entirely too enamored with Top Chef. This month’s theme is Cuban food. Whose dish did I create first? Top Chef Michael Voltaggio’s. *sigh* I might be hopeless. As far as I know, though, there will be no more Top Chef recipes appearing in April. I just REALLY love my How to Cook Like a Top Chef cookbook. That I won. For loving Top Chef.
I’m not sure how authentically Cuban this recipe is. From what I can tell, the banana is what makes it Cuban. (But I haven’t done much research.) The dish is layered as follows: banana puree, rice patty, fried egg, garnish. And before I go any further, I’d like to apologize. I was rushed in making this and had no photo to reference, so everything about this dish/post is pretty sloppy (except for my writing. My writing is NEVER sloppy :^P).
This was another Quickfire recipe, which means Chef Michael V had only 30 minutes for its entire creation. I didn’t time it, but I know it didn’t take me much longer than that, either. The first thing I did was make the jasmine rice and the bacon (garnish). While it was simmering, I made the banana puree, which consists of 2 bananas, sliced and browned in butter, simmered with heavy cream until tender, then pureed. (SO glad Sur la Table has a Cuisinart sale so that I had a mini processor to use.) And like I said, I have no image of the final product and therefore no clue what the consistency should be, other than smooth. Mine may very well be too thick. Dunno.
Next I made the rice patties. I thought these were going to be more difficult than they were. The recipe said you could use your hands to form the patties if you didn’t have a certain tool but I thought the rice would be way too sticky. I decided to use an ice cream scoop. Lame idea. I should have used my hands. Below are the rejects (one of which I decided to fry in the bacon grease instead of the EVOO. I think it’s a great idea, because it adds a little more salt to the dish, which would have helped the flavor. But I’ll get to that). They were SUPPOSED to be 3 inches in diameter; the scoop, however, doesn’t grab much rice.
The last step was frying an egg for each patty. Mmm, more butter... . The eggs should’ve been over easy, but I got a little distracted so they ended up being over medium. Once I assembled the towers, I added the chives and crumbled bacon as garnish. The large diced tomatoes can also be a “tomato jam”—the recipe is in the book—but, like I said before, I was rushed.
This dish was simple to make and it looks fancy. But it tasted a little weird to me. The sweet bananas just seemed…out of place. And it needed some pepper and another dash of salt. I didn’t even try adding it because I just gobbled and ran!
I doubt I’ll make this again, just because the flavors didn’t wow me. And what’s the point of making something that just tastes “okay”?