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What secret ingredient would you like to see on Iron Chef America?

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Personally, the sadistic side of me would like to see Spam as the secret ingredient.

Have one big table full of canned Spam when the secret ingredient is revealed by the Chairman.

A close runner-up I'd like to see is durian. 5 courses of durian. Yowza.

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  1. Offal. Was hoping they would do it when Cosentino competed, but instead they gave him garlic (yawn).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Morton the Mousse

      Hey you guys at Iron Chef, do you look at this site?
      herbs provinciale interests me. They would be a good secret ingredient.
      Then continue with spice and herb combinations from around the world.
      Just imagine India, North Africa, Central America

    2. American cheese. I remember the episode of Top Chef Season 2 where they had to make something with these five ingredients including American cheese. It seemed that all the chefs were OK with the other ingredients but couldn't really figure out what to do with the cheese.

      Battle Durian would be fun to watch. I generally only see plain durian, durian ice cream and durian shakes. it would be interesting to see how else it could be incorporated. I once had a durian chocolate souffle cake that I found pretty revolting.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        I agree about Durian fruit, I'd love to see that. Especially with that female judge who leans in and snorts the food before tasting it. Get a whiff of this, lady.

        As for American cheese, I'm turned off from the idea ever since witnessing (with disgust) Paula Deen rolling up her Chocklit Cheeze Bawls (with velveeta...yech) during the episode when she was teamed with Cat Cora.

        I personally would like to see Anchovies as the secret ingredient. And if they've done that already....someone let me know!

        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

          Hilarious. You mean the plus-size woman?

          Jeffrey would pronounce Durian "inedible", or "not really food", and for once he'd be right.

          I bet the Japanese lady would pronounce every Durian dish "greasy" or "oily".
          It's always "a little greasy" or "too oily" for her. Creepy. But riveting.

        2. re: Miss Needle

          american cheese freaks out chefs because it's already too perfect to make better.

          1. re: beelzebozo

            Yeah....that *must* be it. :^)

            Same deal for spam.

            Oh, and vienna sausages too LOL

        3. asafoetida plant

          1. Tea. Sometimes used as a traditional ingredient, but also allows room for creativity.

            1 Reply
            1. re: limster

              They have used tea.

            2. Thought the following might prove to lend themselves to some interesting dishes:

              Mangosteen
              Vanilla
              Passionfruit
              They could be used in both main course and dessert presentations... Oh the possibilities.!

              1. Spam would actually be more palatable to me than the Cranberry ingredient they used for the Giadia/Rachel Ray Battle. If Morimoto was the IC I'm sure he could do some good Okinawa-inspired dishes.

                3 Replies
                1. re: joeyz

                  Have they done Coffee?

                  It seems familiar enough to me that they might have....that's my first thought...I'd like to dwell on it. LOL

                  Iron Chef is like my guilty food network pleasure.

                  1. re: sommrluv

                    I believe coffee bean was the ingredient on a recent episode with Cora.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Yup, it was coffee in the Cora v. Ken Oringer battle...and it was my favorite battle ever!

                2. Hard to top Durian, Tea, American Cheese, Anchovies or Spam, but perhaps.....

                  Raisins or
                  Wheat Thin Crackers or
                  Jello?

                  There's always room for Jello!

                  1. 1. A set of (at least 6) Indian, Ethiopian, or Middle Eastern spices
                    2. The head of a cow, pig, or goat
                    3. Squirrel
                    4. Sun dried pig fat
                    5. Chicken feet
                    6. Pig's blood
                    7. Cheap roe from something like carp
                    8. Andean amaranth
                    9. Amazonian camu camu

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Sam you are a man of both substance and style. Me, I'd like to see termites.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Can you imagine big vats of pig blood being unveiled by the chairman?

                        How utterly delicious ...

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Thank you. I don't mean to sound like a pompous jackass; but these are things that I think I can manage and sometimes wonder how others do.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Great list Sam! Perhaps, along that same vein....

                            Burweed
                            Rat Plum (or Buckthorn Fruit)
                            Preserved Eggs
                            Jellyfish

                            1. re: scoopG

                              On the original Iron Chef they did natto once. Morimoto used Coke in one of his dishes, shocking the audience and presenters.

