Iron Chef America: Battle Broccoli Recap

Okay, so I wasn’t disappointed with last night’s episode of Iron Chef America – they didn’t use eggplant as the secret ingredient – whew!

Dirt Candy chef Amanda Cohen chose Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to battle it out over … wait for it … broccoli. Yes, broccoli was the secret ingredient, and tons of it. And with the special conditions put in place by the Chairman - all five dishes from each chef must be pure vegetarian and no proteins were allowed (aside from eggs and tofu), this was definitely going to be an interesting battle to watch.

I wasn’t disappointed with the dishes that were prepared by either chef, but I was disappointed that the show didn’t have one vegetarian judge on hand. Instead they had actress Kelly Hu, Redbook writer Melani Mannarino and the Simon Cowell of Iron Chef, Jeffrey Steingarten – who apparently hates broccoli.

The battle was interesting though since Morimoto wasn’t allowed to use any proteins – especially fish and Cohen used about a gazillion pounds of butter in her dishes – who says, vegetarian cooking has to be healthy. And I was pleasantly surprised when both sides chose to do a broccoli dessert. Morimoto did a shaved ice broccoli dessert and Cohen did a broccoli ice cream – with a lot of butter of course.

You could tell just by watching the judging that Iron Chef Morimoto had this one in the bag. His dishes were clean, yet appetizing – even for broccoli. His dishes really highlighted the main ingredient with everything from his sushi appetizer to his broccoli steak and potatoes. In the end, Morimoto easily won, but I think he definitely had to step out of his bento box in order to win this broccoli battle.  

For highlights, videos and pictures, go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/iron-chef-america/

NewsKatherine Peterson