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TV and Food: Did TV Make Us Better Cooks?

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Talked to my dear sis and to make a long story short we realized Food Network made us cooks. We grew up with awesome parents who cook. It simply took us beyond. Sara Moulton taught me to not only use fresh basil, but not bruise. I learned to smash garlic. I learned the right pans for the job. Just simple stuff that has made me a pretty darn fine cook.

I am 36 and sis is 40, that's how long it's been around so just curious if you did too?

We made their stuff too. My dear parents got me several Emeril books and they were so eye opening. I sucked at first and got better.

I know today there is lots of its "cream of chicken soup" show criticism and I really don't intend or want to put that down.

.

But at one time Sara, that Italian guy Michael, Emeril. And others. They changed my world!

Anyone else?

Edited by KnoxForPres

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Well these days it's PBS but I definitely remember FN back when I had cable.  I learned a lot from Emeril and Mario and Good Eats.  I loved that old show 123 Cook which was the first cooking competition I'd seen, and later we got reruns of the original Iron Chef.  Sara, not so much.  She has a show currently running on PBS and after 20 years of watching her on TV, I've had it with her claims she cannot cook rice.  She's not a chef, she doesn't claim to be, I can only think her short blonde cuteness and penchant for oversized cooking tools to compensate somehow got her to becoming editor of Gourmet Magazine because I know home cooks who are far more accomplished.  And gawd spare me the fake smile she constantly reminds herself to flash. But yeah, FN was great back in the day and they were the first other than Julia Child. These day's I've seen every food program on PBS several times. 

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I'm pretty sure Sara Moulton is a chef; she graduated from the CIA.  I don't mind her; and while I sometimes wonder if - given her credentials - she's faking the kitchen clumsiness or ineptitude, it doesn't bother me.  Going way back, Nathalie Dupree used to offer me the same sense of comfort when she'd drop a utensil or light a pot holder on fire or something.  

 

The first TV chef I recall having an impact  on me was Graham Kerr - my mom loved The Galloping Gourmet because he was goofy (and it turns out usually kind of drunk on the show) but made some really good-looking food.  I was at the age where what Mom did, I did (because I was about 6 yo), so I watched GK (and many soaps) every day.  I also liked Julia Child's The French Chef for all the wrong reasons - I thought she was hilarious to listen to - but I hope/like to think some of the culinary stuff stuck, too.  

 

I like Emeril and have some of his cookbooks - and the recipes work, which they don't always do with other peoples' cookbooks.  I feel like he got in too deep with the Food Network and lost some credibility overplaying the BAM thing, and respect him for stepping away and going underground for a couple of years.  

 

I may be the only person on earth who doesn't like Alton Brown, but I really kind of can't stand him.  

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Anyone else?

Yes. Watching the various shows on the early Food Network absolutely created an interest in cooking (and eating out) beyond what it would have been otherwise.

 

Wine too.

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Graham Kerr!  What a hoot!  Live audience and all.  Yes, I too admire how Emeril walked it back, his repitoire wasn't large and he knew it was getting repetitive. My favorite memory is he was doing brats one day and asked an audience member how do you do it in Wisconsin.  He answered we boil them in beer and Emeril looked stunned because I guess he never asked someone from Wisconsin before.  Yes, we do it in beer.  I dunno about Sara, chefs are usually proud to wear the coat and I've never heard her say she's a chef. I always thought she was in the right place at the right time, before cooking got popular again.  Right now I'm watching a lot of ATK, I have one of their older cookbooks, I'd love to have the new one that's only $20 that's supposed to include all of their recipes but heck since they've done pot roast ten ways I wonder which one made the book.  Online you basically have to pay to get access to them, that's Chris Kimball's particular scam.  I paid for membership one year and it was hard getting out of it.

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I may be the only person on earth who doesn't like Alton Brown, but I really kind of can't stand him.

 

 

Nope, not the only one.  Although I like a lot of his recipes from the earlier episodes of Good Eats, so I will watch those, but absolutely hate his personality on anything else I've seen him in.

We can keep your posts here if you find that useful and make it a general thread about TV being helpful to our skills. Let me me know.

 

 

Just my 2 cents, but I like the idea of a general thread about TV being helpful to our skills, especially since there are so many channels that show cooking programs now, not just The Food Network.