                              1. re: jlafler

                                Yeah, that whole battle looked nasty.

                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                  I once read a great quote from one of the regular judges on the original IC about how the secret ingredient can be hit or miss for the judges: "Sometimes you get homard lobsters, and sometimes you get natto."

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Sam..or rattlesnake!

                        3. all these recomendations should be used when Andrew Zimmerman, the guy from Bizzare Foods is the challenger chef

                          1. Tripe. I love Menudo, but most Americans won't go near Tripe which is eaten worldwide. (The Italians have some really great recipes.) And, in response, I would love to see the judge's faces as each dish is presented to them...

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Leper

                              oooo, that's a good one. I love tripe.

                              1. re: Leper

                                I'm so glad Karine Bakhoum is gone so I don't have to see the narrow biases on her face.

                                1. re: Minger

                                  I can't stand her, how is she gone?

                                  1. re: Minger

                                    Didn't she just judge Battle Tomato? Or was that an old episode?

                                    1. re: rumgum

                                      I saw Battle Goat w/ Jose Andres without Karine and thought she was gone. But then I realized it was a rerun.

                                    2. re: Minger

                                      A favorite exchange:

                                      Karine: "You like it because it's FRIED Jeffrey."
                                      Steingarten: "You like it because it's FOOD, Karine."

                                      1. re: jmckee

                                        LOL

                                        1. re: jmckee

                                          C'est magnifique!

                                    3. OK
                                      Something smelly:
                                      Smelly tofu.

                                      Something bland
                                      iceberg lettuce

                                      Something artificial
                                      Cheez whiz

                                      Something weird
                                      Mad Dog 20/20.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                        oooooohhhh, MD 20/20! nectar of the winos.

                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                          That sounds like the wedding rule, "Something borrowed, something blue..." in hell.

                                        2. Ooh, have they ever done yams? Real yams, not sweet potatoes: the kind that grow to be the size of baseball bats.

                                          1. Live mammal!

                                            Flay chasing a cow, Batali after a chicken, ... :-)

                                            Bad YoDuh! Sit!

                                            Locavore: Def. "Crazy about eating"

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: YoDuh

                                              LOL!

                                              Or an electric eel.

                                              1. re: YoDuh

                                                Yeah, they get their seafood alive sometimes, why not a chicken?

                                              2. have they done a peanut butter challenge?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: beelzebozo

                                                  There was a peanut battle with Lynn Crawford vs. Flay. It included peanut butter.

                                                2. Terrific question!

                                                  Im dying to see them use and cook with/pair with beer and give them some good craft beers (not the macro garbage) hey, they did coffee, why not BEER? that would be awesome.

                                                  others Id like:
                                                  squid/octopus
                                                  tempeh
                                                  habanero
                                                  oh yeah, Beer

                                                  good suggestions here: Id like to also see vanilla and yams

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: yankeefan

                                                    The Morimoto/Donna rematch featured squid. Also, there was a chile pepper battle between Love and Morimoto.

                                                    1. re: Blueicus

                                                      yeah and I thought the chili pepper battle was hugely unfair to morimoto. Alton in his narration said that only one type of pepper grows in Japan, so Morimoto had to taste them all to see which ones were hotter. I think he bit into a habanero, ouch.

                                                      Then they pair him up against a chef with a cowboy hat---gee I wonder if that guy has cooked with chili peppers before?

                                                      Also unfair was the battle with Mario batali.....and the ingredient was fennel! His opponent didn't stand a chance, LOL

                                                      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                                                        Oddly enough, on the Japanese Iron Chef, the chef working with an unfamiliar ingredient often won, probably because it forced him to become creative and gave him a sympathy edge with the judges.

                                                        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                                                          >>only one type of pepper grows in Japan, so Morimoto had to taste them all<<

                                                          It looked to me like Morimoto-san ate the tip of a good old jalapeno; I could be wrong.

                                                          However, there was no mistaking his discomfort mere seconds after chewing the pepper in question; he gasped, removed the offending item from his Iron Mouth(tm) then started to reach for a bottle of water before coughing a total Looney Tunes-style fire-cough. You could literally see the vapor coming from his gaping mouth while his eyes watered tears of the Buddah.

