Monday, December 2, 2013

#50: pumpkin - October 2013

Pumpkin cookoff was held on the 21st of October, at Blühaus. Although people seemed pretty jazzed about it, there were only three competitors, sadly. Nevertheless we all enjoyed ourselves — we definitely had a beer & wine surplus.

autumnal curry
Malloreigh: "I Thai'd Indian'd it" coconut curry with pumpkin, jackfruit, & kale, served over jasmine rice with peas, cinnamon, & cardamom; garnished with coconut flakes & dried cranberries
herb-crusted pumpkin
Jen: "the nutty pumpkin king" baked pumpkin in a dusting of cheese, breadcrumb, & fresh herb; served with a dip of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dill, & sour cream
pumpsicle pie
Ash: "pumpsicle pie" pumpkin-coconut ice cream pie with coconut caramel sauce

Also in attendance were Jeff, Bronwen, Steph, and Sarah.

seconds: Ash
presentation: Jen
pumpkinosity: Jen
creativity: Mal/Ash
overall favourite: Mal
overall winner: Ash

best name: (unscored category) Ash

Saturday, October 19, 2013

#49: salsa - September 2013

Salsa-off was held at Bronwen's Mount Pleasant home on the 8th of September. It seems Sunday cookoffs are destined to be the least-attended, but we still had six entries and plenty of wine.

Jen: "rum runner" grilled pineapple, homegrown tomato, romano bean, spiced rum, & cilantro salsa, served with chili powdered corn chips
mango & avocado
Allie: "mango tell it on a mountain lion" mango, avocado, red pepper, lime, jalapeño, & cucumber salsa, served with Old El Paso chips
Malloreigh: "Catayumyum" tomato, parsley, almond, red wine, & garlic salbitxada served with grilled asparagus & green onions
strawberry & cucumber
Sarah: "salsa refresca" strawberry, cucumber, cilantro, & lime salsa, served with Jen's chips
salsa jam
Bronwen: "this salsa is my jam, yo" tomato, hot pepper, & onion jam, served on cornflour shortbread with coriander
dessert salsa
Ash: "Bluebeard berrybutt" blueberry, tomato, & mint salsa, served on a cinnamon & cardamom-dusted corn chip

Also in attendance was Tim A (of Plate Invaders), who wanted to compete but ran out of time.

seconds: Jen/Bronwen
presentation: Ash
salsify: (best use of theme) Allie
creativity: Malloreigh/Bronwen
overall favourite: Bronwen

overall winner: Bronwen

best name: (unscored category) Allie/Ash

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

#48: the threesome - July 2013

Three-ingredient cookoff (aka the threesome) was held at Mal/Allie/Ash's on the 25th of July. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about the theme, because we had plenty of competitors! Things were a little dessert-heavy — a rarity — but everyone's dishes were wonderfully different and uniquely delicious.

mushroom, cashew, and corn
Malloreigh: "two chicks at the same time" polenta with cashew cream & sautéed wild mushrooms, mushroom & cashew paté, and kettle corn (mushroom, corn, cashew)
cucumber, fennel, and jicama
Kristina: "all around the world, statues crumble for me" cucumber roll with jicama and fennel slaw, in a roasted fennel ponzu remoulade (cucumber, jicama, fennel)
tempeh, hot sauce, and corn
Jen: "Halloween orange and chimney red" hot sauce-glazed tempeh with cracked pepper and a smokey grilled corn purée (corn, tempeh, hot sauce)
peach, raspberry, and brown rice
Chris: "ménage à trois, aka fuck the French" peach-vodka sorbet between fried lasagna noodles, with raspberry sauce (peach, raspberry, brown rice)
blueberry, almond, and sugar
Jeff: "screw you Ben & Jerry's, why do you make breaking up so hard?" blueberry ice cream cake with an almond crust, topped with blueberry sauce & almond brittle (blueberry, almond, sugar)
lime, coconut, and tamil curry
Bronwen: "talk tamil to me" coconut ice cream in a lime half, with sweet lime syrup and a tamil curry praline (coconut, lime, curry)
espresso, coconut, sugar
Ash: "express freeze" espresso granita with coconut whipped cream (espresso, coconut, sugar)
[no photo, I am a failure]
Allie: "fuck you Dr. Jasreen Alibi"* chocolate chip soynut butter cookies (chocolate, soybean butter, chickpeas)
*spelling likely incorrect, but this is Allie's allergist, who is forcing her to eliminate all kinds of ridiculous foods.

