After a long day of covering Saints training camp at The Greenbrier, the local New Orleans media members have no doubt worked up a hefty appetite. And since there's no way they get paid enough to be taking in the dizzying and pretentious White Sulphur Springs restaurant scene every night, they're eating home cooked meals in their respective base camps.
Last night it just so happened that members of each media outlet tweeted photos of their home cooked meals. The foodie inside me just couldn't help passing up the opportunity to have some fun by comparing, contrasting, and judging them both in a Saints training camp edition of Iron Chef.
Remember, New Orleans is a city that prides itself on its culinary prowess, both professionally and in the home. Also remember, my opinion is highly regarded and almost always right. Make no mistake, this is a big friggin' deal. So let's get this competition between Iron Chefs started!
First up is WWL, with reporter Lyons Yellin and sports photographer Adam Ney in the kitchen.
This duo has chosen to go with a very manly menu: the classic steak and potatoes. But not just any kind of potatoes, garlic scalloped. Strong move there, those look delicious. The steak looks okay, but I would have liked to see a crispier crust on those bad boys. Those look like they might be overcooked. I prefer to give my steaks a hefty sea salt and pepper crust (don't be afraid to overdue it), quick fry at high heat on each side, then in the oven for about 7 minutes. If you're using a marinade and you're not cooking a flank steak, you're doing it wrong. I don't see any marinade here so we're good.
Unfortunately, the corn on the cob is still wrapped in the tinfoil so we don't how how they look. I'm assuming that they were just baked in the oven because I don't see any grill marks or broiler burns, both of which would have been better methods. I hope there's some butter in that tinfoil.
The green beans look solid. They don't appear overcooked or mushy and based on the white crumbs (?) I see on the side of the pot, I'm thinking they were either sauteed with garlic or maybe sprinkled with parmesan at the very end. Just a guess. If either of those scenarios is true, that's a plus.
Buuuuuuut... I'm deducting points for the carefully placed Saints media badge in the photo. We know who you guys are. No need to flaunt it.
Next up is the WDSU crew, with photographer Alvin working the pots and pans.
They've chosen grilled salmon as their protein and it appears to be masterfully cooked. I like the color and light char on the outside. And to go with the salmon is a chunky salsa with tomato, lettuce/basil, and I think I see mango chunks maybe? That's a nice pairing. Bonus points for having some cohesion and continuity.
The lima beans leave much to be desired. They appear to be cooked fine, but I don't see any seasoning or additional ingredients to add a little depth. You know what would have really been good here? Cubes of thick cut bacon or maybe pancetta. Never pass up an opportunity to add bacon.
I like the idea of the mashed sweet potatoes but they're looking a little lumpy and a lot dry to me. Here again is a missed opportunity to add a mouth-exploding ingredient like marshmallow.
This one is really a tough call. Both WDSU and WWL dishes have their strengths and weaknesses. It looks like WWL has the better side dishes, while WDSU wins in the main protein portion. I think I'd better leave it up to you guys to decide by voting in the poll below. Feel free to tweet either of the contestants (@WDSU @WWLAMFM @WWLTV) for further information before making your decision.