                                                          Always the consummate professional, Morimoto-san had the wherewithal to turn his head away from the food while he coughed..

                                                          Seriously, the cough was so exaggerated as to be funny in that Jerry Lewis way, although I felt bad for the guy because 1) he's my favorite IC, and 2) it looked like it hurt.

                                                          -cb-

                                                    2. stone ground grits! hah! deal with THAT!

                                                      1. I'd like to see leftovers as the secret ingredient.

                                                        You know, when you have one lonely piece of BBQ chicken, a bowl of soup, some cooked rice and spaghetti in the fridge. Iron Chef Flay: what do you do? My family callls it "tastefully presenting for a second time."

                                                        Perhaps more realistically, I'd love to see vanilla.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: miss_bennet

                                                          LeftoversI like that! Great Idea!
                                                          I'd like to think I'm the queen of gourmet garbage!

                                                          I'm wishing they'd do chilis - dried and fresh. See them make sauces, tamales, rellenos, soups and all. If they've done it, DARN I missed it!

                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                            How about just Habanero's. The judges would be screaming uncle while running to the bathroom as judging ends.

                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                              LOL! ya know I've been pretty quiet about how annoying some of those judges are. I don't like hate them just find them on the pretenious side and sort of silly so I think you're idea would be perfect for, Karine, Andrew and the lady that thinks everything is "oily". oh yeah and the food blogger, seems not much was good to her. Of course I watch just to get annoyed.

                                                          2. re: miss_bennet

                                                            Sounds like the kitchen challenge on The Splendid Table. I like the idea.

                                                            1. re: miss_bennet

                                                              One of the guys who helped out on my grandfather's farm when I was a kid called it "mustgo". LOL.

                                                            2. In the vein of stinky, sticky theme ingredients, what about gorgonzola?

                                                              1. Scrapple, velveeta and Uncle Ben's rice. Wait, Top Chef's already done that challenge!

                                                                1. Battle Rocky Mountain Oyster

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dave_c

                                                                    LOL. Nice!!

                                                                    I can just picture the secret ingredient table piled high with all kinds of animal genitalia as the chefs race up to grab at them: small ones, big ones, heavy ones, etc. Some of the chefs will usually start off tasting the raw ingredients as they bring the secret ingredient to their work area to ascertain freshness, I doubt that will happen in this challenge.

                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                      I'd pay good money to watch "Battle Pizzle"

                                                                      1. re: Blueicus

                                                                        Okay... I looked up the word Pizzle.
                                                                        Now I realize the Bully Sticks I've been giving my dogs are pizzle! All this time I thought they were just beef tendons.

                                                                        Learn something new everyday!

                                                                        Another battle that would be interesting is Battle Chicken/Duck Feet. Maybe kind of boring compared to all the other recommendations. lol :-D

                                                                    2. re: dave_c

                                                                      Battle Rocky mountain oysters, with chefs Paula Deen and Cat Cora. The chairman asking the chefs (with a straight face) to come up with succulent variations ...and then asking the chefs (with a straight face) to explain their strategies ...Alton Brown describing the cooking techniques and how they affect the secret ingredient....

                                                                    3. I would like to see something for different taste buds
                                                                      Sweet - Maple Syrup
                                                                      Bitter - Beer
                                                                      Salty - fleur de sel
                                                                      Sour - Lemon (maybe sounds boring, but I love lemon flavored everything)

                                                                      1. Mint, unless they have already done it.
                                                                        Acai Berry

                                                                        Then a few hard ones like marmite or scrapple or velveeta.

                                                                        1. Battle FUGU! But that would just be mean.

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: rumgum

                                                                            From the graduate Battle Kimodo Dragon.

                                                                            1. re: beteez

                                                                              You mean the Freshman, right?

                                                                              1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                correct

                                                                            2. re: rumgum

                                                                              I just read that some guy has developed a non-poisonous Fugu, so they can cheat now.