 

I grew up loving The Frugal Gourmet (yes, I know) and his original cookbook is one that I still go back to constantly, but I also loved his show at the time and learned a lot.  My favorite advice "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick!" came from him.  If it weren't for Jeff Smith, I would never be using my stainless steel cookware which is my go to for most things fried or sautéed.  The book is a good read on its own, but it also has a number of recipes I really like, though most are old fashioned nowadays.  Another one I remember that my dad really liked, though I just tolerated, was the Cajun chef.   And of course the aforementioned Julia Child was invaluable in imparting her skills to novices like me (at the time).

 

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Another one I remember that my dad really liked, though I just tolerated, was the Cajun chef.

 

Do you mean Justin Wilson? I really liked him, too. For some reason his schtick and catchphrases never got on my nerves the way Emeril's did. There was a great Saturday Night Live skit with John Goodman playing a character similar to Wilson teaming up with The Anal-Retentive Chef. 

 

I've picked up the occasional hint from the Food Network chefs, like Alton Brown's advice on how to thaw a turkey, or Emeril's tip on getting roast duck really crispy and not excessively fatty by parboiling it first.

 

I learned more from finding the chefs' recipes online or in cookbooks than from watching them on TV, though. To me, the more "colorful" ones, like Emeril and Paula Deen, tended to overdo their "funny" accents and catchphrases, while the more low-key ones like David Rosengarten weren't that much fun to watch. To me, the one who came closest to being really entertaining but not silly was Julia Child. And yet, when they were showing her old shows at the time Julie and Julia came out, I was surprised by how slow the pace felt. Minutes on end were devoted to trussing a chicken. I liked Frugal Gourmet (Jeff Smith) at the time, but I couldn't watch him today thanks to the child abuse scandal.

 

That said, though, I wish Food Network would bring a few cooking instructors back to primetime. It seems all they have nowadays are reruns of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or endless competitions.

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I credit food tee vee almost exclusively for developing my interest in cooking back in my formative years, and for whatever skills (relatively speaking) I possess now.

 

Both my mom and her mom were really good cooks, and we always ate well. But they were also dyed in the wool country ladies, and there wasn't much in the way of adventure on the menu. Not that there's a damn thing wrong with fried chicken and baked ham and cornbread and butterbeans, etc. But it was a limited menu of down home country crowd-pleasers largely geared toward their meat-and-potatoes husbands, and of course the kids. Later, when mom became a working single mother of two, there was also the matter of an extremely limited budget, not to mention time. (Those days are a big part of the reason that, to this day, I'd prefer cottage cheese in my lasagna rather than ricotta. And why I still hold a special place in my heart and on my tongue for "taco sauce" consisting of nothing but tomato juice spiked with a little white vinegar. I make no apologies! Heh.) Anyway, yeah, the ladies in my life when I was a kid had very specific old-school ideas about appealing to the palates of the menfolk and the rugrats, and also held close to their hearts notions about cooking being "women's work." I do think they both appreciated that I was interested, and they'd humor my questions, but ultimately the conversations always ended with "okay run along now, I'll call you when it's ready." So I never received much instruction at home, nor was there ever really interest in anything "elevated" in any way, or otherwise "fancy." The box was tiny.

 

My first "Ooooooooh!" moment was watching Great Chefs of New Orleans/Chicago/San Francisco with my sister on PBS during the middle of the day when school was out. My tween self was absolutely fascinated by all that. Never missed an episode of Justin Wilson either, but that was mostly because I was amused by the folksy "cajun grandpa" stories and humor and such. Anyway, I guess it never really "took" as anything more than entertainment, simply because the opportunity was never there to bring any of that into my real life. The interest was seeded, but it lay dormant until after college when feeding myself was necessary, and the whole pizza/take-out/microwave train had run its course and was no longer getting the job done. It was finally time to grow up and learn my way around the kitchen. Enter Food Network. And re-enter my mom!

 

For a while there, I just pestered her over the phone regularly to walk me through some of my favorite recipes of hers from my childhood. And that was great, but eventually she turned me on to FN. Perhaps just to get me off her back. Ha! (To this day, there are still things she simply refuses to tell me about some of her recipes. "Figure it out! If you can! If not, guess you're just gonna have to come down for a visit and let me make it for you! Muahahahaha!")

