2013 was the year of the cronut, the ramen burger and the turducken (a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey).  What will this year bring?  The waffle chicken tenders, the cookie in a cupcake, a donut breakfast sandwich?  This year will see more mashups integrated into restaurant menus. I expect some new restaurants will have nothing on their menus but mashups. In the meantime, here are a couple recipes for you to get started following the trend.

Meatball Egg Roll

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces frozen cooked meatballs, thawed and cut into bite-size pieces (or make your own)
  • 2 cups prepared or jarred marinara sauce
  • Eight 6-inch square egg roll wrappers
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Toss the meatballs with 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce.
  2. Arrange an egg roll wrapper in front of you in a diamond shape. Brush the borders with beaten egg. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella into the center of the wrapper, then mound with meatballs (also about 2 to 3 tablespoons) and top with 2 basil leaves. Be sure to leave about 1 inch between the filling and the edges of the wrapper. Fold the end of the wrapper nearest you over the filling. Fold each side over the top, and then carefully roll the wrapper into a tight roll, tucking and tightening as you go.
  3. Keep wrappers you have not yet used, as well as finished egg rolls, covered with a towel to prevent them from drying out.
  4. Add 4 to 5 inches of oil to a pot and heat to 350 degrees.
  5. Fry the egg rolls in batches, 4 at a time, until the wrappers are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
  6. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce for dipping.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • One 8 or 9-inch Pecan Pie, fully baked and cooled to room temperature

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions for Chocolate Pecan Cake:

  1. Fully bake an 8 inch pecan pie (or buy one).  Let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, coffee and water.  Add in the vanilla.  Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  5. In a standing mixer cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Add the melted chocolate and mix until incorporated.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating in thirds with the wet ingredients, beating well after each addition.
  7. Spoon 1/3 of the batter evenly into the bottom of the cake pan.
  8. Take the pecan pie out of the tin and place it right side up on top of the batter
  9. Cover the top and sides of the pie with the remaining batter.  You may want to whack the cake on the counter a couple of times to make sure there are no air pockets.  Smooth the top.
  10. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the edge of the pan comes out with just a few crumbs.
  11. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes then turn it out upside down onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Directions for Frosting:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Heat the cream to a simmer then pour over the chocolate.  Let it sit for 1 minute then gently stir until the all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.
  2. Let it sit at room temperature for 25-35 minutes stirring occasionally until it is frosting consistency.
  3. Frost the top and sides of the upside-down cake and sprinkle with the chopped toasted pecans.

Then have fun making your friends guess what’s inside before you slice it.  And let’s have fun the rest of the year thinking up our own mashups.  The next big one could be lurking in your refrigerator right now in the disguise of leftovers!