Monday, December 7, 2009

is DON. is Good - Masterchef bbsnoopy v Iron-chef bbsnoopy challenge

(sponsored by Nuffnang -

This is the first of our "Masterchef meets Iron-chef"posts.

The thing is, I'm the kind of cook who experiments and substitutes and ends up with products which never really resemble the original recipe (and hence my food is hit and miss). Because of this, my awesome creativeness, and my never quite sticking with tradition, I hereby name myself, Iron-Chef bbsnoopy :P

My partner, on the other hand, is an awesome cook and is awesome at sticking to recipes. He tends to go out of his way to make sure he gets all the herbs and micro-herbs stated in a recipe and he basically cooks up a storm (and is usually a hit, rather than a miss) and hence, I hereby name him Masterchef bbsnoopy.

So, who is the better cook?

The challenge for today: DONs Strasburg and DONs English Leg Ham

So here's the deal. As we both don on our chefs caps, our first challenge as we enter kitchen stadium is DON’s smallgoods. DONs have an impressive range of continental and salami products which go under the careful eye of the fleishmeister (the meat master). These fleishimeister people take care of the whole meat curing process. They make sure that the right ingredients are put in, that the truly authentic recipes are followed, and that the meats all have its own good time to mature and flavour up. In essence, they ensure that the meats meets standards. There's only six of these cool Fleishmeister people around - and DONs captured four of them... so their meats must be super duper carefully scrutinsed and QCed :P

DON's fleishmeister approved meats

Well - onto the challenge. Iron-chef bbsnoopy goes for an east-meets west type fusiony feel : Pan-fried asian style ham dumpling. (sounds awesome already doesn't it?) :P

The ingredients needed for this dish is:

- DONs shaved English Leg Ham

- DONs Strasburg

- vermicelli

- dried mushrooms (or Shitake mushrooms)

- dried scallops

- shallot (or toothpick <- not to be eaten)

DONs English Leg Ham

DONs Strasburg - diced

ingredients for my dumpling

So essentially, what you have to do is ...

1. soak the dried mushies and scallops and vermicelli in water (all soaked separately)

2. dice the mushies and the DON's Strasburg

3. shred the dried scallops

4. turn on the wok, add a bit of oil, and add the mushies, scallops, vermicelli and DONs ... once the wok is hot

5. Toss the ingredients for a bit (just a bit - as they cook pretty quick) and they become your "filling" for your ham dumplings)

6. Take a slice of ham and put some filling in the middle

7. Thread thinly sliced shallots (or toothpick) to make your dumpling

8. Pan-fry the dumplings.

[note: threading shallots is highly frustrating. The toothpick method is a lot simpler (and possibly easier to eat if you're considering this for fingerfood)]

dumpling fillings after being quickly pan-fried (the filling is already super yummy at this stage)

dumpling fillings in the middle

wrap it all up

and whala! done~

dumplings ready for the pan-fry

As you can see, we experimented with many different ways you can dumplingfy the product :)

So the outcome? I was quite dubious about my own creation throughout the cooking process. But once I tasted it, all doubts disappeared. I tried the dumpling un-pan-fried. It was good. Because the ham is quite salty and I purposely didn't season the filling, they complemented each other very very nicely. My dad commented that it would have been even nicer if I substituted the vermicelli for sharks fin (only if he pays for it!!!). Then I tried the dumpling after it was pan-fried. It was excellente!!! Pan-frying the dumpling added extra flavor (from the juices of the ham) and texture (slightly crispy) and it was super super WOW (even my partner, the rival Masterchef, was in awe).

dumplings after the pan-fry... sooo sooo sooo yummy!!!

Masterchef bbsnoopy could have chosen any of the recipes on the Is DON, Is Good website, but instead, decided to be a bit adventurous and picked a soup.

ingredients for soup

His soup is actually quite simple to make also. Ingredients needed include:

- DON's Strasburg

- consomme (he used beef)

- potato

- leek

- onion

- carrot

To make this soup, all you have to do is...

1. thinly slice the potato, leek and onion

2. dice up the carrot and the DONs Strasburg (we chunked the DON)

3. pan fry the DONs Strasburg til golden brown

4. toss in the leek, onion, potato and carrot

5. put all the ingredients into a pot and pour in the consomme and add water (as directed on the packet)

6. let the soup boil then leave to simmer for around half and hour

7. drink up!

vege and DONs strasburg soup

This soup was very yummy as well. The leek and the onion were super caramelised and gave off a sweet taste. The DONs chunks added substance and made the soup quite hearty. The only down-side to this was that it was a touch too salty. I guess we ought to have added a bit more water... but then it wouldn't have that awesome thin yet semi-thick consistency... Well, I guess it's up to personal choice.

So... as you can tell, there are many more photos of Iron-Chef bbsnoopy's creation. Whilst Masterchef bbsnoopy's soup was appetitisng and yummy, I believe that the 'east-meets-west pan-fried ham-wrapped dumplings" wins hands down (I do need to think of a better name for my dish).

Think you can cook up better DON dishes than us?

If you live in Australia, enter "The DONs ultimate gourmet creation".

Simply by going to the shops, picking up some DONs small goods and whiping up something awesome, you can score yourself one of five awesome dinner vouchers to a top restaurant in your home town!!! =)

Post your creation at and win!

Is DON. Is Good.

The opinions, comments and recipes in this post are the bloggers own and have not been supplied by DON Smallgoods.

No comments: