Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ingrid Hoffman - One Week Late, But, Really, She's Lucky I Watched At All

Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman
Sunset Dinner

Tamarind Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Mango and Red Cabbage Slaw
Hot Corn with Chimichurri Butter
Tequila Sunrise

To get the recipes:
Click here

I finally got around to watching last weekend's Simply Delicioso. But I had a bit of a bonus (and not in a good way), before I even began. On the tape was the last 3 minutes of Rachael's Chicken Under A Brick show. And, believe me that was all I needed to see.

Rachael wiped her dirty pan with bread and called it dinner (along with 3 of the biggest platters of chicken I’ve ever seen.) Then she told us that you can thin down any fruit spread, jam or jelly with vinegar and some EVOO and salt and pepper for a salad dressing. And “you’re good to go”. She was using orange marmalade, which admittedly I do hate, but the concept is still horrible. How about just using the “EVOO” (you know…quote unquote with your fingers) and skipping the fruit spread, jam or jelly altogether? (Can’t you just see her using grape jelly on a salad?)

Oh, gosh, I’m getting my blood pressure up and we haven’t even had the opening seconds of La Chica Loca y Mala Cocinerita. (If Ingrid can ruin food, then I can abominate Spanish.)

“HEY! You’re Here!!!” Ingrid practically screams as she beckons us onto her blanket. She’s making baby back ribs with a tamarind glaze. Wait a sec! This is only the 4th time I’ve ever even laid eyes on Ingrid Hoffman, and I’ve already seen this recipe. Where was it? Oh, yeah, The Early Show on CBS. Come ON! You’ve only been on American television for a month and you’re already repeating recipes? That’s not reassuring.

Now, Ingrid’s doing that snapping fingers thing, where she pretends to go back in time. She leaves her buddy on the blanket, grinning strangely. I guess she had tasted all the food and knew what we were in for.

She talks about Aji Panca. This time I understood her (unlike on CBS), because they spelled it out on the screen. She pours boiling water over to hydrate them. “Later, they’ll be nice and plumpy.” Before she starts the glaze, she’s going to “Flip those babies (the meat) into the oven.”

WAIT. Alert the media. Ingrid says, “we’re going to wash our hands.” OMG. It’s as if she heard the hue and cry about a previous show. She continues, “as you can see, we’re not going to cross-contaminate the rest of what’s there.” Hurray, we don’t have to worry about that now and can concentrate on how annoying she is. Wow, they’re even spending time showing her soaping up her hands.

The meat goes in for 30 minutes at 300 deg. Fahrenheit. To make the barbecue sauce, Ingrid pours the juice of an orange and 2 lemons into the blender and then adds “ Wooshter Sauce.” “Anyway, by now you should know I don’t know how to say this word.” Why does that irritate me? Why don’t think it’s cute? Oh, yeah, cuz it’s stupid. She spends more time MISpronouncing the word than it would take to just learn how to say in the first place.

She adds brown sugar to the blender and throws salt over both shoulders. Didn’t the Food Network inform her that RR already has the franchise on that salt thing? Oh, look, she throws it into the camera too. Is that a Latin thing? Probably not, since nothing else is.

She adds tamarind paste to the blender. I could have sworn I saw some tamarind seeds in the blender with the tamarind paste. (They’re big, almost like plum pits.) Her tamarind paste does look good - rich and gooey. I get mine from Indian stores and it’s usually much drier, but I’m pretty sure I remember having to remove the seeds, which are imbedded in the paste. She does no such thing.

Ingrid tastes the barbecue sauce after it’s all blended and pronounces it “tarty”. Hmmmmm.

She makes a big production of dividing the marinade into 2 bowls. One is to go on the meat and the other is to serve separately to avoid cross contamination issues. I really think someone had a talk with her about kitchen hygiene. She’s certainly going out of her way to mention it.

Now she starts a “Latin twist version” of coleslaw. She struggles with the cabbage a bit and calls it "baby" multiple time. She slices it. Is it possible that she left the core in. (Don’t do that.) She salts it with “tons” of salt and lets it sit for 20 minutes, then she’ll drain it. Oh goodie - salty, soggy cabbage – just the way I like it.

She takes the ribs out of the oven and coats them with more glaze. They go back in the oven for 30 minutes. At least, I think they do. This is what she says: "I’m gonna TAKE THEM IN for another 30 minutes, BRING THEM BACK OUT, smother some more on and TAKE THEM BACK IN.” I suppose she means PUT them back in, but honestly, it’s not all that clear. Now please don’t misunderstand. I am not making fun of Ingrid’s English. I’m making fun of her pseudo-Latinisms when her English is perfect 99% of the time. Just to sound exotic, she throws in these inanities.

