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March Madness it is!

12 Mar

Interpreted as you wish.  The main association to “March Madness” seems to be a reference to the NCAA basketball championships, which often feature unlikely pairings, but the phrase also has a more carnal definition.  At least if you’re one of these. 😉

On Saturday (3/16) the kitchen will open at 5:30p, serving snacks and cocktails during prep, with the course/pairings to go off as follows:

  • 6pm: Prep-time snacks & cocktail: FrancineO
  • 7pm: Appetizer: NinaG
  • 7:30pm: Soup: Reid
  • 8pm: 1st Main: RichardM
  • 8:30pm: 2nd Main: JDavid
  • 9pm: Small dish or salad: Alicia
  • 9:30pm: 3rd Main : LisaS
  • 10pm: Desert: BrianH

Feel free to post a comment if you want to announce what you’re cooking, or to alert us to any allergies / phobias / restrictions.  Check the batterie de cuisine for and equipment or ingredient needs you may have, call with any questions, otherwise, see you saturday!

On an administrative note, I think I’ve fixed the broken WordPress-Facebook connection, so we’ll see if this post magically appears on the Facebook page.

Episode #14 assignments & theme.

9 Mar

Theme nominations have been trickling in.  We’re going to have a quick poll, and we’ve already drawn straws for courses — all we need is a theme.  Here is the cast and the courses:

  • 6pm: Prep-time snacks & cocktail: FrancineO
  • 7pm: Appetizer: NinaG
  • 7:30pm: Soup: Reid
  • 8pm: 1st Main: RichardM
  • 8:30pm: 2nd Main: JDavid
  • 9pm: Small dish or salad: Alicia
  • 9:30pm: 3rd Main : LisaS
  • 10pm: Desert: BrianH

And here’s the poll:

We’ll announce the winning theme monday.

Episode #13 Winning Theme is…

4 Feb

Superstition!

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problem, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,
You don’t wanna save me, sad is my song.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh.

Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say,
Very superstitious, the devils on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, no, no, no”

Basically, to celebrate the “unlucky” 13th FMC episode and the first in the “unlucky” year of 2013, dishes should reference something to do with superstition, luck, voodoo, lucky charms, mojo, rituals, etc.

Additional inspiration:

http://www.livescience.com/14141-13-common-silly-superstitions.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Superstitions

http://voices.yahoo.com/27-popular-good-luck-charms-symbols-around-1268943.html

http://astrologyguide.knoji.com/list-of-good-luck-charms/

Course assignments to follow…

Episode #12 Tar Beach course assignments

7 Jul

Utilizing a complex non-random algorithm consisting of Dow Jones Industrial vapor line trends for the last decade of thursdays, cross-referenced with Global periwinkle production figures and migratory waterfowl attrition biases, we have derived the following assignments for Episode #12:

Staging + Prep-time Cocktails & Snacks, served @ the ADVentureLoft™ (10th floor) from 5:30-6:30: Francine & David

Snacks consisting of spicey pecans and vegetable spring rolls served with a white or red sangria.

while everyone gathered and prepped.

From there, we’ll gather whatever cooking gear, ingredients, glasses, & serving-ware we’ll need from the loft at which time we will ascend to our own Tar Beach on the roof… Each of next 4 courses will consist of

[A portioned (ie. plated) dish + A passed dish served family-style + An accompanying beverage]

For timing purposes, we’ll aim for serving the 1st main course ~7pm, and each course served 30 minutes or so thereafter.  For each course, plan on providing drinks, portioned + family-style servings for 12 diners– we’re only 11, but you never know when a mystery guest may stop by.  And good news, there’s room on Tar Beach for us to all sit together — no kids table!

1st main course:  Caroline & Stuart

Shishito peppers and……

chicken satay served with an ice cold sapporo beer.

2nd main course: Suzanne & Kent

grilled pizza topped with a sizzling sunny side-up egg paired with a summertime margarita.

3rd main course: Valeria & Ken

Fresh oysters paired with po boy sandwich.

Dessert course: Cassie & David

Key lime pie with watermelon sorbet.

As usual, amuse-bouche’s are open season and always welcome.  Declare any dining allergies / restrictions to the comments of this post, and contact me with queries regarding ingredients and equipment that we already have on hand (check the Batterie de Cuisine page too).

See everyone soon.

