leave your inhibitions at the door
As I mentioned last week, I’m making weekly picks for NFL games along with the Piehole Panel and a guest food item – last week it was an ear of corn. If I pick more than the Pieholes, they get extra chores. If I pick more than the food item, they get killed off (the food, not the Pieholes). If the Pieholes win they get $3 each and if the food item wins, it gets to live to pick another week.
As someone who only follows the Chicago Bears religiously, I very rarely ever watch other games. So I honestly couldn’t tell you whether San Diego’s defense matches up well to Detroit’s offense – outside of historical knowledge that EVERYONE’S defense matches up well to Detroit’s offense. But despite my insulated NFL fandom, I picked 12 games correctly. More amazingly, the ear of corn (who is spun to see who wins, points left=home team) also picked 12 correctly. The Pieholes got 6 right. To put this in perspective, the top score from ESPN’s NFL Experts was 11.
So a food blogger and a dead vegetable picked more than any of the ten “experts” – two which were computers.
I’m usually not one to brag – ok, sometimes I don’t brag – but I couldn’t let this one go. Sure, it’s only one week and we probably got lucky, but I Tweeted results to sports journalists at the Chicago Tribune and CNN. I would’ve sent to ESPN, but I didn’t see a “contact us” link on their site. I haven’t received any responses yet.
Despite the valiant effort, the ear of corn didn’t win. So he’s been, as Magic Johnson used to say, “Essecuted”. I know Corny didn’t exactly lose, but then I wouldn’t get to share two recipes.
Crab Salad with Corn-Sheet Sauce
The first recipe is one that brings Molecular Gastronomy to the home courtesy of Grant Achatz, founder of Chicago’s Alinea. I made it at a dinner group a year or so ago and it was delicious. The corn is pureed and strained to get the juice, which is the basis of the sauce and then frozen in a thin sheet. A section of the sheet is then placed on top of the salad. It then melts at room temperature, evenly coating the salad. It was a stunning presentation. More importantly, the sauce had an intense buttery corn flavor that complimented the ingredients well. Unfortunately, I can’t find my picture of it, so you’ll have to settle for this one from the NY Times.
The recipe can be found here http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/8683/2006/08/27/Crab-Salad-With-Corn-Sheet-Sauce/recipe.html
The ear of corn that beat ESPN met its demise courtesy of my MAC Mighty chef knife. (Still waiting for the endorsement deal). This recipe comes courtesy of Hollis, the guy who runs the farmstand at the Circle K gas station. It’s a southern recipe and out of this world. I tried it with this ear and made it again the next night with a few of his siblings.
1 – Heat a tablespoon each of oil and butter in a pan.
2 – Slice the kernels from the cob and run the back of your knife on it get all the pieces and corn milk. ( I went straight into the pan).
3 – Fry the corn for about 5-7 minutes.
4 – Optional – season with salt, paprika, and/or cayenne. We used just a hint of hickory smoked salt, but it tasted great without any seasoning.
This week’s picks
Our guest picker is a Japanese eggplant from our garden. Maybe it’s because their national sport is sumo wrestling and he’s unfamiliar with the NFL, but eggplant-san is toast.
Oakland at Buffalo – All pick Bills
Packers at Carolina – All pick the Pack
Arizona at Washington -All pick the Rex Grossman-led Redskins
Baltimore at Tennessee – Pieholes and I pick Ravens, eggplant picks Titans
Seattle at Shitsburgh – All pick Steelers
Jacksonville at NY Jets – Pieholes and I pick Jets, eggplant picks Jags
Chicago at New Orleans – All pick Bears
Kansas City at the D – Pieholes and I pick Lions, eggplant picks Chiefs
Cleveland at Indianapolis – Pieholes and I pick Browns, eggplant picks Colts
Tampon Bay at Viqueens – Eggplant and I pick Bucs, Pieholes pick Minnesota
Dallas at San Francisco – Eggplant and I pick Cowgirls, Pieholes pick Sixty-Niners
Cincy at Denver – Pieholes and Eggplant pick Bengals, I pick Broncos
San Diego at New England – All pick the Patriots
Houston at Miami – Eggplant and I pick Houston, Pieholes pick the Dolphins
Philly at Atlanta – Pieholes and Eggplant pick Falcons, I pick Eagles
St Louis at NY Giants – Pieholes and I pick Giants, eggplant picks Rams