 

Alton has probably taught me more about cooking than anybody else on this particular planet. He always has been and always will be my favorite. Mainly because he didn't just teach me what to do, but why to do it. Why to pick a certain cut of meat for a certain application. Why to use one pan over another. Why employing a certain technique will yield the best result (with mileage varying as always.) I find that approach to be far more useful, because rather than just presenting a recipe to mimic, it imparts skills and knowledge that can be broadly applied to all kinds of kitchen endeavors. Personally, I have benefited in real life from watching Good Eats more than maybe anything else I've ever watched on tee vee. (My mom: "Really??? More than Paula???")

 

It's because of Alton that I can now flip to one of the interminable reruns of DDD and see two minutes of disjointed highlights of some dudebro whipping up a crazy OFF-THE-HOOK dish I've never heard of, and think to myself "Yeah, that sounds pretty good. I'm trying that this weekend. Chicken, shiitakes... got it. I can figure out the rest. My version will probably be better."

 

ETF: typos

Edited by Uncle Benzene
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  Right now I'm watching a lot of ATK, I have one of their older cookbooks, I'd love to have the new one that's only $20 that's supposed to include all of their recipes but heck since they've done pot roast ten ways I wonder which one made the book.  Online you basically have to pay to get access to them, that's Chris Kimball's particular scam.  I paid for membership one year and it was hard getting out of it.

 

I have a love-hate thing going with ATK and Cook's Country.  I know Chris Kimball gets on a lot of peoples' nerves, including mine.  Plus, everything they do is "the best" way to do something -- until they do it again a year or two later.  That being said, they make a lot of food that works and looks tasty, so I watch the show pretty regularly.   You can usually find their recipes on the web, posted by a PBS station or by a blogger who makes the proper attribution and thus avoid the strict, scammy policies of Mr. Kimball.  There are a couple of boards on Chowhound where people vent their frustration with the ATK website and its Draconian policies.  

 

We have an odd-lot store in the area that from time to time has ATK books in stock.  I bought two for $5 each, largely just to spite Kimball, but I use them from time to time. 

 

 

 

I grew up loving The Frugal Gourmet (yes, I know) and his original cookbook is one that I still go back to constantly, but I also loved his show at the time and learned a lot.  My favorite advice "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick!" came from him.  If it weren't for Jeff Smith, I would never be using my stainless steel cookware which is my go to for most things fried or sautéed.  The book is a good read on its own, but it also has a number of recipes I really like, though most are old fashioned nowadays.  Another one I remember that my dad really liked, though I just tolerated, was the Cajun chef.   And of course the aforementioned Julia Child was invaluable in imparting her skills to novices like me (at the time).

 

 

I loved The Frug too - until, yeah, the scandal.  We still say the "Hot pan...." on occasion when food sticks and we're feeling goofy.  We have a bunch of his books, which have survived a few rounds of cookbook triage.  The recipes are really good and workable, and the historic/background information is interesting too.

 

Not a formative experience, but I enjoyed Jacques Pepin cooking with his daughter, Claudine.  They clearly adore each other, despite her being a klutz in the kitchen. And the food is usually simple and yummy-looking.

Edited by harrie
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I liked Yan of Yan Can Cook.  I liked his approach, was entertained by him and was interested in the food he cooked.

I still make his tomato beef when I remember how much I liked it.

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I have a love-hate thing going with ATK and Cook's Country.  I know Chris Kimball gets on a lot of peoples' nerves, including mine.  Plus, everything they do is "the best" way to do something -- until they do it again a year or two later.  That being said, they make a lot of food that works and looks tasty, so I watch the show pretty regularly.   You can usually find their recipes on the web, posted by a PBS station or by a blogger who makes the proper attribution and thus avoid the strict, scammy policies of Mr. Kimball.  There are a couple of boards on Chowhound where people vent their frustration with the ATK website and its Draconian policies.  

 

We have an odd-lot store in the area that from time to time has ATK books in stock.  I bought two for $5 each, largely just to spite Kimball, but I use them from time to time. 

