Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Great Brooklyn Cook-Off

It started as a simple dinner party – the idea was spawned over beer. But oh, the things that can develop through email when us wanna-be-chefs are bored at work . . .

The invitation was simple:


Hello ladies,

Just wanted to see if you and your boys are still into having a little
dinner next Saturday before Kate and Collin's party. Perhaps we could all bring a dish we've wanted to make. Unless Megan wants to call dibs, I'd be happy to play hostess. What do you say? Around 8?

I think I'm going to make something Mexican . . .

Notice the suggestion, "Perhaps we could all bring a dish we've wanted to make." Can of worms, I tell you - and so it began . . .


I'm not sure what I want to make yet - I don't have any Mexi dishes on my to-do recipe list, so let me know what you guys are gonna make when you have an idea and I'll come up with something that compliments.


It could be fun if we all made something from a different part of the world and see how well they go together. I'll let you know what I'm making as soon as I've decided.

Seems harmless, right? Just wait . . .


Hmmm, I have 3 ideas. Tell me which one you guys prefer:

1) Appetizer: I can't remember what the hell this dish is called, but it involves little masa cups filled with stuff. I'd fill some with achiote-orange pork, and some with a veggie thing, like roasted corn salsa and avocado.

2) Terascan chicken soup: Delicious soup made with smoked chicken, corn, zucchini, and lime, thickened with pureed beans and topped with quesa fresco.

3) Pork yum-yum: Can't remember the name of this dish either, but it's a pork loin pounded flat and rolled with a filling that involves raisins, breadcrumbs and chiles. Each person gets a roulade-looking slice topped with walnut cream sauce.


What I have in mind at this point is either Ancho Chilli and Coffee Braised Beef
Short Ribs, or a Tunisian Lamb Meatloaf with raisins, almonds and a custardy topping. . . those were at the top of my to-do cooking list, so . . . thoughts?

Oh, and if we want to go for an international thing - i could also definitely bring one of my new curry dishes, like Thai Green Beef? I also have a lamb and pork. . . .

Can we say I'll be the meat girl?


Man, this is turning into a real cook-off.

(You said it sista)

I'm fine with you and Megan being the meat girls. I'm really not very good at cooking meat,
anyway. But I do excel at vegetables, if I do say so myself (see: smug shrug of the shoulders and pursed-lip smile). So whatever I make will have loads of them. I was thinking about making fresh flour tortillas, too . . .

Now you see where I'm coming from.
Well, things were already beginning to heat up a bit, and then the guys got involved.


This is getting exciting. Josh is a huge fan of ice cream, so maybe he'll want to use my ice cream-making KitchenAid attachment to do dessert.


While all these recipes certainly sound delicious, this culinary arms race
is beginning to scare me a little. I have a feeling that my dessert will soon require butter hand-churned by an indigenous monk in some far-flung mountainous country, a dodo egg, and the blood of seven virgins. And virgin blood does not come cheap.


I know good place for virgin blood. Good price. Cheap for you.

And then the claws came out - Sorry kiddies, this is for grown-ups only.


Wimpy boy can bring the wine, then. ;)


I'd love to make some ice cream. I just don't want to be laughed at should I choose something less elaborate than rose water and gold leaf.

What do you think will happen tomorrow when I start accepting applications for judges?

When I found out the guys would be cooking after all, I volunteered Brad, our resident dressing enthusiast, to make a salad. He's in the kitchen right now, sweating and flipping through recipe books for inspiration, being that he already served his latest fave, pomagranite vinagrette, to the ladies last time we had dinner together.

As for me, well, I'm feeling pretty confident about my prospective entries. However, I need to get to work on drawing up the official contest rules.

Oh, and if you want to smell victory, come take a sniff of what's in my oven this coming Saturday afternoon.


You hear that? Huh?
That's right.
Look out cook-off.

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