She continues with the cole slaw. “Time to tango with the mango.” She does this weird thing with the mango. Okay, it’s true that Nigella also has an interesting way with a mango, but, at least, her accent is 100% legitimate. Ingrid peels the skin off the mango. She cuts all the way down on one side of the pit and down the other side and chops the mango into small pieces. She leaves an enormous amount of flesh still on the mango. She chops cilantro, explaining that she loves it so much that she could have it on ice cream. After adding a few more ingredients to the cole slaw - apple cider vinegar, lime juice, sugar and pepper - she puts it in the fridge.

She goes on to a Chimichurri Sauce to add to butter. She says the hallmarks (she doesn’t use that word, of course) of this sauce are oregano and parsley. They get processed with sherry vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Then she adds 2 sticks of room temperature butter and mixes the entire thing together. She places it on plastic wrap and makes a roll of it. And puts it in the fridge for an hour.

“I get so excited when it comes to ribs, I like to get down and dirty.” Come on now, folks. Giada has a huge male college audience and SHE doesn’t resort to that kind of pandering.

Ingrid removes the ribs and "TAKES THEM IN" or maybe it’s "PULLS THEM BACK". At this point, I just don’t know anymore.

She turns her attention to the corn and she going to turn her “corns” into little gifts. I don’t know about you, but if someone offered me “corns” at the dinner table, I’d probably show them my bunions in return. She pulls the husks down most of the way and removes the little strings. She ties up the husks to make a kind of long handle for each one. (Don’t worry if you don’t get the idea…don’t bother.) She boils the corn with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a bit of salt. I’m going to be really witchy here and say that if you need to add that much sugar to your “corns”, they must be really bad.

For her Tequila drink, she cuts grapefruit into pieces, slices oranges so big they’ll never fit in a glass, and chunks up a lime. She puts them all in a pitcher and pours in Italian lime soda, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. It's that bottled stuff you can get at Whole Foods. Ingrid adds 1 cup of tequila, stirs and pours herself a generous glass. She tells us excitedly that she’s going to use beer bottles as vases. Remember to drink the beer first, Ingrid.

“My ribs are sizzling.” Are they, now?

She takes out the ribs. They look burned. She cuts them up and adds a bit more barbecue sauce, covering up the charred pieces as she goes.

She’s using baking sheets as “tray plates”. I didn’t like that on her CBS appearance and I don’t like it now. It doesn’t look charming. It looks pointless.

She’s slicing her butter into “a nice wedge”. I was trying to figure out how she was going to get a wedge out of a long circular stick of butter. She doesn’t. She’s slicing the butter into rounds and just calling it a wedge.

The baking sheets are over-large for the food on it. She tells us, “If I can do it, you can do it.” I sure hope not. AND if I ever DO do it like Ingrid, would you please kick me.


Kathy said...

Sue, great posting! You had me in tears (from laughter) with the corns and the bunions.
I gotta say the rib episode was the best Simply Delicioso show so far (from 4)and it was a total disaster. The prior week (ceviche w/raisins, papaya w/feta, beans w/crap) was a total nightmare.
The ribs did look burn and most of the reviews on the FN website were pretty bad. The drink sounded sour to me and the fruit pieces were huge. So she can boil corn (S) so what?
Ay Dios mio!! Aweful show!

Anonymous said...

All her recipes contain sugar of some type, "whoosy sauce", lemon/orange or lime juice and cilantro. What's up with that?
She also said something about a wedding of flavors...

Sue said...

If by the best you mean the worst, then I absolutely agree with you. Surprisingly, this week's show (post to come) had some value. Not Giada or Ina-like, but there were perhaps one or two things I didn't hate...

The wedding thing (this week) went way too far and didn't make too much sense...

Emilie said...

Another great post! I haven't seen this show, yet. I don't think I'm home when it's on.
I don't want to watch it, from what I've seen on the commercials.
I agree with you on this:
>I’m making fun of her pseudo-Latinisms when her English is perfect 99% of the time. Just to sound exotic, she throws in these inanities.

Cynthia said...

I thank you for keeping me update on the happenings on FN :)

Jennifer said...

You know I love Rachael Ray. But I am not fond of some of her recipes. She does the burger thing a bit too much, in my opinion. I recently picked up a couple of her cookbooks from the library and was not too thrilled with them.

Sue said...

Don't waste time watching Ingrid. Let dopes like me watch it for you.

Thanks darlin' and you keep cooking that fabulous food.

I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but when I saw RR putting a large blob of mashed potatoes on top of a hamburger that already had a bun, I knew she had gone too far.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Rachael, I don't like Ingrid either, she's annoying and her recipes don't look good.
Maybe Ina should have 4 shows.

Jennifer said...

Eww mashed potatoes on a burger? Gross.

Sue said...

I would love Ina to have more shows, maybe we could see cuddly Jeffrey more.

It wasn't pretty.