Okay, my mic is good. Just count me in Nick. Five, four, three, two...
Welcome back. We have here in kitchen stadium the distinguished Iron Chef Bobby Filet, of the famous Mesa Grill, and on the other side is Iron Chef Gordon Damnsay of Hell's Kitchen. Today's secret ingredient is: The humble PEA. They have before them a selection of fresh peas, dried peas, and lastly canned peas.
These contenders have an hour to produce for our judges three dishes utilizing the pea as their theme ingredient.
On our left it appears that Iron Chef Bobby Filet is preparing what looks like a classic oriental salad using Ramen noodles, cabbage and snap peas. He is keeping it safe here so far. Let's take a look at what Chef Damnsay is doing.
Ah, Gordon has chosen to take canned peas and put them into the sorbet machine with some mangoes, passion fruit, and pistachio nuts. Bold move. We will see if this combination works for him or against him.
But wait, Chef Damnsay is now smashing a hand full of peas into the face of one of his assistants. Let's see if we can hear what he is saying.
"I told you to use CANNED PEAS! Figure it out you IDIOT! If you think that you are going to waste my time with your righteous need to use fresh ingredients, you are sorely wrong. Get the hell out of my kitchen!"
I guess ovens aren't the only hot thing in kitchen stadium tonight.
With only thirty minutes on the clock now, each of our Iron Chefs have their teams scurrying to complete their assigned tasks in order to make this pea theme a delight for taste as well as appearance. Too bad it's not St. Patrick's Day for this one.
Ladies and gentlemen, this does not happen very often, but our chefs have both chosen to include as one of their dishes a split pea soup. The difference here is that Chef Filet must have had that in mind from the beginning. He has just removed a ham hock from a pot of perfectly boiled dried peas with carrots, onions, and celery. I must say, it smells delicious too. Chef Damnsay, has decided to go with canned peas in order to get his final dish prepared and ready for presentation in time. How will these two means of preparing the same dish compare with our discerning expert judges?
Time is UP! When we come back, Chef Filet's dishes will be going before our panel of judges.
5,4,3,2...First up we have appetizers. One of which consists of caviar that has been spooned into a hollowed out pea shell and rolled up with an outer layer of thinly sliced prucetta. The second is a perfectly seared scallop skewered into the center of a snow pea and drizzled with a honey garlic soy sauce.
Now the oriental Ramen salad. The judges seem very pleased with the balance of crispness and tartness this salad offers to the palate.
Next up is Chef Filet's pea soup served with his own take of the ever popular BLT. In his version he uses a rosemary and sun dried tomato focaccia bread, sauteed Portobello mushrooms, lightly blanched peas, crispy smoked bacon, and topped with a mound of lemon grass tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette.
So far the judges like his dishes and are actually cleaning their soup bowls up with the last bite of their BLT sandwiches.
Now it's time for Chef Damnsay to impress the judges.
He has chosen for his starter spanakopita. But instead of spinach with feta cheese he has used canned peas. I think the fact that all three judges have taken only one bite and left the rest, tells us that this choice of substitution fails by comparison.
Now he will attempt to cleanse their palates with his canned pea passion fruit sorbet. Oddly enough,it has a very pleasing appearance. But will that....oh, that's a first. The judges are actually spitting their sorbet back onto the plate.
Let's see if his split pea soup will win them over. Hmmm, by the grimacing looks on their faces I think the answer here is a definite "NO".
The judging is over and only one question remains...whose cuisine will reign supreme?
The answer here is obvious. The answer to the question "how is sin like canned peas?" is also obvious. Fresh is always better than canned.
About the author:
I have always been pathologically creative. As a child my art was in oil painting and sketching. It wasn't until my mid thirties I began to allow God to reveal to me the Barbie He intended. I joined a church drama team, began writing, and stand up comedy. Now I write because I can't help it.