The Stamford Fairway market is going to have a Firefighters Cookoff at noon on Saturday (June 25th) in the parking lot at the store. Firefighters from Stamford, Darien and Ridgefield will put down their hoses, put on their aprons, get out their tongs and brushes and cook away at ribs and beef and turkey burgers.
You can taste (it’s FREE) it all if you go to the event. The finalist gets a $500 shopping card and the others get $100 cards. So, everyone wins. The judges include baseball star Bobby Valentine and Steve Jenkins, the cheese guru who wrote “Cheese Primer,” among others.
I LOVE cookoffs. I’ve gone to them. I’ve been a judge at several of them.
Mostly, we have cookoffs in our family. It used to be a Mother’s Day event. We would pick a food and my daughters/husbands and Ed/I would compete. We’ve also had a couple of “Cousins Cookoffs,” when all the cousins came to my house to compete.
It works this way: I pick a theme, like “burritos,” and buy caps for everyone, with an embroidered logo that seems to go with the food theme and the date of the cookoff.
The cousins pick a recipe and tell me the ingredients so I can buy them and have them for the appointed day. Then everyone gets a spot in my kitchen (I have a large kitchen) and cooks away.
The grandparents sit in another room and watch the kiddies.
And after everyone finishes cooking, everyone eats, but I am the judge.
It’s my house and my party, after all.
Also, I do NOT cook. But I am in charge of the beverages, usually alcoholic.
One year the theme was burritos. Everyone wins of course. It IS family. I’ll give a prize for most inventive, best appearance, easiest to prepare or any other category I can think of so everyone wins.
Here’s one of the recipes from that particular Cousins Cookoff:
Rachel and Mitchell’s Tofu Burritos
14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil, approximately
hot chili oil
Olivier oil (see below)
finely chopped jalapeno peppers, optional
1 tablespoons Very Very Teriaki sauce (or soy sauce)
1/2 bottle beer
4 large flour tortillas
Jalapeno slices for garnish
Cut the tofu into one-inch squares and set aside. Heat the olive oil and a few sprinkles of chili oil and Olivier oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped jalapenos and cook for about one minute. Add the tofu and cook, turning the pieces gently to coat them, for 6-8 minutes or until browned and crispy. Add the teriaki sauce and then the beer, a little at a time. Cook briefly and dish out to a bowl. Spoon the tofu mixture with some salsa onto a tortilla and roll into a burrito. Top with dollops of guacamole and sour cream. Garnish with jalapeno slices. Makes 4 servings
Olivier oil is a mixture of olive oil, toasted garlic, Parmesan cheese, herbs (rosemary, thyme and peppercorns). You can use olive oil and mix in some fresh or dried herbs and grated Parmesan cheese.