I Have Way Too Much Leftover Crab

I’ve been meaning to do the wrap-up post for the Iron Chef-style battle we held back in February, but I hadn’t gotten around to it until today. So here it is: the results of the showdown in the Kitchen Arena:

The contenders with their game faces on.

The contenders with their game faces on.


The Weirdo Chairman


Cool Programs: thanks Mom!

The battle was not nearly as intensely fought as it is on television, the competitors were more cordial and atmosphere was a bit more relaxed. As the chairman, I wore a maroon bathrobe along with the longest formal black tie I could find. I tried to follow the program as closely as possible: The introduction, the coin toss, the biting of the pepper (actually very yummy), the unveiling of the special ingredients and the battle itself.

We had three cameras going during the battle. Mine died fairly early due to lack of battery life, but the other two stayed on. The hope is that a video will eventually be produced but that takes a lot more effort and will than a blog post, which has taken me 2 months!

Each contender prepared three dishes.  First up was Chef Poob:

n722117939_1355104_7163 Crab Dip with Pita Wedges A rich and creamy crab dip with cheese on top served with fried pita wedges for dipping and garnished with wasabi mustard sauce.
vlcsnap-6062289 Poblano Poppers Poblano Peppers stuffed with crab and cracker meal, breaded and fried to perfection.
tradpoob Crab Quesadilla A traditional quesadilla stuffed with cheese and crab and cut into strips served with dipping cups filled with wasabi mustard.

His dishes were very well received.

Chef Orlo responded with:

caulsoup Roasted Crab and Cauliflower Soup Roasted cauliflower and roasted crab along with fresh herbs and vegetables with the broth poured tableside to preserve the texture and taste.
cakes Asian-style Crab Cakes with Soy Sauce Lightly fried crab cakes with Asian spices served with wasabi and soy sauce.
crunch Open-faced Crab Quesadilla with Orange Pepper An open face quesadilla on a half-tostada heavy on the crab and light on the cheese with fresh orange pepper and wasabi on top.

His dishes were also well received and analyzed thoroughly by the judges.

The final adjudication was really tough because I didn’t want anyone to lose!  Someone has to in a competition, I guess, though.  Both culinary masters did well but only one came out the winner and the first “Iron Chef.”

Here are the final scores:

Poob Orlo
Judge Taste Plating Originality Taste Plating Originality
Judge 1 9 4 4 8 5 4
Judge 2 7 4 5 9 4 5
Judge 3 7 3 3 8 5 4
Total 23 11 12 25 14 13
46 52

Here’s a video of me announcing the winner:

As I said, a little too low key.  And I got the score wrong, also.

Many thanks to competitors, judges, attendees, and everyone who was involved for making it totally awesome!  On Friday I will post the recipes that the competitors sent me for their dishes.

Some lessons learned for the next battle:

  • It is important to hold the tournament in a neutral location.  If one competitor has cooked or practiced in the location, they have a definitive advantage.
  • Have a better plan for how to do the math.  We used clipboards and score sheets that were a little confusing and I added them up wrong.  We had two accountants at the battle but neither checked my numbers!
  • Buy less ingredients.  I went kind of crazy with the ingredients but since both contenders already sort of had a plan in mind, they didn’t need many of them.  Almost none of the vegetables got used and very little of the cheese.
  • Be more flamboyant.  A flamboyant chairman makes for a more exciting battle.

We already have two possible contenders lined up for the next battle. Chef Orlo is planning the next event (so as to find an adequate challenger) and has already picked a secret ingredient to challenge the competitors.  He is only biding his time before the ingredient is fully in season. You have not seen the last of this culinary tournament!


A Gastronomic Challenge is Issued…

Not to interrupt the excellent on the spot Blizzcon reporting from orlowski, but my appetite has been whetted by an interesting search that led someone to find this blog:

japanese crab wasabi quesadilla recipes

I challenge both of my cobloggers, who are both culinary wizards of one sort or another, to come up with a recipe that sates this unlikely searcher’s desires, and then prepare it!  If they both succeed at meeting this challenge, I will assemble a panel of judges to choose the victor, IRON CHEF STYLE!

Disclaimer: The panel of judges may consist of only me.

Dessert Quesadilla, An Untapped Resource

Guest post by: poober

Who can seriously say they don’t enjoy quesadillas? They are the spanish equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich, which, dont you worry, will get my attention in a later post.

Quesadillas are simple to make, go great as an appetizer, snack, or full blown meal, depending on hunger levels or magnificence of said consumable.  And it comes in so much variety! You can have the classic cheese quesadilla, or spice it up with a THREE cheese quesadilla. Throw some chicken or steak on there if you’re a meat lover. I’m a fan of the mushroom quesadilla. I have even seen it taken to the fatter wallet requirement of a lobster quesadilla.

But, one of the facets of the quesadilla not often exemplified on menus is the dessert quesadilla. It is simple to make and I challenge you to try it for yourself at home. Just take the omnipresent two pieces of tortilla, fill them with apple pie filling, spread some cinnamon or confectioners sugar on the top, throw it in the toaster, and VOILA! instant classic. Fun for the whole family.

You can pretty much substitute the apple pie filler for any other generic pie filling, but im all about the appley goodness. Have some fun, play around with the ingredients. Put anything between those two tortillas and I’m positive deliciousness… or hilariousness… will ensue. Send some pictures of quesadillas your crazy recipes have concocted for follow up posts!