Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cooking Television

Today was an enjoyable day for my Saturday morning TV ritual. I had a nice cup of hot black coffee with a bit of sugar while watching, which really hit the spot.

On today's episode of Real Simple the food segment concentrated on uses for those bits of condiments left in your refrigerator. They demonstrated a vinaigrette made with your left over Dijon mustard, a steak sauce with a ketchup base, and a very simple rice dish with a bit of salsa. I think I am going to try the vinaigrette for my salads this week. You can find more condiment recipes here.

Rick Steves' Europe was centered in the Tuscany and Umbria region of Italy. We got to see an example of an old olive oil press and how it was operated, a vineyard that has been producing wine since the Etruscan days, and a delicious looking example of the classic bruscetta- grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, salt, and olive oil. Mmmmm!

Mexico One Plate At A Time was all about the typical paste seasonings in Yucatecan cuisine, including a frequent ingredient in this season's episodes- achiote. Right off the bat, Rick cooks up one of the easiest and delicious looking dishes. A simple Mahi steak brushed with a paste of achiote seasoning and lime juice cooked on the grill. After taking a trip through the Merida market he goes back to his Chicago home kitchen to show us how to create our own achiote paste and then used it on some short ribs. He also went over two other pastes, bistec and a black paste which gets it's color from charred chilies. Both these pastes were used in poultry dishes. I think I could handle the Mahi dish, especially if I use store bought achiote, ha.

Everyday Food focused on things you could make with a majority of ingredients you might have in your pantry. This included a Spaghetti Carbonara, Pasta with Lentils and Arugula, Pineapple Pops, Fudgy Brownies with Chocolate Cream Soda, and Bean Burritos. I've made the bean burritos before and they are great. I usually tweak their recipe, using Mahatma brand Spanish rice and pepper jack cheese in place of white rice and monterrey jack. This is featured as a freezer recipe, because you can easily wrap the burritos individually and freeze for a fast dinner solution. I always think about freezing our leftovers, but they never make it further than the fridge for great lunches through the rest of the week. Josh really loves this burrito, and was actually reminiscing about them while I watched the show! The pineapple pops looked really easy and good, those might be a fun dessert for having a few friends over during the summer. I bet it would also be great if you substituted some coconut cream for the milk for a pina colada pop! The brownies they featured are based off the recipe I used earlier in the week for my Almond Mocha Brownies. Josh was put off by the Chocolate Cream Soda, and remarked he'd rather just have some chocolate milk. I thought that another idea might be something I'd seen in one of my recent Everyday Food issues- a Black Forest Shake. I think the cherries would make enough of a departure from a combo that might otherwise be too chocolaty. But, who had ever complained about too much chocolate? I think I might even consider making both the pasta dishes, so I'd say that this was a really great episode!


Lindsey said...

I love your reviews! I was really interested in the carbonara from that episode of EF.

(p.s. I'm working on a button for your blog.)

Frosted Garden said...

I want a button!!!

p.s love you yesseeca.

Lindsey said...

No--that is way better than what I was doing. Can I steal it?

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