Aspiring chef Scheer creates luau-worthy Hawaiian wraps
Written by By KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Thursday, 20 March 2008
|At the risk of seeming sacrilegious and just days before Easter this weeks Cooks Corner suggestion comes straight from God.
Logan Scheer with his ham-pineapple-wonton hors d'oeuvre. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Or at least, from Logan Scheer, an Eastwood High School senior who played the lead in the schools recent musical production, Children of Eden.
I had the role of God, he explained
Scheer, 18, divides his time between Eastwood and Penta County Vocational School, where he is in his second year with the Culinary Arts Program (CAP).
It was for a special Culinary Arts event in December that he developed his popular Hawaiian wraps.
We challenged them to create an hors doeuvre for the Board of Trustees Christmas meeting, explained CAP director Jim Rhegness.
Chef had us all sit down and basically told us to think of an appetizer for this board meeting, but I didnt sit, said Scheer. I got right up and went to the refrigerator and started pulling stuff out. I think better on my feet.
He found ham and pineapple, and was on his way to a tastier egg roll than any this writer, at least, has ever encountered in a Chinese restaurant.
Scheer has a knack, no doubt about it.
Maybe thats because hes been dreaming about a career in cooking since he was a young boy.
Ive known that I wanted to be a chef since I was in fourth grade, he said. I dont even remember how that started. Every Saturday that year I would get up and make eggs.
One day in sixth grade he was sitting mesmerized in front of a Food Network program on making Beef Burgundy. I wrote everything down and made it that night for dinner. I wanted to specialize in classical French cuisine from then on.
To this day, it remains his all-time favorite dish. I enjoy those complex, fall-like flavors.
His parents, Jana and Charles Scheer of Bowling Green, and younger sister Haley, remember those days fondly.
My mom wishes I still cooked at home but these days hes too busy.
Besides vocal music and a part-time job hes a four-year marching band member and he ran cross-country his first two years in high school.
I love marching band. I was a big Band Geek, said Scheer, who plays tuba.
In fact, it was his love of both cooking and band that led him to switch school districts at the start of his junior year.
The first two years I went to Bowling Green High School, but BG wont let you be in band if you go to Penta, and Eastwood will. So I transferred. It meant leaving all his friends and making a whole new set, which he has done.
His dream of a career as a classical chef even dictated which foreign language he would study in school: French, of course.
Scheer has already been accepted into the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu Associate in Pittsburgh for next year. Its a 16-month program that leads to an associate degree in culinary arts.
Scheers Hawaiian wraps are delectable crispy, full-flavored ham and pineapple with a complex sweet after-taste.
His secrets include a syrup glaze topped with a sprinkle of granulated sugar on the wraps fresh out of the oil, and not overdoing the fillings time in the food processor. You still want some texture to it, but not chunks so big that you cant roll your won-tons.
Won-ton wrappers are available at most major supermarket chains, and failing that, at any international food store, according to Scheer.
2 cups honey-sliced ham, diced
2 cans ringed pineapple
2 cups sugar
1 T. water
Dash of white pepper
Dash of salt
1 pkg. won-ton wrappers (4-by-4-inch single sheets)
Drain pineapple and save the juice; this should yield 2 cups juice.
Dice ham. Dice pineapple and heat both together in stovetop pan on medium-high heat. Cook to get a little crispiness on the ham. Place mixture in a food processor and blend until some chunky texture is still evident, but before it is a puree.
In the meantime, place the pineapple juice in a saucepan, bring it to a boil and add sugar. Keep reducing that down until you have a thick syrup. Keep the heat between simmer and medium. Reducing process takes 10-12 minutes.
Lay the won-ton wrappers out flat. Whisk the eggs and add water so you have what is called an egg wash. Place a dollop (about 2 T.) of the ham-pineapple filling atop each wrapper and roll it up egg roll style. Leave one flap of the wrapper still flat. Using a pastry brush, brush a little egg wash on the flap and close it over. The egg wash seals the won-ton so it doesnt break apart during frying. Repeat with the remaining won-ton wrappers.
Fill a frying pan or saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 350-375 degrees. Gently drop wraps into the oil to deep fry. Frying time is 4-5 minutes.
After the wraps come out the glaze should be ready to serve. Cut wraps at an angle and drizzle glaze over the top. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and serve immediately.
» No Comments
There are no comments up to now.
» Post Comment
Only registered users can write a comment.
Please login or register.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 May 2008 )