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Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

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35 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

I thought the show flowed better without the outside experts because of how the other three episodes had the expert go through their recipe and then recreated it in the test kitchen felt so repetitive.

I haven't had a chance to watch this episode yet, but what you say reminds me of something they did/still do on ATK and CC--going over all the steps of the recipe after they've just spent ten minutes actually creating the dish.  "So we made our Midwestern Potato and Corn Casserole starting by . . ."  I always ff through those recaps and grumble about how we don't all have short-term memory loss--we just watched them do it, for cripes sake.  So anything that's less repetitious and salvages time that can be filled with useful new information is A-OK by me.

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One thing that I've noticed is that they seem to be using kosher salt regardless of application and it's left me wondering why. I know from Cook's Illustrated that how much salt you get in a given measure of kosher salt will vary depending on brand so the home cook trying their hand at the recipes will have to somehow take that into account. America's Test Kitchen usually uses Diamond Crystal Salt, I have no idea whether CK has continued that at Milk Street.

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Woo hoo a Persian expert who is Persian! 

I adore chkhirtma, I had a Georgian coworker who would bring in all these amazing dishes to our staff parties and I got her to teach me several of her recipes it's really a delicious and underrated cuisine. The recipe they did is very similar to hers.

I have had olive oil eggs but I always forget to try it myself.

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Jose Andres!!! I loved him for years but after all he has done in Puerto Rico I am in absolute awe of the man.

I am still not loving where they have a guest expert make a dish and then go back to the test kitchen and make their version, I get that there are differences but it just feels so repetitive. I will make sopa de aja because I love it but always forget about it.

Massaging the kale really works, I used to hate raw kale until I started massaging it and now I make kale salads fairly frequently.

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On 10/31/2017 at 7:22 PM, biakbiak said:

I am still not loving where they have a guest expert make a dish and then go back to the test kitchen and make their version, I get that there are differences but it just feels so repetitive. I will make sopa de aja because I love it but always forget about it.

It seems a little bit like, "We asked this expert chef for a recipe, but theirs wasn't good enough, so we made our own." 

Jose Andres's soup seemed better anyway and it was less work.

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I’m just riding out this season and seeing the changes they do for season 2. I feel like it’s trying to be too smart whereas CC/ATK saddled that line perfectly. Also the quest segments feel disjointed and they redo the recipe anyway.

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Agreed about Jose's garlic soup, janie jones; his seemed better and much easier. I can't remember if we're allowed to link to other sites here, but if you go to Google and type in Jose Andres Garlic Soup, his recipe, at Genius Kitchen, should be the first one that comes up.

Dear Milk Street production designer: Please soften the lighting for season 2. Your talent and your home audience will thank you.

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2 hours ago, AllAboutMBTV said:

Agreed about Jose's garlic soup, janie jones; his seemed better and much easier. I can't remember if we're allowed to link to other sites here, but if you go to Google and type in Jose Andres Garlic Soup, his recipe, at Genius Kitchen, should be the first one that comes up.

This is the one that came up when I Googled.

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/castilian-garlic-soup-sopa-de-ajo-370354

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I made the garlic soup this week according to Milk Street's recipe and enjoyed it.  I'm not sure I could shave small slices off a hunk of stale bread, so the change to croutons was fine by me.  Jose's soup may have been simpler for a professional chef with first class ingredients, but I was happy with my results.

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This program has started slowly showing up on the various PBS stations that I have access to.   But for the past 6 months, it seems I've only seen 4 programs - Thai food, prune cake, pie dough and guacamole.   I know that PBS does innumerable repeats, but I wonder how many episodes were done for the first season of the program?

In general,  think the whole ATK, Cook's Country and Milk Street (because it really isn't any different) format has gotten  a little tired, regardless of who is at the helm.

I think Julia and Bridget have improved a bit (they were quite awkward without Chris at first).  They are women of a certain age, and surrounded by good food, so I consider their weight to be pretty typical and don't think it has any bearing on their hosting abilities.  The cook I've always liked least is Becky.

