Rachael Ray Show

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Martha Scorned

There was a time when Martha Stewart ruled the airwaves with helpful hints and creative ideas for the kitchen.  But that was a long, long time ago.  Today Martha can be seen on Halmark (which is Martha Scowlingapparently a TV channel).  Or make that Martha was last seen on Halmark.

The Martha Stewart Show is being canceled by Hallmark in May.  Why?  An average audience of just 225,000 viewers for starters.  That’s less than Polish stock car racing gets.  Extremely high production costs is another.  Adding salt to the wound, Home Depot is dumping Martha Stewart-branded paint and the value of Martha Stewart Living’s stock is plunging.  Finally, moving into to Martha’s old studio at Chelsea Market is Rachael Ray.

Rachael RayYes, the very same Rachael Ray that Martha once described as, “more of an entertainer than she is, with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher like me,” on ABC’s “Nightline.”  She went on to say that one of Rachael’s cookbooks was “not good enough for me.”  The same Rachael Ray who’s show long ago replaced Martha’s as the “go to” lifestyle show.  I guess “bubbly” is Martha-speak for likable.

Well, apparently seeing the newer, younger, hipper version of herself was too much for Martha last week when she and “RaRay” just happened to dine at the same Bond St. hot spot, Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria.  A witness of the event told the New York Post that, “Martha was staring Rachael down as soon as she walked in with a group of friends. Martha looked disgruntled. You could definitely feel Martha’s heat in that kitchen.”

Rachael, who was accompanied by Time magazine food writer Josh Ozersky, became quite uncomfortable with Stewart’s evil eye and elected to get her entree to go.  Stewart’s camp denies their matron was even aware that Ray was on site but according to everyone who was at the restaurant it was obvious that Stewart was aware as she was, “noticeably glaring in Ray’s direction throughout her meal.”

Stewart once condescended of Ray, “I don’t know if she has a garden; I don’t think so.”  Well, one thing Rachael does have that Martha doesn’t is a TV show.

By the way, I asked Josh what was in his doggie bag and he told me, “short ribs, of course!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Foodies: Gift Cards

This one almost writes itself.  With Hanukkah in full swing and Christmas just around the corner I know some of you may be wondering what to get that food obsessed relative.  The problem is that you are not obsessed with food so you don’t know what they might want.

Gift CardsWell I have a solution that will help you out with that foodie and anyone else on your gift list that is hard to buy for – gift cards.  Some complain that gift cards are impersonal but I believe they can be some of the most personal gifts you can give.  When someone gives me a gift card it is like saying, “I really want to give you exactly what you want but I don’t know what that is so here go get it; it’s on me.”  That’s cool.

I order my gift cards from eBillme.com because they have a great assortment of shops and, admittedly because I have a friend who works for them who turned me on to how neat a service they have.  They have a dozen vendors to choose from and you can pay for everything at the same site.  Three of those shops are perfect for your freaky food obsessed friend – Amazon, JC Penny’s and the most obvious, Omaha Steaks.  Amazon and Penny’s have all kinds of cooking equipment, appliances and toys to choose from while Omaha Steaks has, well steaks.

And while you are there you can get cards for those other hard-to-shop-for folks on your list because they also have cards for Zappos, Tigerdirect, Dell, Circuit city, Champs and Foot Locker.  These email gift cards never expire and can be redeemed for millions of products. And best of all you can get cash back when you buy hunting, fishing & camping gear as well as clothing, computers, books & home improvement products!

Meet the Private Chefs of Beverly Hills

Food Network is set to premiere one of it’s most highly anticipated and hyped series in quite some time.  Taking a cue from Bravo’s Real House Wives franchise they have developed Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.  An inside look at Tinsel Town shindigs from the point of view of the culinary teams that put them together.

