Battle Coconut & The New Terri Regime

Battle Coconut group

We’d all hoped for the month to pass quickly so that the next Iron Chef Chicago battle could begin. Challengers deduced what theme ingredient the Reigning Iron Chef (ahem… me) would choose for Battle 2. Fruits? Spices? Meat, perhaps? The possibilities were limitless. Concurrently, I’d conjured up a rather long list of possible theme ingredients, realizing that the second time around was much more difficult and inspiration-less. Basil was easy – it’s my favorite herb and once I saw Battle Basil on the TV Iron Chef, I knew that I was leaning toward choosing it for a reason. And I was sold; ingredient chosen. This time, there was no IC-inspired moment, but rather a long list of possibilities drawn from various recipes in my box and in my stack. I made my final decision about a week before the battle. Honey. And then, two nights before, I made my second final decision. Coconut. And coconut it was. Not because I was firm in my decision, but because I had to announce it the next day. But I do love coconut, and it turned out to be a rather interesting night of gluttonous fun.

Our Iron Chef group started last month and we had 11 challengers at the first battle – many of us were genetic counselors but there were non-GC’s too. The invitee list increased for the April battle as we recruited others to partake in the competition, and the eats. And so this time we had 12 challengers (some oldies, some contest virgins) with 19 dishes in the running for the title of Iron Chef.

coconut chicken wings

This time it was different. Most of us were at the first battle, so we were serious this time. Upon entering Christina’s (AKA Kitchen Stadium), we said our hellos (quickly) and then got right down to business. We were in it to win it. Since plating is part of the scoring, we all brought our serving trays, spoons, tongs, and garnishes. We are hard core. Once we were all set up, it was time to feast. And then we socialized!

coconut cupcakes

For fear of having all sweet dishes, I made two savory treats instead of my planned one sweet and one savory. It worked out nicely as my sweet dish was a coconut vanilla bean cupcake and we ended up with three cupcake dishes. And so, my first dish was coconut-lime marinated chicken wings served with two sauces, a coconut peanut sauce and a habanero coconut sauce. My second dish was coconut shrimp served with a tamarind BBQ sauce. I think the two wing sauces were the more popular of the three sauces, so I’ll post those recipes below.

coconut basmati rice

And again, we had some great dishes. I’d say almost every single one was tasty. But it all came down to the one with the highest score – the most creative, the most visually-appealing, and the one that resonated with coconut at a level above the others.

Terri is now the reigning Iron Chef and gets to pick the next theme ingredient. She didn’t even wear the coconut bra – surely that would have boosted her score even higher, but she didn’t even need it! What a champ! I do fear for that next ingredient – she’s a tough challenger, but I already have a couple of guesses as to what she’ll pick. I just hope I’m right because I need that title back!

chocolate coconut ravioli

So following Battle Coconut, I didn’t bring home another victory, or even second or third place, but I did have quite an enjoyable night with old friends, new friends, and lots of yummy food. Oh, and the leftovers in the fridge aren’t bad either (well, the ones that Chris didn’t eat when I got home….).

Now the countdown begins to Battle 3!

coconut macaroons

The Top Three:
1st place: Terri’s Twice Baked Coconut Sweet Potatoes
2nd place: Hope’s Coconut Spice Wraps
3rd place: Jennifer’s Coconut Chocolate Ravioli

twice baked coconut sweet potatoes

My sauce recipes:
Coconut Habanero wing sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons TABASCO® brand Habanero Sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup dry unsweetened grated coconut
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Add more honey to cut heat if desired and more coconut to increase coconut flavor, if desired. Puree with immersion blender or in food processor/blender, until somewhat smooth.

Coconut Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup canned cream of coconut
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp soy sauce
Mix all. Add more coconut to increase flavor. I added some shredded coconut to thicken the sauce and add more coconut. Blend.

4 thoughts on “Battle Coconut & The New Terri Regime

  1. Emily says:

    It works! How did you get those fun pictures at the top of your blog?I could honestly eat the habanero sauce on its own, out of the jar, everytime I opened the fridge. Love to blog and love our Iron Chef battles.

  2. Heather Wetzel says:

    Yay!! Chris just informed me that he’s tried to make a lot of comments and it never worked for him either. Nice to know!I made the pics putting them together in word and attempting to understand html. It took forever!I too love the blogging (thanks Caroline for making me want to do it) AND the battles. The month goes by too slowly!

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