                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                Not some guy, but a research program that feeds fugu food that doesn't create the toxin. Resisted by the Japanese fugu economic mafia that wants to maintain the macho bullshit high risk and even higher cost thrill. The delicacy of realy fugu liver is now accessable.

                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                  Baked trigger fish livers could make a freight train take a dirt road. For my initiation in Cozumel as an "hermano" I was required to eat a dozen of them, with my 13 brothers laughing uncontrollably. Said to be healthy and has connections with mayan virility. Incredibly oily and pungent.

                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                    There you go, directly from Sam the Man.

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                      I wonder if a divergence from the fugu's natural diet will have any impact on the flavor of the liver.

                                                                                2. I always like to see the live seafood battles. I am imagining a live large catfish battle, you know, the ones that are really big <5 feet? they'd have to grab them by the mouth and pull them out of the tank.

                                                                                  Also: Huitlacoche!

                                                                                  Have they already done Coca-cola?

                                                                                  Chitlins...

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                    uh, moh? this huitlacoche? http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/...

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Dang, Alkapal, that is a hilarious link! I particularly like his reworking of the Goya brand can of Huitlacoche...

                                                                                      I must say, I have never seen it naked out of a can like that... Pretty scary... Which would in my eyes make it a perfect Iron Chef America secret ingredient! Part of what made the original Iron Chef so much fun was the wild and wacky ingredients. Natto battle remains my favorite to this day. (Not that it makes me want to eat Natto in any way, I'm still a little scared to try it. That being said, I have tentatively planned a date to try my first natto soonish).

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Wow, just read that link. Alas it can not now be unseen.

                                                                                    2. How about a theme like ice cream?

                                                                                      Plantains
                                                                                      Edible flowers
                                                                                      Buckwheat
                                                                                      Mirin
                                                                                      Orange concentrate
                                                                                      Have they done pomegranates?
                                                                                      Vanilla
                                                                                      Sardines? (They did a small fish but I don't remember what...)
                                                                                      Tongues
                                                                                      Cucumbers

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Richard 16

                                                                                        just used orange juice concentrate with teriyaki country style pork ribs. a little goes a long way, shall i say.....

                                                                                      2. I'd like to see Okra on IC

                                                                                        1. After all these choices, I think I'd like to see the secret ingredient be...
                                                                                          Jeffrey Steingarten

                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mack184

                                                                                            OOooh, cannibalism. I like it!

                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                              I dunno... i just got a strange (and otherwise unrelated) email about eating placenta. but perhaps this post has crossed that 'line'.

                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                Aha!
                                                                                                "The other white meat!"
                                                                                                It would be a real challange, as I hear that unless handled carefully, Steingarten can be tough.

                                                                                              2. re: mack184

                                                                                                "i think this dish is a little too fatty...."

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  Hahaha, brilliant idea. And serve a side of Katayama (Ms. Too Oily) and all the judges can go "This dish is too lean".

                                                                                                  1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                    Hilarious.

                                                                                                    "Is a little too greasy."

                                                                                                    "Is so oily."

                                                                                                    1. re: uptown jimmy

                                                                                                      Alton: "Welcome back to Battle Long Pork Judges.
                                                                                                      It looks like the challenger is breaking out the
                                                                                                      dreaded ice cream machine though it seems
                                                                                                      he needs a bigger door for his Jeffreeze to work.
                                                                                                      Even if he can manage the stuffing, it may not be edible.
                                                                                                      Meanwhile chef Morimoto is sniffing the thin slices
                                                                                                      of his traditional Katayama confit. No doubt a homage
                                                                                                      to his early lean years of serving judges."

                                                                                                      All seriousness aside, it would be very entertaining if one
                                                                                                      episode had the "judges" cook and the real IC's were the
                                                                                                      real judges. "Welcome back to Battle Dihydrogen Monoxide".

                                                                                                      Bad YoDuh! Sit!

                                                                                                      1. re: YoDuh

                                                                                                        me no want "jeffreeze".

                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                          Can I get bacon with my Jeffreeze?

                                                                                                          1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                            Bacon is too oily. Is a little greasy.

