20080707

Ready. Set. Cook!

Lately Mom has been trying to convince me that I should host a cooking show or something similar. She got her wish last night, sort of, as I participated in an Iron Chef challenge hosted by Le Toms.

As in the show, the chefs wouldn't know the secret ingredient before hand. DFT would SMS the ingredient at an appointed time. We then had to cook, transport and present at the Le Tom abode three hours later. That may sound like a lot of time, but not when you've got a bachelor consultant pantry like mine. I planned to be parked at the grocery store well in advance to maximize my kitchen time.

During my drive to Central Markup, TP and I discussed teaming up on the challenge since Los Pedros couldn't make it. So, I called JLay to get a ruling on that.
"What do you think about me and TP teaming up?"

"Well, I'm sure that the chefs may be getting input from others....It's fine with me, especially if you think you can't win without him."

"That's it. I'm flying solo. You got no shot."
I'm pretty sure that the last line didn't come out quite like that, but there was no way that I could dismiss a challenge like that.

I arrived at the Markup feeling good with plenty of time to peruse my copy of The Joy of Cooking and open Maw Maw's Menu on my lappie. Feeling good that is until I got the secret recipe.

The password is: CORN.

CORN? What the? YGBFKM! I hate corn. Not hate like Brussel Sprouts hate, but at least a strong dislike.

Think quickly, knucklehead. What do you like that is corn related? Fritos? Nope. Anything ending in -ito had been disqualified. Tortilla chips? Nope. Too close to -itos.

I love cornbread. Then I thought:
Good cornbread is better than dessert.

Boston Market cornbread is sweet enough to be dessert.

What can I do to have a fighting chance against JLay and RayRay?

CORNBREAD TRES LECHES!
I snapped out of my trance and hauled ass over to the produce section. There, already digging through the bin of sweet corn, were Quoz, RayRay & JLay. "You're gonna lose," I said as I filled my cart with 10 ears (for $1) and before I ran off to find the three milks.

I arrived back home 35 minutes later after a side trip to Williams-Sonoma to pick-up a cake pan. Lemme just tell you that you should never come between an Iron Chef and the WS. I nearly took at a Camry full of sight-seers putt-putting through Highland village. Really? Do they not have strip malls where in your home land? Have you never seen a bunch of dressed up stepfords (and one bachelor) hot stepping to get gourmet bakeware? Dang. You need to get out more.

I'll spare you the details - oops, too late - and use the fast forward button. Chef's chocolate milk blows up in the freshly washed car on the way home. Parked car and puts water on to boil. Cleaned up the car and threw the cornbread in the oven. Put the caramel sauce on hot. Mixed the milks. Took corn of the stove. Whipped the shit out of some heavy cream. Pulled cornbread out of the oven. Power shower. Dressed. Piled everything in the car. Streaked toward JLay & DFT's.

My friends, acquaintances and competition are some forking good chefs. Corn & crab tortellini, my favorite, ended up winning. Other standouts (for me) were the corn & crab pie and salmon & corn cakes (fritters). The most creative were the fried green tomatoes, sweet corn ice cream and corn icee. You can check out photos on The Kwon's blog.

I never knew that corn could taste so good in so many different ways.

1 comment:

Judy said...

tres leches corn bread is the shiznitz. we should work on perfecting that recipe. next iron chef ingredient: beets.