Monday, November 25, 2013

Giada Gives The Audience The Finger Plus Bobby Shows Us A New Turkey Trick

Actually, it was PART of her finger that Giada “gave” us as she sliced through it, while LIVE on the air on the Food Network Thanksgiving special on Saturday. She was slicing a turkey roll while cooking along with Ina, Bobby and Alton when her hand slipped and oops! Lucky for us, we didn’t actually see the event. It happened in the background.

Bobby, Ina, Giada and (ugh) Alton were bopping around the Food Network Kitchens, talking about every possible aspect of the Thanksgiving meal. Then we see Giada (with her back turned) leaning over, actually leaning ON the edge of a sink. A FN chef comes over and it looks as if they’re consulting about something. Giada comes back to the front and admits she cut her finger. Ina puts her arm around her to offer support and that ass Alton decides that’s the perfect moment to ask her some complicated question.

One report said she looked pale and a little weak. I probably wouldn’t have seen that on my own, but she certainly didn’t need to be asked a question RIGHT THEN. Someone else answered it and there was quite a lot of chitchat before they FINALLY went to a commercial. When they got back, Alton announced Giada was getting treated and Bobby and Ina filled in just fine for the injured Italian.

The ironic thing was that Giada was making this rolled up and stuffed Turkey Breast "Porchetta", because it saves heavy-duty slicing just before serving, because you debone it before you stuff it.

You couldn’t help but think of Dan Ackroyd doing Julia Child (SO FUNNY!) and bleeding all over the set, but Giada was far more refined.

This Thanksgiving show did have some decent recipes, but it was annoying, because of Alton constant interrupted everybody.  (Actually, Giada - pre-incision - kept piping in during Ina’s spiels, but she was just being enthusiastic.) They’re repeating the show a bunch of times, but save yourself the 2 hours and just look at the recipes here.

Here was the high point for me: Bobby (and actually the other two too) disagreeing with Alton about brining. Bobby said he doesn’t like the texture of the meat after it’s been brined. Take that Alton! Ina says she likes to put lots of seasoning (read salt) on the turkey a day or two before cooking and it gives a lot of extra flavor. Giada likes what she calls a dry brine, which is an herb rub.

And this was interesting. Bobby did something very different with his turkey. When the breast measured 160°F , (I THINK he said 160, I’d feel better at 165, even though I know it continues to cook) he took the turkey out of the oven and CUT THE LEGS AND THIGHS OFF. Really. (The wings are still attached to the breast and carcass) Then he put the legs and thighs BACK  in the roasting pan, covered them with foil and cooked them for ANOTHER HOUR. I kid you not. That’s pretty radical, right? And he doesn’t give a hoot that he cuts up the bird before presenting it to his audience, friends, guests or whomever.

Bobby covered the remaining turkey (with the breast meat and wings) with foil and just let it rest for an hour. That’s a darn good idea. The only thing I would add is my magic trick of turning the breast upside down as it rests. The juices flow back into the breast, where they’re needed the most. I actually LOVE Bobby’s idea of cutting off the dark meat and cooking it longer. I may have to try it on Thursday, except that I stuff my turkey and the stuffing may not register done (165°F) when the breast does, so I’ll have to keep my options open.

After the show, the Food Network had a “Hangout” with its four Food Network stars. You know, kind of like Andy Cohen’s “Aftershow”.

Some nice young woman from Food, who never introduced, herself was (I thought) the host of this post-show. She introduced everyone and started the questions rolling. Then she introduced the stars of the new Food Network show modelled (exactly) after The Chew called The Kitchen @ Food Network - Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid. Exactly like The Chew, there is one super-duper chef taking part, Geoffrey Zakarian, who was not participating in the Hangout. He’s like Mario Batali on The Chew, who, remember, was on The Chew’s first episode from a remote location – a golf course - demonstrating pizza dough. (I haven’t really watched The Chew since then, so maybe Mario is there more…but I kind of doubt it. He probably makes appearances in between his more important gigs.)

Anyway, the annoying part of this “Hangout” was that the nameless host, who WAS sitting at the head of the table, was supposed to be channeling questions from Twitter and the website for ALL the chefs, but Alton could not keep his mouth shut. While Hangout Host Gal gamely looked on, he barreled through the segment asking each of The Kitchen hosts some Thanksgiving related question. Ina looked bored, but laughed bravely when called upon. Giada looked uber-sexy in her heavy librarian glasses, but she should have been home nursing her wound. Bobby didn’t actually seem bothered by obnoxious Alton.

Ah well, it was an interesting show, which would have been made better by a more courtly host (Ted Allen perhaps). I get that Alton has MANY technically proficient recipes to contribute, but couldn’t he do it by remote and only when called upon?

Find the myriad recipes mentioned here:
Clarified Butter
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries
Good Gravy
Country Bread Stuffing with Goat Cheese, Kale and Bacon
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika and Chives
Roasted Turkey a la Tangerine
Roasted Shrimp in Cazuela
Spanish Cranberry Sparkling Martini
Apple Crostata
Kale and Gorgonzola Salad
Thanksgiving Turkeys
Accidental Turkey
Turkey Breast "Porchetta"
Roasted Figs and Prosciutto
Kir Royale
Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding
Green Beans Gremolata
Thanksgiving Live Roast Turkey


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

I like the two-part turkey too -- Julia Child did that, except that she cut it apart before she roasted it. It's certainly easier to cut after it's at least partly cooked, though.

I liked the Thanksgiving show last year, hope I can manage to see this one too.

Sheila said...

Oooo! I like that Bobby trick but I am also stuffing my bird (Because you told me to) for the first time so I will have to punt.

What can I do today? 2 days before Tom becomes Toast. I'm doing sweet potatoes and a gratin on Wednesday.

Stuffing? Can I start dicing up the bread now? Help!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I was thinking of that Dan Ackroyd sketch the second I read the bit about Giada cutting herself.

I still like brining turkeys, but Alton is such a know-it-all jerk about everything I'd say I don't like to brine turkeys just to spite him. Go Bobby!

Sue said...

We both made it through Thanksgiving! Yay! And the Bobby trick worked out great!

Great minds think alike, Rach!

I would definitely keep my feelings about brining to myself if I were a fan (I'm not) and Alton was sitting a few feet away.