This is Rundel Park, or at least what we called the house we used to live in on that street. It is an old house in a quiet city neighborhood where I lived in the downstairs apartment and my brother lived upstairs. It was the perfect way to ‘live’ with siblings as adults.
One day, being lazy boys in search of a home cooked meal, my brother and his roommate came up with the idea for ‘Iron Chef Rundel Park’. It was to work similar to the Food Network show that requires two chefs to cook up several courses in 60 minutes using a surprise ingredient (revealed at the start of the hour) in all dishes. While they were in it merely for the food, it was a great idea!
To work in our apartments that were inconveniently not equipped with access to an unlimited pantry, we were given several hours notice of the secret ingredient to plan and shop.
My brother and his roommate volunteered to ‘take on’ the role of judge, and chose jalapenos as the secret ingredient (coincidentally, one of my brother’s favorite foods). We had to prepare 3 dishes (including dessert) and a drink. We would be judged on taste, plating, creativity and use of the secret ingredient.
With music blasting and fun aprons tied, we set to work preparing. Let it be known, 60 minutes is not a very long time! In our scurry and frenzy (and some glasses of wine) my team prepared pan seared scallops with a corn and jalapeno salad, jalapeno and blue cheese stuffed burgers with jalapeno creamed potatoes. For desert we served a jalapeno ice cream (DIVINE!) and a jalapeno gin and tonic drink. Since we were being judged by a couple of young twenty-something boys, we cut out large squares of the sports page to place on each plate (with parchment paper under the actual food.
The boys set to work judging (and secretly congratulating themselves on their brilliant idea) the delicious food before them. Deliberations were held, winners were declared, and then we all collapsed with wine and great food.
It made for a fun ‘night in’ with friends. We were lucky enough to have two kitchens in one house, but the activity could easily be replicated using apartments in the same building or dueling grills set up in a back yard.
Jalapeno Ice Cream
parboil 4 jalapenos (seeded and tops cut off) for 3 minutes
cool off in cold water
blend in a food processor with 2T lime juice and peel of 2 limes
mix with 1 quart vanilla ice cream