In the 4 episodes of Milk Street that I've seen, Chris has been traveling (to England, to Thailand) somewhere before the episode opens.  That must make this pretty expensive to produce.

Edited by Mermaid Under
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22 minutes ago, Mermaid Under said:

This program has started slowly showing up on the various PBS stations that I have access to.   But for the past 6 months, it seems I've only seen 4 programs - Thai food, prune cake, pie dough and guacamole.   I know that PBS does innumerable repeats, but I wonder how many episodes were done for the first season of the program.

There were 13 episodes for the furst season.

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Well, I have tried, I really have. I dutifully watch each show but I think I am done.  It's just so..........humorless and dry.

I happened to watch a rerun of the ATK show where they made sticky buns and Julia got the giggles at the end.  I was laughing right along with it and it really just showed where the spirit of fun on ATK came from and - it sure wasn't Christopher.

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Anybody see the Turkish meatballs? I guess it's okay if you trust your source, but the ground beef looked too pink in the middle for my liking. And I think they edited it so you wouldn't see, only caught a glimpse. Come to think of it they could do a segment on ground beef rareness.

I like the cast esp Rayna Jhaveri but the format in addition to being too bright is tired. I wear sunglasses to watch, don't like the kitchen-as-lab motif, prefer a warmer setting. Chris's presence seems to me no longer necessary, tho the younger cooks have the discipline not to roll their eyes at his tired schtik. Knowing their jobs are at stake? Yea it's his show, but maybe he'd be better off behind the scenes at this point. Could try releasing these young cooks out of the sterile lab and into the wild where we viewers cook. They did that with Pati Jinich and it really helped her show.

To reach the 'free' recipes on the website, you have to provide an email address and get a confirmation, it seems.

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Do you think there will be a season 2?  The few episodes I have been able to find have been dull and I don’t see Chris being willing to make enough changes to improve things.  He seems to be stuck on that format.

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I didn't mind CK in the original shows--in fact, I kind of liked him.  The way he and the others interacted seemed like the product of long-established, comfortable relationships, and he sort of played the useful idiot most of the time.  (It also didn't hurt that he once talked about the best concert he'd ever been to, and I was at that concert as well, so I felt a connection.  Plus, we went to the same school.  He felt like someone I could've known.)

But he's getting on my nerves little by little on this new show.  He's using the same old shtick--I don't know what I'm doing. Oh, is it going to be too spicy?  If I made this, it would be a bowl of slop. Etc., etc.  We get it, you're the dumb one (even though you're not), and they're going to stun you with their brilliance.  He hasn't adjusted his interactions to fit the new people and keeps trying to fit them into the slots occupied by people he had a long history with.  Switch it up, I don't think the new cooks are into it.  And don't always make it about you--it's clearly uncomfortable for them to play along.  At least it's uncomfortable to watch (for me anyway).

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On 3/2/2018 at 4:53 AM, fauntleroy said:

Anybody see the Turkish meatballs? I guess it's okay if you trust your source, but the ground beef looked too pink in the middle for my liking. And I think they edited it so you wouldn't see, only caught a glimpse. Come to think of it they could do a segment on ground beef rareness.

I didn't, but I remember an ATK episode where they roasted a chicken and gave it to Chris to carve, and when he took off the leg I went full Grrr and screamed "But that's RAAAAAAWWWW".  I don't know why they didn't just stick it back in and re-shoot.

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On 3/3/2018 at 6:21 PM, Mondrianyone said:

But he's getting on my nerves little by little on this new show.

We've been watching reruns and I was only ten minutes in when Mr. ECats declared that Mr. Kimball was a donkey (you know he would use that other word).  And by the end of 30 minutes, he declared that Kimball had become less amusing with age and should shut the ____ up.  I agreed.

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I was really disappointed when I found out ATK was suing Chris for stealing, well, everything.  I’m a little late to this party.  I’ve DVR’d Milk Street and have watched 3 episodes so far.  To me, it’s an identical program with different cooks.  Milk Street is a total rip-off of ATK, imho.  Add to it, the stolen emails ATK has posted online and the blatant employee-robbing....well, I hope Chris has a lot of ? for the attorney fees and settlement....

