The Contests

Week 50

June 9, 2010 • 16 Comments

Congratulations to this week's winners!

MySocialChef won Your Best Potato Salad with Spanish Roasted Potato Salad

MySocialChef Spanish Roasted Potato Salad

Midge won Your Best String Bean Salad with Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion, and Marjoram

Midge Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion, and Marjoram

 

Q&A with MySocialChef

  • Swiss Cheese & Chocolate Sandwich
  • MySocialChef's strange but delicious Swiss Cheese and Chocolate Sandwich

Describe an early experience that has influenced the way you think about food.
I was 15 and visiting some cousins in Brussels. After a week of them being amazing hosts, I told them I was going to cook dinner on my final night. They’ve never heard of vodka sauce so I thought this would be perfect for them.

I bought all the ingredients and got back to the house and started cooking. I asked my cousin Francois for her can opener to open the canned tomatoes. She said she didn’t have a can opener.  I asked how she opened cans of food. She looked perplexed and asked, “Why would you buy vegetables in a can when you can get them fresh?”

She wasn’t being rude, but she really couldn’t understand that concept. From that moment on, I resolved to always try to use the freshest ingredients possible. If I can’t get one of my ingredients fresh, I make something else. I still used canned tomatoes, which saves about 2 hours.

What's your least favorite food?
Chicken Parmigiana.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Swiss Cheese and Chocolate Sandwiches (see photo above). It sounds incredibly disgusting, but it’s actually amazing.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
A crème brulee that scrambled! I spent so much money on ramekins and vanilla beans that I was absolutely determined to make it work. I emptied each of the ramekins in a blender, added a packet of powdered gelatin and blended it until smooth. Next, I whipped up some heavy cream, folded it in and turned it into Crème Brulee Mousse. I’ve done it that with other desserts too. It works!

What is your idea of comfort food?
Mashed potatoes. Nothing beats reheating some leftover mashed potatoes with some cream and butter, sitting in front of the TV, curled up in a Snuggie and eating it with a small spoon.

Apron or no apron?
No apron. Splatters and stains give you street cred.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
When Barbara Rose serves her husband Oliver pâté for dinner in “The War of the Roses.”

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
The cast of “The Color Purple.” In character, of course.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
A. Alone. I appreciate the help, but it just stresses me out.
 
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.
C. I cooked it, you clean it.

 

Q&A with Midge

  • Cookbook Shelf
  • Midge's cookbook shelf

Describe an early experience that has influenced the way you think about food.
My parents and aunts and uncles always get together to make pasta for the holidays. I remember thinking as a kid that the texture of fettuccine was so melt-in-your-mouth different than when my mom used store-bought pasta. More importantly, it instilled in me a sense of food/cooking being the glue that holds families together.
 
What's your least favorite food?
Not a huge ham fan.
 
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
For a dinner party recently, friends and I grilled a pork shoulder marinated in fish sauce, ginger and garlic. Turned out smoky and delicious. Also on the menu: a leek tart; Arborio rice salad with soy, cilantro and edamame, and strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert. It was the perfect group effort.   
 
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I’m sure I’ve had worse disasters but one that comes to mind was the Week 42 (?) foray into macarons. I had run out of parchment and stupidly didn’t think to use my Silpat to line the cookie sheets. Bad move.
 
What is your idea of comfort food?
Right now, I’m thinking a soft-shell crab sandwich between two pieces of squishy white bread.
 
Apron or no apron?
Apron, when I think of it.
 
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I love any movie when food is part of the story, but I’m drawing a blank on a favorite. One that struck me recently was Meryl Streep rolling out croissant dough in It’s Complicated.  The scene made owning a bakery seems so romantic (and lucrative!). Hah!
 
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. Any food52ers are welcome!
 
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
I love cooking with others and/or having company in the kitchen, but it does depend on my mood and, um, the company. Baking is more solitary.
 
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.
Definitely a clean-as-a-I cook person.

Comments (16)

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Monkeys

about 4 years ago monkeymom

Congratulations winners and finalists. The 'best meals' from both the winners sound eclectic and fantastic!

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about 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Congrats winners, great recipes and stories!

Profilepreferred

about 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Such creative recipes this week! Congratulations to both winners and the finalists.

Lobster_001

about 4 years ago nannydeb

Congrats to both of you! And to MySocialChef, will you post your swiss/chocolate sandwich?

Petrit_and_aureta

about 4 years ago MySocialChef

Thank you! It's very simple. Check it out on www.mysocialchef.com

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about 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

Congratulations to Midge and MySocialChef!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay Midge and MySocialChef! Congrats on your win! And to the finalists as well! Great recipes.

Summer_2010_1048

about 4 years ago Midge

Thanks! How exciting. And congrats MySocialChef! Do you really own a Snuggie?

Petrit_and_aureta

about 4 years ago MySocialChef

Congrats to you too! I did for a quick minute. It was a gift.

Hib_kitchen

about 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

Congrats to you both! Well deserved. I am intrigued about swiss cheese and chocolate together. I have them both when I have fondue.

Lnd_jen

about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

More great dishes by more great home cooks - congrats to the winners and to the finalists for their delicious recipes as well!

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats to both winners! I loved the recipes this week and really enjoyed reading the intereviews.

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about 4 years ago thirschfeld

Congrats to both winners. Can't wait to try these

Winnie100

about 4 years ago WinnieAb

Congrats and I love the interviews...I am now, of course, determined to try that swiss cheese and chocolate sandwich!

Landing

about 4 years ago saenyc

Congrats! Great interviews, delicious recipes!

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about 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations to both winners - excellent recipes!!