Monday, August 1, 2011

How to host your own Iron Chef party

Can I get a show of hands of those who love watching the show Iron Chef (both the original Japanese and American versions) on the Food Network?

I do, I do!

Because so many of my friends are foodies AND because Lee and I needed to find a way to hang out with all our single friends when we got married, we started these monthly Iron Chef get togethers.

Here's a good representative of our cast of characters (though we have some missing and some extras):

From left to right: Purple Dinosaur & the Lawyer (married), BeeGee, D-Train, & Smiling D 

 From left to right: The Hot Scot, me, The Smiler, The Lioness (who is married to the Lion)

 From left to right: Lee, MiSharona, Opal, Po, and the Lion

We got together last night for Iron Chef: "Things-You-Can-Make-Around-A-Campfire" Edition.

Yes, we were a little deterred by the rain last night since we were planning on doing it at a campsite up Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We ended up at Tanner Park instead where we had a nice covered picnic area with a fire pit.

It really was coming down at one point in time!

As you can tell from the title for this Iron Chef, we decided to get crazy with campfire foods and methods for cooking campfire foods, such as Dutch Oven, tin foil dinners, and roasting things on a stick.  These parties are always a great excuse to try something new or to make a new recipe.

And look what we got this time!

Roasted hot dogs with BBQ sauce made by D-Train

Spinach artichoke dip with toasted baguette slices made by The Purple Dinosaur and The Lawyer

Israeli Couscous Taco Salad by MiSharona

Roasted corn with salt and butter made by BeeGee

Cheesy potatoes, veggies and hamburger in a Dutch Oven made by Smiling D

Dutch Oven spiced halibut in a cream sauce made by me and Lee

The dessert spread for gourmet s'mores created by Po and The Smiler

Super soft chocolate chip cookies made by Opal
Grilled caramelized  bananas for the gourmet sundaes made by The Lion and The Lioness

Smiling D is truly getting into and enjoying his gourmet s'mores!

Looking at Po's plating for his gourmet s'mores sundae!  Impressive!

This is serious eats!

I'm busting into the s'mores brownies that Po made

It's so fun--you have to try it yourself!  You'll be impressed with what everyone makes and how it tastes!

Because I know you'll have fun and it's fairly easy to set up, here's the basics to hosting your own Iron Chef parties:
  1. Get everyone's email addresses and create a group in your address book under something like "Iron Chef".  This will save you lots of time--promise!
  2. Via email, decide on a day that works best for all of you to meet and how often you'd like to meet.  We meet once a month on a Sunday evening.
  3. Decide if you're going to do it by theme or ingredient.  For your first party, I would recommend that you just decide on something, and when you meet, you can all decide together what you want to do for the next party.
  4. For ingredient, you just choose an ingredient (e.g. basil) or a group of similar ingredients (e.g. citrus) that has to be in everyone's dish somehow. 
  5. For theme, you can choose a region (e.g. Italian) or genre of food (e.g. classic brunch dishes).  Another level of "genre of food" is to add a twist to classic dishes. For example, one time we did a "re-vamped" Thanksgiving Dinner. We were assigned the turkey, so we made it Chinese char-siu style.
  6. Email everyone with the following information: a) date and time you're meeting, b) where you are meeting (ask for volunteers and rotate), c) what the theme/ingredient is, and d) ask for people to sign up for certain types of dishes (salad, soup, appetizer, main entree, side dish, dessert, etc).  Believe me, you don't want everyone to bring a dessert for dinner.  I love my sugar, but that would be ridiculous!
  7. When people have responded which type of dish they would like to bring, send out a master list to everyone. There will usually be a few people who want to be assigned the type of dish--just fill in the gaps if your meal is missing something!
  8. We assume whoever is hosting will be providing paper goods, but you can always assign someone to bring paper goods so clean up is easier
  9. Then meet!  And eat!
  10. You can all vote on what was your favorite dish if you'd like and reward a prize for the best dish.

Oh it's so, so good!
Now go out and make your own group!  Happy eating, fellow Iron Chef-ers!


  1. SUCH a fun idea. I love it! (And my hand is raised hi. Thanks to a brother who was obsessed, and passed on the iron chef obsession to me!)

  2. Also, by hi, I mean high. But HI Winter!

  3. You are the most funnest. I love you guys.

  4. Oh, we missed the best one yet...everything looked so yummy!!!


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