Disney Wine & Food Festival and Shrimp Lollipops!

We had a date with Disney last Friday evening to attend a special preview event of Disney California’s 3rd annual Food & Wine Festival. Armed with our camera, a big appetite and eyes for some delicious vino, we sampled an amazing spread of California inspired cuisine and wine pairings. Prepared by some of the resorts top Chefs, the fabulous “Taste Of California Marketplace” themed dishes we savored were just a sampling of what was to come for the “Eat and Drink” festivities which are to be held on April 11-May 5, 2008. The festival events, which include wine classes led by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan of Napa Rose, cooking demonstrations and fine meals prepared by the fine Disney chefs such as Andrew Sutton, executive chef of the celebrated restaurant, Napa Rose, as well as guest chefs, including Nancy Silverton, formerly of LaBrea bakery and Campanille fame.

Introducing Michael Jordan…(left) not the super athlete who has etched the #23 into the minds of basketball fans worldwide, but the Master Sommelier who can blind taste test a glass of wine and describe the grape variety, country, appellation and vintage of the wine. To top it off, this Michael Jordan grows over 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes!! And he’s gonna pass on a special purple Japanese heirloom tomato plant over to us! Hero!

One of the highlights of the evening was attending a special, super-energetic and informative 45 minute wine lesson by Michael Jordan himself. His entertaining style of teaching helped breeze through some basics of tasting and identifying wine and made wine more approachable and less pretentious. This “teaser” class left us thinking about wine so much that we might even consider taking the 1st level sommelier class! Can you imagine taking a final exam where you had to drink wine? Hell, yeah!

And finally, the moment we were all waiting for…the food and wine!

And yes, we ate everything…almost twice! Snort, snort!

  • Kona Kampachi and Tangerine Vinaigrette along side Delta Asparagus Panna Cotta Topped with Tender Radish Salad. English Pea Pesto filled Raviolis with Spring Onion Coulis and Sungold Tomato Sauce. Both dishes paired with Brassfield Estate, “Serenity,” High Serenity Ranch, Lake County.

  • Roasted Certified Angus Beef Medallions with Forest Mushrooms. Paired with Rudd, “Crossroads” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

  • Spicy Fennel Sausage with Roasted Tomato Bolognese served over Meyer Lemon Marscarpone Polenta. Paired with Flora Springs, “Poggio di Papa”, Sangiovese-Cab blend, Napa Valley.

  • Crispy Skin Sonoma Duck Breast Served over Wild Mushroom Risotto with Blood Orange Gastrique. Paired with Williams & Selyem, Pinor Noir, Russian River Valley.

  • Lobster Lollipops served with Red Bell Pepper Remoulade Sauce. Paired with Baileyana, Chardonnay, Grand Firepeak Cuvee, Edna Valley.

  • For dessert, Berry Trifle served in a martini glass and Chocolate Marquise. Paried with a refreshing Sparkling ROSÉ….ummm….we forgot which one. But it tasted exquisite, even though at this point, we were pretty much in a food and wine coma!

Now, our contribution…Don’t laugh at us….

Everything was outstanding, but the special Lobster Lollipops with the Panko bread crumbs left feeling like giggly little kids, aching for more. So we decided to try to duplicate this idea of a “seafood on a stick”. Lobster does not fit into our budget this month so we used shrimp for this fun dish. The Japanese Panko bread crumbs gives fried foods and awesome, crispy, crumbly texture. There’s always at least a bag of panko in our pantry as back up because when we need a last minute dish, anything with panko is always a hit! Give panko a try, you’ll love it!

