Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One To Try At Home. Not.

I'm quite used to watching cooking programmes where they make it look easy and when you come to reproducing them at home, you run into a few difficulties. Chef's will sometimes inform you to use a special ingredient but that another product will suffice. It's understood that depending who you are and where you live these ingredients might be easily to obtain, but if you're in a small town or a remote village, chances are, these ingredients are not to hand but using a suggested other is not a problem.

Another problem is skill level and time required. Using the magic of television, a 3 hour recipe can be condensed into a 2 minute montage, leading the unsuspecting viewer that this can be easily accomplished in a suitable time frame. Many parents seem to complain that they use ready meals and frozen food because they take less time to prepare in their busy lives. Any amateur cook knows this is absolute piffle. Tasty, nutritious and great looking meals can easily be made from scratch in a small time-frame of 20/30 minutes.

However, as much as I admire and enjoy watching the new Heston Blumenthol show, hardly any of his recipes can easily be made at home. I recall reading a small weekly section that ran in the Sunday Times last year which published a selection of his recipes each week. He had a method of making chips that took 3 days. Who in their right mind has the time and inclination to spend this amount of time making chips for themselves? It amuses me that a delightful meal can take hours to create and mere minutes to scoff but that's the nature of cooking and eating. You'd need the patience of a saint and the time of someone on benefits to spend half a week making chips.

In his recent show, he told us how to make the perfect steak salad and even the gem lettuce had to sit in ice for nearly half an hour. The beef had to be a certain type (corn fed) and matured for four weeks. If I walked into my butchers and asked for a months old cow he'd suspect I was from the Health Inspectorate and firmly deny any of his produce was that old. The meat itself has to be cooked at 50C for 24 hours and you'll need your common kitchen blow-torch to seal the meat beforehand. Simple.

One feels this show is merely showing off and explaining to the viewer why his food costs so much at his 3 star Michelin, 2004 World's Best restaurant that he drops at the start of each show, rather than inform the viewer how to reproduce the fine cuisine he tells us we can make at home.


Anonymous Lou said...

I agree entirely with the last paragraph. The guy is a pompous, smug git. Sure, i'll run right out and buy a blow torch so that i can cook the perfect steak every week.

2:39 am  
Blogger Skry said...

Normally this would be where I would laugh and say "If you were a vegetarian like me, you'd be eating already", but on this occasion I obviously would be waiting longer for my gem lettuce and chips than a corpse cruncher would for a 24 hour steak.

The guy sounds like he could make a good show about how to cook the ultimate meals if you're cooking for people on death row - last supper meals and the like. But to make out like anyone would have the time to cook a steak for 24 hours at 50C, let alone the inclination, is taking the piss.

Food should be enjoyed and not laboured. There are so many other recipes that you could make in 24 hours that would taste just as good if not better. Why waste a day on a steak when you could cook a weeks worth of meals in that time, that taste just as good, and then put your feet up in the kitchen for the next seven days?

3 day chips... LOL I did get a laugh out of that :D Imagine if your guests cancelled at the last minute.

"Shit - I've been steeping those spuds for 72 hours damnit!!!"

4:36 am  

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