I love to watch Iron Chef. It’s not that I am a chef myself or that I cook all the time, but it is fascinating to see what the chefs come up with as courses when the secret ingredient is broccoli, yogurt, snapper, or blue cheese. If I don’t feel like cooking, something about the sizzle and intensity on Iron Chef makes me head to the kitchen.
The things I’ve learned from watching Iron Chef and their endless variety of ingredients and cooking techniques get me in the mood to create! It is like a peek behind the chef curtain. The crazy concoctions and culinary techniques are so inspirational.
So, when I want to do something in the kitchen besides making another green salad, I turn on Iron Chef, grab a glass of wine and get inspiration.
There are many culinary lessons to be gleaned from the Iron Chefs, but here are my top ten best!
A huge hunk of organic butter is the most important ingredient in the Iron Chef kitchen. (In our house however, it is jalapenos. Like Bobby Flay, my husband likes to add jalapenos to everything.)
If you don’t know where to start, choose items that are different colors. They will look great on the plate and you will look like a chef.
I learned from Chef Symon that you can put almost anything in a taco. Seriously. Try it.
Keep wine in your kitchen. You can add it to a roast or red sauce, or reduce it. I reduce it by drinking it in a beautiful glass while I cook.
For the frustrated cook, take heart. Iron chefs often take weird ingredients, coat them with various crumbs, and fry them in the deep fryer. Apparently, everything tastes better rolled in crumbs and deep fried!
Additionally, little slices of bright citrus like lemon, lime, or orange “freshen the palate” and will perk up any dish as a garnish. You will look way more professional if you add a citrus slice.
When your meal needs an extra edge or your course is underperforming, take a cue from the Iron Chefs and just add a cocktail on the side. Preferably, before the meal.
When all else fails, throw a bunch of cut up vegetables and some salt and pepper in chicken stock and simmer. Make sure you include onion or garlic. Your soup will make your house smell like you are a CULINARY GENIUS.
For the aspiring chef, I would consider a Dutch Oven. To really look like you know what you are doing, you need a Dutch Oven. Hey, you can do your simmering aromatic soup in there.
If you mess up dinner, you can always cut up some great cheese like smoked cheddar or gouda and toast it on a tiny piece of bread. To plate this masterpiece, top it with fresh diced tomato and a green basil leaf. You are a chef in the making already.