Archive for the ‘Chefs’ Category
Ok, let’s clarify that title. A French chef, makes a Chinese dish that is similar to Italian cuisine. This is a recipe I had to try after picking up a copy of God’s Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. The dish is actually called pillows of scallop and shrimp mousse, or a bit more accurately, scallop and shrimp stuffed Chinese pot stickers. Thinking this was something like a dumping, and loving the concept of a scallop/shrimp mousse, I busted the dish out for a few friends. Another aspect I really liked, was that you can pretty much use your wrappers to form any shape you want. Folding over like triangles or wrapping into actual wontons should work just as well. Like most new recipes out of a new cookbook, there were a few ups and downs, but the final product was solid and fresh and delicious.
The prep work for this one is pretty easy. You do need a food processor of some sort though, even a tiny, $10 will do, otherwise you have to mince the scallops very finely and be sure to defrost your shrimp if frozen. Also you need to get your hands on some wonton wrappers. I’d also recommend using them a few at a time since they tend to dry out so keep them in the bag till you’re ready to use them. The only tricky part is the pan searing/steaming process, but we’ll get to that in a bit. I would also definitely not skip out on adding a splash balsamic vinegar which pairs with the soft/crispy pot stickers perfectly.
To be honest, Marco Pierre White was more on my radar as another pretentious, jackass chef booking yet another formulaic reality show promoted to match Gordon Ramsey’s scream-themed extravaganza. I’ve never been a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, but the idea of second British chef throwing pans around for the cameras gave me a headache just thinking about it. I had heard of White in passing. While reading about other chefs it seemed like everyone respected and feared the guy, and there wasn’t much more to know other than he seems to be an old school talent, notorious for “bollockings” and as more of a personality than a chef.
But then I stumbled upon White’s autobiography, The Devil in the Kitchen, and it became clear that I had not been paying attention to a chef so tortured and driven by the highest standards, it was almost impossible for me not to like him. A pretty serious change of heart I know, but the book follows a narrative I’ve really come to love. If you enjoyed Kitchen Confidential or Heat, you’re most likely going to enjoy this book. White is a blistering madman, and the book slowly eases you into his frantic and obsessive universe. Whether or not you accept his justifications and explanations for his constant intensity is irrelevant. Obsession is a fascinating spectator sport, and despite the antics, you have to respect this guy’s passion.
Why can’t Jamie Oliver be happy with keeping his ventures limited to great cooking shows, philanthrophy and killing baby chicks in front of horrified live audiences? I suppose someone figured since Gourmet was getting shut down that maybe there would be a spot open on magazine stands. But a whole magazine? Jaime. Come on buddy. Someone talked you reluctantly into this right? Are action figures next? How about a late night talk show instead?
I stumbled upon the first installment of the Jaime Magazine in a book store near my office and bought it without even opening to the first page. I don’t intentionally follow what most tv personality chefs are doing on regular basis, but when I come across something with the J.O. brand my ears usually pirk up.
I’ve followed Oliver for years, more so than I have of Bourdain even. One of my very first memories about how much fun it could be to tear through some through some fresh produce, was when I was flipping channels one morning as a kid, stumbling on a commercial for Naked Chef, expecting what any adolescent boy is hoping to find, being annoyed and disappointed by this punk, British kid talking about radishes, and then becoming completely hypnotized by whatever technique and ingredient he was explaining. I was still eating cereal at least 2 meals a day, so the fact I was interested in the pork shoulder he was prepping still makes no sense to me. From then on if I thought to cook something myself, he was my refence point. For the life of me understand how Food Network isn’t bending over backwards to get the rights to air his how Jaime at Home, or any another of his many food shows. They’re seriously some of the best food tv I come across.
So why am I pouring the Hateraide on the new Jaime magazine? Some degree of sentimentallity I suppose, that the guy has shifted from being the young up and comer to larger corporate brand, but mostly it just seems like a stretch that a $10 magazine is going to have quality content for the long hall.
The first issue is fine. Nothing new or special though. Typical Oliver recipes and a few nods to chefs bringing British and Indian cuisine to higher levels which were interesting and well done. There’s a few articles devoted to wine & spirits and sustainable farming which are also very appropriate. Then you’ve got a bunch of celebrity garbage and cameos (most annoying of which was the Brad Pitt interview), which I could give two shits about. More sections on “studies” or flavor profiles is something I’d really like to see. The travel section wasn’t anything to get too excited about, but the right destinations wouldn’t hurt. Overall it’s not a bad if you’re in an airport, but it didn’t do much to inspire more time spent in the kitchen, which is something Oliver has always been a natural talent.
I know the magazine is new, only one issue off the presses, and I should just chill the fuck out. I’m sure my new found blogging hobby has a lot of room for improvement as well, so I shouldn’t throw stones, but I really don’t need another magazine on my coffee table. Someone tap me when J.O. is debuting his new show, “Anthony Bourdain and Jaime Oliver Get Shitfaced and Cook till Dawn.” Now that’s entertainment.