WTSIM – the sweet vs. savoury roundup

by Jeanne on February 9, 2009

in Events - Waiter, there's something in my...

It's funny how different people are. 

For me, the Daring Bakers challenges are terrifying to the point of paralysis. Even BYOB makes my chest tighten.  But for loads of my fellow-food bloggers, these are a walk in the park.  On the other hand, when I selected this month's Waiter, There's Something in My… theme of sweet/savoury swap, I was so excited and positively spoilt for choice as to what to make.  But it seems that I have finally managed to select a theme for WTSIM that stumped a lot of people :( Or from comments I've seen on other participating blogs, it seems that peope were put off by the idea of sweet soups of savoury puddings and thought these were being different for the sake of it, rather then being tasty.  

Oh well. I suppose you can't please all the people all the time.  But there were a few brave souls who re-imagined sweet dishes as savoury dishes and vice versa, and you'll be amazed at how inventive they were.  So without further ado, let's see who's in the round-up.

TastyCurryLeaf **STOP PRESS** In my haste to get the roundup out last night, I missed somebody!  I hate it when I do that, so to make up for it, her entry gets star billing at the top of the post.  Sweatha of TastyCurryLeaf in New Jersey, USA opens proceedings with a savoury snack after my own heart.  When you think of shortbread, you think of sweet cookies, usually with a dusting of caster sugar, in a tartan box to hark back to their Scottish heritage, right?  Not in Sweatha's kitchen… She gives us divine-sounding peppery feta shortbread instead – and how fabulous they would be with pre-dinner drinks! 

PassionateAboutBaking First up was the lovely Deeba of Passionate About Baking in India.  All her life, she's made sweet strawberries and cream for dessert… but today she turns this particular fruit salad on its head by dressing it the way you would dress a green salad:  with balsamic vinegar and black pepper!  Check out her beautiful balsamic strawberries with whipped mascarpone.

 MyEasyCooking From there, we head down to Cape Town, South Africa and my friend Nina of My Easy Cooking.  One of the dishes that first inspired me to nominate this month's theme is a dessert that I had at a restaurant in my hometown of Port Elizabeth:  chocolate spring rolls.  So I was particularly thrilled when Nina chose to make banana and dulce du leche dessert spring rolls!  Crispy, soft, warm, sweet – what's not to like?

ElrasBaking From there, let's pop over to the lovely Elra of Elra's Baking in California.  Elra was soooo keen to take part this month, but was a little taken aback by the theme. Still, it wasn't long before she got her recipe books out and her thinking cap on and soon she presents us with strawberry-almond salty shortcake with a basil-spinach sauce.  Sound interesting?  Well check out her beautiful pics if you have any doubt as to the deliciousness – or her inventiveness!

 WhatsForLunch From there, we return to Europe to pop into the kitchen of our multi-talented friend Meeta of What's For Lunch, Honey? in Weimar, Germany.  I'm sure you'll all agree that bread & butter pudding is A Good Thing.  Chocolate bread & butter pudding is An Even Better Thing.  But have you thought of adding vegetables??  That's exactly what Meeta has done with her roasted pumpkin and chocolate bread pudding – inspired and totally delicious!

GourmetChick And then we're back in London with our first savoury dish this month – hurrah!  The Gourmet Chick expressed the same reservations that many of you had – surely a savoury version of a dessert would be just  plain wrong?  But then she discovered a savoury "dessert" recipe with an impeccable pedigree – Yotam Ottolenghi's fennel, tomato and crumble gratin.  And Ottolenghi does not disappoint as the crumble seems to taste as good as it looks.  Yum!