Announcing FMC event #12: Tar Beach

1 Jul

We have a date.  We have a theme.  It’s summer.  It’s too hot to invoke the democratic process.  So here’s the 411:

Inspiration:  To you it’s a rooftop.  To us it’s Saint-Tropez.  The spirit of the Tar Beach dinner is that we’re stuck.  But we’re making the best of it.  We will employ ingenuity and use only what’s available here in the city.  It’s summer.  It’s hot.  Nothing exotic.  Nothing fancy.  Simple, fresh, easy.  Let’s show those fancy-pants jet-setting globetrotters that we can have a kick-ass meal infusing ordinary ingredients with a boatload of creativity.

image poached from Faith Ringgold’s book (click image to go to Amazon and check out the book)

Date:  Saturday July 21, Rain date: Sunday July 22.

Location: The ADVentureLoft™ Rooftop.

Our Tar Beach

Time: 5:30pm for Cocktails & snacks during prep at the ADVentureLoft™.

The kitchen downstairs will be available all afternoon for prep, but we’ll head up to the roof around 6pm where all you’ll have available is a gas grill, a Paella pan and burner (can be used as a griddle), a crock pot, any electric appliance you want to carry, a cold water sink, a VERY small fridge, some coolers filled with ice, whatever knives, cutting boards, tools, pots and pans you want to bring upstairs… and your wits.

We’ll cap attendance at 10… once we have the roster, courses will be assigned… we may doubled up on some, and/or we’ll stick to VERY small portions, or incorporate a couple of assigned amuse bouches just so there isn’t an obscene amount of food.

Post your intentions in the comments to this post.  First 8 to commit are in.

Episode #11 Color Theory — Assignments

23 Feb

Geetha was responsible for supplying the hat, and for pulling names and assignments out of it… If you find the challenges difficult, it’s her fault. 😉

There will be some food restriction preferences on this one– please avoid beef, pork, and shellfish (regular fish are OK, but mollusks / crustaceans NOT)  If anything possibly shellfish-related is a critical ingredient to your dish, it’s not the end of the world — just make sure everyone knows, cause a shellfish allergy is involved.

Also, Richard will be photographing / documenting, and eating, but not cooking, so there will be 9 at the table.  Remember, small portions.  If you will be pairing wine as your beverage, one bottle is perfect.

Here are the assignments:

1. Prep-time Snacks & Cocktails: Lalit

Triadic secondary color chord: Your dish must be composed the 3 secondary colors: green, violet and orange.

So much time has passed that my memory is slipping.  I will post the photos of corresponding courses and add further details later if the artist of each course chooses to add additional information.  Bon Appetit

2. Appetizer: Francine
Contrast of temperature: Your dish must be composed of colors associated with warm and cool sensations.

I chose to make a cold gazepacho soup served with a spicey vegetarian blue corn masa tamale.  Here is what it looked like…..

The cold gazepacho soup was a soothing juxtaposition to the spicey blue corn masa tamale.

3. Main course #1:  JDavid

Contrast of light and dark :Your dish must be composed of one color (any color) in its purest form, along with tints (lighter variations) and shades (darker variations) of the color.
Contrasting primary, tint & shade
Amuse Bouche of what’s to come…..
Watermelon, cherry tomato and red beet…and for the main course:

Filet mignon paired with roasted red beet and polenta colored with beet juice.   Lamb chops were substituted for the filet mignon for those who could not eat beef.  This course was paired with a nice Rosso di Montalcino

4.  Main course #2: Alicia

Complementary contrast : Colors that are opposites on the 12-step color wheel are called complementary color pairs: yellow is the complement of violet, green is the complement of red, blue is the complement of orange, etc. Your dish must be composed of one or more pairs of complementary colors.

Complimentary contrast

Alicia constructed a multi-layered vegetarian lasagna paired with an amazing spring greens and tomato salad.

5. Side / Salad / Amuse: HilaryB

The illusion of transparency:  Your dish must use 3 or more colors to create an illusion of transparency. 2 parent colors seem to overlap, producing a 3rd color, a mixture of the parent colors.

6. Main course #3: Guy

 Make two colors look alike:  Your dish must be composed of 4 colors, where 2 colors appear the same on different background colors.

Two different colors (center squares) appear alike

7. Main course #4: Geetha

Triadic primary color chord: Your dish must be composed of the 3 primary colors: red, yellow and blue.
8. Dessert: Kiri

Make one color (X above) look like two different ones

Paired with a wonderful rosebud infused vodka

An amazing creative culinary experience.  A big thank you to Richard for developing the theme.

 

Announcing Episode #11: 3/10/12 “Color Theory”

21 Feb

Sign-up is open for the next event.  Comment below to confirm — we have four confirmed, and 4 more seats open for this one. We’ll convene Saturday evening, March 10, 2012.  The usual times: prep 5-7pm, etc.

