Iron Chef: The Battle Continues

OH, happy happy joy joy, not only has Jave selected one of my favorite ingredients, she’s managed to keep off the list the one variety that I can’t stand!!!

my happiness is only eclipsed by the sad fact that no one’s noticed that I’ve now studied my role as judge by watching some Iron Chef tapes, and failed to note my endlessly perky giggle fest that are the BDJ’s trademark[sup]TM[/sup]

I understood and appreciated the giggliness of your prior posts. Quite amusing. Almost as amusing as a Match Game '76 reference that nobody seemed to get. But being the lower house member judge, I am too focused on the battle and food to respond to your giggling!

These should not be thought of as a single meal - just a collection of dishes that articulate the theme ingredient.

Mushroom Consommé
A mixture of wild mushrooms is cooked in chicken stock until they give up their flavor and color; the stock is then clarified to remove impurities and served warm in demitasse cups as a starter. Its shimmering surface yields to a homey golden-brown color and rich flavor.

Wild Mushroom Ragout in Puff-Pastry Shells
Tiny vol-au-vent puff-pastry cups offer up an intensely flavored mix of wild mushrooms cooked in butter and red wine. Each morsel is small enough to pop whole into your mouth, where the flaky pastry and the soft mushrooms commingle in a single ecstatic rush of flavor. Served four to a person on a footed glass plate.

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy
This homey favorite features a roast so tender you can slice it with a carrot, napped with a dark brown beef gravy studded with chunks of button mushrooms. The tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef is enhanced by the rich beefiness of the gravy. Served with mashed potatoes on stoneware plates.

Grilled Portobello Fajitas
It’s fiesta time with this hearty vegetarian dish. Meaty Portobello mushrooms are grilled and sliced, then served with grilled onions and bell peppers, guacamole, salsa, and shredded cheese, wrapped in warm flour tortillas. Served on a sizzling metal platter – “now watch out, because these plates are really hot.” ¡es muy sabroso!

Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Risotto
The earthy flavor of porcini mushrooms melds with the creaminess of Arborio rice in this classic Italian risotto. Just before serving in individual ramekins, the Iron Chef shaves paper-thin slices of truffle over the top, warming them with the residual heat of the risotto and perfuming the air with their distinctive fragrance.

Candied Morels
A crackly brown-sugar glaze sets off the delicate honeycombed texture of one of the world’s most luxurious mushrooms. You will be surprised how well this works. Each judge is presented with three candied morels, secured upright on a meringue base as though grown there. (don’t worry, you can have more if you want them.)

Challenger Fenris presents his menu, each dish is a shining star in the culinary firmament.

First up…

Mostly Mushroom Mini Mu Shu appetizers

These egg-roll sized appetizers are cut in half on a diagonal bias, to better display the succulent vegetables, including dried lotus flower and scallions, as well as both wood ear mushrooms (the only mushroom the Challenger will go out of his way to eat), alongside meaty pieces of portobello mushroom, inside the tortillia. A small dipping bowl of hoisin sauce sits on the plate, a brightly colored fiestawear plate, accentuating the similarities between the Mexican Burrito and the Chinese Mu Shu dish.

First course…

Rather than the traditional soup or salad, I’ve chosen a small wedge of a Truffle Fritatta, (a baked omlette). Eggs are a perfect match for Truffles and this dish, while it could be a main dish on it’s own, is used to fill the soup course. The frittata wedge is succlulent with white and black tuffles as well as parmesan cheese and is served on this plate, the creamy yellow of the egg, and white of the shaved truffle and parmesan is a beautiful contrast to the green motif.

Main Course

On this tan oval platter, decorated with falling leaves, is the main course. Beef Wellington tenderloin of beef, surrounded by a sort of pate of chopped mushrooms and shallots, and covered with flakey golden pastry will delight your senses.

If your nose is sharp enough, you’ll detect fresh thyme, parsley and, this being IRON CHEF, a hint of pate de fois gras, the perfect compliment to the beef and mushrooms! A mushroom/burgundy gravy wonderfully supports the flavors of the dish.
Dessert

I felt the urge to experiment, to take risks, to do an IRON CHEF style dessert (besides, Scylla challenged us :p)…so, for the dessert, I present “Well, at least it’s not Fish-Sperm Ice-Cream” Orange-Mushroom Dessert.

Challenger Fenris has peeled white mushrooms and allowed them to soak in an orange liquor, the earthy flavor of the mushrooms accentuated by the sweetness of the liquor. They were then rolled in sugar and, for a stunning presentation, flambe’d, in front of the judges, carmelizing the sugar. The dark, smoky bittersweetness of the slightly burnt sugar perfectly underscores the other flavors. Each person is given three mushrooms on a green and white irregularly shaped platter (the one in the lower right-hand corner). A small glass of Grand Marnier is served alongside, a perfect ending to the meal.

