Once a month we will highlight chefs and a recipe from the Got to Be N.C. Competition Dining series. This month, we are featuring Kirsten Mitchell, executive chef at 1900 Restaurant in Wilmington, and her winning strawberry eclair recipe.
The Got to Be N.C. Competition Dining Series faces off two local chefs in a single elimination, blind dinner format. The chef’s menu must be created around a North Carolina ingredient that is revealed at noon on the day of the competition. This ingredient must be used in each course. Grand prize is $2,000 and a red chef jacket. The competition is held in Asheville, Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington.
The series just wrapped up the 2014 Fire on the Dock Challenge in Wilmington. Mitchell went head-to-head with Chef Antoine Murray of Cape Fear Country Club in the finals with Murray taking the grand prize.
Mitchell is a three-time Fire on the Dock competitor and describes her cooking style as “simple with some points of sophistication and a whimsical plating approach.” The secret ingredients for her Fire on the Dock competition that qualified her for the finals were Haag and Sons speckled trout and Wise Farms winter strawberries.
Following is her recipe for strawberry eclair.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup of strawberry purée
Heat milk, strawberry puree, and vanilla bean over medium heat until it boils, remove from heat and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy then add cornstarch and whisk until no lumps remain. Whisk in a little bit of the hot milk mixture until incorporated, then add remaining mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over medium high, whisking constantly until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate. Cover with plastic wrap so that skin doesn’t form.
Fire on the Rock starts in Asheville on March 10. Tickets and more information are available at the website www.competitiondining.com.