Panko Crusted Shrimp Lollipops

with Ginger Soy Caramel Dip

panko shrimp

This dish is so versatile, you can use it with just about anything. We also made this panko dish with chicken and squash, for a vegetarian option. Japanese Panko bread crumbs gives fried foods and awesome, crispy, crumbly texture. There’s always at least a bag of panko in our pantry as back up because when we need a last minute dish, anything with panko is always a hit! Give panko a try, you’ll love it! The marinade for the soon-to-be-fried-goodies is optional. If you are serving them with the Ginger Soy Caramel Sauce, we recommend not to marinate the shrimp or squash, so that there is more contrasting flavors between the shrimp and the sauce. The chicken still benefits from the marinade, but if you choose to skip this step, brine the chicken for about 30 minutes instead. The end result will be a juicier meat.

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Shrimp Lollipop Recipe
1/2 pound shrimp (225 g), shelled & deveined
1/2 pound chicken (225 g) or 2 zucchini (other options). Cut into about 2-3 inch strips.
2 T (30 ml) Sesame Oil (optional)
3-4 dashes of Fish Sauce (optional)
1/4 c (60 ml) Soy Sauce (optional)
3 T (45 ml) Granulated Sugar (optional)
1 T (15 ml) Finely Grated Fresh Ginger (optional)
2 Cloves Garlic, finely mashed in mortar & pestle (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
1 c (240 ml) Flour
1 c (240 ml) Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil to fry
Tooth picks or short bamboo skewers

1. (Optional Marinade) In bowl mix sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, granulated sugar, ginger, and garlic until sugar is completely dissolved. Marinade shrimp (chicken or zucchini) for about 20 minutes.

2. Place beaten eggs, flour, and panko each into separate bowls.

3. Heat about 3/4″ of oil in pan to about 350ºF for frying. Fry shrimp, chicken or zucchini until cooked and golden brown on each side. These ingredients cook very quickly (especially the shrimp), so be ready to flip them, then pull them out of the oil after a minute of so of frying on each side.

4. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Skewer and assemble!
5. Dip with Ginger/Soy Caramel Dip.

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Ginger Soy Caramel Dip/Sauce Recipe
2 c (430G) granulated Sugar
2 t (10ml) Lime Juice
1/2 c (120ml) Water, approx.
1/3 c (80ml) Soy Sauce
2 t (10ml) finely grated Fresh Ginger
2 t (10ml) Chili Garlic Sauce
Finely Grated Zest of 1/2 a Lime

1. Place the sugar and 1 t (5ml) of lime juice in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a sturdy wooden spoon, until the sugar has liquefied (be diligent in your stirring, or else the sugar will heat unevenly, leaving clumps that are a pain to dissolve without burning the caramel). Continue to cook until the caramel has reached a golden brown color (the caramel may still appear opaque, that’s ok). Be very careful. You have napalm in a pan right now.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in water. Stand back a bit as you pour, because the caramel is going to bubble, hiss, & splatter a bit.

3. Return the caramel back to the heat and stir to dissolve any remaining lumps.

4. Let the sauce cool a bit, then add the soy sauce, remaining 1 t (5ml) of lime juice, grated ginger, chili garlic sauce, and grated lime zest. Carefully taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. After sauce has cooled completely, thin with additional water if necessary. You have to wait until it has cooled completely because the thickness will vary depending on how much you caramelized the sugar.

Disney’s “Taste of California” Wine & Food Festival

Usually when we think of Disney, we think of Micky Mouse and the happiest place on earth for kids. But inside the fortress walls of Disney’s California Adventure lies some very fine and sophisticated restaurants. For this festival, Disney has unleashed it’s chefs and given them the spotlight to share their culinary passions and skills. One experience of this event and you’ll be saying, “Screw the kids, Mom and Dad are going to Disneyland!”

More appetizers that you might enjoy:

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Annie Robinson

    PS: Sorry about the typos. I should proof read shouldn’t I? Apologies.

  2. Annie Robinson

    I am SO sorry, I have recently discovered your blog. There are so man out there and not all are worth it. You blog most definitely is. I love love love this recipe. I always have panko in the cupboard. Whether for Asian inspired dishes or a simple crusted chicken breast with some yummy creamy dressing. This recipe almost made me cry with it’s total an utter beauty. Thank you. I love “good” fried foods, not any old rubbish. This is more than good. Lovely.

