GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- The 5th Annual Minnesota Monthly Local Chef Challenge takes place on April 6 and 7 at the Mall of America.

Sameh Wadi, chef and owner ofSaffron & World Street Kitchen, along with Forepaugh's Restaurantchef Donal Gonzalez, joined KAREin the kitchenfor a preview (see recipes below.)

The Minnesota Monthly challenge is similar to the show "Chopped."The chefs are given abasket of ingredients, who thenhave an hour to prepare their best dish or recipe.

Saffron's Jerusalem artichoke soup with smoked salmon and sumac


1 lbs Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved
¼ lbs butter, unsalted-divided
1 large onion, small diced
10 cloves of garlic, sliced

Cold smoked salmon*
Potato chips
Extra virgin Olive oil


Heat small stockpot and melt ½ the butter mixture, then sweat the onion and garlic. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and cook on low heat for 4 minutes and season with salt.
Add enough water that the vegetables are covered. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-25 minutes, the Jerusalem artichokes should be fork tender.
Place the vegetable mixture in a blender and blend, adding cooking liquid to thin out the soup, then add the rest of the butter and adjust the seasonings with salt.

To plate

Place soup in bowl and garnish with sliced smoked salmon, potato chips, sumac, chives and extra virgin olive oil.

*At Saffron we cure and smoke our own salmon, so we control how salty it gets, you should make sure that the soup isn't overly salty when pared with the smoked salmon.

We also make Jerusalem artichoke chips for the garnish instead of potato chips.

Forepaugh's Chinese Scallion Flatbread

Flatbread Dough-

5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 ½ cups water
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
3 TBSP finely chopped Fresno pepper (no seeds)

Place all ingredients except the water in a bowl. Mix on low speed to distribute everything evenly. Slowly add in the water until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. (You may not need all of the water.) Divide the dough into 6 balls, dust lightly with flour, and roll it out between sheets of parchment or waxed paper sprayed with pan coat spray to 4 ½" X 4 ½"

Sesame Sauce
2 TBSP + 1 tsp canola oil
1 TBSP + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP mustard seed oil
1 TBSP dark sesame seed oil
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 TBSP + 1 tsp lime juice
1 TBSP + 1 tsp soy sauce (low sodium)
½ tsp minced Thai chili pepper
1 ¼ tsp kosher salt

Combine the oils and reserve.
Toast the sesame seeds, and (while they are still hot) blend them with all the ingredients except the oils.
Puree this mixture until almost smooth, then emulsify in the oil blend by slowly pouring the oils into the running blender.
Adjust the taste with small amounts of lime juice and salt.

1 # tomato, sliced
1 banana pepper, roasted, de-seeded, peeled, sliced
1 poblano pepper, roasted, de-seeded, peeled, sliced
1 Fresno pepper, sliced thin
6 green onion tops, sliced thin at a steep angle
3 breakfast radishes, sliced thin
½ ounce Thai basil, rough chopped
1 shallot, sliced thin and fried golden brown
1 head of garlic, minced and fried golden
1 dozen green pitted olives, sliced
6 ounces goat cheese
1 TBSP toasted Sesame seeds (a sprinkle)

Cooking and finishing-

Heat 1 cup of canola oil in a large sauté pan to 390° F.
Fry the flatbread until golden brown, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.
Lightly coat with sesame sauce and garnish with tomato slices, roasted peppers, Fresno and radish slices, green olives, goat cheese crumbles, fried shallot and garlic, Thai basil, and green onion.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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