Sunday, June 15, 2014

Back Into The Swing Of Things With Pioneer Woman Plus to Scald or Not


Pioneer Woman with Ree Drummond


Pioneer Woman is certainly one way to get back to blogging. There’s always something to talk about with Ree and her crew. But, first, just so you know, I really haven’t fallen off the face of the earth…just the computer. What’s been taking center stage lately is my renovation and my wedding. Okay, it’s not technically MY wedding, but D(aughter) calls it that to get on my good side.

My latest projects have been to pick out tile and plan D’s bridal shower. I had no idea that a new bathroom had the potential for so much tile and that there were so many napkin possibilities for a bridal shower. Each one cuter than the last… The funny thing is that I’ve been spending tons more time (and effort) “designing” the napkins for the bridal shower than I’ve spent picking out tile for the ACTUAL shower.

A friend told me that the tile was going to last a lot longer than the napkins, so I should get my act in gear, but what could be more fun than looking through 50 shades of purple and deciding whether the text should be foil or not?!! The napkins are finally done, but I’ve found another shower (bridal) project that is endless – Tissue Paper Flowers.

I started by making them myself, until D said they looked like something people would blow their noses with. She wasn’t being horrible, it was true! So I ordered some from Etsy. Really great, EXCEPT I still have to unfold the million layers of tissue to get them to the flower stage. Gosh, what difficult problems I have!


Let’s talk about some real world issues. Ree is cooking for Lance Ladd (Happy Father's Day!) and the kids after they’ve spent the afternoon “burning” the fields or outback or whatever. Is that a good idea with the drought they’re having? I’m hoping they know what they’re doing.

Ree takes a drive “up to” the lodge to make dinner. I had no idea it was so far from her actual house. She’s driving forever on dirt roads to get there. I guess it’s in in the back 40. I love that expression. I always talk about our back 40 when I go from the end of the deck to the back fence…which probably isn’t even 40 FEET, much less 40 acres.

They show the family (sans Ree) driving fire trucks out to the pasture. Oh my! This burning of fields is a really big deal that takes the whole town to help. I’m feeling uneasy that a 16 year old is driving one of these things. I guess kids grow up faster on the range than in these here parts. I wouldn’t even let my kids light a match until they were 20.

Ree is grilling most of dinner…in keeping with the day’s activities. She’s starting with dessert, though – homemade vanilla ice cream. I like that she takes 2 quarts of heavy cream from the fridge. What could be wrong with that? Oh, it’s half and half. I guess I can live with that.

Ree warms up the half and half with some sugar. Interesting. I always add the sugar to the egg yolks for the base of the custard. She splits a vanilla bean and scraps out the seeds and adds both to the pot. She beats egg yolks in a mixer and then tempers them with some of the hot half and half mixture. Nothing wrong here, but it does feel weird to me that the egg yolks are sugar-less. Next Ree pours the tempered eggs (removing the vanilla bean pod) back into the half and half. She cooks it for a few minutes, stirring all the time.

About scalding the cream, in the olden days (you know, way back in 2000 something and before) recipes would always direct you to scald the milk for a custard. Nowadays, that’s not the case. Scalding used to be necessary before milk was pasteurized to kill bacteria. We don’t have that worry now, but there’s another reason for it. Scalding kills an enzyme in milk that hinders the egg yolks thickening. Some believe that custard just doesn’t set the same way with non-scalded milk.

I’m pretty set in my ways, so I always heat my milk and/or cream for a custard. I like that it dissolves the sugar and I may be imagining this, but I also like the flavor of heated-up milk. I could be making this up, but milk tastes sweeter to me after it’s been boiled. Even if I’m making a cold latte, I boil the milk first. I was once refused hot milk in an iced latte at Starbucks, because it was against the rules. So I had them make me a regular latte and I asked for a large cup of ice. Out of eyeshot, I poured it over the cup of ice. Perfect.

PS One more thing - Scalding milk in bread-making gives the dough a better volume, because it kills an enzyme that inhibits the development of gluten and prevents the dough from rising properly. 

Back to Ree, she adds the cooked custard to 3 cups of cold heavy cream.  Hmmm, so she scalded half the cream and the other half she used cold. Adding it cold WILL cool down the mixture faster and allow it to get into the ice cream machine faster. But I heat all the cream and milk to make the custard and then I cool it overnight, so it’s really cold.

