I don't want to stomp my way onto Lisa and Laura's pop culture territory, but I had a great conversation about Rachel Ray while walking this morning with my friend Kathleen. RR's voice is like nails on a chalkboard, her "EVOO" mantra makes me want to hurl, and she kind of looks like a gremlin, BUT, and this is hard for me to admit, her dishes are practical, yummy, and easy to make. I've cooked more of her recipes than any other Food Network guru, and I love them all.
My favorite, Jamie Oliver (Otherwise referred to by the hub as my f*cking Brit boyfriend) cooks beautiful dishes inspired by his bucolic English country home. I would love to own a gorgeous English country home. Or a Tuscan retreat. Or a chateau in Bordeaux. What I do have is a 1/4 acre suburban plot with some pretty sad looking tomatoes and an overgrown patch of mint choking my tarragon, oregano & thyme to death. I'd give anything to step out my door to find fourteen different kinds of sage, but that's not going to happen. Don't get me wrong, Jamie still seems like the kind of guy who likes a pub and a pint, but his expectations of what the regular American cook has on hand are, um, high. Too high for me anyway.
Nigella Lawson is my Food Network girl crush (Funny, the husband doesn't have a problem with her.). For Nigella cooking is akin to a yummy-mummy noontime romp in the sack. She wears tight cashmere sweaters and sticks her fingers in her mouth a lot, and looks like she actually eats what she cooks. I love her. And if Nigella and Jamie hosted a joint cookery show, it would be the Food Network version of Cinemax Afterhours Programming. Total. Food. Porn.
But would I actually cook what they came up with? I don't know. I'd probably end up thumbing through my garish Rachel Ray cookbook, looking for something similar, but didn't require real Tahitian Vanilla or Golden Truffle Oil at $86 an ounce.
How about you guys? How many times have you actually cooked the stuff you've seen on the Food Network? What are your faves?