Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Dream of Danny...

After my close encounter with Danny, (unfortunately Em was the only one that touched him), I decided to give Rescue Chef another try. I wanted to watch this incredibly good-looking-in-person chef more closely to see if he was allowed to show off his skills more. The problem is the hokey premise of the show – helping some person or other with a cooking crisis.

Danny pours on the charm. He is very charismatic, very winning, very delightful. His recipes are just fine, although this week's should not necessarily be served in the same meal.

Honestly, I think he should be on a show where he can make better use of his gifts. How about a “daytime drama” where he has to, oh, I don’t know, take his shirt off, for example?

I’m sorry…where was I? Oh yeah, a suitable show for Danny. Okay, this is what I’d like to see (I WASN’T kidding about the other thing, though):

I would like to see his prowess in the…

kitchen.

I would like to see him take charge and really get in there and…

COOK!!!

He deserves a more fast-paced vehicle - more motorcycle (as evidenced by his commercials) than this slow moving holiday coach of a show.

If random people have to be involved, then get Danny to come in and cook the meal FOR them and pretend THEY did it. This could involve him hiding under the bed (oohlala) or in the shower. Obviously, this post is going nowhere fast…but you get the idea.

Rescue Chef with Danny Boome

Melt and Dip Duo
Savory Tomato Shabu Shabu with Seafood Dippers
Rolfs Original Swiss Cheese Fondue
Naughty but Spiced Chocolate Pot

Carla is his project for the week. No offense against Carla, but she contributes absolutely nothing. This is, in part, because Danny doesn't allow her to do anything, but the truth is I don't want to see her do anything anyway.

She is a having a dippy party, sorry, DIPPING party, I mean, where every recipe (as my father once said) involves swapping spit with people. I don’t really like the idea of fondue as a entire menu. One fondue type dish per get-together is plenty for me.

Danny starts his cheese fondue exactly right. He rubs a cut garlic clove against the bottom of the empty fondue pot. This flavors the dish in a not-too-aggressive way. He adds wine to the pot and slowly stirs in the grated cheese. Oh, Danny did let Carla help grate the cheese. He mixes a slurry of cornstarch and water and stirs that in. For some reason, he adds no Kirschwasser. In the recipe, he does suggest serving it alongside the fondue.

He supplies a lot of really great things to serve with the fondue: red and green grapes, big bread cubes, rolls of prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, pickles and thickly sliced kielbasa.

He spears some stuff for Carla and dips it into the finished fondue. He shows Carla the traditional way he was taught to eat fondue. Freshly ground pepper goes on a plate, bread goes on next and the fondue gets ladled all over the top. That approach IS a lot more sanitary. Carla likes the cheese and pickle together. (Didn’t she ever have a grilled cheese with a pickle?)

One question: Why did Danny do his hair this week as if he were getting ready for shark week?

Danny goes on to shabu shabu, which is a hot pot type of dish where pieces of meat and or fish are cooked by diners in a flavored broth (usually). The name refers to the swishing sound that the food makes as it goes back and forth in the broth.

He starts by processing tons of ginger (unpeeled) and putting it in a piece of cheesecloth and squeezing out all the juice. He mixes that with mayonnaise for a sauce for the shabu shabu. Danny allows Carla to zest a lemon and that is added to a separate dose of mayonnaise for a second sauce.

Danny’s broth is a bit odd. He purées tomatoes in a blender and then says to add vegetable stock to make up to four cups. Carla begins to pour the stock in slowly. Then Danny takes it from her and finishes the job himself. It’s funny how he doesn’t trust her to do the simplest thing.

He adds ginger and cilantro to finish the broth and pours it into a fondue type pot. I suppose it will taste okay, but I don’t think the tomato and ginger go particularly well with the cilantro.

Danny prepares seafood (only). He gets the shrimp ready, slices scallops and makes skinny cuts of salmon. He and Carla cook the seafood in the broth and taste it with the sauces. She goes wild for the lemon mayonnaise. I don’t want to be mean, but she really knows nothing. THAT is just not that great a sauce to get all worked up about, and to have two mayonnaise based sauces is just wrong.

The next dish is a naughty, dirty (Danny’s words) chocolate spiced fondue. He makes this a little more complicated than it has to be by melting the chocolate separately in a double boiler. It should melt just fine from the heat of the cream.

And, anyway, I never melt chocolate on the stove anymore. I bung it in the microwave, but since he’s using that same pot for the fondue, I’ll forgive him.

He brings the cream to a boil and then whisks it into the chocolate very slowly. There’s just one problem. The fondue pot is way too small. One false move and he’ll be dipping his strawberries underneath the burner plate to get to the chocolate. He could have whisked this in a bigger bowl or pot and then transferred it to the fondue pot and he would have been fine.

He directs Carla to add a teaspoon of chili powder (I hope she realizes he didn’t mean cayenne). She adds a good tablespoon (I told you she didn’t know what she was doing). Danny stirs it in, amazingly not slopping the entire thing over the edge.