 

 

@harrie:  Muchas gracias, girl, for symbolically stickin' it to that king of all jerks, Chris Kimball.  Wonder if I could find an ATK used cookbook for one penny at amazon. I just can't watch ATK much because of his condescending prissiness (+ he's always reminded me of what one could expect a blind date to look/act like).

 

But I have picked up good info' re: kitchen equipment and some product brands thanks to ATK.

 

I think the one TV cook I've learned the most from is Ina Garten.  Love her food & style, but especially her quiet yet interesting presentation. IMO, the best shows were from the early years when she cooked in her kitchen (in the house).  It was so relaxing and cozy.  Never dreamed I'd make fruity butter and popovers but after watching Ina do it I thought, "Hey, I can do that!"  And it's delicious.

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Chris Kimball is one entitled arrogant former hippie, I don't even know how that happens.  The constant jokes on the show about what an ass he is, etc.  Still, I pick up some tips if I'm not stabbing my ears out over the banjo music I've heard 1,000 times and then some.

 

I picked up a lot from Jaques Pepin. He's so relaxed. "I think I'll do this, maybe add a bit of that."  Sometimes I just know things are overdone or underdone and he just goes with it. I'm sorry but I find Claudia very stupid and uncomfortable although she tries.  It's great how he can tolerate her constantly, unsafely, reaching over him all the time.  Maybe he worked too much when she was a kid but what a wealth of information she could have had.  I loved his contrast with Julia on the show he did with her too. A lot of TV chefs don't make a point of adding herbs but he does and makes everything look simple. Sometimes Julia's strict French cooking would turn out better (greener beans) but what a great show.  The burger and turkey shows stand out in my mind. And potatoes!

 

What I don't need is a Joanne Weir standing there waving a knife around saying you know what I do?  As if she invented chiffonade or how to cut an onion.  In fact, TV chefs need to stop wasting time telling us how to cut a stupid onion. But I guess that goes to how much I've learned on food shows. And Marianne Esposito and her very bad Italian.  A lot of her food looks good if you put her on mute so she can't talk down to you like a 4th grader..  I understand these appeal to some beginning cooks but I'm not sure how many of them are tuning in. It's great we have these things now.

Edited by QuelleC

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Actually, I learned something interesting from Joanne Weir:  to roast beets, not boil them.  She says roasting beets gets rid of that earthy flavor/aroma (that I dislike) and she's right.  Her beet soup is a winner (but I emailed her to let her know that the part about adding the herbs and creme fraiche is difficult to understand and she agreed).

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Actually, I learned something interesting from Joanne Weir: to roast beets, not boil them. She says roasting beets gets rid of that earthy flavor/aroma (that I dislike) and she's right. Her beet soup is a winner (but I emailed her to let her know that the part about adding the herbs and creme fraiche is difficult to understand and she agreed).

I'm so jealous! Twice I've been moved by a book I felt compelled to write and/or email the author. Never received even an auto generic reply. One (Kurt Vonnegut Jr- book being Timequake) I get-he was busy and famous (and alive, yes). The other was a random book I got at a used bookstore- praised her and a black hole, haha. And you not only got a response, but affirmation! The holy grail!

As someone else said above, I got stainless pans because that's what the people on tv used. My dad got me a set from HSN probably 20 years ago that were Wolfganf Puck. Those things have worn like iron and still look brand new. I think we got lucky bc talk about a hit or miss purchase!

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I grew up watching PBS cooking shows when I was kid when nothing else was on. It got to the point where I didn't mind watching them instead of other stuff at times. In law school I got into watching TFN because I moved back in with my mom and she was all about that channel. It wasn't until I became a wife that I really started cooking. I realized early on how much I learned by watching my mom and grandmom cook and TFN. I'd say I've learned the most from Rachel Ray and Ina Garten since I watched those the most. I watched a lot of Emeril, too, but RR and IG seemed to have really stuck in my head.

 

I consider myself a good cook. I have more hits than misses, with my misses not being half bad. From watching my mom, grandmom and TFN, I've learned that cooking is all about confidence and patience. I mean I rarely follow a recipe to the T for one reason of another and things still turn out okay. Chopped has really helped with the confidence as far as taking risk with pairing things together I probably wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

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I grew up watching PBS cooking shows when I was kid when nothing else was on. It got to the point where I didn't mind watching them instead of other stuff at times. In law school I got into watching TFN because I moved back in with my mom and she was all about that channel. It wasn't until I became a wife that I really started cooking. I realized early on how much I learned by watching my mom and grandmom cook and TFN. I'd say I've learned the most from Rachel Ray and Ina Garten since I watched those the most. I watched a lot of Emeril, too, but RR and IG seemed to have really stuck in my head.