Allie competed for the first time but could not taste every entry, so didn't vote. Steph also attended but did not compete due to only recently recovering from a three-week-long battle with shingles. Malloreigh competed in absentia, but returned home from work in time to taste all the entries and vote.

seconds: Kristina/Jen
presentation: Bronwen
creativity: Kristina/Jen
best threesome: Malloreigh/Chris
overall favourite: Jeff

overall winner: Kristina

best name: (unscored category) Malloreigh

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

#47: fusion (second edition) - June 2013

Fusion-off the second was held on the patio of Chris & Kristina's lovely basement suite in Capitol Hill, making it the first cookoff to be held outside of Vancouver proper. It was a perfectly delightful summer evening and we were quite content to spend it outside drinking and eating ourselves silly.

coconut BLT wrap Bronwen: "Charlie don't eat bacon" coconut BLT in a rice paper wrap with cilantro, served with a soy-peanut sauce (North American-Vietnamese)
ajo blanco & onion bhaji
Jen: "the Onion Knight of Gibraltar" ajo blanco (chilled garlic & almond soup) with green grapes & olive oil, served with an onion-kale bhaji (Spanish-Indian)
curry-stuffed peppers
Steph: "Russian to Bangkok" broiled red pepper stuffed with coconut red curry vegetables (Russian-Thai)
rice paper lasagna
Malloreigh: "unlikely axis" rice paper lasagna with shiitake mushrooms, nori, and Japanese eggplant (Italian-Japanese)
lettuce wrap
Chris: "with every bite, you let the Commies win" lettuce wrap with smoked tofu fried in ginger sesame oil, jicama jalapeño cucumber slaw, and five-spice mustard (Cuban-Chinese)
Kristina: "perogokonomiyaki" potato & cheese perogy fried with a chanterelle & cabbage pancake, topped with okonomi sauce & vegenaise (Ukranian-Japanese)

Also in attendance were Jeff Z, Sarah, Liang, Ash, and Alex.

seconds: Bronwen/Malloreigh
presentation: Jen
best concept: Chris/Malloreigh
best execution: Chris
overall favourite: Chris

overall winner: Chris

best name: (unscored category) Chris

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

#46: appetizers & cocktails (third edition) - May 2013

We made an executive decision that appetizer & 1oz cocktail cookoff is so much fun that should be a yearly event, so the third installment was held at Blühaus on the 26th of May. We had yet again only four competitors, and although we'd changed the date from the previous Sunday so that a couple of people could attend, they ended up sadly not being able to attend this Sunday, either. Nevertheless the food was impeccable and we all had a lovely time getting afternoon drunk in our fancy clothes.

sunflower paté
Malloreigh: "rosemary paté" (must be sung to the tune of "Raspberry Beret") sunflower seed & mushroom paté topped with rosemary and toasted walnuts, gluten-free crackers for dipping; served with a rosemary grapefruit gimlet (gin & lime cordial)
mushroom satay
Jen: "a greyhound stole my peanut sauce!" portobello mushroom satay with an herb-ginger peanut sauce; served with a ginger-rosemary Greyhound (gin & pink grapefruit juice)
tempura onion boats
Ash: "beet 'n' bloody" beet tartare with horseradish aioli & capers on a tempura onion slice; served with a pomegranate Bloody Mary (vodka & tomato juice)
dessert sandwich
Chris: "afternoon tea?" vanilla sponge cake with cucumber, strawberries, and peaches; served with a peach-almond iced tea mixed with bourbon & strawberry beer

Also in attendance were Steph & Kristina. Later on when George came home he tasted what was left and joined us for a quick round of Cards Against Humanity.

seconds: Mal/Jen/Ash
presentation: Ash
best appetizer: Jen
best drink: Mal/Jen/Chris
best pairing: Chris

overall winner: Chris

best name: (unscored category) Jen

rosemary grapefruit gimlet
Mal's drinks
ginger rosemary grehound
Jen's drinks
me & Mal

Monday, June 3, 2013

#45: the meatening - April 2013

Meat-off was held at Flatland on the 25th of April, on a lovely spring evening. We spent some enjoyable time on the porch waiting for a couple of judges to show up, because there were only four competitors.

