The Contests

Week 30

January 20, 2010 • 6 Comments

0 Save

Congratulations to this week's winners!

TasteFood won this week's contest for Your Best Way to Cook a Whole Fish with Whole Baked Fish in Sea Salt with Parsley Gremolata.

Porktopurslane won this week's contest for Your Best Couscous Dish with Fregola Sarda with Caramelized Squash and Charmoula.


(TasteFood's kitchen, including her French farm table)

TasteFood

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Studying cooking in Paris gave me a whole new (embracing) perspective on butter.

What's your least favorite food?

Fast processed food.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
I made gravlax, a whole side of salmon that I cured in sugar, salt, lemon, aquavit and dill for 3 days, then served with toasted brioche and honey dill mustard sauce. That was good.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
Many years ago I lived in a high rise apartment building in Harvard Square. I was boiling eggs for potato salad, and my brother called me on the telephone. I went in the bedroom to take the call and forgot about the eggs-that is, until the fire alarm went off in the building. The water in my pot had evaporated, and the smoke set off the fire alarm. All 10 floors of the building had to be evacuated.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Rustic, family-style food that's authentic to any regional or ethnic cuisine.

Apron or no apron?
No apron-usually.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
"Babette's Feast" remains #1, but there are so many others. For instance, in Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino," his character's racist mindset is whittled down by the gestures of his Asian neighbors and their repeated gifts of food which he ends up loving to eat.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
It would have to be Julia Child. I love her unflappable spirit, share her enthusiasm for French cuisine and admire her efforts and success at making French cooking accessible to so many Americans. Thank goodness my mother watched her show.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.
It depends on my mood, but usually alone.

When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

Clean as you cook.

Porktopurslane won this week's contest for Your Best Couscous Dish with Fregola Sarda with Caramelized Squash and Charmoula.

(Porktopurslane giddily clutches her new stand mixer.)

Porktopurslane

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

As I entered the second decade of my life, I met Liana, a transplant from Azerbaijan who had landed in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a tiny town outfitted with little more than a bowling alley, a bank and a meat and three known as The Mason Jar. Liana lived a five minute walk from my humble yellow-shingled home, and as our relationship grew, I spent a lot of time at her house, which she shared with her parents, older brother, maternal grandparents and a very large Husky who, to my dismay, didn’t understand a word of English. Despite the language barrier, I felt adopted into this fascinating family. I was coined “Mishka” by Liana’s father, who spoke to me in Russian only. I eventually learned to translate via context clues. Fortunately, the questions posed usually related to food: “Have you eaten?” and “Are you hungry?” most often.

Mornings meant potato pancakes, grandma’s homemade bread (which I was never allowed to cut), softened butter and several jars of jam. Black tea, a symbol of hospitality, was continuously brewing. Lunch was a time for grazing on sliced cucumbers, kidney bean salad, pork and potato soup and ikra, a cold eggplant and bell pepper mixture I would, and still can, eat by the quart. Oh, and of course, more bread and butter. Supper was always an extravagant feast–lavash, bowls of herbs, soups like borscht and dovga, pickles, olives, feta, grape leaves stuffed with cinnamon-spiked rice and beef and meltingly tender barbecued lamb.

The meals I ate with Liana and her family opened my eyes to a poignant, new world-one in which food, family, and friends are at the center of life. It’s a world I know happily call my own.


What's your least favorite food?

Fresh tomatoes-heirloom or not. Isn’t that weird?! I don’t really dislike them-as I can’t think of any food I actually abhor-but they are definitely my least favorite.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?

Since we’ve only been in 2010 for a whole 20 days (during which I’ve been quite busy + out of my kitchen), Anson Mills oats with raw cream + honey is the only contender, and thus the winner.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

I once dropped a blender full of chocolate milkshake on the kitchen floor. The blender cracked, its contents splattering everywhere, and the floor was left with a massive dent. Luckily, my husband (who is entirely unflappable) calmly led me away from the scene and returned to the kitchen to take care of the mess. Later, I soothed my nerves with a big bowl of ice cream.  

What is your idea of comfort food?

A perfectly cooked, super-fresh egg, good toast, softened butter + a cup of black coffee. Simple, classic, familiar.  


Apron or no apron?

I have a Libeco linen apron that I adore. I love that I can keep a towel handy draped across the string, that I can slip a small moleskin + pen in the pocket for making quick recipe + tasting notes, and that it instantly puts me in “cooking mode” every time I wrap it around my waist.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

The entirety of "Eat Drink Man Woman." Is that cheating?  

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?

This question requires too much contemplation. I could never choose.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.

c. Definitely depends on my mood and the context of the meal. Will they help with the dishes?

10. When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

a. Always clean as I cook. I did my first externship out of culinary school at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The kitchen there is immaculate, and you are expected to keep it that way. Cleaning as you cook is a good habit that, fortunately, I picked up early.

 

 

 

Comments (6)

Default-small
Default-small
Ls

about 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Congrats! I discovered your blog some time back and am already a fan. Love your palate!

Food52_photo

about 4 years ago ENunn

Delightful! Delicious! Divine!

Susan_headshot

about 4 years ago Food Blogga

Congratulations to you both! Two amazing recipes from amazing cooks.

Dsc_0019_2

about 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

congratulations winners!

_50u9297

about 4 years ago shayma

congratulations, girls. very nice recipes.

Lnd_jen

about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Congrats to the winners - two fabulous recipes!