Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Betting Top Chef

I skipped Tuesdays With Dorie this week. The recipe chosen this week was Floating Islands, and I am always willing to try baking a new sweet, but the preeminent dessert-eater of the household did not seem terribly interested, so I skipped it. Besides, I had a couple bets to pay off, and decided I should get started on clearing those debts. Every season, Mr. Penpen and I bet on the highly entertaining reality-TV cooking show “Top Chef.” There are no Vegas odds to it or anything: we watch three episodes, which we figure is about enough time to know the cheftestants and also little enough so there is a bit of a gamble involved. Then, right before the fourth episode, we write down our picks for which cheftestant will survive elimination the longest - a first choice and a back-up - on a piece of paper and reveal them. Then as soon as someone’s cheftestant of choice is eliminated, the other person wins and the loser is required to cook dinner for the winner. We have a back-up cheftestant to keep ourselves amused in case both our picks go out early in the season, and the prize for this bet is dessert. (We have a similar bet with “Project Runway,” but sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing that one for a while.)

Last season I was the big winner, with season-champion Stephanie as my top pick, and Mr. Penpen made me a delicious paella. This year I went down in flames: I had Radhika as my first choice and Jeff as my second. I have yet to make the dinner, but I have now cleared my dessert bet. I recently purchased a copy of Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O’Connor, knowing it would be chock-full of decadent desserts Mr. Penpen would love, and, not surprisingly, he selected a recipe from that book. His choice? Adult S’mores. Not only is this recipe three layers of gooey goodness, it involves some pyrotechnics, in the form of a brulee torch – not to mention three types of booze. I asked Mr. Penpen if he thought I needed to make an entire 9x13 pan of s’mores (not out of laziness, but out of practicality: we weren’t having company and they do not transport well), and he immediately replied “yes.” He has worked hard to prove me wrong and has devoured a prodigious quantity of the s’mores.

The title of this book does not lie: you really do require a serious sweet tooth to consume treats such as adult S’mores, I can only handle a few nibbles here and there. This recipe gets a 5 for Effort and Mr. Penpen gives this an 8 for Deliciousness, giving it an EDR of 1.6. It's time to go watch "Top Chef" and for Mr. Penpen to eat some more.

1 comment:

Ras Yeti said...

Who's Penpen's pick? 'Cuz it looks to me that Stefan's got a lock on the Tip of the Top.