It’s a #BlogEATBlog World….four people, hotdog toppings and a Sunday in Brick Lane

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday March 13 @ 9:53 pm

This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to take part in the third heat of #BlogEATBlog, a good natured cooking contest involving some of the web’s leading food bloggers and tweeters, and the superb hot dogs of Big Apple Hot Dogs.

The task was straightforward – make my own gourmet topping for a gourmet hot dog. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks.

After multiple test runs and a frantic Saturday producing litres of the final mixture, I had produced my ultimate hot dog topping – a creation I’ve called Damson Relish:

Recipe (made in small batches)

  • 2kg Home Made Gherkins – diced
  • 800g Red Onions – Coarse Chopped
  • 20 Red Chillis – finely chopped
  • 20 Green Chillis – finely chopped
  • 200ml – 10yr Old Single Malt Scotch – we used Ardbeg
  • 1litre Damson Mixture
  • Rosemary – to taste
  • Cumin – to taste
  • Paprika – to taste
  • Cajun Spices – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • 40 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon

After two weeks of pickling in a secret mixture of vinegar, spices and seeds in the cupboard where we keep the snow shovel, vacuum cleaner and the electricity meter, drain the gherkins and dice into nice big chunks, then fry off the excess moisture and put to once side.

Coarsely chop the onions and then marinate in the Scotch. Hold back some of the scotch for use later.

Finely chop the chillis, mix with the marinated onions and lightly fry off the excess moisture.

Recombine the gherkins on a low heat, add salt and spices to taste and stir in.

Then add the Damson mixture and simmer on a low heat.

Add in the rest of the Scotch once the mixture starts to thicken. Then allow the mixture to simmer and thcken some more until sticky.

Rest and cool.

You then end up with something like this:

Thanks to Sue Aron at The Art of Puddings for the help on the Damson mixture front.

On the morning of the contest, I crispy fried the bacon and blitzed it into small pieces for sprinkling on top of the mixture.

So, having created the mixture and loaded it into Tupperware boxes, I headed to Brick Lane’s Vibe Bar where I met up with Abiye Cole from Big Apple Hot Dogs (@bigapplehotdogs) and the three other competitors.

In addition to me, three other contenders took part in this heat (the third of four heats), each bringing an excellent, homemade and exciting twist to topping a hot dog.

First up was Paul Lomax (@paullomax) with his Canadian-inspired Poutine Hot Dog. A mixture of homemade cheese curds, gravy and crunchy topping went into this one. By far the most unusual, and very tasty too. Great combination of textures and favours.

Next was Rose (@_RosieT) with her classic Chilli Cheese Dog, with a mixture of yellow and red cheese, this not only tasted nice, but had a classic American look.

Finally we have Sam (@steampie) with his Bourbon Bacon Marmalade with Crispy Leeks. Delicious topping, and the Crispy Leeks were fantastic. We were adding them to everything at one point, and they make a great bar snack on their own.

Here are all four toppings on Abiye’s amazing fresh hot dogs.

My hot dog is liberally topped with the Damson Relish, then topped off with sprinkled crispy bacon to add a nice smoky, salty bacon crunch. Frying off the gherkins ensures they retain their crunch, even after the cooking and combining with the sauce mixture. The chillies add a small amount of heat, but mostly contribute flavour and colour, while the ‘drunken onions’ that were combined with a generous potion of peaty, smoky Scotch proved to be a real winner with the customers, as well as adding a unique flavour to the overall relish.

Overall I was really pleased with how the relish turned out. The feedback from the many Big Apple Hot Dogs customers that opted to have my topping on all or part of their hot dog was really positive, as has been the feedback on Twitter.

The winner of my heat has yet to be announced, but whoever it is, along with the winners of the previous two heats and this coming Sunday’s fourth heat, they will go through to a grand final to become overall champion and have their name added to Abiye’s cart. It’s not about the prize, it’s about the build :)

If you came along and tried the toppings, do please vote on Twitter using the hashtag #BlogEATBlog.

Thanks to everyone who participated and to all the people who made the journey to Brick Lane to try the hot dogs. We had a great time and I hope you did too!

Speaking at Digital Surrey tonight

Posted by Chris Green on Thursday July 22 @ 8:38 am

I will be speaking tonight at the Digital Surrey group, talking about ‘The financial and ongoing value of web content’.

