Saturday, April 5, 2008

Let's Be Frank - Danny Gets Worse And I'm Insane For Watching Him

Rescue Chef with Danny Boome

Weeknight Family Meal
Mummy Boome's Traditional Shepherds Pie
Whole-Wheat Biscuits
Crustless Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Danny Boome is in Hopewell Junction in upstate New York. Of course, with his sense of geography, he’s probably in Times Square.

Mary, a mother of two, has a terrible dilemma. Her boys will only eat meat, pasta and pizza. So how does that make her different from 99.9% percent of the universe? My daughter would only eat white food. I had to introduce vegetables to my son by the ½ teaspoonful.

Anyway, the big thing she wants to learn is how to get her kids to eat more vegetables. This will be a bit of a challenge, because, let’s just say, Mary isn’t the most proficient cook on the block (or, actually, in the neighborhood, state, or even in the stratosphere).

Danny’s solution is nothing short of…COMPLETELY IDIOTIC! He thinks that by making a dish with a mirepoix of 1 lousy onion and 2 not terribly big carrots that THAT will get Mary’s kids to eat vegetables. PULEEZ! Oh wait, am I being too harsh? There IS a stick of celery in there…

So HE dices the mirepoix, because in addition to the lousy recipe idea, he’s still not teaching her how to cook.

Mary, honey, may I give you some advice? Notwithstanding the legal battle brewing over these 2 books, pick one - The Sneaky Chef or Deceptively Delicious - (you could probably use both) and you’re good to go. They will show you how to add a meaningful amount of vegetables to your kid’s food. And if the kids ever find out what you’re doing, then you’ll have the fun of seeing them spit out their food, when they learn there’s spinach in their brownies or beets in their spaghetti sauce.

Incidentally here is a very well thought piece on the disadvantages of this approach. I agree that it doesn’t get them to expand their food choices, “It just teaches them to like macaroni and cheese and brownies”, but sometimes you’re just desperate.

Next, Danny talks complete garbage about how to make this Shepherd’s Pie in advance. He says it’s okay to cut up the (minuscule amount of) vegetables in advance and put them in a bowl of cold water and keep them in the fridge. What??? Who cuts an onion in advance, puts it in water and then sautés it? That’s just crazy talk.

He talks about the minced beef. She doesn’t know what that is.

Next they’re on to the potato topping. Danny doesn’t let Mary anywhere near the potatoes to test them for doneness. It turns out he’s got a good reason.

She has never made mashed potatoes before, on account of her mother being Italian and always serving pasta. Why do I think they were always known as noodles in Mary’s house? Mary has only made mashed potatoes from a box. (Could this have anything to do with Aunt Sandy’s pernicious influence on the American public?)

They proceed with the recipe. There’s nothing particularly objectionable about it, except that he doesn’t let Mary make them herself.

The ONLY reason I’m still sticking around is to see if he puts an extra stash of vegetables somewhere in the Shepherd’s Pie that will make this whole thing make sense.

Wait, it gets worse. Danny replies to Mary’s query about freezing the Shepherd’s Pie in the affirmative. She’s all excited. She says she’s going to make a boatload of them and freeze them. Goodness!

Food Network, this is dumb! This is obviously not an effective recipe (the way Danny’s making it) for sneaking vegetables into a dish. It’s a perfectly serviceable Shepherd’s Pie recipe, BUT Danny has not made it a particularly vegetable intensive one.

It gets more ridiculous from here.
For a supposed weekday menu, he has Mary making biscuits with the boys. It’s great that they’re all cooking and having fun. But this has nothing to do with the same meal that Mary is excited about freezing, because she has no time to cook during the week.

WHO is masterminding the concept of this show? It’s all over the place. What exactly is Danny here to do? Is he demonstrating recipes? Is he teaching someone kitchen skills? Or is he there to just look cute and be some kind of a wise guy? Yup to the last question.

Okay, enough! I don’t need to see him sautéing apples and serving them with ice cream, because he’s “too lazy to make a crust”. Who asked him to? How about some poached fruit with yogurt? Or little fruit and yogurt parfaits? Let’s, at least, PRETEND to get some nutrition into these poor boxed-mashed-potato fed boys…

Oy - Danny Boome, you seem nice enough, but you’re about to wear out your welcome in the kitchen…mine at least.


Emiline said...

This meal doesn't sound nutritious at all.
Like you said, this show is all over the place. Maybe Food Network was just trying to fill a gap in their TV lineup? Maybe this show won't run very long, and they'll move Danny to another show.
Still haven't seen this yet.

Cynthia said...

I am so embarrassed for him.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

I can't read your last night in Paris post...I'll cry. I'm all "what the hell am I doing here", lately, and it would be just too much! But I'm so happy you had a glorious time.

So...Danny boy. Wow. And FN thought they had issues with the guy with big arms and a tiny head! This is crazy! Really, you just want to go to McDonald's after seeing what he's cooking up.