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Election Week

November 6, 2012

I can’t believe election day is finally here. Unless downstate is entirely disenfranchised from the hurricane, my fair state seems to be a lock for Obama. Although downstate continues to be a mess. Still, I don’t think even the radicalized fringe of the Democratic Party is suggesting Mitt Romney had anything to do with the storm. Thank God.

But where I am there are other interesting races. Thanks to some bizarre redistricting, I’ve spoken to two opposing candidates in person. One showed up at my door. The other called me on the phone. Oddly, it wasn’t a robo call. It was actually the man himself. That was a surprisingly interesting conversation.

And in California of course they are voting on proposition 37.

Hopefully the election is clear and decisive so it can be truly over and we can all get back to our lives. Because when the dust settles, I’m going to need your vote for something that has become strangely important to me. But as trivial as it is, it is still important. And all you have to do is click your mouse two times.

Okay. Did you get that last part. All I’m asking is for two mouse clicks from each of you. It’s not going to cost you any money. Provided you are on Facebook, you don’t have to sign up for anything. You don’t need to sacrifice your permissions. Your privacy is as secure as it always is within the very public world of Facebook. And it just takes seconds.

In fact, the paragraph you just read took longer than what I’m going to ask you to do next. I will explain what it is I’m talking about and why it’s so important to me. But if you wanted to skip it all, you could just click here and then click “Like” on the photo and be done with it. If you just did those two things, you have made the Profussor a happy man.

And don’t we want a happy Profussor?

Now you may be wondering what makes the Profussor happy. Well, winning, for starters. But your votes aren’t going to make me win. Your votes just get me to the dance.

Allow me to back up for a moment.

Recently a recipe contest came across my radar. Last year Deanna from Silly Goose Farm entered and made it into the finals. It’s hosted by Bellini’s Italian Restaurant, Different Drummers Kitchen and Hannaford. There are $3,000 in prizes at stake. But this isn’t like other recipe contests, because the big prize here is getting your dish on the menu.

I’ve already cleared the first hurdle, which was creating an original recipe and sending it in along with a picture to the judges. It’s supposed to be Italian/American inspired. And I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with. I say we because this was a real team effort.

After consulting with ADS, he encouraged me to base the dish of the classic Tuscan recipe for Tonno del Chianti. As it turns out the “Tuna of Chianti” is actually pork shoulder that has been simmered in olive oil for hours. It’s deeply flavored, meltingly tender, and would be a good fit on the Bellini menu.

Chianti is in Tuscany and Tuscans love their beans. Plus beans and meat are two of Little Miss Fussy’s favorite things. But all that heaviness needs something acidic and crisp to perk it up. So a simply dressed salad of vinegary shaved purple cabbage crowns the plate. It’s a blend of textures and flavors, with vibrant colors and authentic Italian preparations. Even the technique for the salad is influenced by the Italian Goddess of Fussy.

To make sure the dish was competition worthy, I made it for Albany Jane, Albany John and Garnish Marketing. A double blind olive oil tasting was involved to inform the decision of which oil should dress the shaved cabbage. Plating options were discussed. Photos were taken. The name of the dish was finalized. Italian pork and beans were enjoyed by all. Or was that Italian pulled pork.

No, officially we went with Tuscan Braised Pork with White Beans and Shaved Red Cabbage. I’m told that the recipe needs to be unpublished for this contest. So I can’t share it with you yet. But I can tell you we steered clear of words like “poached” or “simmered in olive oil” or “confit” even though all of those are descriptive of how this meat is so delicious and moist.

The killer part is that the judges will never even get a chance to try this stunning dish if it doesn’t receive enough Facebook likes. Yes, the semi-finals is merely a popularity contest. The top five dishes of the twenty that made the semi-finals will move on to the finals.

Right now I’m starting off a bit behind. But with your help the gap should be easy to close.

So I need your help. Please click here and then click “Like” under the photo of my dish. I’m going to assume you just did it. If you didn’t, please go back to the beginning of this paragraph. I’ll wait.

Now if everyone who reads this decides to lend a hand I should make it into the finals. But I’m also a realist and understand that despite just requiring two clicks some people just won’t do it. So please, help me spread the word and share the photo with your friends. Please encourage them to vote for this variation of Tonno del Chianti. And it’s not just so that I can win, even if I make it into the finals, I could still lose. But making it into the finals will accomplish something important.

I want the judges to taste something that’s authentic Italian and based on classic flavors, yet still resembles little of what’s available on Italian menus throughout the region.

We’ve only got a little bit of time. The ballots close at 1pm on November 9. So until then, prepare to be inundated by more requests from me to go vote. Because honestly, if I can’t get you all to click two links on the internet when you are already on the internet in the first place, what chance do I have of getting anyone to change their thoughts on food or improving the food they eat?

Have a great election day. And just don’t forget, if you like voting, the polls are open for this contest until November 9 at 1pm. My Tuscan braised pork needs some love. If you have a blog, please consider blogging about it. If you tweet a lot, please consider sending it to your tweeples. But sharing it with your Facebook friends couldn’t be easier.

I don’t ask a lot of you, and your support in this would mean a great deal. Thank you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 6, 2012 5:23 pm

    I would have done something based on pasta alla Genovese. In any event, good luck!

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