6/29/2008

06-29-08 - 5

"Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" is a new show on Food Network starring Anne Burrell (famous mainly for being Mario Batali's sous chef on Iron Chef). The first episode was not bad; her camera persona is a bit of a turn off, but hey she actually knows how to cook which is very remarkable for a TV cooking show these days. Unfortunately I have a feeling this series will not last long, Anne is not what middle american stupid suburban housewives want to watch.

Right before watching the show I had this rant percolating in my head about how one of the most common mistakes of amateurs is not browning their food enough. Amateurs don't use high enough heat; you need whopping high heats, big flames; amateurs stick too much in the pan too fast, they just toss in all the ingredients right away, it's better to go in stages and brown each stage; amateurs add too much liquid too soon, they think liquid = moistness, or that dry pans will burn, in reality drying and removing moisture concentrates flavor & makes good browning. Anne covers this pretty well. She also reveals the two biggest "restaurant secrets" : 1. lots of salt and 2. lots of fat.

With "Jamie at Home" we actually have two shows on TV about real cooking. Sacrebleu!

It's funny to look back on the early days of food network, when Good Eats was in real production, we had Molto Mario, The Naked Chef, East Meets West, Melting Pot, hell even the hated Bobby Flay was doing actual cooking on Boy Meets Grill instead of worthless junk like Throwdown. At the time I thought it was a cheezy edutainment network with low information content fluff, but in comparison to the last few years it was down right high-brow back then.

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