  3. sharon

    Hey! I’m on the prowl for some good party recipes and was wondering if you could send me the recipe for the shrimp lollipops? They look cute and yummy! The link here goes to a different post about pho. thanks so much!

    Sorry about that. We are in the middle of site renovations right now, and the recipes archive is down. After we get it back up we can pass it on. Thanks for the interest. -WORC

  4. Jurnee

    Did the Festival publish a cookbook to go with it or did you manage to get any of the recipes for the dishes pictured? It all looks beautiful!

  5. Tartelette

    What a great evening and those shrimp lollies are just phenomenal looking but I “know” they tasted wonderful!

  6. lifeinrecipes

    What is it about stick food that is soooo darned enticing? Especially when it’s crispy fried shrimp and a sauce with caramel? wow.

  7. Cakelaw

    Wow guys, your Disney food and wine experience sounds spectacular. And as for your own shrimp lollipop recipe – this looks and sounds great! When I read the words “ginger caramel dipping sauce” – I was in.

  8. Pixie

    You two are just living the life! I do have those crumbs in my cupboard waiting to be used; we’re off to Borough Market today (London) that’s about as exciting as things get for us! lol

  9. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Wow! You guys must be doing everything right! What a wonderful event. I’d go with the guy with the 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes any day!!
    Gorgeous shrimp!!

  10. nikkipolani

    What a great write up on what must have been a great event! I love your adaptation – why should we laught at that?! And have to agree with you that Panko is a great excitement booster to many dishes.

  11. Homecooked

    Wow…you are so lucky.You went to Disney AND met Michael Jordan! Thanks for sharing the pics.Everything looked delicious!

  12. Rita

    i loveeeeeeeeee anything coated with panko, especially chicken pop corns or shrimps yum yum yum…this’ll be perfect for grey’s anatomy rerun marathon this weekend hoho

  13. Ginger M.

    Hear that? That’s the sound of my tummy rumbling at the sight of your shrimps on sticks. Ginger Soy Caramel Dip sounds like a killer. Mmmm.. shrimp lollipops *homer simpson voice*

  14. Zenchef

    I looove to go to this kind of event. It’s so much fun and i’m soo jealous right now. The wine guy/basketball star looks like he’s the real deal! Become close friend with him, that’s an order! haha
    And i love the lollipops, just the name is fun! Great stuff. You just put me in a giddy mood. haha.

  15. gaga in the kitchen

    wow, that looks like sooo much fun! i’m jealous! and the shrimp looks deelish, especially that dipping sauce. panko is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

  16. Kevin

    There’s so much tasty looking food. Those lobster lollipops with breaded with panko sound really good!

  17. RecipeGirl

    Oh my, what a delicious event! The lobster lollipops have me drooling, and your shrimp lollys look fab too. I once had salmon lollipops at a dinner party that were disgusting so I’m happy to see that there are others that are edible!

  18. Sandie (Inn Cuisine)

    Oh my, what a fabulous time you must have had! I wish my husband and I could have joined you–we love those types of events, but alas, there’s no Disney in Kansas City!! We do have the 12th annual Forks and Corks event coming up (which is similar but not quite as fancy,) and the proceeds go to Harvesters Community Food Network–which helps provide meals to those in need throughout the community. Knowing the funds go to charity makes it doubly enjoyable!

  19. shalimar

    this just gave me another idea for my next canapes ….
    am here in hopetown abacos bahamas enjoying groupper fingers, conch fingers conch fritters.

  20. Annemarie

    You lucky, lucky things. It sounds like a wonderful day out. An yum on the shrimp pops. Panko is a wonderous thing and that my well-horded bag in my cupboard really needs to bust out of its plastic confines and be put to good use.

  21. Lisa

    Is is bad that I just drooled all over my desk??

