Iron Chef/Eat to the Beat: "Jalapeño Face" Spicy Waldorf Salad & Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Saturday, October 27th, 2012


The song: “I Want to Be Your Dog” by Iggy Pop and the Stooges, performed live at Rock the Waldorf Astoria 2010 (lyrics)

The foodstuff: “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad (recipe below)

The connection: Is improv for Iron Chef.


'Jalapeno Face' Spicy Waldorf Salad for Iron Chef (0031)


As tempted as I was to make another pizza for this week’s Iron Chef challenge (hot peppers, sunflower seeds, and grapes!), I ix-nayed the idea-ay, since we literally just made two pizzas yesterday – and have the leftovers to prove it. Instead, I decided to go the healthy route with a Waldorf salad. (Which is to say, Shane had salad for dinner whilst watching me chow down on pizza, ’cause hot peppers? Not my scene. HE’S A SAINT.)

Though I eat a ton of salad, I almost never follow a recipe proper. For me, it’s as easy as tossing all my favorite veggies and toppings together in a ginormous Tupperware bowl (mere dinnerware cannot contain my Big Salads!) and getting my nom on. Before today, I had only the vaguest idea of what goes into a Waldorf salad.

According to the Wikis, “A Waldorf salad is a salad traditionally made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal. […] Other ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, grapes, and dried fruit (e.g. dates or raisins) are sometimes added. Updated versions of the salad sometimes change the dressing to a seasoned mayonnaise or a yogurt dressing.”

The “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad* I came up with is a mix of old and new. It’s got all the classic fixins of a Waldorf salad: greens, apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayo – as well as a few new additions: spicy, jalapeño-roasted sunflower seeds and an equally spicy jalapeño mayo dressing. A mix of sweet and spicy, the “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad is not for the faint of tongue!

Pro tip: The mayo is just my go-to DIY Nayonaise recipe with some diced jalapeños thrown in. You can just blend some hot peppers with your own favorite vegan mayo, if you’d rather. Make a whole batch of the stuff, or just enough for the salad – it’s super-flexible.

Paired with Iggy Pop because he and The Stooges played the Waldorf-Astoria (the birthplace of today’s meal) when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. That, and Iggy Pop is all the awesome.


'Jalapeno Face' Spicy Waldorf Salad for Iron Chef (0026)


“Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad


a bed of leafy greens
diced apples
diced celery
green grapes
jalapeño-roasted sunflower seeds (see recipe below)
spicy vegan mayo (see recipe below)


In a large bowl, put down a layer of greens. Top with the apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and mayo and enjoy!

(More below the fold…)