Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ingrid Hoffman: Simply Delicioso Or Just A Giada Wannabe?

Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman

Gone Sailing
Arugula, Avocado and Fennel Salad
Michelada
Chipotle Tamale Pie
Lychee Gelatin Shots


To get the recipes:
Click here

Obviously what we have here is a case of the Food Network wanting to capitalize on Giada's enormous success. Just like Survivor spawned The Amazing Race and American Idol spawned Dancing With The Stars which spawned Skating With People who aren't even fifth rate stars and, of course, there’s America's Invented People Losing Weight Along With Their Talent. ANYWAY, the point is that ONCE one thing is successful, it's often given a little tweak and recycled to try to match the success of the original. I feel like that’s what they’re trying to do here. We shall see…


Simply Delicioso uses the slightly dumb conceit of freezing the action as host Ingrid Hoffman is serving a meal - today is lunch on a boat - and then scurrying back to the kitchen to show us how it's done. Not necessary and slightly jejune.

The "anchor of meal" (get it? she's going sailing) is a Chipotle Tamale Pie. Ingrid opens the refrigerator and gets out a package of ground turkey and puts it on the counter. I do not like the way it was just sitting on the refrigerator shelf. I always leave my meat and poultry, and fish for that matter, in the plastic supermarket bag in the fridge. I also leave it on top of that bag when I’m dealing with it before cooking, and then I throw out all the packaging together, AFTER WHICH I WASH MY HANDS BEFORE I DO ANYTHING ELSE. Not a good start.

She adds an onion to olive oil in a skillet and sautés it. Then she adds green pepper to make a light sofrito. Garlic goes in with salt and pepper.

Ingrid places the package of ground turkey on the cutting board, turns it over and unwraps it and, holding on the package (but it still has raw poultry cooties on it), she adds it to the sauté pan. She stirs it with a wooden spoon.

OMG!!! She puts a stick of butter right down on the same wooden chopping board that she had her RAW ground turkey on! The bottom of her square glass baking dish is SQUARELY in the middle of where she unwrapped her turkey. So now, she’ll be carrying the raw turkey juices to the oven, and probably to the table and to the fridge, if she refrigerates her leftovers in that dish. She butters the dish and now places it on the counter, thereby spreading all the germy stuff there too. Great!

Next she’s making a cornbread topping. OK, I really have to get over my aversion to spreading the juices of raw poultry all over the house (not to mention the boat) and into people’s intestinal tracts. PAY ATTENTION to the cooking, Sue! (I make a mean tamale pie. Let’s see what’s in her cornmeal crust.) WHAT???!!! PACKAGED cornbread mix. Not only am I getting food poisoning, but I have to use a mix?! No! Por favor, nunca!

She pauses and says, “I LOVE these recipes. They’re so easy. I always say, if I can do it, then you can do it.” I understand the Food Network has to devote a certain amount of its schedule to the dumbing down of American kitchens, but do they have to be so blatant about it?

Ingrid struggles (I’m not kidding) to get all the muffin mix out of the box. Plus she calls everything “baby”. I guess they feel she’s appealing to their Latin audience. It’s more like an insult to them, I’D say. Plus she is sooooo way overbeating the frigging muffin mix. Goodness, she can’t even do that.

She adds a can of chopped tomatoes to the turkey mixture. She takes 2 big chipotles out of the can. Oh great, those go on the board to get chopped. At least, they’ll be cooked. She adds them and then tells us she’s going to add some of the adobo sauce from the can - one tablespoon…oh no, actually one TEASPOON. (Don’t worry, Ingrid, that’s only a THREE HUNDRED PERCENT DIFFERENCE).

She adds cumin. NOW? Honey, add it AFTER you’ve sautéed your vegetables and BEFORE you’ve added your tomatoes. She really does have NO idea how to cook. She mixes up “this baby”, adds pinto beans and says “baby” at least twice more before simmering it for 5 minutes. She also has an annoying way of holding stuff up to the camera and saying, ”Smell this.” Ingrid, baby, this is television…

Now she’s showing us Chica Shots. Oh, good, now we can participate in the binge drinking epidemic of today’s youth…Just kidding. I love jello shot type things as much as the next person, especially after my 22 year old daughter told me what they were.