                                                                                                            1. re: uptown jimmy

                                                                                                              "I feel this Jeffricasee has so much going on on the plate. The Karin tartare looked wonderful with the edible flowers, but was too greasy and didn't relate to the Jeffrey at all. The sparkler distracted me and my Joel McHale was sour and overcooked. The Jeffricasee's crispy coating stood up well, though, and it was perfectly seasoned, even if a little too oily."

                                                                                              3. Avocado or tofu!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Heyteacher

                                                                                                  Tofu is a good idea, but maybe broaden it to include other soy products such as edemame, miso, soy milk, fermented bean curd. An obvious choice to compete would be IC Morimoto, but it might be fun to see Bobby Flay in the hotseat.

                                                                                                  They'd never do it, but I love to fantasize about processed cheese -- American cheese slices, Velveeta, CheezWhiz, etc. Sorry my evil side coming out.

                                                                                                2. I am thinking about canned tuna, if it is not done already so. Whomever turns up that ice cream machine and makes a "edible" sorbet should win in this case...Katrina Markoff (the Vosges lady) should be the judge, in case someone comes up something like a candied tuna white chocolate black pepper creation.

                                                                                                  I know it is suggested above, but marmite might be interesting and tough...

                                                                                                  Did they do kimchi?

                                                                                                  On a prettier note (again suggested above), edible flowers such as rose petals and violets could work well both for savory and sweet (think rose petal quail from Like Water for Chocolate). In any case, the sorbet will unquestionably better than canned tuna one :P

                                                                                                  1. up for getting thread going again when watching a recent episode.

                                                                                                    how about eggplant? thats a food that really stretches across cuisines and I personally would like a little Alton description of the different types.

                                                                                                    1. Battle Velveeta!
                                                                                                      Not Morimoto as the IC, tho--that'd be too cruel.

                                                                                                      Battle M&Ms!

                                                                                                      Battle Coldcuts? As long as they promise *not* to fire up the ice cream maker....

                                                                                                      Exotic stuff is okay, but I want to see some battles featuring ingredients I have or can get at my local grocery store or farmers' market.

                                                                                                      Ooooh, Battle Tri-tip! Man, I'd pay to see that one!

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                        Battle hot dogs?

                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                          I believe ICA is ready for this new horizon in secret foods. Anyone can make outstanding dishes with $800 per lb toro tuna or exotic fungi, but real creativity lies in elevating the humble to the sublime, just as a great composer oes with a simple country melody when he transforms it into the backbone of an entire symphonic piece.

                                                                                                          Yes! The sun will shine brightly on the ICA studios once again as the doors are flung open and the fusty air of exclusivity dissipates in the warm, scented breezes of commonality!

                                                                                                          1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                            Jerry Seinfeld replaces Alton as the emcee,

                                                                                                            "The secret ingredient is.......NOTHING!"

                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                              ROTFLMAO

                                                                                                          2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                            you missed rachel ray's battle "hot dog" with judge gordon ramsay? too funny (in a sick way)! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uBNE7...

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              lol, no I didn't miss it. I was horribly disgusted by it.... that inspired my post :)

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                I turned it off after a minute. It was horrible. Just freakin' horrible.

                                                                                                            2. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                              YES!

                                                                                                            3. How bout..

                                                                                                              Battle Canned Food!

                                                                                                              No fresh ingredients allowed, the alternate title could be "A glimpse at LabRat's childhood"!

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                Battle Pickles!!!

                                                                                                                I'd be interested to see battle cucumber.

                                                                                                                1. re: starlady

                                                                                                                  That's a nice idea.

                                                                                                                  I also liked the eggplant idea. Challenging, but potentially delicious, and with established approaches from many parts of the world.

                                                                                                              2. Hot Dogs
                                                                                                                Coca-Cola
                                                                                                                Ritz Crackers
                                                                                                                Fritos

                                                                                                                1. Laetiporus Sulphureus

                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laetiporus

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. Two ways to play it.. rocky mountain oysters, or bones..

                                                                                                                    1. Battle human.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                        It's been done already

                                                                                                                        http://www.dangerouslogic.com/battlel...