His hatred of any heat whatsoever in food doesn’t pair well with a lot of International cuisines like Thai, Indian, Mexican, Korean, etc.  if you don’t like spice, I’m not going to trust your palate on Mexican food.  I personally don’t believe it when he now eats something with even a hint of spice in it and claims it is wonderful. 

I guess what I’m saying is that his palate is suspect to me in this environment, whereas it was mostly spot-on in the Northern European style of cooking that he is trying to leave behind.  

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Late to the discussion here.  I actually like this show.  CK seems much more comfortable since he's in total control.   The format rather bugs me perhaps because I am used to seeing CK in the predictable ATK/CC format, but as I watch more and more episodes it's growing on me.  I do like the more international slant to the food.   I agree that the chefs seem stiff and don't have much chemistry with CK.   

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I didn’t realize the show had started again, I caught the French dessert episode. I love the salted caramel chocolate mousse from David Leibovitz, I make it a few times a year it’s delicious and easy. I realize it’s unlikely because he lives in Paris but I wish David would get a cooking show I enjoy the way he explains things. The look on Chris’s face when he said that making caramel was like a bar where everyone wanted to pair off amused me.

Edited by biakbiak
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Why does Christopher Kimball always have to be such a dick to to the other chefs? I hated it when he did it on ATK and Cook's Country and it's just as bad here. When the chef was making the apple cake, he asked her, "Have you ever peeled apples before?" I avoided Milk Street because of him and I only watched it today because of the French desserts - from now on I'll just look for the recipes online. Right after I watched this show I watched Sara Moulton who is about the nicest person on earth and it was such a refreshing change.

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On 10/14/2018 at 9:41 AM, anniebird said:

Sara Moulton who is about the nicest person on earth and it was such a refreshing change

Funny you should say that, Sara is a regular on the Milk Street podcast and she and Chris answer callers questions. He is frequently a dock to her but she more than holds her own.

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One reason I dislike Kimball is he always has to have the last word. He's very competitive with his cooks, which I don't like, and there always seems to be an undercurrent of passive-aggressive hostility. Ugh.

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I used to thoroughly enjoy Chris and his persnickety-ness on Cooks Country/ATK -- loved the bow ties, loved the snarky but kinda loveable professor personality.  But on Milk Street, I'm not liking him AT ALL.  First, he is so blindingly pale and the set is so stark white, there is no contrast and it's hard to get a warmth in the kitchen setting whatsoever.  Second, Chris suffers badly from the "I'm smarter than you and I have to show it" with nearly every cook he's working beside.  It doesn't play well in the already cold environment of Milk Street.  Yes, he's very well educated and so bright, but he doesn't have to be such a dock to others.  Sadly, that's apparently just who Chris is at his core and he probably doesn't care one bit to change.

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On 10/14/2018 at 9:41 AM, anniebird said:

Why does Christopher Kimball always have to be such a dick to to the other chefs? I hated it when he did it on ATK and Cook's Country and it's just as bad here. When the chef was making the apple cake, he asked her, "Have you ever peeled apples before?"

I actually just saw that episode today.  I took his comment as a jokey observation that she's really good at peeling apples.  But maybe that's because I recently was peeling apples for something and was noticing that her technique is much better than mine.

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Create is doing a Milk Street marathon today.  I had no idea there were enough episodes/seasons for this as the show is never on at a time I can watch it.    Now that I have been able to watch a few more episodes, I feel I can fairly comment on it now.   Of course, there are major similarities to ATK, but less schmaltz.  I seriously don't get the format of watching the expert make the dish in an international location, and then show how to make it in the studio with minimal changes.  I get that they are trying to make these recipes more accessible to home cooks, but I didn't think that "Milk Street" was the same thing as ATK where they work on a recipe 100s of times in order to get it perfected, maybe it is?   Also, it seems Chris has traveled the globe for this show.  They must have pretty deep pockets.  I wonder if he just goes on one big whirlwind tour to do the filming and then they edit in the travel segments after they film the studio bits.  I hope they film or write more behind the scenes stuff.   Has anyone purchased the obligatory companion cookbook?   Is it worth it?  I have the ATK & CC books and use them quite a bit.

