Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Iron Apron

I had been waiting for Sunday night for weeks.

For weeks I was taunted and tempted with messages about this night, this very night would be the one night, the greatest night in (culinary) history.

Yes, friends, I am talking about the one, the only….

IRON CHEF SUPER CHEF BATTLE!

You should know that I am obsessed with Iron Chef. And the entire Food Network. Not so much with television in general, just that one channel. Because honestly there are too many choices on the tv. For a few years we avoided having to make any choices all together by not even subscribing to cable. And then one day while Sherpa Thomas was visiting our house, he discovered that we had cable – full on all channels blazing.

Since then, we’ve watched it only when necessary – long rides. Then it was long rides and Sunday nights when I would watch PBR – that’s pro bull riding. Then I really got into the entire then Outdoor Living Network now Versus channel. I’m talking PBR, rodeo, motorcross, supermoto, cyclsm Sundays and hunting specials.

Then the channels changed. For some reason I guess they got tired of their old numbers and moved. And while searching for Versus – which I still haven’t found – I stumbled upon the Food Network.

Enter angelic sound surrounding a halo of deliciousness around this channel.

Now, I’m not talking about the Food Network during the day. Oh no. I cannot watch their daytime programming. Rachel Ray is like having sausage stuffed hands scrape nails down a chalkboard, the Barefoot Contessa – explain why doesn’t she put on her shoes already - and Giada – other than her name sounding like something you can pick up from swimming in a dirty lake I absolutely cannot watch her talking about or touching food. Watching her tie up a chicken for roasting is flavored with bizarre sexuality that makes me uncomfortable.

Plus she wears a lot of make up.

It just really creeps me out.

However, the Food Network at night is a completely different story. Gone are the girls cooking food and touching it inappropriately. Instead, enter the big boys of the kitchen – Ace of Cakes, the guy with funny dyed yellow hair visiting diners, drive ins and dives who always makes me hungry for MEAT!, dinners impossible, THROWDOWN with Bobby Flay and possibly the best hour on television…

IRON CHEF!

I love Iron Chef. You know you have crossed the line when you have actually visited the website of the tv show you are obsessed with. I have visited the website. I have looked around. I have read about each chef. I am obsessed.

Because, it combines two things that I really like: food and competition. Since I am not competing right now and I always like food, I watch food competitions. I shout at my tv. I force feed the show to Chris. I try to pick up cooking skills from osmosis but so far….

It is not working.

Last weekend I sat down for an Iron Chef Marathon. Not nearly as physically grueling as Ironman, it was harder on the eyes. Three hours laying on my couch on a Saturday night. It was somewhere in the middle of Iron Chef Battle Asparagus that I had to walk away and go to bed. I started to feel sick. Too many flashing lights, knives a chopping, judges judging, stirring, mixing, chefs running. Things were moving so fast that by the third hour I felt like if I watched one more person pour something into the ice cream machine I might just go into full blown seizure.

Or get really hungry for ice cream.

I’ve seen so many episodes it is hard to pick my favorite. Battle Peanuts, Battle Venison, Battle Melons with a Frozen Twist. The Egg Nog episode where they had to serve their creations in ice sculptures. Battle SUGAR! Battle chocolate. If I had to add my suggestion, it would be Battle bacon. BATTLE CHEESE! Battle Corn Chip. BATTLE OATMEAL! Battle Corn. Battle Olives. Battle Tofu.

Ewwww.

Battle butter!

BATTLE CARAMEL!

But Sunday night was special. The Iron Chef Super Chef Battle. I scooped up Boss and together we planted our asses on the couch. The only thing that was missing was our matching aprons, mine saying Iron Chef in Training, his saying Iron Sous Chef.


And we watched. For something….special? Not even the chairman was there?

Somewhere in the middle of the first hour I got the sense that there was nothing special about the show. It was just the usual Iron Chef in real time. Like every minute of 60 minutes strung out between commercials and quips from the chefs. Plus Emeril sweating – a lot. While watching someone chop radishes for 10 seconds straight it struck me that this was going to be a very, very long two hours.

So maybe my attention span is about as good as my cooking skills.

Gail told me that the other night in her kitchen they played Iron Chef. This I might have to save as a snowy day game. I would compete against Chris and take Boss as my sous chef. I would give Chris the houseplants as his sous chef. A living thing is a living thing! And, I would choose his secret ingredient….

Tuna.

Good luck.

And for me I am certain he would choose: kibbles.

Anything in the pantry would be fair game.

Back to the Iron Chef Super Battle. It wasn’t so super after all. The judging was drawn out and they were all women. Ho hum, women judges are too nice. Nobody spit in their plate or threw their broccolini to the floor. No fights, no name calling, no drama. No one gut strung up by an apron. Boring.

The only good thing was that Bobby Flay won. I always enjoy watching him cook and win. I have a friend who lives in New York in the same apartment building as him and says she often sees him at the gym. That’s probably a good idea because all that cooking and eating and one day you find yourself twice the size of Mario Batali. My friend says that Bobby is kind of a dorky looking guy but has a really hot wife. Plus he cooks? He sounds like what every dorky man aspires to. Makes a mean burger and gets the hot girl.

But I bet when he gets home at night he doesn’t want to do any cooking. I bet you he sits on the couch and eats peanut butter and jelly. Or he talks about, thinks about and sees food so much that he goes home and just fasts.

When he’s ready to turn in his Iron Apron, I’m ready to fill in. I can throwdown or compete in kitchen stadium with the best. I’ll bring my 10-pound canine sous chef. When they set up Battle Oatmeal, I’ll be ready. Battle banana? BRING IT. Battle bar? You're on.


Just to be sure I'm ready I am going to spend the next week pureeing clif bars and stuffing them into raviolis with a light chicken broth sauce.

You'd eat it a mile 18. Admit it.

9 comments:

Wes said...

huh... I'm just the opposite. I prefer the daytime shows. I guess that's just where I'm at on the path to Iron Chef greatness.

Brandon said...

I'll eat your Clif Bar Raviolis when I see that they've finally made a Pinot Grigio GU.
~B

Becca said...

I watch The Food Network all the time too...mostly late at night when I'm trying to wind down after work. I really like Unwrapped but Iron Chef is definitely my favorite!

Andrea said...

BATTLE BAR!!! LOVE IT!

Ironman at Law said...

Long live Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! I might have to plan my 2010 race calendar based on that show. Everywhere he goes looks like the perfect post-race feast!

Erich Wegscheider said...

Yum! The raviolis would go great with a PowerBar Endurance reduction (fruit punch, of course).

Jennifer Harrison said...

WHAT??? NO ARTIC TRUCK mention? Sniff.
I love daytime TV.
I agree, this Iron Battle was ho hum. But, I do like to watch Bobby Flay.
:)

Molly said...

If you use DirecTV, you can't find Versus because you don't get Versus anymore. They are having the mother of all contract disputes and us hockey/cycling fans are getting hosed in the process. Be sure to complain early and often if you have any hope of getting Tour coverage this year.

Dave said...

I am so sick of all of these barefoot running people. Barefoot Ted... Barefoot Contessa... It's just a FAD people!