For this dinner, by executive decree, we will forgo the usual polling process to choose the theme.  At the special request of RichardM, the FMC will be participating in a visual arts project involving color theory.   Participants will be randomly assigned one of the following for inspiration of their paired course:

  • complementary contrast: red/green; blue/orange; yellow/violet  (will provide list of complementary colors)
  • contrast of light and dark: one color in its purest form, along with tints (lighter variations) and shades (darker variations) of the color
  • contrast of temperature: colors associated with warm and cool sensations
  • triadic color chord: red/yellow/blue  (primary colors)
  • triadic color chord: green/orange/violet  (secondary colors)
  • illusion of transparency  (additive/subtractive color)
  • make one color look like two  (one color changes in appearance on 2 different background colors)
  • make two colors look alike  (two different colors appear to look the same on 2 different background colors)

Photographic (non-food) examples of the above concepts will be provided in a subsequent post.  The event will be documented for a project that Richard is working on — I’ll let him comment more on that.

Also, Francine has been updating the description of Episode #9 – World Peace, thank you all for your contributions of text!  Episode #10 The Oscar’s write up may coincide with the actual Oscars if we’re lucky.

2/11/12 Episode #10… The Oscars: line-up & course assignments

30 Jan

OK… Oscars it is.  Dishes & drinks will be cinema-inspired — it doesn’t have to be a current film, or even an Oscar winner.  Just somehow movie-related.  Fate, by way of a hat and little pieces of paper with names on them, has determined the course assignments:  You choose the movie, you chose the dish, you chose the pairing.  Switching will be allowed, both parties agreeing.   I’m posting a vague schedule, just so people can plan their prep-timing, but you know how it is… the best laid plans…

8 courses:

5pm: ADVentureLoft open and ready for prep (earlier if necessary)

  • 6pm: Prep-time snacks & cocktail: Andy
  • 7pm: Appetizer: Lisa
  • 7:30pm: Soup: Richard
  • 8pm: 1st Main: Brian
  • 8:30pm: 2nd Main: Francine
  • 9pm: Side dish or salad: David
  • 9:30pm: 3rd Main: Tina
  • 10pm: Desert: Alicia

Amuse Bouche’s are open season — whenever they fit in.  Aim for fancy-restaurant / tapas-sized portions, ie: a recipe for 4 is usually plenty.  If your drink pairing is wine, one bottle usually suffices.  We’ll have bread for the table, and plenty of house-beverages if you’re extra-thirsty.

2/11/12 Episode #10 Theme voting

18 Jan

Remember, themes are nominated by event participants, but ALL FMC members can vote.  Vote early, vote often.  You can vote for more than one theme.

Poll closes Jan 27th, or earlier if there’s a clear winner.

01/07/12 Episode #9 theme and assignments:

28 Dec

Well, voting in the poll yielded a tie between “World Peace”, and “Foods We Feel Sorry For”.  Placing the two themes in a hat, and asking the lovely (and impartial) SarahL to do the drawing after work, I’m excited to announce that the theme for Episode #9 will be….

All we are saying...

“World peace:  Various regional cuisines are written on cards and placed in a hat, then for each course, two are drawn which must be combined to inspire one dish.”

That meant we had a lot more drawing to do: Ten names to assign the course sequence, and then twenty Countries/Regions to match up as the inspiration for each course.  After an exhausting session of post-it notes and a hat, here’s what we’ve got:

  • Thai + Afghani: Prep-time Snacks and Cocktails – JoannaM
  • Morrocan + German: Appetizer – LaurantL
  • French + Mexican:  Soup – NinaG
  • Chinese + Greek:  Main #1 – JDavid
  • Italian + Tanzanian:  Amuse Bouche – KiriM
  • Iranian + Spanish:  Main #2 – PJ
  • British + Korean:  Side / Salad – Francine
  • Indian + Norwegian:  Main #3 – Guy
  • Jamaican + Japanese:  Main #4 – CassieA
  • Ethiopian + Ukranian:  Dessert – MarcJ

Whew.  Remember, courses are paired with a beverage — but the cuisines must be combined in the dish — not simply Kung Bao Chicken + a Greek wine… prepare smallish plates and portions — we’re 10, pretend you’re cooking for 6 and we’ll still have plenty.  Assignments can be swapped.

Speak up if you’ve got dietary restrictions, phobias, or allergies.

On the day of the event, we’re typically out doing a shopping run in the morning, so call or text if you need any last-minute ingredients or equipment.  The AdventureLoft™ will be available starting the late afternoon for prep.  Full details here.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

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