Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bobby Flay and UCLA

We ordered cable TV when Bill first got sick about 5 years ago. Four years later I canceled it after a disagreement with the cable company. It was a stupid argument. Plain and simple, I was right and they were wrong. And they should have backed down and cowered before the phone when I called them to tell them so. Joking aside though, a year passed before I ordered it through another company.
Now not having it before, you'd think it would be very easy to go back to doing without. Figure we didn't miss what we didn't have until we had it and it was gone. And Yes, I missed it. I got so into new shows. I have a few favorites on network TV. I love Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, and a few others. But on cable, you have Deadliest Catch, Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted, Haunted History (see a theme here?), most of the History Channel and then there's the cooking shows. I missed all of Top Chef from Chicago last year. There's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Dinner Impossible, Iron Chef, and so on.

My favorite, hands down, of all the cooking shows is Throw Down with Bobby Flay. That's where this nice Irish guy with a giant ego and a New York accent challenges people to a cooking competition. And it isn't just anyone either. He picks people who become famous for that one thing that they make. There was a woman in Springfield, Illinois who makes enchanted gingerbread houses. Bobby brought gingerbread cut outs he had prepared beforehand. She made a replica of Abraham Lincoln's home, complete with poinsettias and Christmas wreaths, and he made something that looked like the Empire State Building. Considering the detail that went into either project, she blew him away. In another episode he made Cuban sandwiches, and in another he made Philly cheese steak sandwiches.
I'm waiting until he makes it to Chicago to make an Italian beef sandwich, and make it wet with gardinaire. There's a reason for that. When the Bears went to the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, he was asked to make some of our favorite foods. He took lunchmeat, a rye roll and smothered it in mustard and called it Italian beef. Ah, not hardly.

Anyway, where this is leading to is that Ed and I watched this episode a few weeks ago about chicken cacciatore. There was this New York firefighter that made the covers of some cooking magazines because he made it so well. We watched both the firefighter and Bobby make this, and both of us drooled. I mean this looked so good. Finally Ed said, "Mom, you got to try that."
Bobby and the firefighter browned chicken in olive oil. When they took it out of the pan, they caramalized onion, green pepper and mushrooms, with a little garlic thrown in at the end. They added flour to the left over oil and browned it only enough to take away the taste of raw flour. Then they used wine to deglaze the pan. Flay used red wine and the firefighter used white, although I can't remember what type of red or what type of white. After that it was crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and seasonings. Then the chicken went back into the pot for about 45 minutes. Now the firefighter served it over Adobe rice and Bobby served it over spaghetti noodles. It looked so good I swear I could smell it over the airwaves. "Mom," Ed insisted, "You've got to make that dish."
I thought about it for a couple of weeks before I made up my mind. My biggest difficulty would be choosing a wine. I never cooked with wine before and I rarely drink it. In the end I bought Arbor Mist. I used spaghetti. And I forgot to thicken it. I tried to cook it down. That took way too long and damn I was hungry. But you know what? It was good. It was very good. In fact I think I like this better than some of my other Italian favorites. I can't wait to make it again. Maybe if I do, Ed will stay home and try it.
Speaking of Ed, he and his buddies spent the last four days helping Yellow and her boyfriend move home. She is an incredible pack rat and her boyfriend is worse. Long story short, Ed had a homework assignment due today. He had to write an essay for his Composition class about the one thing that's missing on the U.C.L.A. (the University Closest to LaGrange Avenue) campus, and he had left himself only a short window of time to write it.
He had me intrigued last night as he worked on this. He started out really well, typing his heart out. But then he got up to use the washroom. I read while he was gone. It went something like 'Some people will say that UCLA is too expensive. Comparatively it isn't. Others will say the books are too expensive. That's not true because the publishers set the price and UCLA's mark-up is minimal. He went on to talk about good teachers and building programs.
He came over to sit by me after he came from the bathroom. I told him his grammar was fine and that the piece flowed like it should. But then I got on the phone with Jon. Ed stayed with me to pick on me while I talked to his brother. It took him forever to get back to his work. Finally he did, and he typed just a little more. He said, "Okay, I'm done. Come over here and read it again." He writes: Taking all of this into account there is only one thing I can complain about. There.... isn’t one dinosaur on the entire campus.


Rose said...

I'm hungry now after reading your Journal.

Hugs, Rose

Chris said...

Love D,D and D, one of my favs for sure.

FoodNetwork posts a lot of the recipes from the Throwdown challengers on their website. But your version just from watching it sounds pretty darn good!

kbear's heart 2 said...

Sounds yummy! if i ever get to Chicago, i'll take a bite. love Ed's final note! Happy Holidays if i don't see you again!~kbear

Cathy said...

OK now I'm starving lol. A very full life, as always! Stay sane and sweet.