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updated: 9/12/2012 11:59 AM

Round 1, Week 2: Ashland Sausage Co. mini ham, frozen tater tots, peaches and pecans

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  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com  Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Jamie Andrade.

      JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Jamie Andrade.

  • Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com  Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Mary Beth Thornton's favorite ingredient is olive oil.  MUG

      Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Mary Beth Thornton's favorite ingredient is olive oil. MUG

 

Jamie Andrade

My first thought was that you guys had been very cruel this year: two pre-made ingredients that are really hard to transform, then a fruit and a nut. I about had a panic attack walking out of there. Honestly, I was lost.

I thought maybe of slicing the ham and doing some kind of glaze, but then what -- just cook the tater tots as a side? After a while I just thought, let's give a pizza a go ... everything under the sun tastes good on pizza. I love, love, love the chipotle peppers in adobo -- whatever you put them in give it a slightly smokey heat, which I thought would go great with the ham, then I knew I had to tone down the sweetness of the peaches and pecans. So I toasted the pecans with a little paprika to keep the smoked flavor throughout the dish, then caramelized the peaches with some onions.

I was still stuck on the tater tots, but thought 'let's go ahead and throw a few on there toasted with cheddar cheese' -- and honestly, those were the best bites of that flat bread!

Mary Beth Thornton

When I first received the secret ingredients, the peaches and pecans immediately made me think of Georgia. When I incorporated the ham into the dish, I thought of a summertime Georgia Cobb salad with peaches and glazed pecans.

The one ingredient that threw me for a loop, was the tater tots. I wanted to pair the salad with something that would show the sweetness of the peaces and glazed pecans. A quiche and salad combination came to mind. I thought how I could pull this off. So I baked the tater tots and blended them with the pecans to make a crust. I wanted to do a peach brandy glaze or slices on top and came up with peach brandy glazed chopped peaches. I wasn't sure how it would taste. I cooked a quiche up and tasted it and was amazed how addicting and good it was.

I made it a couple times and added a dollop of sour cream and it was great!

Mary Beth Thornton

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