Friday, August 14, 2009

Contest Winner Chooses 5 Super Gourmet Foods

By Cal Orey

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go. Ever notice we sometimes wish we were somewhere else--even stranded on an exotic island for one week with room service. The glitch is, in this fantasy which I dreamed up for The Writing Gourmet's contest, you only get drinking water (of your choice), all the fresh fish you can eat (cooked the way you like) and five gourmet foods...

While some contestants tempted me with their choices, from the omlete, ham sandwich (I'd order it Italian style), polenta to chocolate, I went with the most well-balanced selections that appealed to me for being healthy, creative, and bold. And Bob is the winner! Congrats to you for making this island dream become a reality of sorts. Here, take a look.

3. Manicotti
5. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Whipped Cream

I thought about this hypothetical scenario. To make it work I'd be demanding with my orders. Think Sally (played by Meg Ryan) in the classic film When Harry Met Sally in the scene when she orders her meal. She gets it the way she wants it...

For starters, the Caesar Salad: I would ask for a meatless salad with added spinach lettuce to the romaine plus tomatoes. Whole grain croutons. This popular salad boasts plenty of vitamin A and potassium. Guava is high in fiber and contains more than 5 times the vitamin C of oranges. Yep, I'd have fresh squeezed juice in the A.M. and for a snack at night.
Manicotti? I'd request that it be prepared meatless with whole grain pasta, olive oil (I can't forget this since I penned The Healing Powers of Olive Oil), and homemade marinara sauce with lots of juicy, organic tomatoes. Of course, I'd team it with fish--lobster (it's low in saturated fat, a good source of B12 and more good perks, not to forget it tastes sublime), for sure!
Next, the treats such as ice cream would be all-natural dark chocolate. I'd love the good-for-you compounds day after day as I write in the forthcoming book The Healing Powers of Chocolate. (Click the above link in the list of five foods to see my gourmet chocolate ice cream taste test.) And the pie would be made from scratch. Fresh and health-boosting strawberries and rhubarb are a must with a whole grain crust; the whipped cream would be fresh, all natural, of course.
The bottom line: It's all good. I'd survive in luxury. And so would you. Let's go do it!


  1. Brainstorm. You can do this for a day at your own home without going anywhere! Since I'm the one who doesn't like to cook/bake--I may be tempted to take some shortcuts. I'd order a gourmet all-natural homemade pie (that's going to take some work); the salad is easy to do; ice cream--got it covered; manicotti I can make as well as the lobster (a task).

    Do you feel this would be an easy day of cooking/baking?

  2. No meat in Caesar Salad. I've had one from the original place where it comes from the Caesar Hotel in down town Tijuana Mexico. That was one of the best dinners I've had there. I've been there several times over the years and it's always as good.

    I've been making my own pasta for a couple years now and I have to say fresh home made pasta is the greatest. I saw a English chef that has a TV show on cooking do it on a late night talk show in minutes. I liked buying fresh pasta but still that's not as fresh as making it and eating it that day. The quality, thickness and taste are all so much better. I make it with butter, black pepper and fresh grated cheese. The dry stuff pregrated works but it's nothing like doing it fresh where the cheese is soft and not crusty like the stuff in cans or bins. Cook 5 minutes, add a cup of cold water to stop the cooking and drain. Though the goodies on and eat.

    I see the company in Italy makes newer pasta machine which are manual but you can get a motorised add-on. They also make ravioli add-on maker.

    I've wrote to the factory in Italy and the owner is very nice. Said I eat my pasta then she does. They have machines from around $30 dollars to several thousands for a full on kitchen in a restaurant. They also come in nice pastel colors, mine an older one, was chrome plated.

    Ice cream, never thought I see that there was much difference in it. Sure there are premium brands but I tasted some home made ice cream at the casino,(REd Hawk) not to far from me. It's so good even vanila is better then any store bought. Last time I was there they had fresh blueberries added to vanila ice cream.

  3. I slept on this one and realized there is a school of thought that we shouldn't eat fish more than 3 days per week. Tom Hanks did OK in Cast Away...
    But if we're keeping real, I guess fish of any kind 3 times and then manicotti (with quality lean poultry in the sauce?) could suffice for dinner (fixed in different ways, of course, since it's fantasy).