Published Oct 19, 2005

I got back on track tonight with a win in the cooking competition. My Thai Beef Noodles turned out tasty — I believe the flavor was described by one of my competitors as “very smooth.”

In all honesty, it wasn’t my best work. I used ordinary soy sauce, and forgot how salty it could be. While the dish was full of flavor, the salt really did overpower everything. I was worried that this problem would doom me to an easy defeat, but there seemed to be something in the air this week — my main opposition’s dish came out a bit too spicy. It was a good Asian dish, featuring some tasty veggies and a great peach chutney, unfortunately overpowered by the spicy.

We also had a new competitor, and, prospectively, two more next week. The new competitor had a good start, barbecued chicken and pasta; I’ll be excited to see what he brings next week.

And I’m excited about my handiwork. While the Thai Beef Noodles were too salty, they were well-executed. The rice noodles — which I’ve always made gummy in the past — were the right combination of soft and chewy; the onions and chilis and fish sauce melded together into a single wonderful flavor; and the beef was cooked just right and cut into pieces of the right size. I executed well, and would have pulled it off against most competition, but for the saltiness. So, next time, I’ll be even better. Next week, I’ll take it again. I wonder what I’ll pull out of my recipe file?

Now I just need that sucka who I’m trying to make a trade with in one of my Fantasy leagues to pull the trigger. I mean, he’s got Jamal Lewis, he needs Chester Taylor (Jamal’s backup, who’s been better so far this year), I have Chester Taylor, I need a Wide Receiver, he has Deion Branch as his #3 out of 5 perfectly serviceable receivers, what’s the holdup here?