Ingrid opens 2 packages of pineapple flavored jello. Well, I guess, I really didn’t think she was going to harvest agar agar from the sea. She adds 1 teaspoon of sugar, because of course, those huge food conglomerates are always under-sweetening things for us health conscious Americans. She whisks in 1 cup of boiling water and 6 tablespoons of the syrup from the lychees. Ingrid adds ¼ cup of light rum. You know if she wasn’t on television she’d be quadrupling that. She fills little plastic cups (the kind that do so well when they’re thrown overboard in a bout of ocean-going jello-shot pong) with the jello mixture and pushes half a lychee in each one.

She confesses that she is not a great dessert maker. (REALLY?!) and that she hates to bake. Who could THAT remind us of? Listen, Hon, instead of taxing the limited brain power that you have making this jello crap, you could have learned how to bake a cake or roll out a pie crust. Jello in a plastic cup is NOT dessert. Seriously, this is rather enraging.

These ‘babies” go into the fridge for half a hour. Are you sure that isn’t too much trouble?


To the tamale mixture, she adds one cup of grated cheese and some chopped cilantro, and you guessed it, that cilantro did get chopped on the very same cutting board as the raw turkey. She adds the mixture to the baking dish. You remember the one with the rapidly decomposing juices on the bottom of it.

She adds the cornmeal crust on top. It looks thoroughly beaten down and tough. It’s just been sitting on the counter (in a bowl, she’s not THAT bad). Of course, she probably doesn’t know that any mixture that has baking powder in it needs to be dealt with as soon as the liquid is added. Double acting baking powder means the first action comes after liquid hits it and the second comes from the heat of the oven.

The tamale pie goes into a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 to 25 minutes. She needs the commercial break to figure out how she’s going to take all this food down to the boat. Uh, duh, let’s see. Pack it up and carry it!!!


She invites us to smell the tamale pie. That is so stupid. When Bobby, who I think invented bringing the food right up close to and underneath the camera lens, does it, he’s cool and charming and you really want to taste and smell the food. When Ingrid does it, I just want to shake her.

She halves and chops her avocados. They go into a big plastic container. She halves and slices a fennel bulb really finely. That goes into the container. She squeezes over the juice of 2 lemons and mixes it up with a little salt and pepper. (She’s NEVER washed her hands, so I, personally, am staying as far away from that salad as I can.)

She’s very proud as she gives us a tip of wrapping cilantro in a damp paper towel and puts it in a plastic bag before transporting it to the boat. Of course, most of us knew that before dinosaurs roamed the earth, but I am impressed that SHE knew that. She mixes up her dressing, lemon juice and olive oil and seasoning. She really shakes “that baby” up. Is she hoping that will become her “Bam”? I sure hope not.

Salt and chili powder get mixed up for Ingrid’s “Michelada” beer mixture. Then she mispronounces Worcestershire sauce at least 3 times, before telling us that it goes in the beer glass with some Tabasco after the glass gets lime around the rim and dipped in that chili pepper mixture. It sounds really dreadful.

She snaps everybody back to life. Oh good, does that mean the last half hour has been a bad dream? They eat. They sail.

Oh, she reminds us again that if she can do it, then we can do it too. Yup…that’s the problem. And it’s kind of a pity. She’s certainly accomplished a lot in various businesses and she seems cute and very likable (at least 50% of the time), plus real Latin recipes are always exciting. Whether this is her or what the FN folks wanted her to be, it’s a shame. And she really must get her kitchen sanitation issues sorted out. That’s just gross. I will really have to think about giving her another chance. Vamos a ver.


Oh, and you know how I was wondering how she would stack up against Giada? Don’t worry, Giada, there is NO COMPETITION. Ingrid is in her very own league or at least a league that includes Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee. Hosts whose appeal is, well, I’m not really sure what their appeal is. Whatever it is, their food is dreadful and isn’t good food kind of what the FOOD Network is supposed to be about?

34 comments:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Interesting...I was really curious about this new show -God knows the food network needs a little Latin flair, but this doesn't sound too promising from your description!

Sue said...

Should we give her another chance?

But the Jello thing really got me down.

Sulphur Springs, TX said...

