Now here's something different

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Now here's something different

Postby Jenise » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:19 pm

Had the Food Network on while I cranked out a couple hundred Chinese dumplings today, and one of the shows I saw was Michael Chiarello's. I've only seen him once before, and I did not care for him then though I am not sure exactly what put me off. After today, I've changed my mind. He does real, high quality, no-frills cooking. He says things like "pretend 30 minutes has gone by" as he goes ahead and serves something that really required more time. And based on the two shows I've seen, he cooks food I'd love to eat.

Today it was burgers--a 4th of July themed show. And he did two things that were rather unique (in my experience, anyway). One, he caramelized his onions for about ten minutes, then added fresh thyme and a whole bottle of zinfandel. That mixture he reduced to a jam. Personally I'd probably still prefer my cold and crispy raw onion, but I really like the looks of this upscale, wine-y alternative. The other unique twist on the good old burger was his cheese component--he made fricos out of aged white cheddar and those went in the burgers in place of the typical cheese slice. Can't wait to try that one!

Anybody else have any new twists on traditional burgers?
Last edited by Jenise on Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby MichaelJ » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:25 pm

Using ground bison, I make the burgers stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts. Then a cherry compote to top. Don't even need a bun for this one.

I think Chiarello's personality is a bit annoying, but I agree, his food is good.
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:09 pm

That onion stuff sounds interesting. Just onions, oil, thyme, and zin?


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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Jenise » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:16 pm

That was it, Mike. I don't remember if he said he used ten onions or ten cups of onions (more than likely the latter, though it would be about the same), only that he specified yellow, adding that he doesn't like caramelized red onions--he didn't elaborate. Cooked the onions for ten minutes, then in went the thyme and the zin. The onions were salt and peppered at the start of cooking, and that was it for ingredients.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:12 pm

I'm going to have to try that. I've made a couple of onion marmalades recently. One was good, one was too sweet, but neither was as simple as this. Sounds like the wine reduction would add a lot.

Thanks!

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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Gary Barlettano » Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:38 am

Jenise, I, too, enjoy what Michael does and, boy oh boy, do I envy his lifestyle. I've been following him since before he was on the Food Network. I saw him first on the Fine Living Channel with his show Napa Style. Still, I also found something in him that did not appeal. It was kind of intangible, but then I noticed I got acid reflux (or better "agita") whenever he started talking about Italian tradition this and Italian custom that ... and then pronounced an Italian word incorrectly here and there. Now, I'm just your biscotti-cutter, everyday Italian-American from New Jersey, but I do have a sense of what's Italian-American and respect the many different forms Italian-Americanism takes. A lot of what Michael presented seemed to be more marketing and didn't really track. Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis do the Italian thing much better. Nonetheless, if Michael invited me over for dinner, I would be there in a heartbeat.
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:18 am

Three great to watch Italian-Americans Gary, especially Giada :roll:
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Howard » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:34 am

Robin had a post or two about Mario a little while back and I meant to chime in then. I really like to watch him. He doesn't condescend but he also spends a fair amount of time talking about why the dish he is preparing is authentic, a little history, a little tradition. My kids got me a book of his for Father's day "Molto Italiano" and I can't wait to try some of the recipes.
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Re: Now here's something different

Postby Jenise » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:34 am

but he also spends a fair amount of time talking about why the dish he is preparing is authentic, a little history, a little tradition


Howard, that's a perfect description of Mario's appeal. I was almost surprised to discover yesterday that he still has a show on the Food Network--and they're probably reruns, but the FN has gone so much over to shlocky shows for guys and non-cooks (Unwrapped, etc) that it was a surprise to discover they had any real cooks left on the air.
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