Danny dips a strawberry into the fondue. He gives it to Carla, stem and all. She manages to take a bite and not get the stem. She likes it. I personally would be happy to get rid of Carla and enjoy the naughty fondue with just Danny. This is MY dream, remember...

9 comments:

Emiline said...

Danny's MINE! Stay away, you.

Did he correct the woman when she measured incorrectly?
You should have some food/cooking knowledge before you get to go on a cooking show.

Shabu shabu sounds like fun.

Adam said...

Alright I'll confess, I've never seen the show. The time slot is just terrible, it's on in the middle of a Saturday. But if it's like Tylers old show, well that would be cool.

Do you think they really allow the home cook to do anything? This one girl sounded really lost in the kitchen. One TABlEspoon of chili powder, that's kicked up :)

Sue said...

Em,
Catfight!

Nah, he just let her add whatever she was going to add.

Hi Adam,
Tyler's show had cool people on it. He would cook in a dorm room or with a 12 year old or heaven forbid - with a VEGAN.

Danny's cohorts are always perfectly nice, but not thrilling, women to whom he teaches absolutely nothing.

Yeah, there was so much chili powder, it was more like chili with chocolate than the other way around.

Emiline said...

Bring it on.

Sue said...

Em,
Now I'm scared! NOT!!! (As long as we're not having a brownie bake-off.)

Anonymous said...

Okay having been one of the "always perfectly nice, but not thrilling, women to whom he teaches absolutely nothing" I think there’s some things you need to know before you keep commenting on Danny’s “cohorts” in his episodes.
First let me make sure to say the reasons I was on the show is because 1. My husband is a Food Network junkie and was the one who actually applied to a general posting that did not indicate what show it was for (since it was new) but unfortunately they weren’t looking for a male and 2. We both thought it would be cool to see what it's really like behind the scenes/what goes into the production of such a show so if it couldn’t be him why not see if they would work with me.

Okay, now back to the main reason I HAD TO comment on your blog…
You’re right Danny is a good looking guy with a GREAT personality! He definitely has charm and that’s exactly why he’s got the show. To appeal to the women out there, hoping to draw them in to watch it, not just because of what he’s doing (supposedly helping rescue someone with a dilemma) but to watch him. As with any show the producers take care of everything else – the menu, the recipes… all Danny has to do is show up the day of taping.
And ya, the person he’s supposed to be teaching doesn’t know anything because they don’t tell you what you’re going to make, let alone do, until you’re actually doing it while the tape is rolling. And since Danny has such a great personality (one PERFECT for TV) and is so full of energy, he does all the talking, you’re lucky if you can even get a single word in. And if you ask a question or say something there’s a huge chance something will happen, they’ll tell you to do it again and he’ll remember what was said the only problem is he just may not remember who said it, you or him, so he’ll say it and the next thing you know you now have nothing to say. 
All I’m saying is, it’s great you’re a Danny fan, he deserves it and he is everything you say about him, just PLEASE be nicer to the innocent and try to keep in mind it takes a long 13 hour day to tape something that gets chopped down to about 18, 20 minutes tops, so you’ve got to realize there’s a lot that ends up on the editing room floor that you may not see. And of course they’re going to make the “incredibly good-looking-in-person chef” look even more captivating as to not loose viewers attention

Anonymous said...

I watched them film this show too and I can tell you why nothing of substance comes out: Danny doesn't seem to know anything about the food he's cooking, or even how to cook it. The producers had to teach him 'his' recipe and were forced to correct all the bizzare 'food facts' that come out of his mouth (like salt makes things burn faster??? I'm no expert, but that's just wrong). Sure, he's charming when the cameras roll, but when they don't, he was peevish and mean to the hardworking people on his staff, and they were really nice. The rest of the time he sat in a corner and slept. I'm not a fan - a cute face doesn't make up for being a jerk.

Anonymous said...

I watched them film this show too and I can tell you why nothing of substance comes out: Danny doesn't seem to know anything about the food he's cooking, or even how to cook it. The producers had to teach him 'his' recipe and were forced to correct all the bizzare 'food facts' that come out of his mouth (like salt makes things burn faster??? I'm no expert, but that's just wrong). Sure, he's charming when the cameras roll, but when they don't, he was peevish and mean to the hardworking people on his staff, and they were really nice. The rest of the time he sat in a corner and slept. I'm not a fan - a cute face doesn't make up for being a jerk.

Sue said...

Anon from 1/20/09,
Interesting. Could he have been tired, (hung over), something? The anonymous commenter above, who was on his show, seemed to like him.

When Em and I ran into him at the Spice Market in New York, he couldn't have been more charming. Of course, we were fans (or said we were) and he was with his boss, Bob Tuschman, so that may have had something to do with that.

If that's the way he is, I can't imagine the FN folks will be that anxious to work him again.