Recipes to follow

Mostly Mushroom Mini-Mu Shu

Ingredients:

1 egg, scrambled

4 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into 1 inch x 1/2 x 1/2 inch strips.

Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/2-1 tsp hot chili oil
2 TBL dry sherry


Veggies:

2/3ds cup of wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated if necessary (Chairman Java may provide for fresh wood ears for her chefs, but most people can’t get the fresh ones…reserve the mushroom water, but run it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter first!)
3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1/3d cup shredded carrot
1 cup tiger lily flowers/bud (again rehydrated if possible)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
4 scallions, shredded


Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth
1/4 cup mushroom water (see above)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c water

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

4 crepes/Chinese Pancakes/tortillas

(Either buy tortillas or (better) packaged crepes. If you want to make your own, here’s a recipe.)

Heat wok, add a bit of oil, pour in scrambled egg. Allow to cook as flatly as possible (you don’t want it fluffy!). Once cooked, remove the egg, and slice up.

Pour the marinade over the portobellos. Let sit for a minute or so. Pour off remaining marinade (these things are like sponges…you don’t want them to marinate longer).

Reheat wok, add oil, cook portobellos on high, stirring constantly until they’ve shrunk by about 1/3 to 1/2 in volume. Set aside.

Reheat wok again! Add oil. Put scallions in first. Once they start to change color, add the ginger and garlic. The second they begin to change color, add the rest of the veggies. Cook until heated through and cabbage begins to wilt just a tiny bit. Add egg, portobello mushrooms. Cook a moment longer. Add sauce. Cook until sauce begins to boil. Slowly add the cornstarch-y water, a little at a time until sauce is very thick (stirring constantly so everything’s coated). Remove from heat.

Take a 1/2 teaspoon full of hoisin sauce and spread on crepe. Take about 2 tablespoons of filling from the wok and put on the crepe in a line about a third of the way from the center. Fold the bottom and top edges in. Then fold the long edge nearest to the filling over. Roll up crepe. Add a dab of hoisin sauce to seal edges. Slice in half, at a 45[sup]o[/sup] angle.


Truffle Fritatta

8 oz black truffles, cut into chunks
4 oz white truffles, slivered
8 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C cream
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 c onions
1 bunch chives
Butter

Preheat oven to 350[sup]o[/sup]
Butter a large, heavy-bottomed oven-proof pan. Saute onions until slightly golden. Mix cream, egg, black truffles 1/2 the parmesan cheese and pour into pan. Stir once or twice, getting onions
incorporated. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, put into oven

Let cook for 30 minutes, 'till slightly puffy. Slide fritatta onto plate, cut into wedges using a pizza cutter. Sprinkle with white truffles and snipped chives.

**
Beef Wellington**

The mushroom pate (there’s a word for this that I can’t remember…duxettes??)
4 shallots, finely chopped
8 TBL butter
1 1/3 pounds of mushrooms finely chopped. We’re using Crimini, Porcini and Shitake for this. Use equal portions.

Melt 6 TBL of butter, on a low heat, slowly cook the shallots until translucent. Add the remaining butter and the mushrooms. Cook for at least an hour: until very dark and mushrooms are very dehydrated. Let cool completely. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup burgundy, set aside

Meanwhile, take:

1 5 LB Beef Fillet
Butter
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Cognac

Rub the beef with butter, add salt, pepper, garlic powder. (Don’t trust your instincts. Go much lighter than you’d want to on the garlic powder. Maybe 2/3ds tsp? 1 tsp? depending on the size)

Put the beef in on a rack in a roasting pan and put in a 425[sup]o[/sup] oven until it reaches 120[sup]o[/sup] internal temperature…Yeah, I know it’s nearly raw. It’s going to cook again,
so that’s ok. Add a bit more salt. Take a clean spray bottle (like a mist-er), add about a half cup of cognac and spritz the hell out of the beef to coat evenly, and flambe the sucker. Allow to completely cool down. Deglaze pan with another 1/2 cup burgundy, also set aside


Everything cooled off? Great.

Take
1 or 2 sheets of frozen puff pastery, thawed, enough to completely enclose the fillet. If you have to use two sheets, put the two sheets together, and push the edges up, like you were doing a demonstration of how plate tectonics build mountains. Pinch about 1/2-2/3s inches of the pushed up edges together, smear with a little bit of beaten egg and water and then fold over onto one side or the other pushing down gently (you don’t want to smoosh the edge into the main puff pastery, or it won’t puff and what would be the point of that?

Smear with:
A thin coating of
Pate De Fois Gras (optional for the home chef, but this is IRON CHEF, dammit! It’s Chairman Java’s budget, not mine!)

