I made my Iron Chef meal today, and it turned out quite well. Basically, it was modeled after the classic Eggs Benedict, but heavily mutated beyond that.
I started with six large artichokes, which I steamed and let cool. I then stripped all the meat off the pads and placed them in a bowl and placed the hearts in a separate bowl. With the pad meat, I made a puree with salt, pepper, sauteed garlic, lemon juice, and white wine. I brushed three of the hearts with olive oil and grilled them. Along with the artichoke hearts, I also grilled some asparagus.
I chopped up the other three artichoke hearts and mixed them with a pound of crab meat, some whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, an egg, fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh oregano, fresh French tarragon, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. With this mixture I made crab cakes, which I baked.
I also fried up thinly sliced potatoes so that they were brown, but not crispy. I also poached two eggs (one for each plate), and chopped up fresh dill and coated the top of some cold-smoked salmon with it.
To put it together, I spread some of the artichoke puree on the plate, topped it with a crab cake, then added the potatoes, grilled artichoke heart, sliced asparagus, dilled salmon, and the poached egg. On top of this I poured some fresh made hollandaise sauce and dusted it with smoked paprika.
How was it? Positively decadent. All the tastes worked quite well together, and both the tastes of dill and artichoke were prevalent, but not overpowering. The puree was stupendous - I'll definitely be doing that again. The crabcakes were very good, but I chopped the artichoke too coarsely and it was hard to keep them together. The grilled artichoke hearts were the only major disappointment. It's not that it tasted bad (it was quite good, actually), but it was pretty thick and harder to cut through than the rest of the ingredients. Next time I'll slice it thinly after grilling it to make it easier to cut and eat. The other ingredients were quite good too and I couldn't have improved them much, if at all.
Overall, would I make this again? Yes, but I'll eliminate the artichoke from the crabcakes. They didn't add much flavor and just made it tougher to keep together. Otherwise, it was really, really good and would stand up well in most restaurants.