By the way, my typical vanilla ice cream recipe is 5 cups of milk and cream to 6 egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar (actually, I take out 2 tablespoons). Ree’s has tons more sugar…6 cups of cream and half and half to 8 yolks and TWO cups of sugar.

Oh, Ree says she does sometimes chill the mixture first, but if you have a good ice cream machine, it will do it for you. NO, don’t assume that.  If you put a warmish custard into an ice cream machine, it will never get cold enough to do its creamy, velvety, whole point of ice cream thing.  It will never get beyond that super slushy phase within the time the ice cream machine is designed to run. My Cuisinart countertop ice cream machine loses its cool (literally) after about 35 minutes, although I never let it go past 25 to 30 minutes. (It says to turn it off after 45 minutes.) First rule of ice cream, start with a cold base.

While the ice cream is churning, Ree explains why they light their ranch on fire every spring. Apparently burning is “an important part of pasture management”. It makes the grass more nutritious for the cattle. Oh, and it “helps revitalize the prairie”. Who wouldn’t want that? They burn a perimeter around each pasture first and then put THAT fire out so the main fire in the middle of the pasture doesn’t spread. I sure hope nothing goes awry with their plan.

Ree takes the ice cream out of the machine. It looks a little soft. WHAT did I say? ;-)  She packs it into containers and puts it in the freezer until dinner.

Next up is individual blackberry pies. Ree adds sugar to frozen blackberries in a pot and then adds vanilla extract and heats it up. Nope, don’t do that. Add the vanilla after it comes off the heat, so you don’t burn all that expensive flavor away.

Ree cooks the blackberry mixture just until it comes to the boil. (That poor vanilla!) She adds lots of cornstarch to a little water and pours it into the blackberries and simmers it and then cools it. Again, don’t subject your vanilla to the same raucous boiling that the cornstarch requires.

Ree rolls out her pie crust. She made it by mixing flour (with salt), SALTED butter and shortening. Way too much salt, but salty stuff is so popular with dessert these days. I would never buy salted butter (the only good use I’ve ever heard for it is toast), but it might make a heartier tasting pie crust that contrasts nicely to the sweet berries. Maybe.

Ree mixes it all with a pastry blender and then she adds a beaten egg and cold water and white vinegar. WHY would she add vinegar? She doesn’t say, but it’s supposed to make a flakier crust because the acid inhibits the development of the gluten and the vinegar also prevents overbrowning. I’ve never added vinegar, but I have used lemon juice occasionally. Now that I think about it, it would make sense for a pie that bakes for a long time – pecan pie or a deep dish apple pie.

Ooh, so what have we learned? Vinegar in pie crust inhibits gluten and makes a flaky pie crust and scalded milk in yeast doughs does exactly the opposite. It ENCOURAGES the development of gluten. Do I have that right? Yup, I think so.

One other comment about Ree’s pastry. She says to use cold water. That’s not good enough, it should be ICE water. You’re trying to keep the butter or other fat as cold as it can be before it goes into the oven. Ree forms her pie dough into a disk and chills it. Oy, of course she does. And I know that’s what most people do. I have to mention (you’ve probably heard it before) my own weird method of dealing with pastry.

As soon as it’s mixed up, I roll out the beautifully pliable dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. It’s such a complete pleasure to work with soft dough, unlike dough from the fridge that you have to fight with and beat with a rolling pin. Mine is pliable and relaxed and delightful. And you’ve protected it from sticking with the plastic. (I have used foil too.) Then I lay the dough round on the top of an overturned baking sheet and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. I can also freeze it like that, which means I can get the messy and hard part of making a pie crust out of the way in advance. If I’m making a pie that day, I just take the dough from the fridge and fit it into the pie dish and maybe chill it just a bit longer before filling and baking, so it keeps it shape. 

Back to Ree’s pies - She cuts out the rolled out dough just big enough to cover her baby cast iron skillets. I love those. And I do love having special equipment for every little thing in the kitchen, but I have to admit those are not in my pantry. Life is too short to have EVERYTHING and individual cast iron skillets are not part of my stockpile (at the moment). I suppose you could use big ramekins or whatever you use for onion soup, for example.

