A lot of people hate Rachel Ray, but we’ve been making meals out of her cook book 365: No Repeats and they have all been great. I know she’s not a cook and a lot of purists get pissed at her shortcuts and lack of deep culinary knowledge/skill, but whether it is her or someone else behind the scene doing her cookbooks, the meals are good. We had a shrimp and scallops with a pumpkin ginger peanut soy sauce that was fantastic.
At the same time, I’m starting to get sick of the food porn that is running rampant through the Food Network. Barefoot Contessa makes me feel dirty with all of her juicy closeups of chopping garlic and onions. Giada DeLaurentiis needs to stop smiling NOW. She is a scary, scary woman who apparently has about 20 extra teeth than normal human beings and doesn’t do anything or go anywhere in a blouse that doesn’t show off her jiggling boobs.
Right after her is Semi-Homemade with Sandra Dee, who always cooks while wearing white and working in an all-white kitchen and never gets dirty. Who the hell does that? I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I have to hose things down.
However, the prize for worst show on the Food Network goes to this new British chick who has started popping up: Nigella Bites, which might be the most unfortunately yet appropriately named shows in the history of television. I encourage you to watch this show just for the laugh factor: in each episode this crazed woman does at least 5 recipes, usually more like 6 or 7, and in the process makes such a mess, that they must have at least a dozen people on set just for clean-up. Watching her juice a lemon is like watching an elephant rape a seal in shallow water: ugly, scary, lots of thrashing and liquid everywhere. If you watch carefully you’ll see countertops covered with chopped up bits of vegetables, rinds, and oil all over the place. I don’t know if Nigella Bites, but she better fucking clean up!
The best shows on the Food Network? They are still Good Eats, Unwrapped, Iron Chef America (though I still miss the original Japanese version), and Food Network Challenges. Ace of Cakes and Throwdown with Bobby Flay are pretty good too, though even I’m starting to feel bad for Bobby Flay – he never wins!