Friday, December 28, 2007

The Food Network's Top 100 Recipes of 2007

The Food Network Newsletter arrived the other day announcing their Top 100 Recipes of 2007. It was actually interesting.

Some of their newsletters are a bit busy with SO MUCH to look at, I end up not reading anything…20 egg recipes, 50 cocktail recipes, videos, latkes, blintzes AND gingerbread houses. I prefer targeted searches for recipes, comparing like with like…

Back to THIS newletter, problem is what exactly do they mean by the top 100 recipes of 2007? Is it the top downloaded recipes from the Food Network website? The top searched for? The most commented on? I guess it’s probably the most downloaded, but, why oh why, would Swiss Steak be number 13? I guess Miss Paula must have many fans. And a nice recipe, but certainly nothing earth-shattering, Easter Pie, a ricotta filled free-form baked good from Giada, is number 17.

Number One, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, belongs to Paula Deen as does Number 100, Bobby's Goulash, plus 47 recipes in between. She is the most represented food network host by far.

Coming in second, but a mile away, is Giada with 14 recipes – ranging all the way from #12, Chicken Tetrazzini, to #85, Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil.

The Food Network Kitchens supplied 10 of the top 100 recipes of the year, and poor Ina came in with 7 recipes, her highest breaking the top 20 at #18, Crunchy Noodle Salad.

Cutie Tyler followed closely with 6 recipes on the list. That ass Alton (I only say that because of the comments that he disses his heavyweight fans) had the top 2 of the top 3 recipes (in other words numbers two and three) AND numbers 41 and 95. That’s quite a spread. Emeril also had 4 recipes on the list.

Wonder of wonders, RR had only 4 recipes, but I’m putting an asterisk next to her name, because one of them was a recipe that Emeril did. Sandy wangled her way on to the top 100 with recipes 65 and 79. I guess America just couldn't live without Bat Sandwiches and Spider's Nest Dip.

Lovely Sara Moulton made the top half with recipe #42, Gruyere Potato Gratin. The last Food Network personality on the list is The Surreal Gourmet, whoever that is, with recipe #25, Beer Can Chicken.

What does this all mean? I guess that Paula has many internet savvy fans, which I'm delighted with. I’m relieved that RR was barely on the list, but also a bit baffled. I get that people search for her syndicated show’s recipes on THAT site. But if she has so many shows on the FN, then why aren’t more people looking for THOSE recipes? Of course, they’re terrible, but that doesn’t stop her from being all over the airwaves.

I am confused by the Contessa’s light showing. The only thing I can think of is that so many people have her books that they don’t bother searching for her recipes.

And, of course, the absence of my fav, Michael, can be explained by his banishment to the Siberia of the network's schedule. If you're not watching him in the early hours of Saturday am, then you're not downloading his recipes. But where are Bobby and Mario (there are still TONS of his recipes on the site)?

The stars that are front and center have the most popular recipes, I suppose. But that still doesn't explain the lack of RR on the list. Maybe the culinary fate of our country is in better hands than I thought. And just think of all the business that the heart surgeons will be getting...

The largest percentage of recipes are in the chicken category, followed closely by desserts. Beef is next with Pasta and Holiday recipes following suit. The rest are side dishes, pasta, potatoes(?)(!) – why did they need their own category? – seafood and pork. Are we to take from this that the largest percentage of Americans are eating chicken, not necessarily prepared in a health conscious way? And that we’re eating almost as much pork as seafood?

I've said it favorite shows, my favorite chefs and hosts are those that TEACH ME SOMETHING. If I want to watch a travel show, I'll go to the National Geographic Channel, where I can get alligators thrown in for nothing. If I want a decorating show, there's HGTV. And if I want mindless entertainment, there's no end of channels to choose from.

This is the final tally:

Top 100 Recipes by Host
Paula 47
Giada 14
Food Network Kitchens 10
Ina 7
Tyler 6
Emeril 4
Alton 4
RR 4*
Sandy 2
Sara 1
Robin Miller 1
The Surreal Gourmet 1

Top 100 Recipes By Category

Chicken 27
Desserts 20
Beef 12
Pasta 8
Holiday 8
Side dishes 8
Seafood 6
Potatoes 6
Pork 5

You would think the FN would have had an intern to do the statistical analysis, but whatever…

* Recipe number 64, Yummy Mummy, was done on Emeril Live, but it's RR's recipe.


Emiline said...

Mmm, I love Bat Sandwiches and Spider's Nest Dip.

This is some interesting stuff. I can't believe that Paula has 47 recipes on this list. Do I dare say that I've never made a recipe from Paula?
I'm surprised about Ina. I know that I've searched for her recipes, several times. Her "Outradgeous Brownies" are really popular. (I think I can make brownies better, though)
Poor Michael. I really like him.

Sue said...

I thought the entire list was a little surprising too. I also have never tried one of Paula's recipes, but I do appreciate that she knows her way around a kitchen.

You probably can make brownies better than anyone, as long as you leave the mint out of them!

Carol Ott said...

I stopped watching Michael when I heard him say "grey salt" four times in one episode. Yeah, we get it -- you use special salt. You're the man.