 

I consider myself a good cook. I have more hits than misses, with my misses not being half bad. From watching my mom, grandmom and TFN, I've learned that cooking is all about confidence and patience. I mean I rarely follow a recipe to the T for one reason of another and things still turn out okay. Chopped has really helped with the confidence as far as taking risk with pairing things together I probably wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

 

I agree re: Chopped.  Though I've been modifying recipes (usually making them lower fat/cutting calories) for a while - before I started watching the show.  The internet helps too. 

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I love to cook and quite good if I do say so myself!   My mother was, too.  The only cans I use contain broth or beans if I don't have enough time to prepare dried.  Some things in jars like chili paste etc. 

 

I have learned the most from Top Chef and Iron Chef.   Basil puree (so many uses!), a squeeze of lemon on almost everything, hot smoking pan so things don't stick, using a little pasta water in carbonara and so much more.  

 

I don't watch the shows where chefs stand there and prepare a dish, I can read a recipe if I want a blow by blow.  

 

Top Chef starts this week!!  


FYI: There's a topic for the Food Network and the Cooking Channel in Network Talk.

 

We can keep your posts here if you find that useful and make it a general thread about TV being helpful to our skills. Let me me know.

 

 

I like this thread because of the specific focus.  

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I may be the only person on earth who doesn't like Alton Brown, but I really kind of can't stand him.

This is from waaaay back, but harrie I can assure you that you aren't the only one. I can not stand Alton Brown. That show Good Eats was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I've heard he's a major asshole and I believe it.

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I've never been a fan of his, either. However, I did like his "Feasting on Asphalt" series. Anyway, I think Alton Brown's a prime example of letting fame get to his head. A local chef competed in a Food Network competition series a few years ago. (I think it was to become an Iron Chef.) Anyway, my sister and I ate at her restaurant not too long after the shows aired. (BTW, she lost.) We asked her about Alton Brown and she hesitated and said, "Let's just say he likes things HIS way." OK...

 

One thing that always bugged me about "Good Eats" was that you never could watch the show and learn a handful of recipes that you would duplicate at home in a reasonable amount of time. With all of the jerry-rigged equipment and hacks and sourcing and preparing ingredients, it seemed like a simple dish took days to prepare.

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I'd say I've learned the most from Rachel Ray and Ina Garten since I watched those the most. 

 

Same for me. I never really cooked until I got married when I was 37. Then I realized my husband probably didn't want to eat a Hot Pocket every night for the rest of his life, so I thought I'd better figure out how to cook at least a few things. Rachel Ray really took a lot of the mystery out of cooking for me, and made it a lot less intimidating. And from her, Ina, and Giada, I learned a few important basics. Like onions and garlic are the base for just about everything, and you shouldn't put garlic into the skillet first since it's a bit delicate and burns easily. 

 

I know RR gets a lot of grief for her goofy acronyms, large portions, and heavy use of cheese and oil, but I like her. I had tried learning to cook by just following recipes in a cookbook, and it didn't really work for me. Watching her approach of "a little of this, a little of that" and not getting too uptight about exact measurements was very helpful.

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Growing up I'd watch all the cooking shows on PBS basically for entertainment. I never expected I'd ever try or even learn anything. So naturally my initial attempts at making stuff for myself as an adult didn't turn out all that great. Over the last several years I've gotten more interested in the doing. To that end Good Eats, America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country, and even Martha's Cooking School have been very helpful. From there I've had a better time when watching other shows and actually paying attention.

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Back in the day, I learned a lot from David Rosengarten on FN. Those were the glory days before the FN infested us with Sandra Lee, Guy, & Ree  with their crap ass "recipes".

Edited by ariel
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I've talked about his Taste show somewhere around here, or maybe at TWoP.  

I still use the Virgil's Cornbread recipe he showed on one show.  I still remember some of the things he said about wine during one of his wine shows.  I always loved his intense passion about food, which carried the show even if the production values were, um, low.  Although the episode where he went on and on about a basic tuna fish sandwich was a little much.

