by Cynthia Tintorri
September 04, 2012
What would you make if you were presented with a basket of food that included tofu, chipotle peppers, Cornish hens, rice noodles, quinoa, ground turkey, coconut milk, dates, a jalapeno-almond dark chocolate bar, and eel sauce? (What the heck is eel sauce?!)
Just to make things exciting, you have 45 minutes to create two dishes, using most of the ingredients in the basket, while being watched by judges and a crowd of spectators at the Great Allentown Fair's Iron Chef competition.
NCC's own Susan Roth, chef/instructor in the culinary arts program and Iron Chef competitor extraordinaire, took this -- her words -- "crazy basket" and calmly whipped up an appetizer and entrée, scoring her fifth consecutive win.
This year, the competition was stiff: she was up against Abe Lopez, executive chef at Sangria and Valenca restaurants, and winner of The Food Network's Chopped in 2009. "Abe was a great competitor. To me, his having won Chopped made this competition as good as it gets!" Chef Roth says.
Her winning appetizer was mini Thai turkey burgers over rice noodles tossed with tofu, veggies, coconut milk, and eel sauce, flavored with cilantro, lime, and ginger.
Her judge-pleasing entrée was pan-seared semi-boneless Cornish hen over date-and-orange-infused quinoa with mole sauce.
Roth's biggest competition may be yet to come. "The deal with my family and friends was that if I won for a fifth time, I'd have to apply to be on Chopped," Chef Roth explains.
Stay tuned -- we'll be sure to let you know if she's chosen and when episodes will air. Potential competitors better start sharpening their knives -- they'll be up against the best of the best!
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