Skip to content


Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Food Fight #4 – Matt’s “Melonhead’s Venison Salad”

Here is my entry for the latest Food Fight hosted by The Pragmatic Chef. This was a fun one because everyone submitted a favorite recipe and then the recipes were randomly assigned to the participants. With the luck of the draw, I was to make Matt’s “Melonhead’s Venison Salad”.

Here is the recipe I was given:

“Slice Venison tenderloins into 1/4 thick medallions. Rub with olive oyl then sear. Add whatever variety of hot sauce or peppers suits your fancy. I prefer roasted jalapeno for the flavor. simmer a little then stir in a pinch of garlic, sesame seed and a couple huge spoons of peanut butter. When meat is done, serve over lettuce and garnish with mandarin oranges.”

Here is what really happened:

First off, I didn’t have any venison, but I did happen to have some elk that I picked up from Exotic Meats. Never having eaten elk before, I was surprised by how dark the meat was and by the thick striations. It resembled flank steak, so already I was thinking this might be one very tough cut of meat. I didn’t slice the fillets as directed because I wanted to treat them like steak and have a little color in the middle. I rubbed them down with salt and then olive oil and seared both sides over med-high heat. I didn’t have any fresh peppers so I threw in a dried hot chili and then two cloves of minced garlic. Next came about a half cup of chunky peanut butter.

I plopped the peanut butter into the pan and quickly realized that this wouldn’t work. Things were starting to burn and the peanut butter remained in a ball no matter how hard I stirred. I was picturing a creamy sauce, so I added almost a cup of water to get the consistency I wanted. It tasted like something was missing so I added a tablespoon of roasted red chili paste. The sauce was now perfect, but it was difficult making the sauce with the meat still in the pan; next time I’ll remove the meat after it’s seared and then make the sauce.

I let the elk rest while I prepared a simple salad of butter leaf lettuce and orange slices. I topped the salad with a little of the warm peanut sauce and thick slices of elk meat. I had forgotten to add the sesame seeds to the sauce, so I settled for a sprinkling on top.

My first bite of elk had me in disbelief over how tender it was; it was like eating an exceptionally good filet mignon, but with so much more flavor. The meat was rich, but not gamey and almost had a sweetness to it. The elk was assertive enough to stand up to the strong sauce and paired wonderfully with the spicy/salty/sweetness of the peanuts.

Delicious and unusual… thanks Matt, I will be making this one again!

Monday, August 1st, 2005

Caffeinated Pork

Three things happened this weekend that brought together this slightly odd dish:

1. The deadline for the latest Is My Blog Burning? contest.
2. My beautiful, Le Creuset Doufeu arrived.
3. A Sunday morning meeting downtown.

I’ve never managed to get it together for an IMBB? contest before, but I was intrigued by the chosen ingredient of tea and wanted to submit (my first!) entry. Despite the freakish 90 degree weather we’ve been having in Seattle, I also wanted to test out my doufeu. Since my meeting this morning was a block from the Pike Place Market, I went in search of some sort of protein. My favorite meat market, Don & Joe’s Meats is closed on Sundays, so I wandered into the bottom level of the Corner Market Building to find a brand new (6 months old) butcher called Fero’s Meat Market (94-A Pike Street). The bone-in pork shoulder looked so amazing that I couldn’t resist.

Once at home I wondered what I could do with pork, tea and a doufeu. I found some delicious smelling Samovar Blend Tsarina (No. 817) from SpecialTeas and brewed a strong cup. It was smoky and a little bitter so I added a tablespoon of honey and then poured it over the pork roast. I added a little salt, a little pepper and a bay leaf, then filled the lid of my doufeu with ice cubes and slid it into a 300 degree oven for three and a half hours.

The result? An impossibly tender pork roast that fell off the bone; I literally carved it with a spoon and the meat fell into shreds as I ate it. There was a prominent and lovely bay flavor with smokey undertones from the tea.

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Does My Blog Look Tacky in This?

In conjunction with the Virtual 40’s-70’s Party, Kevin over at Seriously Good has come up with a great contest:

Does My Blog Look Tacky in This?

The idea is to take a picture of your 40’s-70’s food, doll it up with an inventive name and description and tacky props/lighting/ambiance. You will be judged on your clever use of props and your amazing wit a la Candyboots and The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

This is a great alternative for all of us who never win anything at the incredibly competitive and impossibly gorgeous Does My Blog Look Good in This?. Head on over to for all the gory details. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

And the DMBLGiT? winner is…

Il Cavoletto di Bruxelles wins all with her chocolate decadence:

Mmmm. Congrats!

In individual categories, Brownie Points was rated the most original with that crazy, carbonated fruit!

For aesthetics, Nosheteria takes top honors with a beautiful lemon curd:

And Il Cavoletto di Bruxelles wins again in the eatability category.

Thanks again to all the judges (Accidental Hedonist, Arthur Hungry, MeatHenge and The Food Section) and everyone who submitted an entry! Stay tuned to IMBB for the location of the next DMBLGiT? contest.

To view all the pics again and see the scores go to:

Monday, June 20th, 2005

Does My Blog Look Good in This? – Sixth Edition

I have to say that I am impressed by the quantity and quality of the many entries we received. In fact, we received so many entries, that I had to give “Does My Blog Look Good in This?” its own page.

You can find it here:

The contest is now closed, but thank you to ALL who participated. The judges are busy tallying the scores and I’ll have the final results posted by the end of the month!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

Does My Blog Look Good in This? – Sixth Edition

I am honored to host the Sixth Edition(!) of Does My Blog Look Good in This?!