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I cannot find the correct thread so I will put this comment here.  If anyone knows where it better belongs please post link.  I am still in the process of following all the threads that interest me!  

When I make crostini I brush the olive oil lightly over the entire surface before toasting.  On TV they take a cruet and haphazardly hurl the oil over the surfaces leaving some with little oil and some with saturated trails.  

Who wants to be eating one with little oil or conversely bite into a piece sogged with oil in one place?  

Just something that bugs me every time I see it. 

Edited by wings707
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harrie:  Thanks for the link to David R's fb page.  I've copied his baked Italian clams recipe (never made them but there's always a first time, right?)  Does anyone know what kind of clams are not so salty tasting?  I know, back in the day, I used to order clams and they were just right...only a hint of saltiness, but in recent years they've been OTT salty.

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Signs that you watch a lot of food tv:  Washing off a carrot that is going to be part of the chicken stock you are making, you think to yourself, "Eh, if there's a little dirt it'll be okay. It will add umami."

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"TV and Food: Did TV Make Us Better Cooks?"

It didn't make me a better cook but it made me a better eater. And probably a better grocery shopper.

But I'm still not sure, "Raw chicken. To wash or not to wash." (sorry)

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7 minutes ago, NewDigs said:

"TV and Food: Did TV Make Us Better Cooks?"

It didn't make me a better cook but it made me a better eater. And probably a better grocery shopper.

But I'm still not sure, "Raw chicken. To wash or not to wash." (sorry)

Someone here may convince me otherwise, but I do wash raw chicken. And then I clean up the sink area with a Clorox one-time use bleach scrubber. 

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39 minutes ago, Spunkygal said:

Someone here may convince me otherwise, but I do wash raw chicken. And then I clean up the sink area with a Clorox one-time use bleach scrubber. 

I do too, except for the bleach part. I try to stay far far away from bleach and antibacterials.

But I remember many "spirited" wash-or-not discussions over the years and forums. And having my way sometimes shown on the teevee. And sometimes not.

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8 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

Signs that you watch a lot of food tv:  Washing off a carrot that is going to be part of the chicken stock you are making, you think to yourself, "Eh, if there's a little dirt it'll be okay. It will add umami."

I saw umami in a jar the other day - maybe at Trader Joe's? I was surprised; I thought it was a "taste" like salty/sweet/sour, not an actual flavor. Maybe I don't watch enough food TV.

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I don't wash chicken and I'm not dead! I don't do it for any good "reason" though. It's not about keeping the bacteria off my counters or anything, it just, it seems like an unneeded step since not washing it has always resulted in me being fine. 

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I think I've learned the most from watching the Barefoot Contessa.  Little tricks preparing food that she does, the fruit or cheese platters she arranges, and those wonderful all one color but different flower arrangements--love them and enjoy making those floral displays.  Ina's recipes are the ones I've made the most altho' I've made some of Joanne Weir's and a few of Dave Lieberman's.  One of these days I've got to make fried oysters & deviled eggs, a Katie Lee dish.  It looked so good when she made it on a Bobby Flay show.

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16 hours ago, Lisin said:

I don't wash chicken and I'm not dead! I don't do it for any good "reason" though. It's not about keeping the bacteria off my counters or anything, it just, it seems like an unneeded step since not washing it has always resulted in me being fine. 

I don't either.  Chicken cooks to 160-165, and bacteria dies at 140, so what's the point?  

I do wipe steaks that have been cut with a saw, though-T-bones and porterhouses, ribeye with the bone, etc, because when I toured a meat cutting facility, they told us that there could be some bone dust residue that might result in an off taste, but told us that washing it was silly.  Just a wet paper towel.

I definitely think TV made me a better cook.   Instead of using still photos and words to describe a technique or procedure, you could watch and mimic the actions of the TV host.  I definitely think it's made me a better baker, as you can see the actual patience required in certain steps that help calm you when you're doing it-"Martha did not finish this step in 5 minutes either!" is sometimes my battle cry, he he.

