Friday, November 20, 2009

Culinary THROW DOWN: Where There's Smoke . . .

There's usually, what, fire? Someone having a snit fit over your cigarette? An engine crashing on along some dirty back road at 2am after the bars have closed? All those things, but with a barbecue pit and a six-pack of Bud thrown in?

Hey, don't look at me. It was Chef Troll's idea for this culinary challenge. And, as usual, we had some spectacular as well as some downright side splitting entries. We had a few MIAs - Karl and Fishy and Kym, to name a few. Boo. And also K9, but that's because her Innernets went down (the Beginning of the End?) and she couldn't participate. Well, I'm going to assume that she would have participated. In that K9 way that she has . . .

Anyhoo. Here's who pitched up with their recipes and/or commentary:

Boxer: It is important to know this about my homie Boxer. Homie don't cook. Homie pours vodka into a lovely hand blown martini glass, pops a few hors d'œuvres presented to her by other people, and then proceeds to tell very funny dinnertime stories. She writes them, too. Her entry for this go-round was a hilarious yet at the same time very informative (banana cake with bacon buttercream!!) restaurant review of Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie's Woodfire Grill in the ATL. Major points for once again thinking outside the box(er).

Sandcastle Mama: 'Tis a dangerous thing, making Moi laugh during the holidays. Every year at this time I pack on a little something I like to call Moi's Festive Season Five. As in pounds. As in, I eat everything in sight because it is all so good and yet because I refuse to carry two sizes of clothing in my closet, I have to also strategically stuff myself into my jeans and hide the Plumber Pant effect with a BoHo blouse and sweater coat. Or two. Still, it's a precarious stuff, so don't make me laugh too hard or move too fast, or I'll bust those seams and be forced to wear my running pants all season. Sandcastle Mama, she busted some seams with this hilarious entree that should inspire everyone to grow up to be a redneck if it means being this funny and having this much fun.

The Mighty Buzz: I call him this because the man is the culinary equivalent of the U.S. mail. Come hell or high water, snow, rain, sleet, or wind, Republitards or Demobrats, the man doth indeed seems to never veer from his singular duty of getting dinner on the table for his family each and every night. Now I know how he does it: Bourbon. This dish scores major points for its use. One of these days, we're all going to show up at Buzz's house with a car trunk full of groceries and cook for him.

Aunty Belle: Speaking of bourbon. Doesn't this concoction just scream, "Aunty"? I have her pictured in my head, oh-so elegantly dressed in something fabulous by Oscar de La Renta, her flowing blonde hair pinned up in a demure chignon, carefully crafting a cauldron of Flaming Café Brûlot for ten of her smartly chosen dinner guests, all without once spilling a drop on her patent snakeskin pumps. And then proceeding to get elegantly tipsy and finally revealing, once and for all, everything that goes on behind closed doors at the U.N.

La Diva Cucina: La Diva, she packs a mighty punch in that petite, stiletto-heeled body of hers and that punch is all culinary. Between her blog and Shamu's Karmic Kitchen, I'm a gonna put on an EXTRA five pounds this year and be forced to wear Gunny Sax and flats and then I will be the laughing stock of my neighborhood, but yes, I will be happy. Happy, I tell you. This entry for Tortilla Soup with Duck made my day. Not because I'm going to jump up into the kitchen to make it any time soon (y'all, I made crab bisque and biscochitos this week and so have done my time for now), but because it is loaded with something I like to call Tremendous Mouth Feel. Oh, stop it. I'm talking about the perfect amalgamation of fats used in this recipe.

Chef Troll: Another mouthwatering soup (okay, chowder). I know I've asked this before, but now I DEMAND an answer: why is Troll still single when he cooks with this much thought, preparation, and skill? He should be a sheik with fifty bazillion wives, only not one of those cranky-ass Arab sheiks, but a Progressive Sheik for the New Millennium, who sends his wives off to weekly shopping sprees at Bergdorfs and then oohs and aahs appreciatively at all the Louboutins they bring home and as a reward for their exceptional good taste, cooks them glorious five course dinners followed by sumptuous deserts and after dinner booze, and then lets them stay up all night and watch Housewives of Atlanta without nary a grumble.


Where was I?

Oh, yeah, I need to declare a winner.

Alrighty then, let's not beat around the bush here. La Diva, chica? You had Moi at the home-fired chicharonnes, and for that, dahlink, you WIN! Grab yourself that Stuffed Golden Chef logo off of Troll's site and wear it with pride.


LaDivaCucina said...

Awwwwww shucks! I won, I won! And graciously accept, thank you.

"I can't deny the fact that you like me! You like me!"

Very well written and witty, as per usual, Moi. Muchas gracias, amiga.

And now, what to do with all this power?! bwahhahahahaaaaaaa!!!!

moi said...

La Diva: Now, if only all that power translated directly into the immediate acquisition of shoes!

sparringK9 said...

congratulations la diva cucina! well done. i am a big fan of tortilla soup and i make it often -with chicken. i will have to try your recipe next time.

moi - this is a destination post. i love these reviews of the food and the bloggers who cook. you are the best judge and writer that could have been assigned to this contest yet again.


and yes i would have given it a go had i been ablee.

have a nice weekend everyone.

LaDivaCucina said...

