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Category Archives: Recipe Kitchen Based Genre

no messing around

“So, here’s how you make my crab mousse lasagne.”  Oh, blimey, OK – hello, nice to meet you.  We’ve started already have we?  No gentle introduction just straight in there.  Get your crab meat and some other stuff, wack it in the blender – off you go.

Neven Maguire is a ‘celebrity chef’ in Ireland with many awards and books under his belt.  He has a fine array of pullovers too.  He looks like he’s just come from the golf course and decided to rustle up a couple of dishes.  Which he does.  He follows up his lasagne with roasted butternut squash, pancetta and pine nut pasta which doesn’t look the most appetising but maybe that’s me.

Now, this series is called ‘Neven’s Food in the Sun’ and after the commercial break we briefly see him perched by a beautiful bay where he introduces the pasta dish he’s about to make.  This is the only time where we see Nevan outside the snug confines of the kitchen.  The show could have been filmed anywhere – maybe he has just come from the 18th hole?

Just when I thought Nevan was bordering on dull and uncontroversial, I happened upon this 2009 story of a Food and Wine magazine cover which involved recent Celebrity Big Brother inhabitant Georgia Salpa – blimey!  Unfortunately this tale of swimwear and hors d’oeuvres doesn’t make him cool.

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reader, i mangled him

James Reeson.  WHY?  Why are you relaxing on the sofa of your modern, Australian, open planned apartment in khaki shorts and baseball boots?  “Today I’m gonna make a chocolate filo fruit basket and a lovely oxtail soup – OOOH, they’re all so TASTY!”

The enthusiasm keeps coming, terrible jokes, and boring stories.  Heard the one about his dad living in the UK not being able to sell oxtail soup coz, yuck, oxtail’s GROSS?  He renamed it end of year soup instead and people started to order it!  Y’know, ‘end of year’ – you eat it in the winter and the tail is near the rear of the beast … [sigh] or something.

This is all meat and potato stuff – well, not literally.  This is similarly styled to Justine’s Everyday Gormet; home kitchen style studio, no messing around.  Unfortunately though James likes to mess around.  He flips his leeks in the air like Tom Cruise with a cocktail shaker and, in a particularly embarrassing bit, after peeling a cucumber into pretty ribbons he decides to lay one across his forehead to alleviate a headache then demonstrates how it “looks like a long TONGUE! :)”

FFS, James.  Get on with it.

The food itself (sorry, got a bit sidetracked there) seemed nice enough and not too difficult.  The standout dish was the lamb salad on a bed of cos lettuce (“why is it the best?  COS!”), tomatoes and the ribboned gourd.

It seems James is a local lad afterall, starting off in Bristol then hopping across the Channel to work in Paris.  Look, I’m sure he’s top bloke but I don’t think I can take any more tomfoolery, you dag.

 

 

watch with martha

That was very nearly the name of this blog.  I thought Martha Stewart may not be totally familiar territory but it summed up the site’s theme nicely.  I was very happy to spot Martha Bakes on the schedules of the Good Food Channel so, yeah, I dabbled.  What of it?

This is essentially Delia Smith for American TV.  No fuss and no frills, as the photo illustrates.

Cookery’s favourite jailbird shows us how to make blueberry muffins and popovers (whatever they are) while extolling the virtues of organic produce – Ms Stewart has 200 chickens on her ‘property’.  I bet her property is humongous!

A nice touch was to see an ice cream scoop being used to place the muffin mixture into the cases – just the right amount and not much mess.  We then move on to the mysterious popovers.  Ah, pretty much a Yorkshire pudding, I see.  One sweet, one savoury.

Yep, OK, that’s Martha done – not much to see here, move along.

 

 

KHOO 2

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel, with your glossy lippy and your saturated Hipstamatic kitchen and your cheery everywoman accent and your multiple costume changes (where is that woman’s storage?) and your Global knives and your crowd-pleasing K-Tel cookery classics and and and. Who wouldn’t fall for your carefully stage managed Nigella’s-hot-baby-sisterish charms?

