Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Talented Men Of The Food Network - Part Two: Bobby Flay

Boy Gets Grill with Bobby Flay

Finger Foods on the Grill (100th Episode)
Grilled Flatbread with Asparagus Pesto and Fontina
Grilled Shrimp with Asian Style "Cocktail" Sauce
Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary, Salt, and Tapanade Aioli
Grilled Banana and Nutella Panini


To get the recipes:
Click here

Wow, it’s Bobby 100th episode of “Boy Meets Grill”! He says the number one question he gets asked is, “Is that really your house?” The answer. “Absolutely not.”

He’s doing elegant finger foods and, today, as it’s a special show, his assistant is Stephanie March, his lovely wife. I like them together. She’s a Texan who appreciates good food.

They start with a flavoring for lamb chops, which involves fresh rosemary. Bobby says, “Pulling rosemary off is like petting your cat the wrong way.” That is so true. They get the rosemary off successfully and he processes it with salt. She remarks on its smoothness. I could say the same about Bobby.

Bobby moves on to the Black Olive Vinaigrette. “We’re using Niçoise olives from France.” Bobby, seeing the amusement in his wife’s eyes at his pronunciation, adds, “That’s my French for the day.”

Interspersed on this special 100th episode are clips from previous shows, so they show poor Bobby using the same line over and over. Sometimes, though, it’s “That’s my Italian for the day.” or “That’s my Spanish for the day.” I love that he doesn’t take himself seriously, even though he is superb at what he does.

The pitted Niçoise olives go in the blender with red wine vinegar, pepper and chile de arbol (this IS the spicy, enticing Bobby Flay after all). He pours in the olive oil gradually and adds a bit of honey “to take the edge off.”

On to the meat, “Rack of lamb is really one of the jewels of meat.” He takes out an enormous rack of lamb and cuts in between the bones to make individual chops. He likes cooking them as single chops, so that each piece “gets a crust.”

Stephanie brushes each one with canola oil and Bobby sprinkles them with the rosemary salt. They make a nice team. (So do Bobby and Stephanie.) He adds black pepper and reminds us to do both sides. Bobby likes that you can pick them up like lollipops.

He puts them on the grill and he has to hold back Stephanie. She wants to get at them with her tongs to move them around. Bobby is firm (ooooh, Bobby) and says she has to wait until they’re crusty on one side. (I love a man who knows when to handle his lamb chops.)

Stephanie, reminiscing, tells him “You’ve had some good moments on this show, like when you made scrambled eggs.” They play that clip. He pours a bowl of scrambled eggs right onto (actually INTO) the grill, as he remarks, “That didn’t work”, closing the grill and laughing. WHAT was he thinking?

In other clips, we see lots of bottles and jars getting dropped and breaking all over the place; Bobby banging a big red cabbage right into the camera lens; Bobby crying from onions; and lots of implements getting dropped, while he’s trying to do fancy flips.

My favorite was when a hamburger hit the ground after he threw it into the air and tried to catch it on his spatula. Oh, plus, we see numerous fires, not flare-ups, FIRES. What an adventurer.

The lamb chops get taken off the grill and asparagus goes on. They’ve been treated with olive oil, salt and pepper.

He starts his pesto, but he needs the help of his assistant, Ms. Jay Brooks, who brings out more basil. I guess they felt the missus shouldn’t be the only one they show on this hallmark episode. He puts a huge bunch of basil in the food processor with pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan - “Actually, honey, it’s pecorino romano” – “Pecorino shmeckorino”, he replies and gives her a smack. (I made that last part up.) He adds the olive oil through the top of the processor.

As Stephanie takes the asparagus off the grill, they remember when her mother and sister were on. He called it “The Big Hair Show.”

He throws the cooked asparagus in with the pesto and processes the mixture until smooth. He spreads the pesto on top of the flatbread, making sure to leave an edge. As he tops it with grated and sliced cheese, Stephanie steals some cheese, revealing, “Bobby hates it when people eat his prep.” “Well, when it’s not done…is the problem. I want people to taste the finished product.” Bobby would get fed up with me in no time. I intentionally prep more ingredients than I need, just to handle off the cuff snacking.

Then he does something clever. He moves all the charcoal to one side and puts the flatbread on the other side of the grill, so it cooks slowly.

He starts on his Asian style cocktail sauce, while we see clips of him being teased by other chefs about his love of grilled lemons. Frankly, I think that’s a brilliant way to treat a lemon. Ketchup and chilies go in and he shows a neat trick for peeling ginger. He takes the skin off with the back with a spoon, so he doesn’t lose a lot of flesh. He grates the ginger on a microplaner followed by a radish. He adds soy and salt and pepper.