                                                                                                                      2. Luffa.

                                                                                                                        1. Pork Belly!!
                                                                                                                          David Chang Vs Symon

                                                                                                                          1. well in the episodes i saw i might consider if the show would use foods from asia mainly Philippine foods:
                                                                                                                            1. the purple yams ("UBE")
                                                                                                                            2. Durian Fruit
                                                                                                                            3. Banana heart
                                                                                                                            4. dare i say it....BABY FOOD lol
                                                                                                                            5. Aloe Vera...don't know if its edible but what the heck!
                                                                                                                            6. "LAING"
                                                                                                                            7 "Sileng Labuyo"
                                                                                                                            so far that's what i would choose but give me a few more hours before i can think of anything else
                                                                                                                            OOOOOOOoooooooo Philippine "TUYO" would be nice too maybe even "Bagoong" think of it 5 courses with aromas like that!

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: karaiko

                                                                                                                              Gusto ko ang paksiw ng musang o sawa (vinegar and garlic cooked civit cat or snake). Mas masarap ang tinapa kaysa ang tuyo (the dried fish is much better than the salted).

                                                                                                                              Welcome to chowhound

                                                                                                                              1. re: karaiko

                                                                                                                                aloe vera is a funny choice, because, it's a natural "laxative," and therefore the chef who presented first would win by default. no judge would make it to the second chef's dishes.

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  I LIKE it.

                                                                                                                                  Lets have Katrine Bakoum, Katie Lee Joel, and Akiko Katayama as judges.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                    now THAT's a creative concept, right there! see who could last the longest..... before an anguished look of maximum gastrointestinal discomfort marred their otherwise lovely faces, and they sprinted off set, clutching their bowels before they exploded.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                      Akiko: "It's too oi--AIEEEE! GET OUT OF MY WAY!"

                                                                                                                                2. What about where the ingredient they must use is cadaverine, or, some mass of an ingredient that's unidentifiable, whose origin is only revealed to the chefs at the end. Or, they must make their dishes with 'love'?

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                    Moderators, please please please delete Cinnamon's last suggestion...it's too close to Valentine's day and I would hate to have to stop watching the show because they finally completed the American bastardization of the much better Japanese version by following the vomit-inducing suggestion of making all the dishes with LOVE, lol

                                                                                                                                  2. marshmallow peeps

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm so with you with durian, I will like to be a judge for that episode!

                                                                                                                                      1. Those scary little canned Vienna Sausages with the provision that they must be served intact and undamaged. Not only are they really low-brow and weird (sort of like bologna-flavored baby food extruded into cylinders) but watching the chefs try to get them out intact would be a riot.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pzz

                                                                                                                                          hey, don't diss vienna sausages like that! they were pre-interstate take-along food for my parents on summer vacations

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                            You must understand one thing about me - when I say "low-brow and weird" it's a compliment. I've eaten the dammed things and am willing to readily admit it. And I'll do it again. FYI, they sell the living hell out of them at my local Costco here in snooty, high-brow San Luis Obispo, CA.

                                                                                                                                        2. Junk food, like an entire table with canisters of Pringles, packets of Chips Ahoy cookies, and packages of Little Debbie snack cakes. I'd love to see what the Iron Chefs could do with stuff like that.

                                                                                                                                          Vanilla

                                                                                                                                          Chipotle

                                                                                                                                          Avocado (so I can see some gourmet guacamole, at least!)

                                                                                                                                          Soda

                                                                                                                                          Plain yogurt

                                                                                                                                          WINE!

                                                                                                                                          Mushrooms - morels, truffles, oyster, shitake, chanterelles, portobello, etc

                                                                                                                                          Tabasco sauce

                                                                                                                                          Lentils

                                                                                                                                          Lamb

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                            avocado, lentils, mushrooms, lamb & yogurt have actually all been done, and chipotles were part of Battle Chiles.

                                                                                                                                            vanilla could be interesting...though i don't know how much the dishes would appeal to me since i'm not a fan of it in savory things.

                                                                                                                                            complete list/history of all ICA battles if you're interested:
                                                                                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              Whoa, how'd I miss all those? Thanks, ghg!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                unless you're an insomniac like me who stumbles across the reruns late at night, i'm not surprised you missed them ;)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  I watched a lot of Iron Chef when I was breastfeeding my daughter.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlafler

                                                                                                                                                    well, i'm single & childless so i can't use that excuse!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                              bubbly wine has been an ingredient.