Jennifer said...

How in the HECK did Sandra Lee get on that list?? And honestly, I like RR, but her recipes are super boring to me. Well, not all of them, but she repeats burgers like crazy!

Paula Deen makes some good stuff, but lord have mercy that woman loves her butter! LOL!

Sue said...

Hi Carol,
I do love Michael, but don't tell anyone that I'm sort of over the whole fancy schmancy salt thing. I find that what happens is that if it's in big crystals, it just bounces off the food and you keep needing to add more. What if he promises to never say "Grey Salt" again, would you watch him then?

Hi Jennifer,
Yeah, RR could make a burger out of thin air, if she had to. And Paula loves butter AND fat in any and all forms. That's why she's so happy.

Tracy said...

I liked your analysis. I agree with you that Ina deserves more recipes on the list. I like Michael's recipes as well.

But I don't know what you mean by Alton being an ass. What did he say?

Sue said...

Hi Tracy,
I wish I could remember if it was a comment on someone else's blog or on mine, but a reader reported that after a fan event with Alton, he was overheard making disparaging remarks about some of his more hefty followers. They had asked him a question, and then when they left, he said something about how they should be more interested in exercise than the food they were shoving into their mouths. Ok, I know it's 20th person hearsay, but he strikes me as kind of pompous and full of himself anyway, so I choose to believe that story. Am I bad?

Cynthia said...

I'm with you, I want to watch a show that teaches me something. Sue I hope you know how much I appreciate you sifting through all the stuff to bring us the main stuff. Thanks.

Happy new year to you and the family.

Sue said...

Thanks, Cynthia,

I certainly found the list more useful when I could make some sense of it. I figured you would too.

You TOO, Hon, have a wonderful New Year.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the explanation.
I used to like Alton but lately he has been coming across as, as you said, a bit pompous and full of himself.

Carol Ott said...

I don't know if Michael not saying "grey salt" over and over would make me watch him again. He just annoys me, as do most of the Food Network "chefs" these days.

I just find it so ironic that we're this nation of "foodier-than-thous", yet we're the most ungodly fat unhealthy nation at the same time.

Ah, I feel a blog post coming on...

Jerry said...

I think your round up says something about the food network. I hardly watch it anymore . . . it seems as if the focus is more on entertainment than on teaching superios cooking techniques.

Sue said...

It IS ironic, isn't it? I think it's part of our puritanical background, where we don't give ourselves permission to enjoy good food, and we shove crap down our throats because we're lazy and it's all we think we deserve. WE'RE BETTER THAN THAT!!! Let's be good to ourselves and eat less stuff and make it good stuff.

I LOVE Michael, and HE is a real chef, so I'll allow him a few snobbisms. Goodness knows, I have a million myself...

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Wow. I admire your fotitude to analyze that list like that.

I have Paula's Lady and Sons Dessert cookbook and it's fantastic, but I'm trying to think of her non-dessert recipes that I've made in the past, and I can't think of any of them other than her version of cheese grits. There are many that I've seen that I've intended to make, but haven't yet. Also, as odd as it seems, she makes a lot of stuff made from ingredients I just don't like - and I'm not talking about butter. I think at times I want to like her recipes more than I actually do.

Anti-Hamptons prejudice aside, I haven't made much Barefoot Contessa stuff either for similar reasons. She has made some recipes that I have in the mental Rolodex as "must-try", but there are plenty of times I turn off the show because she's making a dish I'd never eat no matter how well it was prepared.

Thanks to his FN Siberia placement, I hardly ever see Michael Chiarello. I'm afraid I tend to react to him in the same way I react to Ina (same sense of hating the Beautiful People, but on a different coast), which is unfair of course, but so far there aren't that many recipes of his that I feel really compelled to try. Maybe if I were home more on Saturday mornings I would try.

Tyler and Giada are still the ones whose recipes I use the most.

Am I smiking with schadenfreude over the lack of Rachael and Sandra recipes on the list? Well, maybe a little.

I can understand a lack of Alton's recipes. He can be fun to watch, but I think he makes things seem more complicated than they should be. I also don't always think his recipes and methods are the best ones. He definitely IS getting full of himself. I read about those comments he made about overweight people. Considering how he's porked up over the years, he is in no position to criticize others. I also really came to dislike him after watching him a few times on TNFNS. He never came across as a nice person IRL>

Sue said...

Hi Jerry,

THAT IS the problem with the FN and it doesn't look like it's getting any better. I guess we just have to support those that we do like. For me - Ina, Giada, Michael, Tyler and Paula and Emeril.

I do love Jamie, but it looks like his new show is going to be alot of prancing around his garden, instead of cooking in the kitchen...where he belongs!

Hi Short Order One,
You reminded me that I really should get Paula's cookbook.

It's funny, when Michael was on at a reasonable hour, I made his recipes all the time! Now, I probably use Ina the most (cutting down the fat by half and the salt by 90%). But looking at this list, I have made probably only a handful of their supposedly top recipes, so I guess it's an interesting, but not terribly useful, list.