Saturday, March 21, 2009

Battle Pork

On March 21, two teams competed in Iron Chef Brooklyn. Danielle and Jeff, the champions of Battle Pasta, challenged Dave and Cybele in Battle Pork.

Cybele and Dave, Dish #1 Cordon Bleu Tartlette

Served with a creamy gruyère cheese sauce, this puff-pastry tart was topped with caramelized onion, tomato, ham, and chives.

Judges said "It's a compliment that we all cleaned our plates!"

Dish #2 Chinese-style Mapo tofu with pork meatballs

Pork meatballs were cooked with cubes of tofu in a spicy miso-red bean sauce and served with scallion-topped white rice and Sapporo beer to cut the heat.

Judges said: "The tender, delicate meatballs are a nice change from the ground pork you usually see in this dish."

Dish #3 Traditional German sauerkraut with three types of pork sausages

Cooked in white wine and chicken stock with bacon, the sauerkraut was light and flavorful; the sausages were tender.

Judges said: "You can easily mess sauerkraut up, and it's obvious a lot of care went into this dish."

Dish #4 Candied Berkshire Bacon

Served on a pool of coffee-spiked chocolate sauce, this white chocolate-dipped bacon was garnished with strawberries and maple-crusted walnuts. The bacon itself was also seasoned with cayenne.

Judges said: "Do you believe we all just ate a bacon dessert and nobody said 'ick'?"

Danielle and Jeff, Dish #1 Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich

Note: This is the first in a series of sandwiches

Served on a rice flour-enriched baguette, the banh mi was made up of pork roll and pork sausage topped with pickled daikon, carrot, and cilantro salad as well as sriracha and mayonnaise.

Judges said: "This is a perfect banh mi, but it's hard to score high on plating and originality with such a straightforward dish."

Dish #2 Cuban media noche

This pressed sandwich was served on a Cuban roll and filled with Swiss cheese, roasted pork, pork salami, pickles, and mustard.

Judges said: "This is the Cuban sandwich by which all others will be judged... can I get one to go?"

Dish #3: BLT sandwich with fried green tomatillo

This Neiman Ranch bacon BLT was served on carefully grilled Texas toast with Bibb lettuce and mayonnaise and cornmeal-crusted tomatillo slices. (As Danielle explained, they wanted to use fried green tomatoes but they were out of season.)

Judges said: "Here is the crispy bacon we have been waiting for all day! If only there were more tomatillo slices..."

Dish #4 Chocolate Chip-and-bacon cookie ice cream sandwich filled with bourbon-maple ice cream.
Served with water and Alka Seltzer. (After all, this was the eighth pork dish for the judges.)

Judges said: "The cookies are a bit hard, and the sandwich itself is structurally unsound, but the maple-bourbon ice cream is insanely good."

And the winner is? Cybele and Dave! Watch next month as they battle Sam and Beth in Battle Egg. Will someone whip out an ostrich egg? Duck eggs? Quail eggs? We'll just have to wait to find out.

Hey, ever wonder how the scoring works? It's just like Iron Chef, the professional version, except that we use cuter score cards, designed by Becky (who is on maternity leave right now from Iron Chef Brooklyn). Yes, Becky is gone, but her score cards are the gift that keep on giving.