To come up with an idea for this project, we started with idea generation. I thought it would be fun to work with a shandy beer, so we started with that. We thought of things that would pair well with orange, and found that goat cheese was an interesting candidate. We paired the goat cheese with fennel, and Annamarie being Italian, we decided to do a pasta dish. This is the ingredient map we came up with:
We aimlessly bought some fruit to work with as well, thinking they could pair with a macaroni or something.
Trying to come up with a way to incorporate the beer, we decided to do a shandy beer batter and somehow deep fry the pasta. We needed a vessel of some sort, and Barry recommended a cone. We bought a few different kinds of pasta tried a lot of different ways to roll a lasagna noodle into a cone before we found something that worked.
For the macaroni, we made a cheese sauce out of goat cheese and mozzarella at first, then added in the fennel leaves.
We tried the two together and it tasted alright, but needed something more. We had the idea of a beer/cranberry reduction with honey so we tried that, but it really didn't work at all. We tried to add a corn starch to thicken it up but it turned out to be like a jelly and didn't work.
For our interactive element, we decided on setting it up kind of like an ice cream bar, and scooping it in front of them and adding the "toppings".
When we made it for the food critique, we got some negative feedback and used that to make the dish better.
We needed more salt for flavor, and the cones were not crispy enough
and needed to be fried longer. In order to bring out the orange flavor, one idea was to add orange zest. We liked that idea because it added to the interactive element--we could add the orange zest in front of them before they ate it. The judges said they also couldn't taste the fennel in the macaroni, and the mozzarella was overpowering the goat cheese.
So it was back to the drawing board. We needed a new recipe basically. We started with the macaroni. When we made it again, we pureed the fennel and added it in for taste. We dropped the mozzarella and used parmesan cheese instead. We added salt, and the macaroni turned out nicely.
For the cones, we changed the way we were rolling them, made them wider, and collared the ends so they resembled little ice cream cones. Deep frying them was a LONG and painful process. Getting the temperature of the oil was hard and it took a lot of trial and error to get it right. To get them to taste salty we added salt as soon as they were done frying. We were able to whip out 90 golden brown crispy cones!
To top it off, we made a cranberry puree sauce. The judges feedback toward the sweet sauce was kind of negative, so we decided not to add any sugar to the sauce and found that the puree itself complimented the dish nicely.
Finally, we topped it off with some fennel leaves and orange zest in front of the user. For presentation and to add the user experience, Joey laser cut and crafted a stand for the cones to be displayed on like at an ice cream shop.
We put the fennel leaves for garnishing in a bowl, put the cranberry puree in a squeeze bottle, and put the oranges in a bowl. The color scheme worked well, and kind of resembled a Jamba Juice.
Recipe (we didn't work with a lot of measurements, sorry!):
Cones: Cook lasagna noodles and roll into cones. Pinch the ends so they stay together. Roll in a beer batter made with flour, beer, paprika, some corn starch, and a pinch of salt. Fry at 400 degrees until golden brown.
Macaroni filling: Cook macaroni, melt half parmesan cheese and goat cheese with butter, milk, and flour to create a sauce. Cook and puree the fennel, and add to taste. Mix in the macaroni.
Cranberry sauce: Cook and puree cranberries.
Put the macaroni in the cone, top with fennel, cranberry puree, and orange zest.