Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ingrid - Simply The Wrong Menu

Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann

Comfort Food
Plantain Soup
Mini Cuban Burgers (Fritas)
Potato Chips with Chica Comfort Sauce
Peachy Mint Shake

To get the recipes:
Click here

Ooh boy, Ingrid's at the gym on a treadmill making up for overdoing it in the kitchen. Snap. Dances around.

She's back in the kitchen with a show about comfort food.

We're all about to go into the kitchen and not emerge for 6 days after having cooked and eaten and wrapped up and reheated and eaten again enough high calorie high fat food to last us until next Thanksgiving or Christmas at least.

But let's have a show about comfort food, because that's what we're craving. NOT!!!

Ingrid starts with mini-burgers. She grabs an onion that's been in the freezer for 15 minutes - her little trick for not crying. She grates the whole thing. Did she even peel it? She puts it in a bowl with 3 cloves of chopped garlic. She soaks 1 1/2 cups store-bought bread crumbs in 1/4 cup milk. Ewww...

She adds an egg, pepper, paprika, ketchup and the soggy bread crumbs to the onion. Then she goes into a little riff about how lime juice always adds a Latin flavor, which means that she'll add it to anything, no matter how inappropriate. Yup...lime juice goes in.

Uh oh, she has her ground meat right on the counter. She puts it down on her cutting board - the wooden one where she does all her prep. She opens it up and puts it into the other ingredients. She tells us not overmix. Okay, I won't overmix, if you don't spatter raw ground beef over the entire kitchen. Oh, but you already have...

She forms little patties and freezes the extras. She goes into an elaborate demonstration of HOW she freezes them. She lines a baking pan with foil and waxed paper and readies a piece of plastic wrap the length of the pan. The little patties go on.

She does some folding and twisting and turning, so that no hamburger touches another. Basically, what she's left with is a 2 foot long skinny roll of miniature hamburgers that will be a real trick to get into your freezer and will have sticky yucky wax paper stuck to them. Just open freeze them for 2 hours and then pack them into a plastic bag. Done!

Ingrid goes on to a savory plantain soup from her childhood. She cuts celery on the same board on which she unwrapped her raw ground beef. She struggles with the carrots. She actually does not know how to chop. Oh, she does better with the garlic.

She adds 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a fine looking stainless steel saucier type pot. (I looked all over for it, but I couldn't find the same one.) She chops onions into "squares" and adds them to the pot with cumin and salt and pepper.

Ingrid cuts off the ends of two green plantains and slices through the skin all the way down and cuts it off with her knife. She slices the plantains thickly and adds them to the soup. She roughly chops cilantro and puts it into the pot with 1 quart of chicken stock. It simmers for 45 minutes.

Next Ingrid is making a "decadent dip". She mixes 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. (For Ina, that would be a drop in the bucket.) She mixes in wooshter-she-eye-her sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper and calls that a dip.

There doesn't seem to be too much (as in flavor) to this dip. There's a similar Joy of Cooking dip recipe that's actually good. It has soy sauce, chopped ginger, lots of chopped scallions, parsley and cilantro and chopped water chestnuts. IT is tasty. Ingrid accompanies her dip with an enormous bowl of potato chips into which she's sprinkles clumps of cilantro.

She checks on the soup. She thickens it up by blending 2 cups of it until smooth, and then adding back to the soup.

Now HERE is a good tip. Get ready...Before she blends the hot soup, she takes out the center thingie of the blender's lid and covers the hole with a dish cloth. That allows the hot steam to escape, so the mixture doesn't whoosh up and you don't burn yourself because of the dish cloth. (Actually, that's the only time I use my silicone pot holders. I think they're weird to use in the oven, but they're great on a hot blender. If they do get stuff on them, you can just rinse them off.)

She adds the puréed mixture back into the soup. She tells us she loves playing with her food. "It's a love affair between two cultures." If only...The Food Network could certainly use a show like that.

Ingrid heats her grill pan and put the mini burgers on.

She moves on to make "minty water". She boils one cup of water with one stalk of mint...can she spare it? She flips the burgers after 5 minutes. Judging by their appearance, YOU better make it FOUR minutes. She puts the burgers on some kind of strange looking stunted bread. Oh, it's the bottom half of little challah type rolls. They get topped with the other half of the roll.

She serves the soup after removing the bay leaf. I'm glad it SMELLS good, because it certainly wouldn't win any beauty contests.

She puts 1/2 cup of minty water in a blender with the boiled mint leaves. She adds 1 cup of frozen peach slices and 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Then a few scoops of ice go in. She blends it all together.

It's not really blending that well. She stops to add more minty water. Blends again. It still isn't getting smooth. I guess she just gives up, because she pours into the glass, chunky pieces of ice and all. She actually comments on its texture. Yeah, I would too, it's awful.

Lime juice goes in soup. She places all the stuff on a tray and goes and sits next to her admittedly adorable dog (it's not her fault who her mother is) to chow down. Enjoy Ingrid. I might not have waited until the next day at the gym to get rid of that awful food...and it might not have been at the gym.

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