One of the (many) competitions in ENGG Week is Iron Chef. The rules are similar to the actual TV show: you have a secret ingredient (maple syrup), have to make an appetizer, main dish and dessert in 90 minutes and have to have a team of 3 students and 2 professors. I was at first a bit hesitant about helping out (cooking under pressure in front of many people and not in my own kitchen? Can you say anxiety?), but then I realized that this challenge was right up my alley and got really into it.
What was on the menu, you ask? Well, we had to make something that could be made with materials and equipment we brought in ourselves and it (obviously) had to use maple syrup. So here’s what we made:
Appetizer: Apple Maple Rumaki
Main Dish: Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin with Maple and Mustard Sauce and Green Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Dessert: Maple Crème Brûlée
Drink: Liberation Libation
I had an awesome and hilarious team. They were quite helpful in getting everything set up:
Or perhaps some crème brûlée?
Or some bacon wrapped apples? (Actual rumaki uses chicken liver, but this variation is so much better.)
How about the whole set up?
We tried to channel an urban upscale restaurant – I think we did fairly well considering that we were set up in the engineering student’s lounge.
The judges seemed to enjoy what they were eating despite it being the 4th meal they had consumed for Iron Chef. I don’t know if we won the challenge, but I like to think that we did.
Even if we didn’t win, it was a lot of fun and our food was fantastic. Ever had random people clamour to eat partly eaten food that other people ate and then rave about how great it was? Yeah, that happened – I’m just really hoping that no one was sick.
It was an interesting experience – I learned that counter top convection ovens don’t know what even heat is yet they are still incredibly useful, that adding an extra egg yolk makes crème brûlée that much better, that using a freezer that can freeze ice in 3 hours is a good idea and that said freezer is a great way to fast track cooling the crème brûlée.
Oh, yeah. I also learned that I probably shouldn’t be given a blow torch.