You are hilarious! You also have a great writing style, I feel like I'm sitting next to you on the couch. As for Baby cakes, I have not seen the show, yet, and now I know I'm not missing anything.
Thanks for the laughs, I needed that!

Sue said...

SS,

Thanks for the kind words.

Jennifer said...

ROFL!!! I said a few not-so-nice things when I saw the commercial and said, "What are they trying to up the sex or something?". Food porn? LOL! I don't really care for Giada but that's exactly who I thought of when I saw the commercials for it.

Sue said...

The difference between the two of them is that Giada can actually cook in the midst of all that cleavage.

Cynthia said...

As I kept reading I could not get over the germ-infested cutting board. I did not realise the show had started (been too busy with deadline). However, I am glad I have your blog to visit to catch up on things. Thanks for doing this Sue.

Sue said...

Hi Cyn,

Keep reading and I'll keep watching...

annie said...

So I'm NOT the only person who watched her and kept thinking "if I did that, I'd kill all my clients" followed by "if I did that, I'd be feeding people Sandra Lee Faux Food and I'd have to kill myself, too." You are right on, and I love your blog!

Sue said...

Annie,
Thanks for the comments. You know what they say about great minds... Her lack of food hygiene (as unglamorous as that sounds) isn't only gross, it's disturbing that the FN seemed not to notice.

Lori said...

I tried to like her. I really did. She was just too over-the-top for me. Makes me appreciate Ina even more.

Sue said...

I agree. But I will watch her again, especially to see if I need to call the health department.

Jennifer said...

Ew, that is gross! Dirty cutting boards?? Blech!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record as sombody who worked on Simply Delicioso, FN does require proper sanitation but a lot of the shots of Ingrid cleaning up the worktop were cut from the episode due to time constraints. If you expect FN to show every mundane detail of cooking shows would not be 30 minutes long. As one of you said in your post, it's television not everything is as it apears especially on FN. Remember we were the people who made the public think Rachel Ray can cook.

Sue said...

Editing is one thing, but there are always plenty of shots of Ina, Giada and Michael washing their hands and there are NEVER such flagrant violations (seemingly or not) of food hygiene. So what you're telling me is that the folks who are putting together Ingrid's show have no clue what they're doing. And I do appreciate your candor about RR.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I love your blog. Thank you for the recap.
I hate this show. The over the top personality, the "smell this" "babies here and there" and bad recipes yikes!
Someone commented about the editting; that is bs. We see Ina and even Giada practicing good higiene. Oh and the hair on the face while cooking drives me nuts.
I am Latina and this show does not represent me (a Latina living in the US for over 15 years) well.
Latino or Latino fusion is all about flavors, good flavors, it's not just adding tons of lime juice or cilantro to everything.
Sue check out the ingredients for the salad she made this week (July28) it looks like a list of foods a pregnant women will combine. YIKES!

Sue said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the nice comments.

I'm glad to hear it wasn't just me that objected to so much about Simply Delicioso. I will definitely check out that recipe as well as her show again, just to see if it improves. I'm not too optimistic...

Anonymous said...

I also work for FN for B. Flay show and used to work for W.Puck show when it was on. I know about editing. Editting was not the problem here but the lack of brain and care from the host. This show is ridiculous. How do FN exec. gave this bimbo a show is beyond me. Stop snaping, stop the chica thing, stop calling the food babies, stop telling me to smell stuff, stop adding -licious to every word, stop using stupid words like "eyeballing", is she going to say "evvo" for her vegetable oil???
She tries to hard to be sexy, cutesy and Rachael. AAAAGGGGGGGGH for me.

Sue said...

Wow! Interesting comments...So you were annoyed by the smelling business, too... Bobby does it in such a better way. Well, actually, he does everything better than she does.

Anonymous said...

Can't even compare the two. Bobby knows his stuff, he is a Chef and he is also a very nice person.

Sue said...

He certainly seems to be...