Digital Surrey is a networking group that grew out of the Farnham Tweetup. Since April 2010 the group has been meeting at Surrey University in Guildford and we’ve had a number of fantastic speakers covering everything from the Digital Economy Act to Social Media in the Enterprise. Now I’m stepping up to talk about how and why individuals and businesses need to do more to understand the cost and value of the content they place online.

I’ll post my slides and any other useful material here after the event. Stay tuned.

Live blogging from Microsoft PDC

Posted by Chris Green on Thursday October 23 @ 2:54 pm

I’m going to be doing another live blogging event, this time on the evening of Monday 27 October, from the opening keynote of Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference.

We are using Cover It Live again to deliver the coverage, details below. Hope you can join us for what should be a very interesting set of announcements from Microsoft.

Live blogging of the Apple Let’s Rock event

Posted by Chris Green on Monday September 8 @ 4:34 pm

I’m going to be live blogging the announcements from the Apple Let’s Rock event over at IT PRO.

We will be using CoverItLive for the live blogging, providing it doesn’t collapse under the strain, which it did the first time we used it for an Apple event.

Coverage over at IT PRO begins at 5.30pm UK time, with Steve Jobs due on stage at 6pm.

Details below:

Live blogging the Steve Jobs keynote

Posted by Chris Green on Monday January 14 @ 8:21 pm

Assuming the technology doesn’t let us down, IT PRO (more precisely – me) will be live blogging the Steve Jobs keynote.

I’ll be using CoverItLive for this particular challenge, which will also be a first, so fingers crossed.

Assuming we can get a working 3G signal and the CoverItLive platform doesn’t let us down, you’ll be able to read the important details as they happen on the IT PRO web site.

CES analysis on CNBC

Posted by Chris Green on Monday January 7 @ 3:42 pm

CNBC CES

CES 2008 is up and running in Las Vegas. IT PRO has an army of journalists on the ground covering the event for us, but not me, partly becasue I’ve been recovering from a bout of norovirus since New Years Day, but also as I have so much going on n the office that needs my time.

It does mean I’ve been around to do some analysis on the news coming out of the show, or in the case of the Bill Gates keynote, the lack of it. Bit of a shame, would have liked and expected to see Gates use the opportunity to say or show something of consequence. An opportunity squandered.

Anyway – CNBC, video is up, click here or on the image to watch it.

CNBC Sony PS3 interview video now online

Posted by Chris Green on Saturday March 24 @ 2:20 pm

CNBC

As promised, here is the link to the appearance I did on CNBC Europe on Friday morning to discuss the PlayStation 3 launch. Sadly not featured in the video is the piece I also did beforehand on Oracle threatening to sue SAP for corporate espionage.

You can view the Sony debate by clicking here.

Free Coffee Day

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday February 21 @ 10:15 am

On my way in to work as I type this entry, running late as usual.

Anyway, there’s an interesting ad on the back page of this morning’s Metro. Apparently all Starbucks branches in the UK will be giving away free coffee today between 2-4pm to celebrate “Good Coffee Day”, otherwise known as a Starbucks publicity stunt.

Starbucks are evil (We’ve all seen Austin Powers so we know this is true), but a free cuppa is a free cuppa, and we’ve basically paid for it already by buying overpriced Starbucks coffee in the past.

And Keely, if you are reading this – too much free coffee is bad – m’kay! Hope your week improves.

It’s Vista Day – so I’ll be on the telly again!

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday January 30 @ 4:54 am

Good morning

As I finish typing this and make it live, it’s very very early on Tuesday morning, and I’m off out to do the first of three very early media appearances to talk about the real launch (as opposed to that nasty smelly fake launch back in November) of Windows Vista.

Today I’ll be popping up on the following channels:

BBC Radio 5 Live: Wake Up To Money – 5.30-6am
CNBC Europe: Squawk Box – 6.50am
CNN International: 8.15am
Al Jazeera (pre-recorded): some time Tuesday morning

If anyone wants me after this lot, I’ll be curled up in a ball under my desk sleeping :)

Yabba Dabba Dooooo!

Posted by Chris Green on Sunday December 24 @ 7:18 pm

A little pic from the Dennis Christmas Fancy Dress Party earlier this week. The theme was Hollywood. Can you guess who I went as?

Fred Flintstone
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