Saturday, October 6, 2007

Breakfast In Bed WITH Ingrid Would Have Been More Entertaining

Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann

Breakfast in Bed
Eggs Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise
Old-fashioned Avena Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothies
Berry Mint Salad

To get the recipes:
Click here

Ingrid brings a tray into a sleeping friend. "Sunshine on a plate coming right to you." Oh, please, GAG me. Why is there a piece of trash on the tray with flowers sticking out of it? Plus a chilled oatmeal(!) drink?

Snap, kick and we're in the kitchen with lock-extensioned Ingrid and plenty of cleavage. (At breakfast?!) She's making Latin Eggs Benedict. Should I be hopeful? I LOVE Eggs Benedict and I've had many different versions, my favorite being a black beans and avocado enhanced Benedict, southwest style. Let's see what she does.

She starts with a stick of SALTED butter. Oh, I should have known we'd have trouble. With something as delicate as an Hollandaise sauce, you really want to be able to control the amount of salt. You don't want to abdicate that power to anyone.

Actually, there is one place and one place only for salted butter...on hot toast. Frankly, this never even occurred to me, but in conversation with a friend, I was convinced that this a valid use of salted butter, actually the ONLY valid use. (Ok, so WHAT if I talk to my friends about the pros and cons of different kinds of butter. What SHOULD we be talking about?) Anyway, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at Ingrid. After all she puts raisins in her ceviche.

Oh, lookie here! The folks that are writing her recipes on the FN website know better than she does. It says UNSALTED butter. Of course it does, because that's what you use. Aaaarggghhh! I won't even mention that she doesn't clarify the butter. Julia doesn't actually SAY to clarify the butter in Mastering. But she does say to melt the butter and then add it, leaving behind "the milky residue at the bottom of the butter pan", in effect CLARIFYING the butter.

Where we we? Oh yes, Ingrid is melting her salt-laden butter. And she also says she's saving the butter paper for later. Remember the breakfast tray. Maybe she's adding that to the decoration.

She moves on to the avena, an oatmeal and milk smoothie. She says it's very Colombian. Finally, something authentic. She heats 3 cups of whole milk with 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats and cooks it on low heat for 10 minutes.

The butter (remember the salty butter) is melted. Ingrid turns it off. She squeezes half a lemon...and not all that easily, it must be said. She separates 4 eggs and puts the yolks in the top of a double boiler and whisks them. What? No Chica Tip about freezing the whites?

She tells us this will be a Latin Hollandaise, because she's adding chipotle sauce. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice is whisked into the yolks. She adds a pinch of salt and puts the top of the double boiler over boiling water. She whisks in the butter. The sauce is actually thickening nicely.

From a can of chipotles, she stirs in 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce. She continues to whisk and cooks the Hollandaise for a total of 4 minutes, telling us it should have the consistency of thick pancake batter. She's very excited to show us that she's using the butter paper to cover the sauce. Wow, that's some great plan!

Ingrid looks in on her friend, admitting that she can't believe she's still sleeping after all the noise she (Ingrid) has made. Yeah, that's true. Ingrid, could you pipe down and let me get back to my nap?

She adds a stick of cinnamon and some sugar to the oatmeal. It looks like incredibly runny oatmeal.

She's making a fruit salad. She tells us to wash the berries "really, really good." She chops the strawberries (who CHOPS strawberries?) with an ENORMOUS knife.

She adds raspberries and blueberries and a bit of maple syrup. She squeezes over orange juice and adds a bit of vanilla extract. I mean, this is not gobsmackingly horrible. But do we really like the idea of maple syrup, orange juice, strawberries, vanilla, oh and mint? How about picking a flavor profile and sticking to it, instead of going all over the map?

Ingrid actually knows to roll up the mint leaves very tightly and then slice them, albeit not terribly thinly. She adds the mint and covers the fruit with plastic.

Ingrid pours the completed oatmeal thing into a bowl. She adds vanilla. Oh, she knew not to add it while it was cooking. That's least.

She prepares Canadian bacon for cooking by sprinkling it with a mixture of oregano and paprika. She likes Canadian bacon, because you get all the flavor without the fat. I was trying to think of something lewd to say about Canadian hockey players, but I don't know enough about hockey...not that I usually let that stop me.

She tells us she's going to use newspaper to decorate her tray. Oh, that must have been that monstrosity I saw at the beginning on the tray.

We come back from a commercial and...a cleavage alert! What exactly happened while we were gone? She fries the bacon in a non-stick pan with no fat. She takes out arepas to use a base. She turns the bacon with overly large (for the task) scratchy "THONGS". Ok, we're so over that. At least she has completely given up "baby".

She cuts the arepas with a biscuit cutter and tells us we can also use English muffins. She takes out the bacon and adds the arepas to warm through.

For her eggs, Ingrid breaks each one into a separate bowl. She adds white vinegar to boiling water. I'm impressed she knew that. It sets the white instantly. She creates a swirl of water with a slotted spoon and drops in an egg. She repeats that with the other eggs. I can't fault her technique, but she didn't have the water boiling quite enough, so the whites look like they kind of congealed in long strandy bits, instead of taking a more rounded form as a protector to the yolks.

She assembles the Benedicts. The arepas go on a plate. The Canadian bacon goes on top of that. She removes the eggs from the pot and blots them on a tea towel and lays them on top of the bacon. Ok, those are not the same eggs. These are perfectly formed with no strings of white hanging off the sides. She pours over the Hollandaise.

The eggs don't look bad at all. She garnishes them with parsley and then DECORATES AN EMPTY JUICE BOTTLE WITH NEWSPAPER and puts a flower in it. Who does that? Honestly, it looks like a crumpled bunch of newspaper in the corner of the tray.

She adds a banana to the fruit salad and takes time dishing it into a ramekin. should have done this FIRST. Nothing gets colder faster than eggs.

She strains the avena. Maybe this is a cult thing or something. It looks like...strained oatmeal liquid. She pours it into a glass. I'd be willing to go with it, if I knew for sure that it was an authentic Colombian recipe. But with Ingrid, it could have come from Costco as easily as Colombia.

She takes the tray in. Her friend is snapped back to life. She has a tray for herself too. Now, I must say I do like THAT idea, so the bedded person has someone to eat with. But as for the was an ok menu with a few serious lapses and again, I learned nothing and I wasn't particularly entertained. Where's Mama when you need her?


Anonymous said...

Sue, I am never tired of your blog. I am however tired of Ingrid and her crappy recipes.
I agree the avena smoothy didn't look good. The trash on the tray was terrible.

Jennifer said...

You know, I don't get a chance to really watch her but she makes me giggle. She's a bit ridiculous, kind of like Sandy Lee.

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Work is going great! :)

CommonDialog said...

I was able to watch exactly two of her shows before I just could not stand it anymore. I thought her starting during the Next Food Network Star Season 3 run was a little dubious since she manages to do pretty much everything the contestants were told not to do.

Do you know what her background is?

Sue said...

Hi Anon,
Great minds always think alike.

Hi Jenn,
You know, I have to really think about which one is more objectionable. I'll get back to you.

Have fun at work.

Hi CD,
I never thought of that, but you're right. Ingrid does many things completely wrong, which is a bit distressing if anyone actually tries to imitate her.

This is Food Network's bio of her:

She's not unaccomplished and I'm sure she's fine as a host on a lifestyle type of show, but just not cooking! Oh, who am I kidding? She'd prob'ly be annoying no matter what she was doing.