Judges weigh in on vanilla and salmon recipes

By Deborah Pankey
Posted10/26/2011 6:00 AM

This last week of the recipe challenges saw some close scoring, but after the flour settled the judges selected Penny Kazmier and Mark Clemens to advance to the Nov. 2 live cook-off.

Kazmier's Apple and Cheese-Crusted Vanilla Pork Chops with Roasted Beet and Cheese Stacks with Chive Oil topped fan favorite Mary Beth Riley's hearty Oktoberfest Pork Chops with Ricotta Spaetzle and Bavarian Roasted Beet Salad in the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract, pork chop, ricotta cheese and beet challenge.

Clemens's Citrus Seasoned Grilled Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Mole and Sweet Corn Salsa edged out Antonio De Pau's Citrus Salmon with Truffle-Perfumed Rice and Stir-fried Vegetables with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in the Fortune Fish salmon, Trade East Citrus Grilling Seasoning, sweet corn and pumpkin seed challenge. Clemens also proved to be the fan favorite.

Here's what the judges (read about them on Page 4) had to say about the recipes.

Apple-Cheese Crusted Pork Chops

Jean-Louis Clerc: Beautiful plating, maybe just a little crowded. Great use of the ingredients and liked a lot the use of the beet greens.

Beth Nielsen: Beautiful presentation and creative use of ingredients.

Oktoberfest Pork Chops

JLC: Great use of the ingredients, maybe a little more work on the plating would be needed, still a solid dish.

Hagop Hagopian: Seems a bit too heavy. I felt there could have been more creativity in the dish as a whole; seems as they wanted to play it safe.

Grilled Citrus Salmon with Mole

Nick Stavely: Great use of the pumpkin seeds! The presentation is tight and sexy, however it could have used some more color. Maybe some red peppers in the salsa. Also the consistency of the sauce does not look as smooth as it states in the recipe.

Thomas Leavitt: Perhaps not a true mole, but what's not to like about a pumpkin seed sauce? A quick, easy and tasty weeknight meal.

Citrus Salmon with Truffle-Perfumed Rice

Hagop Hagopian: Wild asparagus in Illinois in October? I felt like this individual could have been more creative with the ingredients. Recipe looks good but lacks flair. The presentation looks appetizing but again they seem like they just wanted to play it safe.

N.S. I love the addition of the honey when cooking the salmon, it compliments the fish well. The pumpkin seeds seem to be an afterthought. Maybe adding it to the rice or using it with the seasoning as a crust for the salmon.

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