Ree uses a ladle to get the filling into the skillets. She tops them the pastry rounds and brushes the crusts with egg wash and vents them. Meanwhile, we see the family starting fires…and putting them out. Ree bakes the little pies at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes until they’re browned.

Apparently, the burning is going okay. We see scads of smoke and fire. They’re refilling the water trucks. Probably a good idea.

The pies come out of the oven.

Next are potatoes. Ree chops unpeeled russet potatoes into big chunks. She mixes in some chopped onion and puts them in heavy duty foil squares with a chunk of butter.  That’s a bit dull. And no salt? Oh, she adds some cream on top AND salt and pepper AND some paprika AND some chopped parsley. That sounds better. She folds up the squares and puts them on a hot grill. They cook for 30 minutes. (I find sometimes potatoes never cook through like that. I would be tempted to dump those potato pieces into boiling water for about 90 seconds and then proceed with the recipe.)

Ree finishes up the meal by making grilled corn with bell pepper butter. She processes really cold butter with 3 colors of peppers. She says to add a jalapeƱo too, if you want. Salt and pepper go in and she pulses it until it’s all combined. It looks chunky rather than smooth. Ree adds the flavored butter to individual foil packets of corn. She wraps them tight. We see Ladd hurling himself up into the cab of a big truck.

The corn packages go on the grill, not on the hottest part, Ree says. (Won’t they steam rather than grill? I guess that’s what she’s going for.) Ree puts chicken on the grill for 3 minutes on each side. (They’re boneless breasts.) She adds pre-sliced cheddar to the chicken. Oh and the chicken was marinated in vegetable oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and chopped onion.

Ree plates the chicken (before the family has arrived) and takes everything else off the grill.

One last thing to do. She fries bacon for the sliders. The kids and Ladd arrive. Their faces are covered in soot and their clothes smell like smoke. They wash their hands and sit down at the table. Ick, I would want them fumigated before they touched any furniture. Ree is much more relaxed. They eat whatever she’s made and drink water from jam jars and are very happy with their little pies and ice cream. Luckily, their fire-mongering went well, and they didn’t need that jam jar water to put out any blazes.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day!

    


It’s always a happy day when I’m blogging, which has been way too infrequent. The thing I’ve found is that the longer I don’t blog…the longer I don’t blog. I’ve got to put an end to that!

Speaking of mothers, the other day I im’ed (g-chatted, messaged…WHATEVER) BOTH of my kids (separately) and asked them to guess what I was eating at that moment. (It was probably 5 pm or so.)

My son’s guesses (with no hints): Pizza, Pork Chops, Ice Cream, Chicken and Vegetables or Rice.

My daughter’s guesses (also with no hints): Pig Balls, Hot Dogs, Rhubarb Pie or Clay.

I said NO, I was eating Grilled Watermelon and Haloumi (grilled too) with fresh thyme, olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

My son asked why he would ever have guessed that. My daughter asked WHY I was eating that and also WHAT was it?

The reason was that I saw this picture on Pinterest. Actually, I can’t take credit for even finding it. It came to me in an email. I thought it was so amazing that I ran out to buy a watermelon. The cheese in the picture was mozzarella, but I thought haloumi would be much more delicious grilled. (I actually broiled the whole thing, but GRILLED sounds so much better. Plus any kid who guesses her mother is eating pig balls or CLAY probably isn’t that concerned with the accuracy of the cooking method.)

Anyway, I tried to track down the recipe from the picture and all I could find was a photo of the recipe (somewhat cut-off) in an Australian magazine. I think I got the basics, though.

I had never thought to grill watermelon, especially cut into wedges with the rind still on, but, apparently, I was the only one. There are gazillions of Grilled Watermelon recipes all over the place. Look at all the pretty pictures on Pinterest.  

The flavor is pretty delicious. The salty, chewy grilled broiled cheese is a perfect foil for the soft, sweet watermelon, and the pepper and olive oil with thyme makes the watermelon nicely savory. This would be a fun, easy, unusual starter for a barbecue or even to serve with margaritas to get a party started.  

By the way, after I made my way through quite a few of these watermelon triangles (that’s not as bad as it sounds - it WAS a baby melon), I realized I had totally forgotten the pistachios. So I toasted a few, chopped them and tried them on a piece. They were totally yummy, but I didn’t mind the watermelon without them either. 

