Its amazing the things that you can make with the strangest of ingredients, you ask Jan if you don't believe me!
Anyway the Food Channel runs an hour long show called the Iron Chef, actually there is a new version 'Iron Chef America', but I prefer the Japanese version with its terrible English voice over and the choice of truly bizarre theme ingredients.
Most of which are NOT available in your local Safeway supermarket. When was the last time you saw 'Natto' at the supermarket?
Just in case you are not familiar with Natto, it is stinky, sticky, fermented Soy beans, that the Japanese seem to think are an important ingredient, although considerable effort seems to go into disguising the flavor so you don't have to actually taste the nasty stuff! One report I read said that it was a cross between smelly socks and vomit, with a consistency of something that you would find in the U-bend of a blocked toilet.
The concept of the show is to pit two chefs against each other in a culinary battle that lasts one hour. They are given a theme ingredient and they have to come up with as many dishes as possible. The festivities are presided over by chairman Kaga, whose dress sense is about as good as Michael Jackson's.
The House chefs usually win. Well hell its TV!
Anyway, being a big fan of the Food Channel I was thinking about who I would invite for the ultimate Iron Chef battle. There are lots to chose from. But I think my choices would be a couple of Brits. Now Brits are not really known for their culinary abilities, Fish n Chips with mushey peas are pretty much haute cuisine.
If you are fan of food, you have probably at some point seen Chef Gordon Ramsey, his culinary ability is only exceeded by his colorful use of English swear words. One of my favorite parts was when he told a bunch of would be American chefs they were 'A load of wankers'. That is definitely a brit swear word!
Gordon would make a delightful contestant.
For his opponent I would have to pick Jaime Oliver, another Brit celebrity chef. Jamie's claim to fame was a crusade he went on to revamp 'School Dinners', and I must say that the ones I remember were not nearly as grim as the ones that he was trying to fix.
This in my opinion would make the perfect 'Iron Chef' matchup. Quite how the Japanese commentators would react is beyond me. Even better, how the English voiceover version would sound.
As to the theme ingredient, almost anything would be fun. Natto of course is the first thing that comes to mind, but almost any icky stuff would do!
Bulls nuts! Now thats some good eating!