Greensboro denizens meet to prove men can cook
My stomach groans and churns as I write this, the effects of a severe gastrointestinal hangover earned after a two-hour eating binge under the chandeliers of the Empire Room on Elm Street.
The event was the annual Men Can Cook fundraiser put on by the Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro, and it was no place for dieters.
The buffet line stretched perhaps 125 yards, with stations staffed by more than 40 professional and amateur chefs culled from the ranks of Greensboro’s menfolk.
Wearing a straw cowboy hat, Pete Schroth, proprietor of the Green Bean, stirred a pot of chili laced with chocolate. Notable Greensboro foodie Brad Semon, of the Painted Plate, carved a big hunk of prime rib while his son Evan served up exotic grilled cheese sandwiches. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, a man who’s done some time around the dinner table, offered a rich artichoke spread and a low-fat avocado dip. Right next to him, CPA Michael A. Brunson rigged up a grill and fired off shrimp and pineapple. Brad Horvath, chef at the new Chop House Grill on Pisgah Church, brought in some big guns, culinarily speaking ‘— a tray of carpaccio served sushi-style with wasabi, capers and herbed oil over hand-rolled rice balls. The most interesting dish, presented by Reto Biaggi, a personal chef, was a layered item consisting of a buttery Parmesan crumble beneath a goat cheese cream, topped with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and served in a shot glass. So good.
But the big story at this event was dessert, with most of the gourmands cruising the tables for homemade ice cream, cookies and cakes. The most notable sweet thing was John Buford’s Strange Cake, a rich, blonde cousin to the brownie which gave eaters a sugar rush that lasted about half an hour.
I myself made white chili, a family favorite that uses white hominy instead of beans and has absolutely no tomatoes. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I missed the deadline for inclusion in this year’s recipe book ‘— but I did, so I’m reprinting the recipe here for everybody who complimented my dish.
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 large white onion, diced
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilis
3 (15.5-once) cans white hominy
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cilantro, chopped
5 white corn tortillas, fried
Season the turkey with salt and pepper and then brown it and set it aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and then sautÃ© the peppers and onions for five minutes. Then add one tablespoon of chili powder, a teaspoon each of cumin and crushed red pepper, the minced garlic and the green chilis and continue to cook over medium heat. When it starts to smell great (about four more minutes), add the hominy and stir for another two minutes. Then add the stock and introduce the turkey to the mixture. Make it bubble. Add the milk at the end, cook it down and dish it up with tortilla strips and chopped cilantro for garnish.
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