Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Small Dishes

October 2010

Dueling Chefs 2010

10/24/10

Dueling Chefs 2010

Congratulation to this year's Culinary Conqueror, Chef Bee Khang from Sushi Muramoto.  In the final round at the Madison Food & Wine Show, Sunday, October 24  Khang cooked off against Chef Jesse Matz from Bunky's.  The secret ingredient was tomatoes and each chef prepared two dishes for the judges.  Scorring was on flavor, presentation and use of the secret ingredient.  Sushi Muramoto Dish #1Bunky's Dish #1Sushi Muramoto Dish #2Bunky's Dish #2

Posted at 04:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

Fire and Smoke

10/17/10

Fire and Smoke

For me at least, outdoor barbecuing season is over.  I know there’s a cult in Wisconsin that likes to grill out when the snow blows and it’s 20 below.  But when I can no longer tend the Weber in my shorts and flipflops or light the charcoal because of the howling wind (No, I don’t use gas!), it’s time to hang up my tongs for the year.  Furthermore, the directions that came with my smoker say it should only be used when the outside temperature is 50 degrees or above.  That doesn’t mean I intend to forsake grilled and smoked foods until next spring.  I have thought about buying a stovetop smoker—a clever smoking device that works indoors.  As a gadget it fascinates me, but ultimately seems like a make do effort....

Posted at 04:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

Apple of My Eye

10/10/10

Apple of My Eye

Apples are probably the most common fruit of all.  They’re always available at the grocery, but can come from as far away as New Zealand. Too often they’ve been held in cold storage way past their prime. In this country, most come from Washington—about 55%, but are commercially grown in 35 other states including Wisconsin which ranks 12th in production. Regardless, locally grown apples are best and now is the time to enjoy them! The number of varieties is staggering—more than 7,500. In the United States, though, only about 50 are seriously marketed.   They all start out green, but when ripe, their skin can turn red, pink, yellow, orange, brown or just remain green. Apples vary enormously in tartness, sweetness and flavor from one species to...

Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Great Pumpkin

10/03/10

The Great Pumpkin

Big, round and flamboyantly orange, it’s hard not to like a pumpkin.  It’s an iconic symbol of fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  For a long time, I thought they were just great as Jack O’Lanterns or in a Norman Rockwell vision; just so long as they didn’t end up on my plate.  Like many children, I loathed mushy foods and a pumpkin is after all nothing more than a big squash. It’s actually a remarkable vegetable since the flesh, seeds (pepitas), leaves and flowers are all edible. Green pumpkin can be treated like zucchini, but it’s rarely done so in this country. Pumpkin is found on the table in almost every culture. Perhaps if Harry Potter and his pumpkin juice had been around then, I’d have been more motivated to try...

Posted at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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