Family Iron Chef Night

 Last week we held an "Iron Chef" night while Nelson's parents were visiting.  Nelson and Helen were one team, Liz and I were a team, and Nelson's parents were the judges.  Here's how it went down:

Helen made a long list of rules that included:

  • The two teams will each make a dinner course and a dessert course to be judged on presentation, explanation, and taste.
  • All items must be sane and completely edible.
  • Items purchased must not take inordinately long time to cook (ie: no roast turkeys)
  • Cookbooks are permitted during the planning periods only.
  • Planning may only happen during the shopping period or planning period.
We had to purchase for the other team 1 dinner item, 1 dessert item, and 1 item to be used at any time during the competition. We could purchase for ourselves 2 items for any time use.  We could also use anything out of the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

We also had time constraints for planning and preparation.

note to self: read the rules before going shopping.....I never read the rules as I had heard her discussing them while writing them. Big mistake.

It was a very busy day due to some car issues and we all ended up sneaking around in the same store. Here are Nelson and Helen planning.

Here's the Nelson and Helen team with their secret ingredients hiding in the paper bag.

Here's the Sarah and Liz team.  Liz made us hats out of tissue paper and office paper.
Sadly we didn't get extra points for our hats or our rainbow name tags--we were "The Spice Girls."

Our judges were Nelson's parents:

The judges needed some libations before beginning. Sadly, we didn't get extra points for that either.

Helen and Nelson made filet mignon with "bernaise au chevre".
We gave them goat cheese and corn on the cob to use for their dinner entree items.

They gave us this box of cereal samplers.  
All I can say is that we were much nicer to them than they were to us.


We crushed the corn chex and breaded chicken in it.   We then wove bacon into "bacon cups" and baked them.  We filled the bacon cups with fried chicken and ranch dressing.  It was tasty, but didn't live up to the filet mignon.....

For the dessert course, we gave them phyllo dough (which Nelson hates). They made a sauce out of frozen blueberries and put it into little phyllo dough cups. Due to time constraints, the phyllo really didn't do well.

They gave us a huge bag of carrots (which Nelson's Dad hates).  We made a caramel sauce, put it on vanilla ice cream and garnished the plate with finely shredded carrot.  Our caramel sauce won the dessert competition hands-down.

Here are the judges giving us their final deliberations:

It was a tie--they won main course, Liz and I won dessert. Imagine that!

Quiltin' Mama  – (July 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM)  

We do something similar often when we are on Cape Cod with MIL, and BIL family . . . we have a themed "cook off" everyone makes a dish on the theme- we do try to get appetizer, main, dessert but everyone can do there own thing. We all judge based on pre-set categories ( scale 1-5)- the dishes with most points win. there is always to much food. we worked our way through seafoods- clams, scallops, shrimp, lobster , , , Mexican, Brunch, Chocolate We usually get a bunch of cast off bon Appepitet magazines from the library for research . . . It has always been a good time for all ages. Your in laws look really good!

Dawn  – (August 9, 2013 at 11:34 AM)  

This sounds like so much fun. Both of my kids are really into cooking and making up recipes right now- they would love this.

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