Grilled (but really broiled) Watermelon And Haloumi With Fresh Thyme
(And Pistachios, if you remember)


1/2 small watermelon, cut in half lengthwise
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 slices of haloumi, (drain the haloumi first)
optional: 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped

Cut the watermelon half in half lengthwise, so you have two quarters of the watermelon. 


Place one of the cut sides of the watermelon down on the board and slice 6 not-thin, but not thick, slices from each quarter, discarding the ends. 


Place the watermelon triangles on a baking sheet covered with foil.

Strip the thyme leaves from the branches and stir 2/3's of them into the olive oil. Brush the tops of the watermelon with the oil and top each with a slice of haloumi. Sprinkle over the nuts, if using. Brush on a bit more oil and grind fresh black pepper over the top of each watermelon piece. 


 

Place under the broiler on the shelf closest to the top and broil for 2 minutes. Take a good look at what’s happening and continue to broil for another 1½ to 2 minutes until the cheese is browned, watching it all the time.

Place on a platter and sprinkle over the rest of the fresh thyme. Serve at once. The next day make people guess what in the world you were eating the day before.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Watching Food Television Again


As I said last time, I’m finding it difficult to find something I like watching on the Food Network these days. Ever since the Paula scandal, when they dropped her faster than a hot potato, they’ve been a bit in my bad books. (I’m not saying I don’t understand WHY they did it, but I don’t have to agree with it.) And other than Ina and Giada, there’s just not that much there that I’m interested in.

However, there IS a food show elsewhere that I’ve really been enjoying lately. I love this chef, I love his shtick and how he presents his stuff in a very entertaining way. I’m talking about Jamie Oliver and his 15 Minute Meals.

Honestly, watching him makes me want to watch food television again, even though it's on a network I don’t associate with great (or any) cooking programming AND, even though (to me) the whole 15 minute thing is more of an encumbrance than a reason to watch.  

I’m a Jamie fan anyway. I like his fast-paced moves, his stellar knife skills and how he uses his hands instead of spatulas, spoons and mixing devices. I also like that his cooking is fresh, the food has zing to it and that we’re watching someone with pretty great technique.

Each show features 2 different quick meals. I don’t care about that part, but everything needs a hook, I guess, and this one makes Jamie’s energy in the kitchen even more fast and furious than usual. There’s also a really weird twist to this show, which took me a while to cotton on to. More about that later…

On this particular show, he’s making Spicy Jerk Pork, even though he admits that Jerk often means marinating for some time. Magically, Jamie is going to get a lot of flavor into that pork loin without marinating. Luckily, if we make this at home, we can marinate it all we want.

To accompany the pork, Jamie grills corn for a salad. He uses a stove top grill pan, which does a beautiful job at making dark crusty grill marks. His pan looks brand new. How in the world do you get them to stay like that? 

Check out the end of this post to see my beautiful Mario pan. It works really well, but it looks well used now. I clean it the way I clean a barbecue or stove top grill burners. I ball up foil and hold it with tongs to scrub off the burned-on stuff. It works well, but the pan never looks brand new again. 

Anyhoo, Jamie puts the corn straight on the grill pan and turns it regularly to get those nice grill marks all over.

Next he makes a cool tortilla bowl. Jamie places corn tortillas in an overlapping pattern into an oven-proof bowl. He’s forming an actual bowl out of the tortillas. He cooks that in a 300°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes and ends up with a nifty salad container that becomes part of the meal.

While that’s cooking, Jamie cuts the pork loin into little individual fillets. Then he punches each one down with his fist, just to flatten them a bit. I never thought to manhandle a fillet that way, but it works!

Here’s the weird part. All through the show, these “helpful” (NOT!)  “SAFETY FIRST!” messages keep appearing on the screen. When Jamie sticks his hands into the super hot grill pan to turn the corn, it says “SAFETY FIRST! Use tongs when turning food in a hot pan.” At one point, we’re watching him chop and the banner of the message actually obscures what he’s doing, while proclaiming that one should chop slowly and carefully FOR SAFETY! Oy, it’s as if lawyers are standing over Jamie in the kitchen, issuing warnings on every potentially dangerous thing he does (which is basically everything). Why do we have to have our viewing constantly interrupted by inane messages? Cooking is a risky business and if people are dumb enough to stick their hands in a hot pot, without knowing how to do it nimbly and without ill effect, it’s their problem!