                                                                                                                                            3. Pork with pineapple.

                                                                                                                                              1. Anyone have the time to list all the suggestions that have been actually used in the past 2-3 years? I think maple syrup has been used. Also battle offal. I think there was an eggplant (or am I remembering an ICJapan episode). No one mentioned radish.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                  At your service.

                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the link. I'm surprised that several ingredients and themes, like coconut, chocolate, turkey, and Thanksgiving have been repeated. I guess there's nothing wrong with revisiting certain items, but it would be fun to see a brand new ingredient per episode.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                      How about okra and/or collard greens?

                                                                                                                                                  2. Remember the YouTube video of the pink caulk like substance they call the chicken McNugget before they got coated and fried? How about that?

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                      the paste with the pulverized bones and all? mechanically separated chicken?
                                                                                                                                                      euuwww.

                                                                                                                                                    2. ingredients i'd like to see that i *know* haven't been done:
                                                                                                                                                      - cardamom
                                                                                                                                                      - cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                      - seaweed/sea vegetables
                                                                                                                                                      - pasta
                                                                                                                                                      - hazelnuts
                                                                                                                                                      - pistachios
                                                                                                                                                      - mussels
                                                                                                                                                      - saffron

                                                                                                                                                      and nothing would make me happier than a completely *gluten-free* battle!

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                        Or how about "Battle Gluten"?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                          *every* battle seems like Battle Gluten to me...most of the time i wouldn't be able to eat at least half of the dishes.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                          I was just going to suggest sea vegetables. Just between dulse, arame, wakame, hijiki, agar-agar, etc, they'd have plenty to work with.

                                                                                                                                                          Others I'd like to see:

                                                                                                                                                          -turnip
                                                                                                                                                          -horseradish
                                                                                                                                                          -kiwi
                                                                                                                                                          -tofu (not soy, that's too easy)
                                                                                                                                                          -molasses

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                            ooh, molasses and horseradish are good ones!

                                                                                                                                                            tofu's been done (surprise, surprise, Morimoto was the IC for that one).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                              I haven't seen the tofu one! Now I need to look for it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.google.com/search?q=iron+c...

                                                                                                                                                                ;)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        3. Ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                          Vodka
                                                                                                                                                          Mustard
                                                                                                                                                          Rainbow Chard
                                                                                                                                                          Cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                          Cashews
                                                                                                                                                          Srirarcha sauce
                                                                                                                                                          Cereal - just because I want to see someone do something spectacular with Fruit Loops

                                                                                                                                                          Themes:

                                                                                                                                                          Romance
                                                                                                                                                          Ballpark food
                                                                                                                                                          At The Movies (because you could interpret this so many ways, to either cinema snacks or food revolving around different films of the chefs' choosing)
                                                                                                                                                          Wedding

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Glam Foodie

                                                                                                                                                            Wow, GF. your theme food ideas are really creative. They would make great shows.

                                                                                                                                                            Just no more fish, please.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                                              Aw, thanks junescook! And yes, I agree; I like fish and seafood, but it limits the chefs a bit.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Glam Foodie

                                                                                                                                                              I believe fruit loops appeared on chopped.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                technically they were generic "fruit rings," but yes, they did - in the second All-Stars episode. though i'd imagine that with weeks to think about it, an hour to prepare the dishes, and no restrictions or requirements on other ingredients they *have* to use, the competitors on Iron Chef could come up with something better than just using them to crust a venison chop :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  Chopped never uses brand name items.

                                                                                                                                                                  Wonder why.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                    neither does ICA - they always blur out labels or slap the show's logo over them. and i remember reading years ago that Rachael Ray has a designer who mocks up packaging for all the products she uses...yet i've seen other hosts like Giada, Bobby & Ina using Trader Joe's products, Fage yogurt, Nielsen-Massey vanilla, and some other clearly recognizable products with no label modification...so it's obviously not a network policy. strange.

