Monday, December 15, 2008

I wuz robbed! UPDATED with new pics!

I played host to an Iron Chef competition at my house Saturday night. Matty started this tradition last month, after he and our friend AnneMarie started trash-talking about who could make the better risotto, despite the fact that AM had never made a risotto! Matty ended up winning by a small margin after a 45-minute whirlwind of chopping, stirring, and plating. I didn’t get any pictures of that event, and for some reason the videos I took on my camera will not show on my computer. Hmph.

Niblet was a little freaked at having so many people in his house:

photo by Cari Bogulski
But he soon came out and charmed everyone with his cuteness!

This time around in the Iron Chef, we made soups:

Entries were judged on Presentation, Texture, and Taste using a scale of 1 (blech) to 5 (mouthgasm). Iron Chef: SOUP! featured five contestants.

Chef Anne found a recipe for corn chowder on the intertubes then added her own special touches to the recipe. Her garnish of fresh alfalfa sprouts, crumbled blue chips, and cubed avocado on top really wowed the judges in the Presentation category:

soup close-up photo by Cari Bogulski
Chef Gretchen, whom you may have met on the birding bloggy before, presented a seasonal dish: German Turkey Dumpling Soup, featuring a rich turkey-based broth and huge turkey-filled dumplings:

soup close-up photo by Cari Bogulski

Chef Stefan, our Cute Canadian, impressed everyone by bringing both a vegetarian and a chicken-stock-based version of his Spiced Butternut Soup; here he presents while McMatterson looks dramatic:
soup close-up photo by Cari Bogulski

Eventual winner Chef Mike, who helped me move all my stuff out of Kat’s house exactly two days after we’d met—now there’s a nice guy!—departed radically from the hot soup trend with his own version of Chilled Mango soup decorated with blueberry sauce, strawberry sauce, and fresh blueberries:
soup close-up photo by Cari Bogulski
The amazing things about Mike's victory are that (a) his idea of cuisine is Hot Pockets, so he claims he's not much of a cook, and (b) he developed his own recipe based on the memory of a dish he had once on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago! The champ presents: Note McMatterson's persnicketty little face, as well as Gretchen's sweet dog Domino.

Here's me with my back to the camera, drinking heavily after my Mexican Heritage Bean soup came in last:
soup close-up photo by Cari Bogulski
Here are our celebrity judges: from left: Jeff, veteran judge of both Iron Chef events; AnneMarie, whose mushroom risotto won my heart in the first IC; Cari, a newcomer with a discriminating palate AND a love of birding which makes her A-OK in my book; an intimidated Chef Anne walking back into the audience from presenting her soup; and Dr. Matty McMatterson, risotto champion and all-around foodie snob--not to mention the newest professor at Sonoma State University!
Here, they're explaining how they had to make the toughest decision of their lives that night:

photo by Hans Mike "Mr. Soup" Stapperfend

Dreamy statistician Laurie tabulated the judges' votes:She also made a wonderful Organic Vegetable Soup but declined to compete, offering her dish as a complement to the party atmosphere. Yum! Most of the veggies in it came from her garden.

The winner and reigning Mr. Soup: Mike!
photo by Carie Bogulski

Given the amount of booze consumed, it was almost inevitable that the night would deteriorate. Here's Judge Jeff being appalled at Judge AnneMarie's tasting some of the blueberry sauce Mike used on his Chilled Mango Soup:
photo by Cari Bogulski
And don't you believe it when she claims I forced her to do this.
The next Iron Chef event will feature Casserole/Baked Dish recipes, keeping in line with the “it’s really cold, so let’s make comfort food!” theme so far. The event will be held in mid-January at Chez McMatterson, should you choose to attend or even compete!

Here's another shot of Domino, who was disappointed to find out she was ineligible (no thumbs, illiterate) to judge the soups:
Poor Nom!

What did you do this weekend?


Bubs said...

Oh man, this looks like such a good time! The soup, the people, the concept--I love it.

I am hungry now.

CDP said...

You were robbed, I'm quite sure. They just need to keep you in check, so your awesomeness doesn't totally dominate.

Liberality said...

I am in line and I can take any soup bowl I want--well I'd grab that one in the middle that is different from all the rest because it looks the best! If it was gone before I could get to it then I'd opt for the organic fresh veggie bowl.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a great weekend activity! I cannot believe your soup came in last. Oh well, you'll kick their asses with the casserole.

Sherry Peyton said...

Gosh, how could anything named Mexican lose? I would have voted for ya dguz! I loves de Mexican foods! But the party looked fun and the dishes looked great! Glad you all had fun.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Wow, I'm jealous. Those soups sounded great and you all are all so good looking.

dguzman said...

Bubs--you shoulda been there.

CDP--aw, shucks....

Lib--that's my soup! But you know, I had some for lunch today and it was decidedly lackluster. It tasted better right when it was done. Hmph.

DCup--Thanks for the encouragement! Already have a recipe in mind!

Sherry--hey, welcome to the bloggy! And thanks for the thumbs-up on the Mexican. I even claimed the recipe was handed down through the generations on my mom's side!

Monkey--you know, everyone I know is beautiful! You should DEFINITELY have one of these parties at Casa de Monkey. You could kick some serious ass.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I have that same Penn State t-shirt! :)

FranIAm said...

We had an ice storm around here!

This sounded like fun!!

dguzman said...

GKL--cool! You old Penn Stater you.

Fran--yikes! Are you okay?

Sorghum Crow said...

Two questions:

Does Niblet know that Welsh rabbit doesn't actually contain any rabbit?


What happened to the home field advantage? How could bean soup come in last? (oops that's three questions)

karenzipdrive said...

I think I could have won the hell out of that soup contest with my cream of pinto bean soup garnished with creme fraiche aand fresh pico de gallo.
Served with cornbread infused with corn niblets and unsalted butter, it would make all your tias fall to their knees in praise of the virjin de Guadalupe.

Pissed in NYC said...

I'll ask my sister for the recipe for tater-tots hot dish which is a favorite casserole in Fargo, North Dakota. Ok, I've seen the recipe and it's filthy: fammily sized can of cream of mushroom soup, a cup of heavy cream, 1 lb. of hamburger meat, one onion and a bag or more of tater tots. disgusting (but apparently tasty).
Oh, and your entry looked fab. You were robbed.

dguzman said...

Crow--Robbed, I tell you! Robbed! And in my own home! Niblet should've bitten them all.

Zipdrive--wow, that does sound like it would've kicked all our asses. You're obviously in Matty's "foodie" category, huh?

PiNY--holy clogged arteries, PiNY; are they all trying to die by 40?

Freida of the Bees said...

Will you fly me up for the next one (though, unfortunately, soups are my forte; casseroles are not.)?

pissed in NYC said...

According to my sister, everything in Fargo is made with potatoes. And fat. I don't know if they die young, but they sure do age quickly. Apparently it's not the cold temperatures, it's the wind--destroys the skin. That said, she also mentioned that people in Fargo are on the big side, both in height and weight. And they love their tater-tot's a canteen favorite!

dguzman said...

Freida of the Bees--wish I could afford to!

PiNY--so cause of death: dry skin. Ouch.

Dean Wormer said...

This post made me so damned hungry.

anita said...

(no thumbs, illiterate) HA!

this is really nice. thanks for putting it together. i miss you, d. and you didn't come in LAST! i gave you the best score. yours was my favorite! i loved the noodles and just a bit of bite. yum!!! can't wait for casserole iron chef.