Her Honor, Judge Gansie
Hi, it’s gansie. So I really do hate when a blogger starts getting, um, well new gigs and writes incessantly about the new gigs and stops writing about what you originally came to the blog for. Here’s an example. This is all to say, of course, that I am going to talk about myself and my new gig as a famous person.
Last weekend I was asked to be a JUDGE for a contest. Yes, me, a judge. ES’s good friend, Britannia, passed my name along to be the food judge for the third annual Progressive Dinner. (Full Dis – In order to make this contest fair, Brit decided to stop commenting and posting for the duration of the contest planning.)
But this night was way more than just a dinner. It’s 120 gay men, spending close to 10 thousand dollars, enjoying a night of: eating, drinking, dancing, lip syncing, decorating, and wearing itty bitty underwear-as-outwear. It was fucking amazing. Luckily my sister was in town to be my “assistant” as I ate my way through the night.
Continue to read about the actual food.
The “appetizer” group rode with an airplane theme – all with matching uniforms of white shirts and pink ties. The food was served in plastic trays and they even had a flight attendant roam the room with a cart that looked exactly like the ones on a plane. No clue how they got that (or maybe we don’t want to know…) The food was spot-fucking-on and although they didn’t win overall (it was sooo close!) team “TWGay” easily won the food category. More on the exact food later in this post.
At the end of our safe — they passed out condoms — flight, all the guests were handed invitations to a wedding (pictured above.) The “entree” team stepped it up with many men in drag, wearing great dresses. And I swear this is true, the man playing “Diondra the Bride” actually got fitted at David’s Bridal. Or at least I think that’s what he said as I downed my 3rd glass of champagne. And the Lynchburg Lemonade wasn’t half bad either. The themed wedding boasted typical Southern wedding food, or at least what I think would be at that event: biscuits, corn muffins, mini pork sandwiches, green beans, mac and cheese, a full out ham under a heat light with an “attendant” carving…
The decor, costumes and performance was incredible at this house (they even painted the living room peach for the event and rented a U-Haul to move out the furniture) so even though some of the food tasted like it had been bought, the wedding won the night.
The “dessert” team (pictured at the right) faced challenges simply because they were the last to present. Everyone was drunk and rowdy and couldn’t concentrate on the ascetics of their Candy Land themed food.
While there was a plethora of average tasting brownies, cookies, cakes and candy canes, I do remember two pretty amazing desserts. There was some sort of mint bark: white chocolate layered with milk chocolate with a mint taste all around. There was also a mint flavored mouse type thing, I think served in a martini glass. Ugh – I wish I could remember. Bad judge!
So for the food that I may have misrepresented, I apologize and please feel free to fill in the details in the comments section. And thank you to all the participants of the Progressive Dinner. I, and I think I can speak for the rest of my co-judges, were honored to be apart of your *gay* night.
As for the winning team, here’s Britannia taking you through the recipes.
Team Appetizer: TWGay (portions are for 100 people)
Soy Ginger and Citrus Pan Seared Sea Scallop
I kind of winged the marinade for this, I used equal parts fresh lime and lemon juice, about 1 cup of each. Mix with 8tbsp of grated ginger, 2 1/4 cups of Soy Sauce and a 1/2 cup of Sesame Oil. Marinade the scallops for no more than 5-10 minutes or they will get soggy and break up when searing. I seared each side for no more than 5 minutes, searing 100 of these little rascals takes time so I wasn’t 100% accurate with timing. Once the scallops were cooked I stored them in the oven until I needed them, on 150F. I reduced the remaining sauce and used as a drizzle. Not forgetting the black sesame seeds, I cooked these ahead of time, just 5 minutes in a pan. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the scallop then add the sauce, the perfect scallop, if I do say so myself and according to Judge Gansie.
We stole from Epicurious for this one but instead of using vegetable oil we replaced it with black sesame oil, and well, basically multiplied by 10, so yes… 60oz of Japanese buckwheat noodles etc. You get the math!
Vodka Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt
Peel approximately 300 cherry tomatoes, both red and yellow. Boil water and place tomatoes few at a time in the water for about 10 seconds then place in iced water, peel. This is a long and tedious process, we had 4 gays (they are so disciplined) working on this for about 2 hours, we found that the tomatoes from Whole Foods were more difficult to peel than those from Giant. Soak in vodka for about an hour before serving. Once served sprinkle with pepper salt. Eat enough of these and you can get drunk without even drinking a drop!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Baked Pita Chips
50 cloves garlic, minced
25 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained (yes, 25 CANS)
7.5 cups tahini
7.5 cups lemon juice
12.5 cups roasted red peppers
6 tsp dried thyme
A few sprinkles of Old Bay to spice things up.
In an electric food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and basil; process until the peppers are finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to a LARGE bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
The baked pita chips were just pita bread, baked for 10 minutes with a brushing of olive oil with minced garlic, some we sprinkled with white sesame seeds and brushed with sesame oil. We used 80 pita rounds cut into quarters and halved.
Here is the final product and not forgetting the cart, just to impress you even more we served these from an airline trolly dolly…
Remember, we’re gay, we go all out!
Thanks for flying, TWGay… Here are your nutritionists (I’m not telling which one is Britannia)