HomemadeHeaven We seem to have a disproportionate number of adventurous South African bloggers on board this month as we return to Cape Town to see my friend (and "blog Godchild" according to her!) Rosemary of Homemade Heaven.  She pulls out all the stops to create a wonderful fruity dessert soup out of nearly-ripe mangoes, with sweet coconut "breadsticks" to complete the illusion of a normal soup course.  You go, girl!  I'm hoping for a dinner invite any day now… :)

FoodNFamily Just outside Cape Town, my friend Kit of Food and Family also put on her thinking cap for this month's theme.  Now a quiche is a crust filled with a baked mixture of eggs, cream and some sort of vegetable, right?  And a clafoutis is a baked mixture of cream, eggs, sugar and some sort of fruit.  Are you seeing the parallele here?  Kit certainly does and presents us with a cinnamon-scented plum and apple dessert quiche that goes down a storm with her family.  Hurrah! 

GGG Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe in Melbourne was another one who decided to use fruit to make a traditionally meaty dish.  When you think of kebabs, what do you picture?  A skewer with chunks of meat sizzling away on the barbecue?  A huge chunk of meat on a vertical spike, waiting to be sliced, stuffed in pita and served?  Well Johanna reimagines the humble kebab as a fruity affair – and even choc-dips some of the fruit! You need to check these babies out…

 Jugalbandi Now usually I insist that you make a new dish and don't accept older posts for WTSIM, but seeing as there were so few entries, and seeing as the lovely Bee of Jugalbandi asked nicely and added a link to WTSIM… I bent the rules, just this once ;-)  And besides, you wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the fantastic savoury granola trifle that she came up with, would you?

Spittoon My good friend and co-founder of WTSIM, Andrew of SpittoonExtra just outside London has been busy of late.  So busy in fact, he mistook Waiter, There's Something in My… for the End of Month Cheese on Toast Extravaganza ;-)  Yup, he heads into grilled cheese sandwich territory and presents us with his cheese on toast dessert – toasted fruited soda bread topped with goats cheese and dried fruits.  Who knew a cheese sandwich could be dessert?

PassionateCook And what did my other co-founder get up to?  Well, I know Johanna of The Passionate Cook has also been a busy lady, but she took time out to put on her thinking cap and re-imagine a classic combination. You'd usually order foie gras and some sort of fruit compote as a starter, right?  Well, how about foie gras and pear compote creme brulee spoons?  I'll let you decide where in the meal these belong – either way, they look super delicious, Johanna!

Cooksister And last but not least, there's your charming hostess ME, the Cooksister :)  Now as you'll know from my frequent references to the chilly, miserable days we've been having here, it's not really salad weather.  But… what if you miss the flavours of a classic caprese salad so badly you just can't wait till summer?  Well, it's easy:  you transform caprese salad into a deliciously comforting savoury caprese bread and butter pudding.  See – no need to wait for the sun :)

And that, as they say, is all folks!  Thanks very much to the lovely, talented and super-creative people who participated.  And if you missed out on January's edition of WTSIM, the good news is that Johanna has already announced the theme for February:  hot puddings!  Woo hoo!.  So think self-saucing puddings, dumplings, crepes suzette… the possibilities are endless and you have until 28 February to get your entries to Johanna.

 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Paz February 10, 2009 at 12:21 am

wonderful-looking roundup. i just ate but now i’m hungry all over again.
paz

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CurryLeaf February 10, 2009 at 12:57 am

Hi,
I think you missed me,I cannot see mine.I posted amd mailed you last monday – 2nd Feb,2009.Please do check am d kindly get back.

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Bellini Valli February 10, 2009 at 1:22 am

I didn’t make it in time for WTSIM but I did make Sea Salt and Caramel Brownies that are absolutely to “die for”. They are almost fudgy!!I will be blogging about them this week sometime. In the meantime I will just drool over the other entries:D

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Johanna February 10, 2009 at 2:02 am

Lovely round-up of interesting dishes – that banana and dulce de leche spring roll looks wonderful – as do the rest of them. I much prefer this sort of challenge than joining the daring bakers – and was extra glad of the inspiration to make something I loved and hope to make again – not to mention seeing how others approach it!