Jamie seasons the pork with salt and ground coriander (from a height, which is important because it distributes the salt and spices more evenly).  The one time I don’t mind the “SAFETY FIRST!” message is when it alerts folks about washing hands after handling raw meat. Jamie is also working with the pork on a piece of thick kitchen paper, so it can be thrown out when the pork goes into the pan.

Jamie cooks the now seasoned pork in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat for 2½ minutes on each side. (He uses his hand to move the meat around. No warning. I guess the food police blinked.)

Into a not particularly impressive-looking blender, Jamie adds a bunch of fresh cilantro. Next he adds some Scotch bonnet, telling us he loves the apricot-y flavor. He uses an entire half, but warns us to start with less. A “SAFETY FIRST!”  message warns us about touching our eyes after handling hot peppers. Okay, I don’t mind this one either and I would even have added something about wearing gloves.

Jamie adds more things to the blender - a bunch of mint, allspice, ginger, 6 squished tomatoes, 4 spring onions and 4 pressed cloves of garlic. He adds a tablespoon of soy sauce to enhance the flavor and a heaped tablespoon of honey. He turns it on and nothing happens. The blender is on, but nothing is moving. (Ahem! What did I say about the blender looking dicey?)

Jamie adds a bit of water (I think he was supposed to do that at the beginning) and says that will get it going. STILL NOTHING. Then he tips the blender (while it’s on) to get a deeper pool of liquid around the blade and finally it blends the whole thing. AFTER it’s smooth, he realizes he forgot the 2 tablespoons of vinegar which would have helped matters. Of course, we should add that first, and then less water will be needed to get things moving.

He turns the prettily browning pork filets, mopping up the juices as he turns them. 

“SAFETY FIRST!” tells us to wash our hands thoroughly after handling peppers. Huh? THEN it’s really too late. The trick is not to let them touch your skin in the first place.

What SHOULD you do if you DO get burned by hot peppers or chilies? Immediately coat your hands (as if you were washing them) with olive or vegetable oil and then wash it off with a thick layer of dishwashing liquid. It helps A LOT, but nothing is better than a complete barrier of plastic gloves or even plastic baggies attached with rubber bands. (Luckily, most of us are not taping television shows and no one can see the crazy things that go on in the kitchen.)

Jamie takes out the pork and adds the jerk sauce from the (jerky) blender to the pan and stirs it into all those drippings. He reduces it a bit.

Back to the salad, he adds lots of ingredients separately (and undressed) to the tortilla salad bowl. First, whole romaine leaves, then a pile of the grilled corn cut from the cob (“SAFETY FIRST! Be careful with the knife"…Ya think?) Then a pile of “garden cress” , which isn’t watercress and isn’t alfalfa sprouts, but in between those in size. He adds some chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of lime and pours a bit of olive oil and salt on top. “The olive oil will have a nice little journey all the way down.” I do love Jamie. 

Just as I’m thinking that I would like all those salad ingredients more if they were dressed BEFORE they went into the tortilla bowl, Jamie says that you may smash and mix it all up before serving. Well! THAT answers THAT. I also like that he thinks of this salad as being kind of a salsa too, with all its freshness and crunch. What’s not to like?

Jamie adds the pork back to the reduced jerk sauce and then plates it on the edge of the platter with his tortilla salad bowl. He tops it with a bit of yogurt and he’s done (in fifteen minutes).

He attacks the salad by tearing off some tortilla and topping it with all the vegetables. He also dips it in the jerk sauce. Very yummy looking.

Jamie moves on to his next quick meal of minestrone and poached chicken. He started by frying some pancetta and rosemary until both are crisp. He removes them from the oil and sets them aside to sprinkle over the finished dish.

Jamie adds a chicken stock cube. I’m not fond of that and I don’t get how that saves time. Why not just use chicken stock? This would be the perfect place for my concentrated vegetable stock paste.
 
Then we’re treated to another “SAFETY FIRST!” message as he’s cutting the ends off of carrots. “SAFETY FIRST! Only use knives with adult supervision”. Hold on a hot minute! Am I watching a kid’s show?