                                                                                                                                                            3. Scrapple

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mattlear

                                                                                                                                                                Excellent suggestion - and you know somebody's probably going to try adding in truffles or wasabi with it somehow.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Soylent Green

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                                                                                                                  LOLLOLO!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                2. i'd like to see a cinnamon challenge. and tomato might be interesting too.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jamieeats

                                                                                                                                                                    Bobby Flay won Battle Tomato a few years ago against Martin Rios, a chef from Santa Fe, NM.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                      i'll have to try and find that episode online, i'd love to see it!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jamieeats

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.google.com/search?q=iron+c...

                                                                                                                                                                        enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Left-overs A single chicken breast, a half a bowl vegetable soup, three cooked Brussels sprouts, etc. To make it more interesting, all ingredients would be in translucent or solid Tupperware bowls. The IC and challenger wouldn't know what they had until they got them to their kitchens and opened them. Unlike the current scenario, where they are given three possibilities ahead of time so they can pre-plan, this would truly be thinking on their feet.

                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                      lol. although that's kinda "chopped".

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                        I would love to see some shockingly mundane stuff in these showa just for kicks. Like battle tilapia filet, or Chopped with the most surprising baskets of all time: chicken breast, carrots, potatoes, butter, etc... just to see how creative people an be.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                          actually, ICA did Battle Tilapia back in '05. competitors were Mario Batali & Wylie Dufresne.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                            That's so funny, because it was just on last evening!! Kind of interesting. I was flipping throught the channels--so lucky I caught it.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                            The current season had radish, bell pepper and mozzarella. Previous had oatmeal, cauliflower and lemons. Those are pretty mundane, aren't they? Except when you are expected to make 5 outstanding dishes highlighting the ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                          Sorta piggy-backing on that idea: rotisserie chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                            Kind of like Doorknock Dinners in Kitchen Stadium.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                              oh please no. i can just imagine the stupid door-knock scripts i'm SURE the chefs would be required to act out at the beginning of each battle - like the Chariman's ridiculous [witless] banter with each competitor...but *so* much worse.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                Now that we've put the fear of God back on this thread....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                  ha! sorry about that :)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                              This I would watch!

                                                                                                                                                                            3. slugs
                                                                                                                                                                              breast milk

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cookies223

                                                                                                                                                                                They've done slugs. Technically, a slug is a snail.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Battle Water

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mljones99

                                                                                                                                                                                  lol

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Random three:
                                                                                                                                                                                  Popcorn
                                                                                                                                                                                  Granola
                                                                                                                                                                                  Pomegranates

                                                                                                                                                                                  Or how about things commonly thought of as pairings

                                                                                                                                                                                  Peanut Butter & Jelly
                                                                                                                                                                                  Ketchup & Mustard

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josquared

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner Impossible had a mixed-up pairings episode, tied to a 'Divorce Court' celebration. For example jelly was paired with red beans
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ro...
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/dinner-imp...

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Lutefisk

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                                                                                                                                      but who would be the right challenger and iron chef for that? Mr Bizarre Foods v. guest Iron Chef Marcus Samuelson??

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Winter melon. [not (sweet) melon, which has been done before] (done on ICJ)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Bitter gourd.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Belacan.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Fu yee [wet (preserved) bean curd in salted rice wine], with and without chili.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Abalone. (done on ICJ)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Pig intestines. (chitterlings)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Mam ca (Vietnamese) or nahm pla raa (Thai).
                                                                                                                                                                                      Cockles (as opposed to other types of clams).

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For a themed show, how about Battle Milk and Cookies! Have different milks and flours. Oven space would be limited, so they'd have to find others ways to cook them.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zuklaak

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a cute one!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bones and bone marrow

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Monosodium glutamate

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Instant Mashed Potatoes! Can't you just hear Alton describing the differences in brands?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Battle package food, nothing fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Vegemite - like to see them make that palatable (apologies to any Australians present).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Natto!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stinky bean curd!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I first learned about natto from an Iron Chef Japan overtime battle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who do you nominate as judges for the bean curd? Besides yourself? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's a bit of a joke, but we've always said they should do Battle Water!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oooh, ooh me! Me! I love stinky bean curd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. jellybeans,cereal(sugary),soda