Thursday, April 2, 2009

Foodie Shows

Food Network can be addictive. I’ve watched my fair share of Emeril Live*, and even use several of his recipes. His Turkey Day turkey is now my standard. Emeril’s recipes can be a bit challenging and lengthy. I would hate to have to clean up after one of his cooking shows. Emeril’s Cowboy Chicken Casserole recipe has 26 ingredients, one of which is his Southwest seasoning requiring another 10 ingredients. Preparation takes three days.

Diners, Drive-ins & Dives is entertaining, and useful for the traveler looking for that quirky place where the locals go. You just have to deal with watching the host.

Sorry, I am not a Rachel Ray fan. A better name for her show would be A Valley Girl Does Dinner.

True confession time - - I’m a Giada groupie, head over heels in like with Giada De Laurentiis, and her show, Everyday Italian. Watching her taste her creations could go on any highlight reel. She can sell me anything, though I stay away from pasta most of the time. Her Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms (that would be pot roast) has assured me a long-term marriage contract. Each preparation is worth two free get-out-of-the-doghouse coupons.

Food Network is currently programming several shows touting speed and competition - 30-Minute Meals (which seems like it airs 10 times per day), Quick Fix Meals, Iron Chef America, and Food Network Challenge.

Yes, if time is of essence and you know what you’re doing, speed matters.

If, like me, you cringe at the number of ingredients and steps of some recipes, size matters. That competition thing is just jumping on the bandwagon of the popular reality and stress shows. Apparently we feel better about the stress in our lives watching others in stress.

Not for me. Even if I am short of time, I enjoy the joie de vivre of cooking - - except of course those times I muck something up or have forgotten a shopping list ingredient. That’s enough stress for me. If I wanted constant stress in the kitchen I’d become a sous chef in a high-traffic fine dining establishment.

I’m more of a shoo chef, as in get out of my kitchen.

* We chef-wannabees should raise our spatulas to half-mast. Emeril Live is no longer on Food Network.

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