Plate It or Hate It

Recent food world discoveries the ES crew is loving and hating

Plate It: Creamed Honey

We love honey. We hate how it sticks all over everything. Creamed honey is pure honey that is crystallized so that it changes texture; you get a smooth, creamy product that spreads like butter and doesn’t drip-drip-drip all over everything like that pedestrian un-creamed honey. Brilliant. (Available at http://www.shopbot.co.nz/)

Hate It: Push Pop Cakes

The latest mom blogger craze picks up where cake pops left off. Come on, foodie moms — please stop sacrificing practicality for cuteness. That is not how you eat a cake. Push it up and things start to fall apart once you take your first bite.  (Photo: kristin_a)

Plate It: Travel-Size Brie

Finally. We no longer have to fly with just Laughing Cow. Quality doesn’t compare to regular brie, but it’s sure better than no brie. (Available from Ile de France)

Hate It: Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off

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Friday Fuck Up: Bobby Flay I’m Not

Sometimes, you can pinpoint the exact moment when a dish goes wrong. Other times, you get to the end, give the food a taste, and think, “What the hell happened?!” And then, there are the times when things are bad, bad, bad, from start to finish. And even though you see it coming, you are powerless to stop it. Yep, that was me in my attempt at a chile rellenos of sorts.

It began with a trip to LA Mart in Silver Spring, my favorite spot for out-of-season produce from exotic locales. I usually stop in sometime during the dead of winter when I just can’t eat one more carrot. This time, I picked up some pointy, green, poblanno-esque peppers, figuring I could stuff them, cover them in cheese and call it a dinner.

I got home and the trouble began. I roasted the peppers on the stove, where they got all blistery and black looking. Not sure if that was good or not, but I soldiered on. The recipe I used directed me to scrape off the black bits and core the peppers, leaving a nice, smoky shell. What I ended up with were several limp, slimy green sheets. But I continued. The filling would redeem them, I figured. Plus, they would be covered in cheese.

The filling was about what you’d expect—black beans, tomatoes, spices—with one addition: grapefruit. A bit odd, I thought, but I was willing to give it a try. It could be one of those surprisingly delicious combinations, like pickles and cream cheese wrapped in corned beef.

Nope. It was just bad. It was hard to nail down what exactly was bad about it, which means it was also impossible to correct. But I now had about four cups of the stuff, so I stumbled blindly on. I “stuffed” the slimy pepper sheets with the grapefruit-black bean blend.

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Kitchen Darlings

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“It has been claimed.” Those are the words the National Enquirer utters as it talks trash on our three favorite ladies of television. According to the rag, Paula wants to “crush” Rachael and Martha, Rachael is pissed that Martha has taken over Hallmark, and Martha thinks Paula is a “hillbilly.”

A quick note to the National Enquirer—stay out of the kitchen, shut the hell up and leave our ladies alone.

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Celebrity Chef Apps

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If Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” can have an iPhone app, then so can the celebrity chefs of the world. In fact, “The Situation” is pretty late to the iPhone app party. There are hundreds if not thousands of food and recipe related apps out there, almost making cookbooks a thing of the past. But don’t throw out those cook books just yet, we take a look at some of the features our beloved celebrity chefs have in their apps.

Bittman

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – $4.99

With over 2,000 recipes this is certainly one of the more comprehensive collections from any of the apps. “Bittman’s Picks” provides some of his more notable dishes with must try recipes. The recipes contain built in cook timers: hit the link and a nifty countdown will appear, perfect for those of us who can’t cook an egg. Another great feature is his suggestions for alternative dishes, search for Chicken Pot Pie and there is also a recipe for a mashed potato crust. However, for such a streamlined app the one thing it is sorely missing are pictures, perhaps on the next update. Thanks Mark.

Florence

Tyler Florence Fast – $4.99

If like me, when cooking, you tend to curse out the author of the cookbook, then this is the app for you. Tyler has included an “Ask the Chef” feature. Just click on the button and you’ll be directed to your email– to chat with Tyler himself. But do we really think he reads those things. The app updates seasonally, adding to the 500 plus signature recipes already featured. Another interesting feature is linking the kitchen timer to your iTunes. Listen to your favorite Lady Gaga as you wait for that prime rib to cook.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Morimoto is a Pimp!

The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– Masaharu Morimoto needed surgery after he slipped in the hot tub.  Badass.  I choose to believe he slipped because he had to climb over three or four sweet honeys.

– Tom Colicchio testified before Congress about childhood nutrition, not about corruption in the Teamsters, as I initially thought.  I should know not to assume that simply because he’s a bad-ass looking Italian man in a suit.

After the jump…sage advice for new parents, drinking for a good cause (as if you even need an excuse) and “is that a hair in my sandwich?”

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Matilda Cuomo…My New Hero!

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The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– Presented without comment, a quote from Matilda Cuomo on the fact that her son’s girlfriend, Sandra Lee, makes lasagna with cottage cheese and canned tomato soup:  “I don’t know that that’s true. You know, maybe she puts cottage cheese because he doesn’t want to put on weight. He’s watching his diet. But that’s not the way you make lasagna.”

– Rachael Ray is the latest celeb on the “our kids are too fat” bandwagon.  I don’t know what they’re talking about.  Mom packed me a lard sandwich every day and I turned out just fine.  (He said, as he reached for his home defibrillator.)

After the jump…wall-to-wall Top Chef.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: The Stars Come Out in Philly

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The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– Lots of local news from Phoodie:  Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (seen above across from my office…really!!) are in Philly shooting The Dark Fields and they grabbed dinner at Cuba Libre.

Iron Chef Jose Garces is firing up a taco truck and will be announcing its location daily via Twitter.  And there goes my productivity out the door.

After the jump…we get nostalgic about lunch and cartoons, and the latest news about successful people recognizing the accomplishments of other successful people.

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