Sunday, March 16, 2008

Can Rescue Chef Be Saved?

Rescue Chef with Danny Boome

Fried Chicken Cookoff
Spicy Fried Chicken
Raspberry Iced Tea Punch
Black Bean and Mango Salsa
Sour Cream and Lemon Honey Corn Muffins

There is no question that, Rescue Chef, is an almost exact copy of beloved Tyler’s and hunky Curtis’s shows, but that’s not even the major problem. The biggest issue is that it's simply not well done. The people don’t seem to be in any pressing need of culinary instruction and Danny does little to instruct them.

But on Saturday’s show at least, the recipes themselves may have been reason enough to pay at least a little attention to this athlete/chef. As far as Danny goes, I hate to throw the baby out with the bath water or the recipes out with the bad show.

The initial premise is faulty. Why does someone who cooks regularly against her boyfriend in kitchen challenges need help, anyway? And why is she going to DANNY in particular? And why, oh why, is she asking HIS help making FRIED CHICKEN…almost as ludicrous as his “instruction” of chicken tortillas last week.

There are no real answers to those questions and those no real reason to watch…except one, actually two this time. Two out of the three recipes he made (I'm not counting the dumb iced tea) were actually good, very good, including the fried chicken.

Take a look at this recipe. Spicy Fried Chicken. Danny marinates the chicken in buttermilk and chipotle. I love that idea. He dredges the chicken in equal amounts of flour and cornmeal. That makes it really crunchy. Good thinking. Notice I’m saying HE does this and that, because he still does most of the cooking himself. He also adds WAY TOO MUCH salt. He says TWO tablespoons in the show. The recipe says one tablespoon. Still too much.

I'm not as happy with the Sour Cream and Lemon Honey Corn Muffins. To me, the Indian Head recipe is a classic. It uses equal amounts of flour and cornmeal. Danny’s uses almost 3 times as much cornmeal as flour and again too much salt (2 teaspoons). Plus he uses 1/3 cup of honey. That’s too sweet. A quarter cup is plenty, And does honey even belong in a corn muffin, especially one accompanying fried chicken? The lemon zest (and juice) is weird too.

The last recipe, Black Bean and Mango Salsa, is a real winner. It’s got the standard - black beans, mango and red onion, but Danny takes it up a notch with roasted tomatoes. He adds plenty of cilantro (maybe a bit too much) and lime juice and zest.

Danny should have stopped there, but then he makes Raspberry Iced Tea Punch. I like the fruit macerating part, but Iced Tea WITH Prosecco? Nah, I don’t think so. Leave out the tea and it would be fine, OR leave out the Prosecco.

That’s kind of symbolic of what’s wrong with this show. They should leave out pretending to teach people how to cook and just let Danny cook. Why does everything have to have a gimmick? At least make it one that makes sense.

The only one that needs rescuing on this show is Danny...from the format.

A year ago today…Ina and Jeffrey Sitting In A Tree and…Lifestyles of the Rich and Frying


Emiline said...

Maybe Food Network will move him to a different show eventually. They're really pushing his show lately. I noticed ads on Amazon.
That fried chicken sounds good. Maybe his future is bright, after all.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

You're waaaay too nice. I've written this guy off. I'm just jonesin' for a REALLY good show, one that delights me with humor and astounds me with talent. You KNOW they're out there, there's half a dozen (or more, really) blogs I read (you!) with authors who I would devote hours to watching their shows. Dang. Maybe FN should be checking blogs.

Sue said...

They are pushing him a lot lately, probably eventually right out the door. That was a good recipe though.

Hi Catherine,
This is weird. I was so sure I answered this comment and then it was missing. Did I do it in secret? Was I dreaming? Or just insane?

You may be right, but I do hate to hate people without giving them a chance to win me over. His time is about up.