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@BigBingerBro, I think this show is Chris' attempt to not be America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country but not change so much that it would be off-putting to loyal ATK types.  I also think that in order to differentiate it from ATK/CC, which IMO is primarily focused on food found throughout America with some well-known international dishes thrown in that wouldn't be overly shocking to many viewers/readers, he went with a concept of international cuisine.  It's almost like a "Let's appeal to the broadest audience possible (ATK)" vs. "OK, if I can't do that I'll do this instead (Milk Street)"  But as others have mentioned this hasn't prevented a lawsuit that alleges Milk Street copies ATK/CC too much both on air and in print.  Plus it's interesting since Chris is not known for being a fan of spicy dishes.

As for the travel:  he gets to travel around the world and it's written off as a business expense.  Personally, I find the "Go overseas and visit someone to demonstrate some dishes that we'll rip off during the rest of the show" concept a bit off-putting.

Finally, this is obviously Chris' baby.  At ATC/CC he wasn't the big boss.  If I recall from articles about the lawsuit, Jack the tasting guy is either at the top of the management chain or pretty close, and Chris was lower than that.

Edited by letusprocrastinate
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@letusprocrastinate that makes sense re going to international route in order to not be accused of totally ripping off ATK.  

I actually think the travel aspect of the show is pretty refreshing, I just found it rather shocking considering it's basically a new show which I would assume is on a limited budget.  After watching a few more episodes, those travel segments seem to remind me a bit of Bourdain and Parts Unknown a little too much.

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I made their bulgur, tomato, herb and pomegranate molasses salad and really liked it and it will definitely go into rotation.

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I made the piri piri chicken from the South Africa episode. Not as spicy as I have had in SA but still tasty and was well balanced. 

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Has anyone else noticed that all the chefs start their sentences with "Chris"?  It's weird.  One of them has an accent that makes it sound more like "krees," which makes it even more noticeable.  Considering my low opinion of him, I wonder if he makes them do it.

And I've bitched about Bridget on ATK using "go ahead and" constantly, and was warned that it had permeated Milk Street, but didn't see it until the guy with glasses and a scraggly beard.  Good heavens, it's right up there with Bridget-level go-aheads, although so far I haven't noticed him say, "I went ahead and added..."

I guess people never watch their own segments? 

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I made the sweet potato cake from the new breads episode and it’s super tasty. Not overly sweet and would be perfect for breakfast, brunch or tea.

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I made the Turkish white bean stew with beef shank and pickled tomatoes and it was sensational! Super easy and good for a lazy Sunday because you don’t have to do a lot but it 2 1/2-3 hours of cooking time. Next time I make it I will try to do it in the InstantPot to cut down the time but it’s so dead simple that I might not even bother. 

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So Chris starts a new company that features foods from around the world, where he visits most locations to sample/learn about the cuisine. Something tells me he's not flying coach to these far flung places. What a deal!

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I made the Turkish Beans as well, although I used a lamb shank. I trimmed as much fat away from the shank as I could before adding it to the pot, but the dish still ended up a bit too fatty. I opted out of adding olive oil at the end as it didn't need it, and even adding pomegranate molasses made it almost too rich (the pickled tomatoes did help cut through the richness). It is dead-simple to make, however -- just trim your shank of fat!

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Currently watching the episode on Senegalese dishes. My local PBS affiliate must be editing the show poorly because when they were demonstrating the chicken and onion dish, they went from softening the onions straight to the final complete dish without explaining when to add the chicken and reserved marinade.  I seriously didn’t just miss a moment.    

Also, Kimball looked hilariously out of place wandering the streets of Dakar.  He didn’t have a bow tie, but his pressed dress shirt and chinos weren’t the best fashion choice.  I wonder if the assistant cooks go along on these culinary travel adventures?   While explaining the dishes in the studio, they sound like they have first hand knowledge of how the dishes are actually prepared but they don’t give any indication if they actually went to the countries involved.  I’d appreciate more banter about that. 

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