Add the Mushroom pate (recipe above)

Place the fillet slightly off center of the puff pastry. Bring the edges of the pastry together. Moisten with egg whites, and secure. Seal it like an envelope.
Carefully roll the thing onto a piece of foil and use the foil to lift it back in a roasting pan. Cut out decorative shapes (I chose leaves, to match the plate) out of the remaining puff pastery and use egg white to glue the decorations on. Get an egg yolk or two and brush the
whole thing. Bake at 425[sup]o[/sup] for 8-10 miutes. Lower heat to 375[sup]o[/sup] for another 20 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.

Let stand for 10-15 minutes before transferring (gently!) to serving plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme.
Mushroom-Burgundy Gravy
Remember those two 1/2 cups of burgundy that you deglazed the pans with? (see above…) Get 'em.

Take 1/4 C chopped onion
1/2 pound mushrooms (we’re gonna use Crimini, Porcini and Shitake again to match the meat), chopped very finely
1 black truffle chopped
5 TBL butter
1 TBL flour dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the butter until translucent. Add mushrooms/truffle and saute until all liquid is gone (takes about an hour). Add burgundy. Bring to boil. Gently pour in flour water, adding a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened.

"Well, at least it’s not Fish-Sperm Ice-Cream" Orange-Mushroom Dessert.

For each person: take 3 white button mushrooms and peel, so no brown remains. Remove stems and gills. Soak in Grand Marnier for 3-4 minutes.

Allow to drain slightly.

Just before serving, roll mushrooms in granulated sugar. Spritz lightly with Cognac. Bring to table and ignite. Warn the diners that they have to allow the sugar to cool for a moment before eating.

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by Fenris *
(Chairman Java may provide for fresh wood ears for her chefs, but most people can’t get the fresh ones…reserve the mushroom water, but run it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter first!)

[QUOTE]

Of course I’d be providing fresh woodears… I forget that most of you don’t live in Southern California where you can get just about everything fresh.

:eek: :smiley:

“The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord.” Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Close. Duxelles

Let me just say how excited I am over this menu. Both of you have outdone yourselves, and I knew that the both of you could pull this off.

Ha! I’m actually quite angry. I knew soemthing was wrong with both Chefs, and now they’ve proven it!

Fenris and Chef Troy have demonstrated that they have no morel integrity!

Now that may seem like a truffling complaint, but I for one had to speak up as the public at large has been kept in the dark and fed manure for far too long in this matter.

I mean Crimini, what’s this world coming to?

Clearly the shitake has hit the avid follow of sports.

My friend Augustus is in town, and I’m through with you guys. We’re going out.

C’mon, let’s go and have some fun, Gus.

Y’know, Scylla, up 'till now, I thought you were a fun guy, or at least that you would 'ear me out.

But this just shows how petty you are, that you’d be getting upset over such a truffling matter.

Fenris

All recipes serve four to six.

Mushroom Consommé
½ pound ground chicken (white meat only)
1 onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms (shiitake, crimini, porcini, wood ear, etc), finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 egg whites, beaten until frothy
6 cups rich chicken stock, cold

In a large bowl, combine chicken meat, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, thyme, and pepper; mix well. Add egg whites and mix well. Add vegetable mixture to cold stock and place in a large stockpot. Place on low to medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often so that the vegetable mixture does not stick to the bottom and burn.
Once the stock has come to a boil, stop stirring. The vegetable mixture will form a clump or “raft” on top of the liquid. Let the mixture boil gently for 1 hour. Don’t boil it too hard or the raft will break apart. At the end of 1 hour, turn off the stove and allow the soup to sit for 10 minutes. Strain soup through a fine strainer lined with a paper coffee filter, discarding the vegetables. Serve warm.

Wild Mushroom Ragout in Puff-Pastry Shells
8 tablespoons butter (divided use)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup red wine (cabernet sauvignon or merlot), plus a glass for the chef if desired
Salt & pepper to taste
2 dozen miniature vol-au-vents (puff-pastry shells – see note)
Thyme sprigs for garnish

Note: miniature puff-pastry shells should be available in most any good supermarket – check the frozen foods section. Trust me, you don’t want to make your own – these are perfectly fine.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter, along with the oil, in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid. Add garlic and sauté for several minutes. When mushroom mixture is almost dry, deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the browned bits. Add remaining butter to pan in small pieces, shaking the pan to incorporate the butter in the sauce as it melts.

Add salt & pepper to taste. Remove one fourth of mushroom mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; return to pan and stir to combine. Keep warm while baking the puff-pastry shells.

Bake puff-pastry shells according to package directions

To serve, arrange shells on a cookie sheet and spoon mushroom filling into shells, topping each with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately.

