Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sandra, Nobu, Thomas (Buckley) and Paula Whoop It Up On Morning Television

Just Not Together

Several of these cooking segments could be characterized as being at opposite ends of the spectrum: Yesterday, Aunt Sandy had an appearance on Good Morning America and, this morning, Nobu was on Regis and Kelly. Miami Nobu's Chef Thomas Buckley also contrasted rather sharply with Paula Deen.

Sandy showed us how to make a good, budget friendly meal. (Wouldn’t that start with taking Sandra Lee out of the equation?) She made panko crusted chicken breasts, which, honestly, didn't look all that bad, since the only “Sem-Eye Homemade” things in it were frozen raspberries, raspberry jam and mustard. How it’s budget friendly is another issue. I think her point was that, in general, it’s cheaper to cook at home than going out.

Things went down hill when she showed off a quick dessert. On the show, she layered some canned pumpkin pie filling in a glass with jarred caramel sauce and crushed cookies. The website recipe calls for canned apple pie filling. Gawd! Premade pie filling eaten out of a glass isn't my idea of dessert. It's rubbish.

Thankfully, no tablescapes were shown or even discussed and Sandy herself had a pared-down, sparsely made-up appearance, except that her hair was done in a (Palin inspired?) partial up-do with a lot of mess at the back.

Nobu Matsuhisa was on R & K today to promote his new cookbook - Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook. He made Black Sea Bass with Jalapeño Miso. Miso, sugar, saki and jalapeño go into a pot to make a marinade. Substitute co-host, Anderson Cooper, asks if that would make you drunk. Nobu said, "The fish, yes."

He talked about traveling to Dubai to open his latest restaurant, number 21. Next year, he opens ones in Mexico City and Moscow.

Nobu pours out the miso mixture into a dish and adds the fish. Anderson Cooper asks, “You fry it…you grill it?” wondering if it’s cooked BEFORE it’s marinated. Nobu pauses and looks at him like he’s an idiot.

Then Nobu says to marinate it overnight and Anderson, in his best reporter mode, says “It doesn’t go bad?” Gelman shouts from offstage, “Keep it in the fridge…moron”. (The last part is my editorial comment, but YOU KNOW he was thinking it.) The fish goes into the oven for 10 minutes. (The recipe is fairly incomprehensible. Apparently, it’s broiled for 5 minutes on each side.)

After a break, Kelly comes over to taste with Anderson. They love it.
Nobu also shows off a gorgeous sashimi doused in hot olive oil and Baby Scallop Ceviche plus Octopus Carpacchio. Kelly likes the key lime juice with the scallops. Nobu says it’s clean tasting and he likes to use fresh ingredients. (Hear that, Sandy? FRESH.)

Lastly, he shows them a little drink – a Sea Urchin Mojito with extra saki and something floating in the glass...oh, it’s sea urchin. They make Anderson drink it, he survives. I don’t really blame him for being skeptical. I don’t like formerly living things that are now dead in my cocktail either.

Funnily enough, over at The Today Show today was Nobu’s co-author on the Miami book, Thomas Buckley, who is pictured on the cover with Nobu. Luckily, Katheeeee Leeeee wasn't there, so he got a word in edgewise with Hoda and Billy Bush.

Chef Buckley says he knows fat is flavor, showing off his own portly self and the short rib Wagyu beef. (WHERE is his accent from? Oh, Brighton. My goodness, he’s as un-understandable as his co-author. They must really talk funny there. I was born in the Bronx, so I know about tawwwking funny.)

He’s making Marinated Short Ribs. He makes a delicious mix to put the short ribs in and then they are refrigerated overnight. He says to put the closed captioning on if you don’t understand him. I thought he was talking about his accent, but no, it’s all the unusual ingredients.

(You need the book to make this, even with the recipe, because several of the components have to be made separately or at least be explained - Shallot Tosazu and Macadamia sauce, for example. I know Tosazu is a Japanese vinegar, but then what?)

He puts the marinated short ribs on a hot grill and then turns it down immediately, because the mirin will burn. If you’re using conventional short ribs, you have to poach them (in the marinade?) for 3 hours and then grill.

After they’re cooked, Chef Buckley pours over the reduced marinade. Hoda and Billy rave. He tells them the cow gets a beer and a massage before being slaughtered. Hoda doesn’t want to hear about it. (I don’t really blame her, but that's "whole nother" ball of wax.) They rush through showing the other dishes.

One more cooking spot on morning television :

Paula was on The View making kids’ dishes. After I turned the sound down, I really enjoyed her showing two little girls how to cook. She made green eggs and ham. She does add a bit too much salt, but she uses an adorable salt shaker. She shows Lindsay how cook her green eggs with diced ham. That DOES look gross.

She moves on to “Punkin” Bread, no, wait, she said Monkey Bread.
She has another little girl, Jill, cut up refrigerated biscuits into quarters. Those get dumped into a “greezed” bundt pan, after a dunk in cinnamon and sugar. Melted butter and sugar are poured over.

Then Paula takes a cooked Monkey Bread and fearlessly unmolds it, almost holding it right over her head. She says the “bundt pan” prayer and it comes out perfectly. No one noticed the tiny piece that was stuck on the bottom that she quickly jammed back into place.

It looked fantastic, even knowing that it is unremittingly total, complete garbage. It’s one thing to make something like that from scratch, where, at least, you’re using a real dough, but refrigerated biscuits are junk. Sorry.

BUT none of that matters with Paula. It’s not about the actual recipe. (And good luck finding the recipe on the pain of The View website, which is even worse than the Food Network site for finding anything.) It’s about her joie de vivre. It’s about making everyone within 200 miles of her feel comfortable, happy…and well-fed. You can’t help but love her to pieces. And, dang, that monkey bread looked good.


Laurie said...

I think I would be as skinny as Sandra Lee if I made desserts like canned pumpkin pie filling in a glass with jarred caramel sauce and crushed cookies!!! Ughh..
and Paula is soo real and too cute!

Emiline said...

I agree with Laurie! If I ate desserts like that, I would be sick all the time.

Hey! I like messy hair. Not Palin-hair, but messy, yes.

I agree about the canned biscuits. I feel like making some now. Biscuits aren't that hard to make!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I must sheepishly admit I kind of like canned biscuits. I never get my biscuits to turn out right when I make them myself, and canned biscuits are just so easy and come out so perfect...I'll chalk it up to a guilty pleasure. I've actually made monkey bread (not Paula's but a similar one) using canned biscuits.

Sandra Lee's desserts are always just ridiculous. Kwaanza cake anyone?

Sue said...

You're so right, Laurie. Why bother with that as dessert?

THIS hair was messy, messy, not cool, casual, fun messy.

Ditto about the biscuits.

Hi Rachel,
Of course, you like canned biscuits. That's the idea. They're so easy to get down that before you know it you've eaten 20!

A guilty pleasure or two (or twenty) is never a bad idea.

I looked up Kwanzaa Cake to see what it was. OMG!!!
How did you know about that?!!

Nikki said...

Let this be known, right now, on your blog Sue: If and when I am on the Food Network, never will I ever make anything as atrocious and heinous as a "Kwanzaa Cake" or monkeybread made with refrigerated biscuit dough or apple/pumpkin/peach/watermelon pie filling. I will be killed in my sleep by my dead grandparents if any or all of those things happen.

I pray to God every night that I will be on there. And not be forced to make crazy food such as this.

Sue said...

Hi Nikki,
I'm going to hold you to that, which I really don't think will be a problem.

Sandra's recipes are curraazzy!