Sunday, February 21, 2010

MMC Ingredient 1 Fennel - Verdict

Here’s the review of Carrot-Fennel Soup by Muthu

As promised, here's the judge's final word on the soup. "M' has been gracious enough to share with us all his experience right from shopping for the ingredients to the final score. And it sure is an interesting read as well.

Note: I will post the audio of this final verdict in "M's" own words very soon....As soon as I figure out how to upload audio files on blogger...

Hello everyone,

Before going further, I would like to congratulate rajee on participating in this innovative challenge and I hope this challenge in some way or other nudges her a bit towards some of her goals.
As you all know the details of this challenge that rajee is participating, I am goin to skip the introduction and get into details. In this clip you will be listening to my experience trying rajee fennel and carrot soup recipe, which she has posted in her blog last week.

The Shopping Experience:
First I will talk a bit about what I experienced while shopping for the ingredients for this fennel and carrot soup, followed by which I will talk a bit about my experience with cooking this soup and end it with my final opinion on this dish.
I initially thought of recording the story as and when I do it, but then that proved to be cumbersome. When I talked to my voice recorder holding it my hand at whole foods aisles, I did get more than a couple of weird stares from some grandmas around me. So I had to stop it.
As one of the rules of this competition is that the ingredients used in this recipe should be commonly available. When I went around whole foods buying it, I was able to find all the ingredients very easily except for fennel. Though it was me who suggested the ingredient at first place to rajee, I have no idea who it looked like and I even donno which section of groceries I had to look into for a fennel.
After some search, I finally found it in freezer along with spinach. I did make sure that it is fennel when I was billing it. I ended up buying dried thyme as I don’t want to go around whole foods figuring out where fresh thyme would be.

The Cooking Experience:
Regarding cooking, it took me less than an hour to get this dish made and with less effort. The majority of effort went on cutting vegetables which ofcourse was not much. It took around 40 minutes to get the fennel decently soft enough in the oven. I did not use corn and I think I am happy that I didn’t use. I used just water as the soup base and not vegetable stock and that worked fine as well.
And regarding the final dish, well it tasted really good, though a bit too healthy for me. I personally think the lime in this dish is very important for when I tasted it without the lime, I did not like it. The sweetness of carrot blended very well with the onion’s sharp taste. The reason I think I didn’t like the soup without the lime was, I think all the remaining ingredients kinda cancelled out each other on taste and all I could taste was fennel in it. And somehow when the lime was added it brought back the individual ingredients taste back again. I didn’t dwell too much on the chemistry here but I think the lime helped a lot. The only problem I had was, though after 40 minutes in oven, the fennel got cooked, but the onion’s raw taste was lingering in the soup which troubled me a bit. Or May I could blame it on my cooking skills as well. May be onions should be cooked separately, I donno or it could be just that the onions I bought were a bit more powerful. That said, I really enjoyed this soup and so did my friend who shamelessly dropped by to lick the vessel off its base.

The Verdict:
So now to final points,
I would say taste wise I would give this soup a 5 out of 8.
On health factor, I don’t think we can do any better. So its 4 out of 4.
Regarding the ease of cooking, although theoretically I would like to nitpick and complain that now I have to clean the oven plate, blender and a couple of vessels, I am sure Rajee will argue back saying that the point is just for ease of cooking and not on ease of cleaning. So I would give her 6 out of 6 as well on that.
And finally the uniqueness factor, well I have never made or heard of soup where I grill the veggies in the oven and grind it, I donno about others but the novice cooker I am, that’s new and unique to me. So I would give the entire 2 points to it.

So its 5 + 4 + 6 + 2 that is 17 out of 20.


Well, if you have listened to this clip this far, either you should be rajee or her husband mothi or you should be some really jobless person who doesn’t know how to pass time. Just kidding.
Thanks for reading the “Me myself and the chef” challenge review number 1. I am looking forward to meet everyone again at Rajee’s blog sometime next week with review number 2. Till then I wish everyone a great week ahead. Thank you.


Enjoy !!

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