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy
1 4-5 lb. Eye-of-round roast, silver skin trimmed away
6 tablespoons butter (divided use)
2 pounds button mushrooms, sliced thickly or quartered
6 cups strong beef stock
4 tablespoons flour
Salt & pepper to taste
6 cups mashed potatoes
Note: I know this is a nicer cut of meat than you normally would use for pot roast, but the presentation calls for it – plus eye of round makes fantastic pot-roast sandwiches the next day.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Trim any fat or connective tissue from roast. On stovetop, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or covered roasting pan. When butter is melted, brown the roast all over to add a nice color (otherwise it has a tendency to turn out gray, and bleagh). Remove roast and add mushrooms to pan, sautéing until mushrooms brown a bit; return roast to pan and add beef stock. Place pan in oven and cook for at least four hours. Important: every 30 minutes, turn roast over in stock so top does not dry out.

When pot roast is in its last hour of cooking, melt remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook slowly, whisking frequently, until it darkens to medium brown (don’t let the roux scorch or you’ll have to start over!) Remove from heat and reserve.

Return pan to stove top and remove roast from liquid, keeping it warm. Heat mushroom liquid to boiling and add the roux by spoonfuls, whisking constantly, until gravy thickens.

To serve, mound 1 cup mashed potatoes in center of plate and arrange sliced (or shredded) pot roast around potatoes. Make a well in center of mashed potatoes and fill with mushroom gravy; also drizzle gravy generously over meat.

Grilled Portobello Fajitas
6 large (6 inch diameter) Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2-3 onions, halved and sliced, rings separated
2 dozen flour tortillas, warmed
Garnishes: Guacamole (recipe follows), salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese
Rub Portobello mushrooms with oil and garlic; cook on grill or in grill pan until soft, approx. 20 minutes. Keep warm.
Melt butter in a skillet and sauté onions and peppers until soft (you also can cook them on the grill with the mushrooms). Slice mushrooms into ¾ inch slices; serve mushrooms, onions, and peppers wrapped in warm flour tortillas with guacamole, salsa, and cheese.

Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Risotto
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2-ounce dried porcini broken into pieces with your hands
1/2 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken stock, hot
1/2 pound fresh porcini cleaned and thinly sliced
1 truffle, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
Truffle slices for garnish
In a 12 to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the dried porcini.
Add the wine to the toasting rice, and then add a 4 to 6-ounce ladle of stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Just before adding the last 4 to 6-ounces of stock add the freshly sliced porcini and chopped truffles. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Pack into ramekins; unmold onto plates and top with paper-thin slices of truffle. Serve hot.

Candied Morels
Meringues (recipe follows)
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
2 tablespoons butter
18 morels, trimmed and cleaned, bamboo skewers inserted into juncture between stem and cap

Make and bake meringues; allow to cool.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat, without stirring, to 270 to 290 degrees F (132 to 143 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard but pliable threads. Butter some wax paper to cool the morels on.
Working quickly, swirl the morels in the syrup, letting excess drain back into pan. When each morel is lightly coated, place on buttered wax paper to cool.

Assemble by cutting toothpicks in half and pushing into meringues, then impaling morel stems on exposed toothpick points.

These insults have me green at the gills, but I know what they stem from, so I’ll keep my offended sensibilities under my cap.

Judges, now it’s time for you to do your part.

You have until Sunday, 8 PM EST to post your comments and email me the scores.

When is white truffle season?
I had a white truffle risotto at Valentino in Los Angeles a few years ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Now this thread got me drooling again.
So, when does the season start?

White truffle season in Italy runs from September to December.
:gets weak in the knees thinking about white truffle risotto:

Speaking of truffles:

For those of you that do not know, truffles, both black and white, run about $70 an ounce.

That means that Fenris’ Fritatta would cost nearly $900.

That’s ok, Chairman Java has deep pockets for her Iron Chefs.

Did I mention that I used white truffles in my risotto recipe up there? No?

Well, consider my recipe amended. After all, the deadline isn’t here yet, right? Right?

No?

sigh…

<sucking up, IC Challeger style>
And nothing is too good for our tasters.
</sucking up, IC Challeger style>

Anyone know of a source for fresh truffles? I’ve always wanted to try them. Hell…I’ll try canned truffles if it comes to that.

Fenris

A trained pig and a forest.

As a matter of fact, I was just looking at this web site, which will send you a bit of whicte truffle for $150/oz. (Minimum 1oz order)

This site is shipping fresh Italian white truffles for $200 an ounce :eek:!

Fenris, an easy way to try truffles that won’t break your bank is truffle oil. Use a teaspoon’s worth in a batch of risotto or mashed potatoes. I once used white truffle oil in mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving (I used about 2 ounces for 20 servings, and it turned out really nice).