Gather around, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare to behold a freakish parade of blue foods from around the world. Contestants were asked to create appetizing dishes that incorporate the theme “blue food.” Guest judge Michael Ruhlman says his main criteria is, “Does it look like you want to eat it?” The winner gets two tickets to Blue Man Group on a date of his or her choosing.
So click ahead to see the entries. Declare your favorites in the comments and perhaps they’ll influence Michael’s vote the way that Simon Cowell influences America’s vote on American Idol. On We Go!
[These entries are posted in the order they were received.]
1. The first entry is from Glenna of A Fridge Full of Food who took a very scientific approach to the task. She explains in her blue food post that since weight-loss is a recent goal, she’d make her foods purposely unappetizing to make herself eat less. I think she did a good job:
Those are strawberry muffins with a blue glaze and (barf, excuse me) blue deviled eggs. In her defense, I think she misunderstood the point of the contest: to make blue food appetizing. But it makes for an amusing post and a fun way to start our parade.
2. Vanessa of Vanessa’s Recipes offers up Vanessa’s Lake: Soup of Asparagus, Artichoke and Leek. The soup looked lovely…
But for the contest she needed to add blue, so she used an article she read about garlic turning blue to color the lake:
As she writes, “Doesn’t it look frighteningly like Smurf-Berry Crunch? It’s practically the color of chewed cardboard. Not that I’ve ever chewed cardboard, though I had a gerbil once that was quite fond of it.”
3. Brilynn of Jumbo Empanadas gets a bit cocky about her blue food and writes, “After seeing my blue concoctions, I don’t know how you could argue that blue isn’t appetizing.” She offers up blue oatmeal with candied nuts:
A blue martini:
And blueberry pie:
Brilynn concludes, “The ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli to represent heaven, and I’m with them. As far as I’m concerned blue is wonderful in every possible way, be it in your food or otherwise.”
4. A question is raised by Rachel R., who e-mailed me a query: “Is this blue enough?” and sent me a link to her blueberry key lime sherbet:
What do you think, hungry masses? Is it blue enough?
5. Jami Moss of The Newlyfeds went blue CRAZY and made so much blue food that her most recent post on her blog is, “Blue Hangover.” She made a blue martini (recipe on her blog):
Blue cornbread (made with blue cornmeal; she promises it’s blue on the inside):
Buffalo Steak Salad with Blue Cheese:
And, finally, a blue velvet cake:
Explains Jami, “Belatedly, I realize that the entire point of the Amateur Gourmet’s Blue Food Contest is to make blue food look “appetizing,” not necessarily chronicle the efforts of a slightly off-balance person to produce blue food without blue food coloring. Nevertheless, the hotly pursued Blue Velvet Cake, while not aesthetically stunning or really even that blue, was actually . . . good.”
6. A straight-forward entry from Andrea Lynn of Madison & Mayberry: “Tilapia battered in crushed blue corn chips and polenta with a blue cheese sauce. (and there’s bok choy with garlic-chili sauce except it’s not blue.)”
7. Beth F. of Hold The Raisins submits blue pizza!
She made blue pizza dough from “Jeffrey Steingarten’s recipe (with a few modifications)” and topped it with “tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola and bacon.”
Concludes Beth, “I’m not 100% confident that my blue pizza LOOKED delicious, but it smelled and tasted fantastic. (Then again, my shoes would probably taste great with that much gorgonzola and bacon.) I ate the entire thing, so I consider it a success.”
8. The final entry is from Rebecca Lando of Bringing Down The Cool. In a meal she calls “Deep Blue Sea,” Rebecca presents four dishes on one lovely plate:
(Clockwise, from bottom left)
– Blue Fin tuna in a blue potato and sesame crust;
– Blue corn and gorgonzola polenta with caramelized onions on arugula;
– Blueberry-mango upside down Southern skillet cobbler;
– Blue corn crusted blue crabcakes with a spicy buttermilk blue cheese
And in close-up:
Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry to this contest: they’re all entertaining, and some more enticing than others. But that was the point, wasn’t it? Michael Ruhlman’s judgment to follow at his earliest convenience. In the meantime, do your own judging below.