It suddenly occurs to me that this is airing during Saturday morning cartoon hours. IS this show for kids? Next he thick slices lots of vegetables in the food processor. “SAFETY FIRST!  Keep your fingers away from the feed tube." Really? OMG, this IS for kids. I THOUGHT it was weird that there was some pet vet show on too and also that Laila Ali had a show, but I didn’t pay much attention. You know what? I don’t care. I like Jamie and his recipes and I guess if I have to cope with a few (read that as MANY)  “SAFETY FIRST!” messages, it’s a small price to pay.

Jamie softens his sofrito – onions, carrots and celery. Then he adds cauliflower and the stalk of broccoli to the food processor with more “SAFETY FIRST!” warnings and stirs those into the soup base. He adds boiling water, which is his quick cooking tip. That’s because he’s English and has an electric kettle always at the ready. Good idea, though. It’s like that guy who says that he always puts a pot of water on to boil whenever he starts cooking.

Next Jamie has one brilliant idea and one idea which is not so great. He tells us that he gathers all his leftover pasta in one big jar to use in soup. So whenever there’s a bit left in the box, he adds it to this jar. He’s going to use that in the minestrone. THAT IS REALLY SMART. I’m always wondering what to do with the dregs of one box of pasta. Great tip.

What I do NOT love is that he adds the pasta directly to the soup, which drinks up all that flavorful liquid. DON’T DO THAT. Cook the pasta separately (in that handy boiling water) and add it shortly before serving the soup. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did. It also prevents you from adding too much pasta.

To make this a main course situation, he adds two chicken breasts to the top of the soup and gets to working on his salsa verde. He adds a bunch of parsley and mint to the food processor and just a bit of pressed garlic. Then, from the pantry, he grabs jars of cornichons, capers, anchovies and mustard.

“Don’t try to balance too many glass jars!” Okay, this MUST be for kids! If not, they think real morons watch Jamie! (Don’t comment on that!)

Jamie adds all those jarred things to the food processor and scrapes it into a bowl. He stirs in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar and then some hot broth from the minestrone pot. He says that “little bit of heat just wakens up those herbs”. Well put.

Maybe the messages for The “CBS Dream Team That’s Epic!” should have given it away, but I still don’t think most little kids are making a salsa with cornichons and capers on a Saturday morning.

Jamie removes the chicken from the pot and adds broccoli florets, frozen broad beans and sweet peas to the minestrone. Lastly, he adds a bag of spinach and immediately puts the lid back on to steam it quickly.

The salsa verde goes in a bowl and he plops some extra on top of and around the chicken on the cutting board. As he cuts it, it’s getting a nice blast of flavor. (Doesn’t Michael Symon slice his steak on a cutting board, sitting in a pool of olive oil and salt? So smart.) He slices the chicken on an angle. “SAFETY FIRST! Keep your fingers away from the edge of the knife." Ugh! The chicken looks perfect. He says to cook it for 6½ to 7 minutes, depending on how high your soup is boiling.

Jamie places the chicken on the salsa verde and adds a little boiling water to the minestrone to loosen it up. That would NOT have been necessary if he had cooked the pasta separately. Last, but not least, he adds all the crispy bits of pancetta and rosemary to the top of the chicken. He sprinkles over a few basil leaves (which I had to see with the close captioning on, because his pronunciation of Bahhhh-zill is nowhere close to mine – Bay-zul. I thought he was talking about Brazil.)

Jamie keeps some Parmesan “on standby”, just to remind us that we’re “in Italy” and the meal is done. In 15 minutes? Who cares? This looks really glorious and simple and worth as much time as it really takes.

One problem with Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, which was shown in Britain (and elsewhere) a few years ago, is the CBS website. It is absolutely pathetic. When you can finally find mention of a particular show, there seems to be a video clip. However, EVERY show’s clip turns out to be the same exact promo of the series, NOT an individual show. And good luck finding the recipes. Some of them are available, but many are not. CBS has done a terrible job of providing all the extra stuff that we’ve become used to. A LOT of the recipes are here, but a lot aren’t.

Despite the idiotic warnings and lack of recipes, I love watching Jamie and his crooked smile. I also love his lispy English accent, which Brits may find annoying, but I find lovely (as they would say). Plus his food is so colorful and fresh and pretty that you can’t help but run into the kitchen and start cooking. And THAT'S what makes a good cooking show.