Monday, December 29, 2008

Iron Chef

it's been a couple of weeks, I know.

this year, my school repeated our annual "Iron Chef" staff/faculty holiday party...we all go to the Spanish teacher's AMAZING apartment in Chelsea (her husband is the dean of NYU's law school, so they gave him two of their apartments and knocked out the wall between them, so she has a single room entertaining space that is literally larger than the footprint of my parents' house in CT...) and bring stuff we've cooked and eat and hang out and get judged.

This year, it seemed like the competitiveness went a little overboard, and I really disagreed with the selection of the "theme ingredient". Instead of a handful of ingredients to choose from, the Powers That Be declared that the theme this year was "regional cooking". Regions would be randomly assigned to the four teams (of 9th-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th-grade teachers) and we'd have to cook within our region.

It was basically the opposite of Iron Chef. The point of Iron Chef is that everybody has a specialty, and you can make that specialty apply to whatever theme ingredients you are assigned. With this new way, your specialty was thrown out the window. So if somebody was an amazing Spanish cook, they might get assigned Korean food, and if someone was focused on Indian food they might get assigned to do European food...blah.

Because there was so much complaining, the Powers That Be allowed people to draw twice and keep whichever they chose. In the end, our four regions were: American, American Regional (Southern), Mediterranean, and Latin American. Basically, the four most boring regions, stuff we eat all the time anyway. Sure, there might be a Chinese food specialist on your team, but most of the team couldn't cook that, so better to go with American, eh?

Anyway, we drew Mediterranean, so I made chicken marsala with Priya. We made it a couple of days early and had a nice chicken marsala dinner ourselves before fridging it. I think it came out great, among the best it's ever come out--very tender and delicious. With roasted-garlic bread, Caesar salad, and capellini:

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