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo happy to find your blog & agree with your comments about Ingrid Hoffman. I've only been a dedicated FN watcher for 2-3 months so I'm still getting to know all the hosts. I was hopeful when Simply Delicioso was first advertised because I love Mexican food & wanted to discover different flairs of Latino cuisine. I'll have to admit I was pretty sick of Ms. Hoffman snapping her fingers at me even before her show started. I have not been able to watch an entire show of her yet, she is so irritating & obnoxious to me. It seems that if she's not wiggling her boobs in her low-cut or unbuttoned blouse she's making one of her idiotic comments that you have so aptly commented upon. I wanted to see new ideas in Latino cooking, not watch some bimbo shake her assets at me. I have expressed my comments to FN but I'm sure they don't care. Clearly, I think the reason they are going with her was stated in the news release in which Bob Tuschman stated something like (not an actual quote) "she has lots of fans in the Hispanic market from her show on Univision/Galavsion & we hope to get all those new viewers all at once & get a huge boost in our ratings." So with that comment from the powers that be at FN, it appears to me that all they want is new viewers & really don't care if they offend existing viewers. Thanks for the chance to comment on FN. And, by the way, I agree, INA ROCKS!

Concrete.Jungle.Dreamin said...

I happen to love Ingrid Hoffman and she brings a new element of diversity to the Food Network. I think her quirks like snapping and her ecentric personality is what is endearing to her faithful audiences. I'm going to be watching more of Simply Delicioso!!

Sue said...

Anon,

Welcome to the Food Network. It's a shame that many of their great chefs have been supplanted by babes with personality. If you get a chance to watch Mario Batali, do. Michael Chiarello (on at 8 AM on SUNDAY!!!!) is awesome and Bobby Flay has exciting recipes often with a Latin or Mexican or Southwestern twist. Ingrid...not so much. Ina IS the best.

Hi Concrete,

You know what they say...Chaqu’un à son goût, each to his own. If Ingrid were hosting a travel show or lifestyle hour, that would be one thing, but she's supposed to be teaching us about COOKING. It's just not happening.

Her recipes are about throwing food in bags and pouring bottled things over that she can't pronounce. There's no technique, there's no interesting use of local ingredients. Her personality is warm and slightly "loca", but A COOKING SHOW that does not make.

Drew said...

Concrete.Jungle.Dreamin,

Diversity, yeah, not enough ditzy big-boobed middle-aged hausfraus on Food Network.

Sue said...

Hi Drew,

I don't care if the cooking hosts (how sad that they can't all be called chefs) are big-boobed, smart, dumb, African, Latin or Mormon. But my minimal requirement is that they know how to cook. Ingrid certainly knows her way around a television camera, but she can't cook.. So let her use her power for GOOD, not EVIL. Let her host a travel show or a lifestyle show. Just get her out of the kitchen.

nathan said...

lets be serious here, Bobby Flay is about as appealing as getting a route canal...its about time that women assert their respective positions in the culinary field

Anonymous said...

Ever since she called her tongs "thongs" about four times in a row, I haven't liked her. I don't think we need cooking show hosts telling us that they keep their thongs in the kitchen.

Sue said...

Hi Nathan,

Gotta disagree with you about Bobby Flay. He's a great chef, great guy and super appealing. About women in the kitchen, I completely agree. The more the merrier. In fact, I wish a few of the female FN hosts (RR, SL) would go back to their kitchens and get OFF television altogether.

Sue said...

Hi Anon,

Yeah, that thong is really gross. I talk about it a bit on August 29th, "Not Only Can Ingrid Not Cook, But She Doesn't Paint Either"

Anonymous said...

I think Ingrid seems to work way too hard to portray the sexed up Latina. She needs to get rid of the quirky comments, finger snapping and low cut blouses and get back to the basics of Latin cooking, which includes flavour, color and fresh ingredients.

cowgirrlup said...

Ingrid, (we call her the Queen of Salmonella) also needs to get a realistic accent...hers comes and goes...it gets worse when she launches into her high pitched squealing....when the pitch of her voice is lower, she loses more of the fake accent and sounds like my grand-daughter ..like she is from New Jersey.
Very strange show....very strange hostess.

I can deal with fake accents, but not the germs! So scary.

Lauren said...

Where did Ingrid Hoffmann get her "Puccini" style blouse in her 2007 'Gone Sailing' episode? I love the colorful pattern!

Sue said...

Hi Lauren,
I'm guessing you mean "Pucci" style blouse, as in the designer. Sorry, I have absolutely no idea. Try searching around this website for ideas: http://www.travelingfashionista.com/
category/style/style-advice/