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_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver February 10, 2009 at 2:09 am

I love the idea of the sweet vs savory swap! Well, I do like to use quotation marks for dish names (Eggplant “Clafouti”, for example), so maybe it’s just me. But I think it was genius. Too bad we didn’t have time to make anything.

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elra February 10, 2009 at 2:54 am

Wow, this is amazing round ups, all entries look so delicious. I am glad I was able to participate, it was very cool theme indeed. Thanks Jeanne!
Cheers,
Elra

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nina February 10, 2009 at 3:23 am

This was indeed a “lekka” challenge!

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courtney February 10, 2009 at 3:42 am

I totally lack crativity and was stumped. This however is a great a great roundup with wonderful ideas. I wonder if the South Africans has the edge because its summer and beautiful produce is more plentiful?

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Kit February 10, 2009 at 6:54 am

Great round-up Jeanne and I enjoyed the challenge – it’s good to stretch the imagination a bit sometimes!

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johanna February 10, 2009 at 9:41 am

some wonderfully inventive dishes here – and proof that the theme wasn’t all that hard after all! well done everyone and thanks for a great round-up jeanne… the next challenge is “hot puds” over on thepassionatecook!

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grace February 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm

it was a great idea, jeanne–i only wish i was clever enough to make something that fit. the folks that were clever enough came up with some great stuff. :)

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CurryLeaf February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

HUGE THANKS,Jeanne.The top star rating is unexpected,but I definitely love it.Among all other star entries,getting a top rating is definitely inspiring.Thanks,again.LOL.

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Manggy February 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Jeanne, I think there are actually a LOT of entries! Good job! I wish I could’ve tried something but mall my stuff is back home :(

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Rosemary February 11, 2009 at 8:09 am

Thank you for the round up! I am very honoured to be around some of the most talented chefs in blogland!
Now hot-puddings – that’s my kind of language, though it would be much easier if it were in June or July! As you know it is boiling hot down South! I will however take up the challenge, and we’ll just have to have supper at 9pm after sunset!

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Browniegirl February 11, 2009 at 8:23 am

Fabulous roundup….I never got to do it….just too busy so far this year….but boy Im looking forward to those hot puds….even if we are in a melting pot here down South!!! :o) Oh…….and WELCOME new columnist…most excited to see you this morning :o) xxx

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Meeta February 11, 2009 at 9:47 am

What an awesome roundup! Am really loving quite a few of these ideas!

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bee February 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm

thank you, dear jeanne. that pic of your savoury bread pudding just knocked my socks off.

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Michelle February 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Wow, what a fantastic array of dishes.
For starters I’ll have Johanna’s Foie Gras, followed by Meeta’s Pumpkin & Chocolate Bread Pudding and finish it all off with Nina’s Banana and Caramel Spring Rolls.
Phew, now that was quite a meal! ;-)

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Elizabeth February 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Augh!! Yet another WTSIM… that I’ve missed. I just can’t seem to meet these deadlines! Even if it had been something easy like a BYOB flavoured theme of “WTSIM… bread basket”, I wouldn’t have managed. I just don’t know how you people do it when you’re ridiculously busy! I can’t even manage when I’m a tiny bit busy. 8-/
This theme really had me flummoxed. I simply couldn’t think of anything to make. But I’m glad to see from the roundup that others didn’t have the same blanking out problem I had.

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Elizabeth February 15, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Augh!! Yet another WTSIM… that I’ve missed. I just can’t seem to meet these deadlines! Even if it had been something easy like a BYOB flavoured theme of “WTSIM… bread basket”, I wouldn’t have managed. I just don’t know how you people do it when you’re ridiculously busy! I can’t even manage when I’m a tiny bit busy. 8-/
This theme really had me flummoxed. I simply couldn’t think of anything to make. But I’m glad to see from the roundup that others didn’t have the same blanking out problem I had.
(Please delete if this is a double post – connection problems…)

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