Here’s how TV Tango describes it:

Six gifted cooks from Big City Chefs cater dinner parties for some of the most extravagant, eclectic clients in L.A.’s poshest neighborhood. One day they prepare food for both humans and canines in a doggy spa. On the next job, they inject flavor into a salon’s Botox party. Next, they pamper young millionaires on a glamping trip — a glamorous camping trip. Who knows what the next job might bring? They might even be unwitting participants in a medieval murder mystery party held behind the stone walls of Los Angeles’ only Scottish castle.

So who are the Private Chefs of Beverly Hills (aka PCO90210)?

Brooke PetersonBrooke Peterson has some serious culinary chops.  She has piloted a fashion company and an event planning company in addition to her many catering successes.  With an acute acumen for business, razor sharp knife skills and girl-next-door looks Peterson is considered the “one to watch.”  She has worked as a correspondent for Showtime, V.I.P. Access, The T.V. Guide Channel, The Style Network, and most recently on The Rachael Ray Show.  Brooke educates and entertains on her blog Things Your Mother Never Taught You.

Jesse BruneJesse Brune’s look screams stud but his Le Cordon Bleu education screams pedigree.  Jesse was the break-out star of Bravo’s series Workout and now he is taking his talents to the Food Network.  Hailing from Seattle, Jesse is not just a chef but also a certified fitness trainer.

Brune also teaches organic and vegetarian specialized cooking classes at the Epicurean Professional Culinary Academy in Beverly Hills and he opened Jesse Delivers…, a high-end, organic and healthy meal delivery service that caters to some of L.A.’s most exclusive clientele.  He also maintains his own web site, JesseBrune.com.

Meet all of the PCO90210 Chefs. Private Chefs of Beverly Hills premieres Friday April 9th at 10p/9c and will air regularly in that time slot on the Food Network.

View my complete catalog of interviews and bios for the Private Chefs of Beverly Hills by clinking HERE.

Shirataki Noodles a Miracle Food?

In Asia they have long enjoyed a type of pasta made from the konjac root. Big deal, right? Pasta is pasta. Not true of this particular pasta. Shirataki or hiragana noodles have only 3 grams of carbohydrates but 1 gram of lean protein and just 20 calories in a 4 ounce serving. Most Americans have heard of them thanks to Rocco DiSirito’s recent appearance on the Rachael Ray Show.

Shirataki noodles are mostly water and glucomannan (from the konjac root), a water-soluble dietary fiber. Though they have little flavor of their own, they easily absorb the flavor of whatever they are served with. Their are some varieties that include tofu, this slightly increases the protein. More importantly it makes the texture more tender. The tofu-less variety tends to have a rubbery texture that may seem odd to the Western palate.

Cheflebrity Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the host of American Public Television’s Simply Ming recently contributed a recipe using shirataki noodles to Men’s Health Magazine. Here it is:

Soy Pork Shirataki Stir-Fry

Canola oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup naturally brewed soy sauce (sub in low-sodium soy, if you prefer)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 head bok choy, rinsed, spun dry, and cut into pieces
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-by-1-inch pieces
1 lb ground pork, browned
2 cups fettuccine-type shirataki noodles, packed, rinsed well (three times), and drained

How to make it:
1. Coat the bottom of a saucepan lightly with canola oil and place it on medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let the mixture reduce by a third to a syrup consistency, 8 to 10 minutes. To check consistency, pour a line of syrup on a cool dish and hold it vertically. If the line holds with a few drips, it’s ready.

3. Use some oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large, hot wok over high heat. (If you don’t have a wok, you can use a skillet over high heat.) When the oil is shimmering, add the bok choy, scallion whites, and red bell peppers, and stir-fry until they’re slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the pork, noodles, and garlic-ginger-soy syrup, and stir to coat the noodles with sauce. Check for flavor, and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve family-style on a platter, garnished with scallion greens. Serves 4

Per serving: 461 calories, 35 grams (g) protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 7 g fiber

The Men’s Health piece features more information and recipes for this amazing pasta.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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