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