If you follow the Facebook or the twitter account, you already know the outcome. So please ladies and gentlemen, don't ruin it for the others :)
The secret ingredient is revealed, we have pork tenderloin to cook with. Now we didn't get an unlimited amount like you see in the show.. No no my friend, we got 2 little pieces and had to make do; we also had to think of a recipe right there on the spot. Luckily for my team and I, we had a battle plan.
LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!
Here's what our presentation plate looks like:
- Wild long grain rice
- 2 lbs of pork tenderloin
- (bottled) Teriyaki sauce
- 1 egg
- Balsamic vinegar
- 3 Garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon And lime
These were what our limitations were: 1 hour and only 1 burner to cook all this.. He did we pull off such a feat? Well continue reading to find out how!!
The time starts and we scatter to grab what we think we might need for this. The first thing we do is start a pot of water to get it boiling for the rice. The next thing we do is grab the pork and cut 1 of the pieces in half, then marinade the other pieces. The marinade consists of Salt, Pepper, Oil, the Juice of 1 Orange, Lime, and Lemon along with the zest of 1 Orange. We also added Thyme and a minced clove of Garlic. We let this sit in this concoction while we prepare everything else.
The orange strip on the plate was the next thing we moved to. After we added the rice and brought it to a boil again we removed it from the heat and put it on a counter covered. (We weren't sure if this would work but we were pressed for time and needed to get everything finished).
In another pan we heated diced oranges and the zests from those oranges. We added roughly 4 Tbls of Sugar, a clove of Garlic, and some Thyme. Our original plan was to cook this down until it was a thick sauce. We look at the time and notice 30 minutes have already passed.. That wasn't going to happen. We reach into the bag of equipment we brought with us for something that we can use. We find a blender! The entire hot mixture went straight into the blender and added vegetable oil to make 'an almost' sauce. We found it to be a bit bitter at first so we continued to add sugar until it was perfected.
Once we were content with the taste we needed to cool this immediately. So we found 2 bowls, each smaller than the other. We filled the bigger bowl with ice, and the smaller bowl with the sauce and stirred until the sauce was ice cold.
Lady luck apparently smiled down on us that day because the rice finished amazingly fast without having constant heat. We only had 15 minutes remaining and we hadn't even gotten to the main dishes yet. I grab the cut piece of pork we had saved for the rice and cut it down into small cubes. Then in a hurry I grabbed the rice and heated up 2 Tbls of oil, 1 inch of ginger and 2 gloves of garlic in a large saute pan. The pork went right into a hot pan to quickly infuse the flavors together. Right after I was content with how the pork was cooked, I threw in an egg and scrambled it up. The next thing I added was roughly 2 cups of cooked rice and the juice of 1 orange and mixed quickly to evenly spread the egg out. I went to grab the soy sauce on the table and that's when tragedy struck. It wasn't on the table. I had my 1 sous chef run around looking for it until we realized we weren't provided with soy sauce. What was I going to do?? My sous chef quickly suggested bottle teriyaki sauce, unsure how it would taste, I went along with it just to finish. 10 minutes remaining and pork hadn't been cooked yet. I throw in about 3 Tlbs of the bottled teriyaki sauce in and mix it all together and start plating.
In another pan, balsamic vinegar was added to a hot pan along with sugar to counter act the bitterness. The remaining pork was then cut into equal pieces. 5 minutes remaining. Once the pan was searing hot, the pork was then added to the pan and cooked on both sides.
Mean while I was packing the rice into cups to give them that nice appearance and trying my hardest to figure out how to do the orange strip that you see above. 4 plates were waiting for the pork and 1 minute remained. The pork (thankfully it was cut thin enough) was fully cooked and platted. With seconds to spare, scallions were added for decoration.
The judging was announced at a dinner ceremony (go figure and not with our food) roughly half an hour later. There we are sitting at a table. The 3rd place winners were announced - wasn't us. We look at each other thinking 'okay maybe we got second'... 2nd place was announced - wasn't us..... Again we look at each other with a little defeat in our eyes. Surely we wouldn't win first place.
The place goes silent. You can actually hear a pin fall in a room filled with people.
"The First Place Winner of Iron Chef is......................"
US! We had won!! Cheers erupt from our table of friends and high fives all around. We were ecstatic, elated, and most of all... WINNERS!
So my foodie friends, I share to you my winning recipe. If this all could be done within 1 hour and only 1 burner. Then yes my friends... You can do this too!!!