“Salt and pepper is a must for everything. It brings out the natural flavors of things. It marries them together.” Steph reminds him that his favorite cooking tip is “Cook it less and season it more.”

He coats the shrimp with a bit of oil and salt and pepper. He puts them, skewered, onto the grill. He tells us to wait to turn them until the shell on the tails turns orange. Her reminds her of the birthday dinner she cooked for him, which was wonderful – some kind of beef plus peach cobbler. You see, guys, as Oprah just said last week, women need to know that they are not only loved, but also appreciated. (Ok, I suppose guys do too.)

He makes a banana panini for dessert. I would have preferred something less sweet and, for me, that’s unusual. Maybe grilled fruit marinated in some liquor-y thing served with a bit of marscapone. (Remember Michael served his fruit tart with marscapone. Totally RICH-i-licious). But this does sound good.

First, though, he plates the shrimp with its sauce. Then, as they try to remember all the “Boy Meets Grill” shows she’s been on, she suggests a spin-off – “Girl Meets Grill”. He’s fine with that. (I have to take a look at Ina’s Girls That Grill.)

For the paninis, he spreads whole wheat bread with Nutella and places diagonally sliced bananas on top. (The recipe say to mash them, I like this way better.) Stephanie then presents him with a commemorative flipper that he’s very pleased with. The sandwiches go into a hot pan with butter. The most interesting part of the recipe is placing a heavy “panini press”’ on top…you can use a heavy lid. (The recipe doesn't say to do this, so you can skip it, but it's fun. Mario has a beautiful panini pan.)

The sandwiches are turned over, and then plated. He sprinkles them with powdered sugar. He serves his bride.

He thanks us all for putting up with him for 100 episodes. Bobby, please, it’s been our pleasure. To 100’s more and let’s hope The Food Network appreciates the mastery and charm they have all rolled into this one boy with his grill.

10 comments:

Marie said...

Thanks so much for visiting my page and leaving your most generous comments. I have another journal on: http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

I am just learning to use blogger but so far I am really enjoying the experience! I'm a bit of a computer moron, although I do love to eat, write recipes and cook, and best of all I love to share it all with other people! I'll be back to visit you often!

Sue said...

Hi Marie,

I have some friends in England that I've put on to your blog. I'm sure they'll enjoy it.

You'll learn as you go. It's such fun to see what people all over the world are cooking and to chat with them.

Cheers for now.

Cynthia said...

I really enjoy it when Bobby has his wife on the show, they have such good on-camera chemistry :) I think they should have a show together... but I guess she's busy with her career but they do make good tv.

Sue said...

Hi Cynthia,
I'm with you. She seems to be a lot of fun and, for a beautiful blonde, she's not at all annoying.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know which episode (title and/or number) it was that Stephanie's mother and sister were on the show?

I don't own a grill (not allowed where I live) so I don't watch his show regularly - so I don't miss what I can't have. But apart from grilled food I also very much appreciate Stephanie March. If anybody can provide some episodes (again title and/or number), I'd be a very happy grill-deprived person. :-)

Thank y'all!! (As they say in Texas.)

Sue said...

Anon,

It was on Boy Meets Grill - episode GL0713 called Big Texas Family Grilling. It aired on June 3rd and June 7th, 2007.

This is the link to it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_gl/episode/0,,FOOD_10231_51018,00.html

Anonymous said...

all of these recipes look "yummy". so why don't we do something different this year for thanksgiving? let's move away from turkey. how about fish? or lamb kebobs?

Sue said...

Hey "Anon",

What are you, a communist*??!


*not that there's anything wrong with that.

Matt (Chicago) said...

Lamb is for Easter! You just have to have hte traditional bird on Thanksgiving (not to mention I love Turkey). A little Ham, and the 8,000 sides so wonderful to cook on Thanksgiving just make my year. :-) I saw an episode a long time ago -- I think it was on Bobby's old show -- where he deep fried a turkey. I have seen it done (and have done it myself) thousands of times but Bobby made it look like possibly the best tasting meat ever prepared. His seasonings, methods, and just skills made me druel over that bird!

Sue said...

Hey Big Windy Matt,
I'm with you. Turkey is a MUST for Thanksgiving.

The only problem with a deep fried turkey, except for burning down the house and I'm terrified to cook in that much oil, is that you can't stuff it and that's the best part.

If Bobby came over and did it for me, though, I'd sacrifice the in-turkey stuffing.