  22. Mike

    That looks like it would be a fantastic day/night out! And it looks like you did a great job recreating the recipe–it looks very tasty!

  23. Happy Cook

    Oh YES I am so glad you duplicated the recipe, as I am gonna try this when i have huge prawns.
    Can’t wait to make these delicious lilipops.
    Seems like you all had great fun

  24. Anticiplate

    I really love the idea of this recipe. I would go for shrimp over lobster any day (am I crazy!)? I love recreating recipes that inspire me. It is such a fun little game in the kitchen:)

  25. Tempered Woman

    too funny~ I also copied “Wild Mushroom Risotto with Blood Orange Gastrique” bwahahaha. Great minds and all that. I can’t wait to see the purple tomatoes cause I know you’ll share. Thanks SO much for sharing the menu. Sounds like it was an amazing time!

  26. katy

    um, oh my god. “Crispy Skin Sonoma Duck Breast Served over Wild Mushroom Risotto with Blood Orange Gastrique”?!?!?! teach us how to make that next!

  27. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Those lollipops look great — if I saw them on a table at an event, I’d go for them right away! Would love to have the recipe for that caramel dip sauce, too.

  28. richa

    that must be fun 🙂
    Ginger Soy Caramel Dip sounds good, u may like to look into the hyper link!

  29. aforkfulofspaghetti

    Wow – the tough jobs you two give yourselves… all that wine, all that food… someone has to do it, right?

    Panko totally rocks, doesn’t it? I always keep some handy – and I wish I could say the same about the shrimps!

  30. Jen Yu

    Oooh, that looks so good! I have never actually tried anything with panko crumbs, but I want to. Just like LPC said, I can’t get a link from your recipe tag 🙁 I want to know how to make my own shrimp lollies, guys! 🙂

  31. Peter

    Welcome back and it seems you two dined very well during your little holiday.

    I think Disney would have been over the top if they served “Bambi” or venison at the dinner! lol

    Shrimp lollies are looking great and caramel with ginger& soy? Devlish!

  32. Rosie

    I’m going green with envy here guys!! This sounds a great event and whoo hoo bring on the wine and food too 😉 Now those lollipops sure do look delish – drool – drool – drool

    Rosie x

  33. Luna Pier Cook

    pssst … your recipe links are either broken or they don’t exist … I’m not even seeing a cursor change …

    This post is just gorgeous! I guess the question is, do you two ever do anything that isn’t so much fun as to make your readers jealous? 😉

  34. grace

    lollipop, lollipop, oh, lolli lolli lolli.

    great, now that song’ll be stuck in my head all day. 🙂

  35. matt wright

    I am jealous – I love that in every shot of Micheal Jordon, he has a big “I am happy with life” grin. I want to aspire to that 😀

    Great looking meal, and good looking shrimp. None of the “recipe HERE” links work for me though 🙁

    Great work guys!

  36. Christine

    You guys need to stop torturing me with your all your fun!
    Really, what a cool event to go to. I stopped reading your menu descriptions half-way because my mouth kept drooling – not good for my keyboard 😉

    I love the seafood on a stick! Way better than meat on a stick 🙂 Or is it???
    And are those meyer lemons I spy in the photo?

  37. Kitt

    Wow, I’m glad I just ate dinner or I’d be whimpering now. OK, I’m still whimpering, but it’s just mental anguish. What a fun event! And the lollipops look delish.

  38. Manggy

    Yeah!! Panko is the bomb. Thanks for reminding me it’s been a while since I’ve had an Ebi Fry! I like dipping Panko-breaded items in Sweet Chili Sauce, but your glazey sauce is a great way to go too!

  39. evil chef mom

    That looks like so much fun. Every time we go to Disneyland, I look at Napa Rose longingly. It sounds like its as good as people say. I can’t wait to see the purple tomatoes!

  40. Shankari

    I missed so many of your posts..i loved the pics of you around mustard greens

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