In case you’ve missed the past few editions, new rules have been implemented and photos are now judged by a panel of five, each giving photos a 1-10 rating for three different categories:

  • Aesthetics – Is your picture purdy?
  • Eatability – Do you want to gobble the subject matter down?
  • Originality – Is your photo unique? Bizarre? Strangely beautiful?

Our esteemed judges for this month are Accidental Hedonist, Arthur Hungry, MeatHenge, The Food Section, and myself.

A:31 E:30 O:29 – Total:90

Chubby Hubby
A:40 E:38 O:30 – Total:108

Taste Everything Once
(Nikon Coolpix 4200)
A:34 E:35 O:32 – Total:101

Grab Your Fork
(Sony Cybershot DSC-P10)
A:27 E:25 O:28 – Total:80
A:27 E:20 O:34 – Total:81

The Adventures of the Tastebuds
(Nikon Coolpix 3700)
A:20 E:19 O:24 – Total:63

Never Trust a Skinny Chef
(Canon Powershot S230)
A:32 E:35 O:27 – Total:94

Walker New York: Eats
A:28 E:24 O:28 – Total:80

Something’s Cooking
(Canon Powershot A70)
A:40 E:35 O:34 – Total:109

Seriously Good
(Canon Powershot S40)
A:33 E:35 O:29 – Total:97

she bakes and she cooks
(Canon Ixus 500)
A:34 E:36 O:34 – Total:104

Clea cuisine
(Nikon Coolpix 5200)
A:30 E:27 O:39 – Total:96

Bunny Pie
A:32 E:38 O:35 – Total:105
(Sharp GX30 camera phone)
A:38 E:30 O:33 – Total:101

Traveler’s Lunchbox
(Nikon D70)
A:42 E:43 O:38 – Total:123

Lex Culinaria
A:27 E:20 O:31 – Total:78

tian & mark
(Nikon Coolpix 4300)
A:33 E:34 O:31 – Total:98

A:33 E:32 O:34 – Total:99

Cooking with Amy
(Sony Cybershot DSC P-1)
A:32 E:28 O:31 – Total:91

Writing on a Paper Napkin
(Olympus C310Z)
A:39 E:36 O:35 – Total:110

Ideas In Food
A:35 E:33 O:44 – Total:112

deep end dining
(Nikon CoolPix 885)
A:37 E:22 O:36 – Total:95

(Pentax Optio S4i)
A:30 E:34 O:29 – Total:93

Brownie Points
(Nikon Coolpix 950)
A:39 E:28 O:45 – Total:112

Babe in the City – KL
(Sony Cybershot F505)
A:29 E:28 O:28 – Total:85

Soul Fusion Kitchen
(Sony Cybershot DSC S40)
A:35 E:37 O:32 – Total:104

Tigers and Strawberries
(Canon PowerShot A80)
A:27 E:30 O:30 – Total:87

(Casio EX-Z750)
A:38 E:40 O:31 – Total:109

il cavoletto di bruxelles
(HP Photosmart 945)
A:41 E:46 O:43 – Total:130

David Lebovitz
(Sony CyberShot T-1)
A:34 E:31 O:34 – Total:99

The Delicious Life
(Canon Digi Elph S500)
A:37 E:33 O:38 – Total:108

Becks & Posh
(Canon 20D)
A:39 E:36 O:36 – Total:111

Simply Recipes
(Fujifilm FinePix 2650)
A:37 E:35 O:30 – Total:102

Cake Fun
(Sony Cybershot DSC P72)
A:26 E:32 O:28 – Total:86
A:27 E:26 O:28 – Total:81

Who Wants Seconds?
(Olympus C-5060WZ)
A:38 E:35 O:37 – Total:110

(Minolta Dimage S404)
A:37 E:23 O:43 – Total:103

Food Migration
(Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1)
A:33 E:28 O:39 – Total:100

(Sony DSC-W1)
A:32 E:41 O:31 – Total:104

A:33 E:30 O:33 – Total:96

Part-Time Pro Bono Baker
A:33 E:37 O:35 – Total:105

A:26 E:30 O:28 – Total:84
(Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20)
A:40 E:37 O:35 – Total:112

Delicious! Delicious!
A:38 E:40 O:33 – Total:111

To Short Term Memories
(Nikon D70)
A:39 E:36 O:37 – Total:112

Roast Chicken Reasoning
(Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom)
A:27 E:30 O:29 – Total:86

Culinary Fool
(Sony DSC-P200)
A:38 E:38 O:37 – Total:113

Plate Of The Day
(Minolta DiMage X50)
A:27 E:27 O:28 – Total:82

A:43 E:30 O:43 – Total:116

(Cannon Powershot A40)
A:45 E:37 O:39 – Total:121

Brandon Eats
A:30 E:24 O:29 – Total:83

A:36 E:29 O:37 – Total:102

A:33 E:36 O:33 – Total:102

Wednesday, February 9th, 2005

I won!

Maybe I’m unlucky, or maybe I’m unskilled, but I rarely win anything. I was lamenting this fact to Zach just the other day. I was telling him how much I wanted to win the MeatHenge Meat Platter Contest, because if I did it would be the third time if my life that I’ve won something.

The first time happened was when I was about eight and tore into a package of Hubba Bubba to find that I had won… a He-Man coloring book. Huh. The prize was really lame and I ended up giving it to my brother, but I was still excited to have won something.

The second win happened when I was about eleven. I was on a diving team and won first place! And second… and third. Okay, so what if I was the only participant in my age group. I still won.

So after a twenty-year gap, I have won yet again. This time I actually like the prize (a book), and there was even some stiff competition. Yes, I came in second place, but I’m still counting it as a win and I will proudly add the MeatHenge Meat Platter Contest to my illustrious career as a winner.

Thank you Dr. Biggles!