Ina, Emeril, Bobby Flay, and Martha were the most formative TV chefs for me as a young adult, but I did love me some Justin Wilson (I loved how he took a nip-or several!-every time he cooked with booze), Yan Can Cook, and Julia Child definitely piqued my interest in cooking as a kid in the 80's.  I still watch Ina, and have added America's Test Kitchen to my repertoire.  I also think the Great British Bake Off reignited my baking passion, as my 2017 resolutions include testing 1 new baking recipe per week!

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I've been watching cooking shows since I was 7 (I'm in my 30s now) and that has definitely helped me become a better cook. I didn't really get a chance to cook until I got married but I've always loved cooking. I think after watching so many cooking shows and having so many basic concepts and scientific concepts drilled into me, I probably avoided a lot of rookie mistakes.

Another thing that has helped me so much especially with asian cooking was food blogs!

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I didn't know how to cook when I got married, beyond the basics of spaghetti/meatloaf/noodle casseroles. Even though I watched cooking shows on PBS, the kids & the hubby liked what I made and it was easy. About 12 years ago, I got cable & the Food Network. Rachel Ray's 30-minute Meals and Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade shows changed my cooking life. For the first time, TV cooks were making food that looked like something my family would eat, using ingredients I was familiar with. From there, I've branched out to other shows and ingredients I never knew existed. My favorite show, to date, is Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Resturant Chef. Most of my go-to company meals are dishes she made on her show. 

Now, instead of looking to a show for inspiration, I get recipes in my email, check out Pinterest, or Google ingredients from my pantry to find a new recipe. 

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2 hours ago, Nysha said:

I didn't know how to cook when I got married, beyond the basics of spaghetti/meatloaf/noodle casseroles. Even though I watched cooking shows on PBS, the kids & the hubby liked what I made and it was easy. About 12 years ago, I got cable & the Food Network. Rachel Ray's 30-minute Meals and Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade shows changed my cooking life. For the first time, TV cooks were making food that looked like something my family would eat, using ingredients I was familiar with. From there, I've branched out to other shows and ingredients I never knew existed. My favorite show, to date, is Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Resturant Chef. Most of my go-to company meals are dishes she made on her show. 

Now, instead of looking to a show for inspiration, I get recipes in my email, check out Pinterest, or Google ingredients from my pantry to find a new recipe. 

Same here. I learned how to cook easy recipes by watching Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals and my favorite was Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I now watch other chefs but still miss those two shows. I sometimes watch Rachael's syndicated show and she does cook at the end of the show. But it seems rushed.

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I'm an experinced cook and am told I'm really good at it. I've watched a lot of cooking shows on TV but the one I really love is Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are imaginative and seasonal. She offers lots of tips and short cuts. She's calm and easy to understand as she explains each step. Her recipes are very tasty in my experience as I've made many of her dishes. Highly recommend!

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I love Ina.  She's calm, cool & collected & the adult in what is now the FN zoo.

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Back in the early days of FN, David Rosengarten was great.  I credit him for making me the foodie I am today.

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I've never heard of him! When was he on FN and what happened to him?

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1 minute ago, Gam2 said:

I've never heard of him! When was he on FN and what happened to him?

I'm not sure.  I would have thought a PBS station would have picked him up.  He is PBS/Create material.  Check out YouTube for his old shows.

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Thanks for the reply. We lived out of the country for a number of years so I may have missed him. Or when we returned to the States, we didn't get PBS. I'll check him out. Thank you!

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Just a little warning, David's show's sets were very low budget back in the day.  This was FN back in the1990's when it first started. His shows were the "stand & stir" that "the power that be" at FN don't seem to like now.

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15 hours ago, Gam2 said:

I've never heard of him! When was he on FN and what happened to him?

I think he ran out of ideas. At one point he had a show all about a tuna sandwich wrapped in tin foil.

15 hours ago, ariel said:

Just a little warning, David's show's sets were very low budget back in the day.  This was FN back in the1990's when it first started. His shows were the "stand & stir" that "the power that be" at FN don't seem to like now.

Ha! SO low budget.  My favorite episodes were about wine, which he did in a knowledgeable yet non-snobby way.  He also gave me the recipe for Virgil's Cornbread, which rocks; the only cornbread I ever loved. Speaking of that, I can't believe that I was at Virgil's in NYC a month ago and forgot to order the cornbread. Damn kids make me lose my train of thought.

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