Monday, January 21, 2008

Food for thought

In the last five or six years, I've really gotten into cooking. I find it's a great creative outlet. It also lets me use my imagination as well as fulfilling my sense of adventure. I'm always trying something new. Mostly it turns out great. Other times...well...ask Ziggy about my portobella mushroom polenta sometime. heh

I lay the blame for my newly-found love of cooking squarely at the feet of The Food Network and it's cadre of foodie personalities. Having watched some of them for several years now, of course I have my favorites...and I've made a few observations.

  • Paula Deen
  • - "Looka here, y'all!" Now here's a woman I'd like to chat up over a coupla margaritas. She licks her fingers while she's cookin. She feeds her dog tidbits, drops shit and burns herself. Yea, she's down-home and corn-pone, but she's a cook. I've probably accumulated (and tried) more of her recipes than anybody else on TFN. In fact, her
  • Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole
  • is on the menu for this evening. (I'll letcha know how it turns out.)
    Ziggy and I are kickin around the idea of makin Savannah our vacation destination this year...and her restaurant is on my list of touristy-type places.

  • Ina Garten
  • - Love her style. Like most of her recipes. Can't stand her wimpy, bumbling husband Jeffrey. I bet he likes to be slathered with lemon curd, tied up and flogged with a whisk.

  • Giada DeLaurentiis
  • - Everyday Italian...well, not so much. Today she made
  • Osso Bucco
  • ...out of turkey. That's just...wrong. And she has entirely too many teeth for her mouth.

  • Sandra Lee
  • - "Semi-homemade", huh? Like that's some wildly innovative idea. Good gawd. Every time she says, "I'll just pop this into the oven", I wanna just pop her in the face with a cast iron skillet. She's just kinda....creepy. Besides that, I just don't trust skinny cooks.

  • Rachael Ray
  • - Well, I used to love her but it's all over nowwww. I bet she douches with EVOO. Geeze, chickie...take a Quaalude and chill. She has...what?...six shows on now? Plus her own brand of olive oil called...what else? EVOO. Plus her own brand of cooking utensils. I'm just waiting for her to implode. In 30 minutes, of course.

  • Alton Brown
  • - Love this guy. He's part cook, part Mr. Wizard. Particularly loved his "Feasting on Asphalt" series.

  • Emeril
  • - BAM! Right in his big, ole doughy face. Used to like him...until he became just a tad too...chi-chi.

  • Tyler Florence
  • - I don't catch his show as often as I used to, but I've always liked him and his recipes. Besides that, he's just...cute.

    You won't find
  • Anthony Bourdain
  • hangin out with the likes of Rachael Ray or Sandra Lee on the Food Network. He's far to...urbane for that. But his "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel is one of our faves. As is
  • Andrew Zimmern
  • and his "Bizarre Foods". "If it looks good, eat it!"

    Funny...that's always been Ziggy's sentiment, too. heh


    The Shrimp & Rice casserole. It's fabulous, though it needs a little salt. I did tweak the recipe just a bit. I didn't have any wild rice on hand, so I used Jasmine. I added maybe a coupla teaspoons of Old Bay and the shrimp I had seemed a bit skimpy, so I added maybe a cup of lump crab meat. After that, it seemed a I added maybe a half cup of heavy cream.

    Mmmmmmmmmm... Creamy and cheesy and shrimpy.


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