The second episode gives us more of the same: Parisporn, that hoary standby “cheery banter with market traders”, more nice-and-easy looking recipes (I must do fish in paper more often), flylady Fifties action, piping bags (she doesn’t ‘choux till it pops’ though), vintage enamel, and a whole raft of c’est touts and et voilas (does she actually speak any more French than I do?). And why does she have her salt in an annoying, finger-inaccessible jamjar though? That would drive me insane. Her beef bourguignion was waaay too liquid for me, but the salted caramel puds were genius though, an fairly easy hit as long as you know your oven pretty well.

The boulangeries of Paris are as fucking amazing as they are pictured, by the way. I once got up on three hours sleep to go to Gosselin in Les Halles purely because Jeffrey Steingarten recommended it in passing as selling one of the best baguettes in Paris, but that’s because I’m a tragic food-addled knob. I spent a fortune and ran for the Eurostar looking like some kind of mobile bakery. Good times.

 

Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard

Two episodes in to the second outing for this ad for cookery classes Channel 4 Food ship-of-the-line, and it’s all pretty familiar.

Eric Lanlard is a French patissier who looks like a puggy crossbreed of Alex James, Richard Herring and Peter Andre, hiding slightly underneath a beard which looks weirdly like it’s been drawn on with a black biro. He seems pleasant enough, but with a slightly reticent, sod-you-gits manner, like the whole thing was his agent’s idea, which it probably was.

The format is pretty standard, and inexpensive. It opens with a gushing fruity voiceover about the ‘master’ over a montage of Eric slebbing it with Amanda H and Claudia S and the like, followed by a few standard pan shots across his lovely puds. Eric makes a carrot cake in his ‘home’ kitchen, deploying his essentiel cheffy accent and pink KitchenAid mixer (they sponsor him). There’s some soft-peak frosting porn, lingering soft-focus pull shots, “rosted woolnuts”, “arsing sugar”, and a great tip about pulling a knife down the centre of a half-cooked cake, the better to give it a nicely domed top. But so far, so what.

The obligatory competitive element has a trio of contestants (a classic mirepoix of posh / ambitious / worthy) piping macaroons flavoured with champagne and the like, as Eric watches them from a peephole. I think that’s what he says, anyway. There’s some seriously bored who’s-gonna-win-then cutaways before the strangely alien-like Dwayne takes it, and (after some hot pastry funnel action) gets to help Eric construct a showcase macaroon tower fit for emperors, with ganache, chocolate beads, glitter, raspberries and more which he then puts in the window of his shop. Did he mention he had a shop? Yes. Yes he did. He has also swapped his pink KitchenAid mixer for a covetable ‘Conran rainbow’ model, which I presume is a custom job cos I can’t find it on their website. Want.

The last section is suddenly riddled with sexy technique and talent and excitement. A properly-thrilled Dwayne gushes right at the end that it’s a day that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Actually, I believe him.

 

where every day’s food science day

PBS continues it’s wacky food adventures leaving behind Jose Andres and finding America’s Test Kitchen’s Chris Kimball.

Chris is our bow-tied head master of the test kitchen, home of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  Here they take a classic dish, do some science and make it perfect.

This is a pretty fascinating show that incorporates gadget testing along with a Letters to the Editor segment.  The episodes I saw tested apple corers, barbecue meat trays and kitchen knives.  Much of show focuses on barbecues; how to get an even cook, what tools to have and how to take care of the grill itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

all tuckered out

I feel that part of my dietry requirements must be to watch all programmes on the Good Food channel.  At least once.

So next up, on a chilly Sunday evening, was Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet.  Justine was a popular contestant on the first series of Masterchef Australia and her bright and breezy personality leaps through the echoey kitchen studio into the family homes throughout the country.

 

This is a fast paced, half hour show with Justine donning a new outfit for each recipe and the odd guest or two for company.  And a tin of tuna.  Many tins of tuna.  It’s kind of subtle at first but soon you’re being smacked round the head with tins of the stuff.  Did you know that tuna and pesto bruschetta is a very quick and cheap snack?  No, me neither.  In fact they love tuna so much that they repeat the quick snack recipes throughout the series.

After each recipe a caption appears giving details on servings, timing and cost.  One thing that intrigued me was that Justine did not sample her final dish.  She only eats when cooking with her guest (the WeightWatchers lady or previous Masterchef contestants).  I like this idea.  In fact, I’m going to write a separate post about it.

Justine also likes to display her wares on wooden chopping boards.  Don’t get me started on THAT ONE!  😉