Laryssa: "rib tickler" smoky bbq rib-style seitan sandwich with carrot-apple slaw on sourdough bread
Korean cabbage wraps
Jo: "round, bound, & ground" Korean steamed cabbage wraps filled with lentil bulgogi and mixed rice, served with jalapeño and doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
chicken & waffles
Jen: "dry white toast, 4 fried chickens" traditional waffle with seasoned beer-battered & fried tofu, topped with maple syrup and homemade sweet roast pepper relish
Hayley: "eat my meat" mincemeat pies with goji berries, raisins, brandy cherries, banana, almonds, and chai spices in a classic crust

Also in attendance were Jeff Z and Dan.

seconds: Laryssa
presentation: Jo
creativity: Laryssa/Jo/Jen
meatiness: Laryssa
overall favourite: Laryssa

overall winner: Laryssa

best name: (unscored category) Hayley

Sunday, April 21, 2013

#44: street food - March 2013

Street food cookoff was held at Malloreigh & Ash's on the 21st of March. It was rather well-attended and with enough competitors that almost everyone was too full for seconds. There was also so much wine that at the end of the night there were five open bottles and none of them were quite empty.

a slow, comfortable stew up against a wall
Kristina: "a slow, comfortable stew up against a wall" Australian curried potato pie in a thick lentil soup, with a hot sauce-infused ketchup
sesame peanut potsticker
Nina: "tuktuk drive-by" sesame, peanut, cabbage, tofu, carrot, & red onion potsticker with a balsamic OJ sauce; served with lime zest, sliced mango, and a coconut miso-tahini sauce
plátanos rellenos
Laryssa: "plátanos rellenos" Puerto Rican deep-fried plantain dough stuffed with refried beans and cheese, topped with a creamy cilantro sauce
fancy grilled cheese
Jen: "gooey cheese garden" strawberry, basil, & jalapeño havarti grilled cheese on fresh-baked bread with a homemade balsamic ketchup
kitty onigiri
Bronwen: "oh, niggardly cat!" onigiri (sushi rice balls with nori) with pea shoots and a sesame-miso ginger sauce
pumpkin roti
Ash: "the rotway" roasted chickpea & pumpkin roti with cucumber chutney and shredded coconut garnish
chocolate mochi pudding
Chris: "be very glad I didn't make khlav kalash" chocolate mochi pudding with sweet plum vinegar & molé sauces, garnished with basil
Turkish ice cream sandwich
Sarah: "I love the ice cream man" Turkish rosewater ice cream in a waffle sandwich, rolled in pistachios
cake pops
Malloreigh: "can't pop the beet" chocolate-beet cake pops 2 ways: orange coconut & raspberry cheesecake

Also in attendance was Steph, who burnt her entry and couldn't make a new one in time to compete.

seconds: Kristina
presentation: Bronwen
creativity: Jen
street cred: Laryssa
overall favourite: Kristina

overall winner: Kristina

best name: (unscored category) Chris

Sunday, March 24, 2013

#43: Caribbean food - February 2013

Caribbean cookoff was held at Blühaus on the 21st of February. We had plenty of wine, cider, and beer to drink with our spicy island foods. Unfortunately something terrible happened to my memory card while uploading the photos to my computer, and somehow all the images except one fuzzy one of the very last entry and the ones of the scoreboard were lost, so descriptions will have to suffice here. The entry looks so sad & unfinished without photos...

