40 years old today + Iron Chef

The birthday celebrations have been going on all week of course, but yesterday was pretty spectacular. In the morning Steven Gould — whose birthday it actually was — had released the theme ingredient for the Iron Chef Battle we had planned. [1. Originally we were going to do it today, but decided to move it to yesterday because a couple of the guests had flights out today.] Welcome to Iron Chef Pear!

We all trouped over to Grandma’s church for her 104th birthday party and then went straight from there to shop for Iron Chef. At first we were going to shop separately, but then thought, what? We’ll see each other in the store and be shocked that, “OMG! You’re buying pears!”

Back home the two teams — headed by Alethea Kontis and me — began cooking. There are two kitchens at Mom and Dad’s which is part of why I wanted to try an Iron Chef battle in real time. You know, because we could. I took the kitchen in the other house so we’d both be in unfamiliar kitchens and we gave ourselves two hours to compensate for not having Kitchen Stadium.

Here are the results in video form.

Here are writeup’s from Alethea Kontis, David D. Levine and Steve‘s flickr lineup plus combined photos in my Picasa album

Edited to add:
The recipes our dishes were based on.
Warm peppered pears with dolce gorgonzola and fried sage on watercress
Smoked Pear and Parsnip Bisque with frizzled ginger
Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Pears and Pear-Brandy Cream Sauce served with Gorgonzola and Red Pear Risotto
I just made up the zinfandel poached pear with dark chocolate and pistachio icecream.

So tonight we are dressing formally for my birthday dinner, but I don’t know how I will top last night’s meal.

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