Size 8 snitches and me want real leatha and four inch heels!!

h said...


Congratulations! Making soup into a MEAL is a real challenge and you nailed it.


Thanks for being a superb Judge once again. Sorry, bout the confusion over judging duties.


You can rectify your status by designing a new THROWDOWN logo/avatar art thingie!

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks Troll and K9! I just added the smoky salsa recipe to my post if anyone wants to try, it was really good on its own.

fishy said...

Congratulations LaDiva! That was a great post. So entertaining, loved the art, loved the conversational style, loved the sound of the recipe even if it did seem as if it was awash in duck fat.

Brilliant judging. Again. I so enjoy your analyses and of course, your food knowledge is now legend. For a minute you had me worried the next throwdown would be in Aunty's court and we would all be having fits coming up with recipes using opossum and pork rinds. As for your vision of Aunty... priceless! However, a time or two reading about the happenings around those Porches, I figgered Aunty had herself the temperament of a fiery red head.

About Troll and his search for Helen. Maybe he should do a Troll version of The Bachelor/Culinary Throwdown and marry the woman who can outcook him?

Love the suggestion/assignment to K9 about a logo design for these challenges. Will eagerly await that post.

Sorry I was a no show this go round. Blowfish is stricken with a hideous case of shingles. The Pond reeks of disinfectant and bleach which are not aromas which stimulate culinary pursuits.
Then too, twice a day I must do dressings on his tortured flesh which looks as if he had a terrible encounter with a large grinder. This too is not really a great incentive to chef around. For a bonus to my week, I have discovered, the hard way, I am allergic to those latex gloves I've been donning 2 or 3 times daily.

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks Fishy, sorry about your hubby's shingles! I've heard they are very painful. Poor guy and poor you too.

Hey Moi, if you want to be perma-judge, I would love that. I like to participate but let's face it, you are THE writer amongst us and are so fair and balanced in your judging. I have an idea for the next throwdown, do you want to judge that too? Or would that spoil it for when you want to join in? What say you? Troll? Anybody else?

Buzz Kill said...

Brilliant post Moi! You can critique without being mean - the Gail Simons of the Throwdowns. Thanks for the nice things you said. I'm actually eating the last of the Bourbon Chicken right now for lunch.

Congrats to Diva on her stunning victory. She had me at duck fat.

And congrats to all the cheftestants. It takes planning and time to do these challenges and blog about them. They're all great reads and I enjoy the heck out of them. Until the next throwdown...

Jenny said...

Yay! I love your recaps as much as the challenge itself and you did a great job in picking a winner. LaDiva's entry was a m a z i n g and done in that way that only LaDiva can do. Does this mean she picks the next challenge topic? Can't wait.

To Fishy - I had shingles 10 years ago and all I can say is: I am sorry for Blowfish. It's a horrible, horrible thing endure.

moi said...

K9: We missed you at this challenge! I was personally hoping for an Obamanation BBQ Rap!

LaD: Real leatha? You betcha. Unless it's a Stella McC pair of shoze and then I'll make an exception.

Troll: No worries at all. And, a delightful idea, wrangling K9 to craft a crafty logo :o).

Fishy: Oh no to the shingles! Those are awful. Take care of yourself. Aunty as a redhead? Hmmmm . . . I can see that, but more along the lines of strawberry blond redhead. Aunty, of course, remains ever mum :o)

LaDiva: I don't mind being the permanent judge. Happy to do it. Could care less if I win or not. I see this as a fun way for us all to share great ideas for breakfast/lunch/dinner with a lil' prize as lagniappe. Oh, and yes, this means you pick the next Throw Down topic and host as well.

Buzz: I gotta full bottle of JB in the cabinet right now with your recipe written all over it. Can't wait to see what you do for Shamu's Thanksgiving Dim Sum. Will egg nog be involved?

Boxer: Yes, she picks the topic. Should be very interesting! Oh, and I'm making bacon butter cream this weekend. Look out, jeans.

LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, Moi, you are judge for the next throwdown! Yay! I already have my idea for the next one...looking at after Turkey Day and before Christmas...Dec. 9 ok for everyone?

LaDivaCucina said...

mmmmm....bacon butter cream....I read Boxer's posted menus twice.....

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Congratulations La Diva!

Moi, you really do a fine job of judging these throw downs. Thank you.

Sorry about my absence, my schedule isn't allowing much time for fun.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Congrats to LaDiva! That soup really did look divine.
Thanks for the comments - the food was bad but we did have fun.

Aunty Belle said...

hooray Diva!!

I must say, this heah was a real clear winner--I was salivatin' in the frist paragraph.

Well done all, but Diva done danced off wif' the killer soup.Dive, doll baby, we'uns look forward to yore theme fer Dec 9th.

Moi, Cherie,

these commentations is jes' a trip. Ya' ought a blog professionally--fer money--to buy shoes and bourbon.

Well done all!

Making Space said...

Congrats Diva and everyone! I had a great time reading everyone's entries. Made my morning's burnt toast seem oddly eccentric rather than just - well, burnt. Heh.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I just can't compete on this topic (and have to juggle TV channels on a regular basis to avoid all the TV chefs who keep popping up everywhere to remind me of my culinary inadequacy).

Cauliflower fritter anyone...?