Steph: "it's hot, but I ain't plantainin'" double-fried plantain chips with a chili-lime honeyed rum dipping sauce
Sarah: "damn, gurl!" gluten-free johnnycakes with a spicy mayo-ketchup dip
Malloreigh: "bubble, bubble, Trinidad doubles" chana masala with fry bread and a cucumber-mango salsa (recipe here)
Jen: "baaaad muthafongo" Puerto Rican mofongo (fried smashed plantains with garlic & smoked salt), with criolla sauce (warm tomato salsa with peppers & cilantro) and fried tempeh
Laryssa: "a winter's night in Havana" pumpkin & black bean soup served with fresh mango and plantain chips
Ash: "patty patty mush mush" Jamaican patties with tempeh & kale
Chris: "tremble before my 2 different kinds of mango" French Guyanese-style rice with rum-fried mango slices and a garlic, onion, & mango sauce

Also in attendance were Jeff Z and Kristina.


seconds: Sarah
presentation: Chris
creativity: Sarah/Malloreigh/Chris
island flava: Steph/Jen/Laryssa/Ash
overall favourite: Malloreigh

overall winner: Malloreigh

best name: (unscored category) Steph/Jen/Chris

Monday, February 18, 2013

#42: après-ski - January 2013

Our après-ski (aka hearty, soul-warming winter foods) cookoff was held on the 17th of January at Nina's cosy new home off Victoria Drive. It was a small one, but we were rather grateful to be pleasantly full instead of outrageously stuffed with rich heavy food. And we actually brought too much wine for the first time in my memory; at least one bottle didn't even get opened! (Likely this was due to the people who had cooking mishaps and had to show up with liquor instead of their intended entries.)

barley risotto
Amanda: "tree on mountain" barley risotto with butternut squash, basil, and tomato
mushroom soup
Jen: "not mush room inside" crimini and porcini mushroom soup with a roasted garlic & basil-spread crostini
harira & anadama
Sarah: "we'll always have chickpeas" lentil-chickpea stew with celery, tomato, & parsley (harira), served with a gluten-free teff/sorghum bread (anadama)
tempeh mushroom pielet
Laryssa: "tempeh mushroom pielets" smoky tempeh and mushrooms baked in a spelt crust

Also in attendance were Nina, Steph, Michael, Ash, and Malloreigh.

seconds: Amanda
presentation: Jen
creativity: Amanda
heartiness: Laryssa
overall favourite: Amanda/Jen

overall winner: Amanda/Jen

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Saturday, January 26, 2013

#41: oranges - December 2012

Our holiday season cookoff theme was oranges, held at Malloreigh's on the 10th of December. It was quite well-attended and everyone was in the spirit of the season (in spite of or perhaps because of Malloreigh's Christmas music playlist).
I forgot my camera and had to use Malloreigh's, and due to my lack of familiarity with her Canon the photos are not quite up to my usual standard. Also a couple of the entry photos got lost in the process, so the descriptions will have to suffice.

[photo missing]
Malloreigh: "mulled wine" warm red wine with spices and a cinnamon sugar rim
[photo missing]
Jen: "champagan" champagne poured over a red leaf lettuce & endive salad with champagne-soaked mandarins, red onion, & dried cranberries in an orange zest balsamic dressing
candied yams
Steph: "rum-I-yam" yams baked with orange slices and rum
orange duck tacos
Dan: "Chinese taco cart" orange faux duck tacos with blackberry salsa and pickled vegetables
mushroom stack
Tim: "M4M"orange-roasted portobello, with oyster mushrooms & shallots in a caramelized mushroom & orange sauce, in a basil-orange dressing
a quarter-cup horizon
Amanda: "a quarter-cup horizon" endive fried with panko crumbs, shallots, and orange juice, with poached clementines, sesame seeds, and sage
fried chickpea patty
Laryssa: "moon plop" fried chickpea, shallot, cayenne, & orange patty with a spicy cream sauce, garnished with mandarin segments & green onions
orange pomegranate sorbet
Ash: "rhymes with sorbet" orange-pomegranate sorbet with an orange spice sauce
gluten-free orange shortbread
Sarah: "bite me, Terry!" gluten-free orange zest shortbread dipped in dark chocolate
chocolate orange mousse cake
Hayley: "the citrus mindfuck" chocolate cream cheese mousse on an orange-chocolate shortbread crust, topped with mandarin & blood orange slices

Ash competed for the first time. Also in attendance were Angelique and Nina.

seconds: Tim/Amanda
presentation: Sarah
creativity: Dan
orangenuity: Ash
overall: Tim

overall winner: Tim

best name: (unscored category) Jen