Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Rachel Ray Has No Soul and I Cook Indian Food

My husband and I are good cooks. What I mean to say is that we like to cook and like different foods and like to make nice things, because really, anyone can be a good cook.  All you need to do is follow the recipe.

Provided you've picked out a good recipe.

And therein lies the challenge.

The other night I was talking to Toni Lynn about food and cooking and I was explaining how the recipes in my favorite Italian cook have something special. They have a depth of flavor that you just don't get from Rachel Ray's 30 minute races to the table. And don't stone me or anything, we've made some Rachel Ray recipes, they were good, but they lacked soul. Her recipes are one dimensional ways to feed your family real food in a reasonable time frame. I get it. It's not all bad.

BTW, am I the only one who wants to slap Rachel Ray until she falls down? Seriously, I'd like to stick one of her annoying SAMMIES in her big mouth every time she utters the phrase EVOO.   My husband recently read an article to me from her magazine. It was some dumb ass thing about cooking new foods from around the world with an Americanized twist and how "don't worry, they'll taste as familiar to you as pizza and fried chicken"

OMG, How sad is that? Cooking foods from around the world that taste just like they came from your own country. Does anyone really want to do that???? Do they? Speak up if you do. Especially if I know you because I'll feed you what I made for dinner this weekend to knock some sense into you.

Maybe this sounds like a bit of food snobbery on my part and maybe it is. Hell I eat plain food and junk food and nothing special too. I just don't WRITE about it. If I write about something it's because I like it or care about it. It makes me think. Americanized French food? That is what Rachel Ray thinks about?

I'm also willing to admit that if someone were to pay me bags of money to wax cutsey about SAMMIES, I'd probably do it. There's no crime in it. I just don't have to like it when I see it.

And now that we've covered my hatred of Rachel Ray we can move on.

Back in June one of my husband's students who happens to be Indian, brought him a small cooler full of Indian food that her mother had cooked for him. This stuff was amazing. I mean I've had Indian food before,  restaurant cooking, this was home cooked, southern Indian fare.

There was this rice. And it intrigued me. I mean it came with the Star anise and cinnamon  sticks whole in the dish. It was aromatic and tasted like, well, I can't even describe it. There were just all of these layers of flavor in this one rice dish. That someone made in their kitchen...

There were 3 different kinds of rice actually and I've been pondering that rice all summer (and we've been mostly grilling and eating easy meals with our schedule and the heat-See what I mean...nothing to write about.)

This weekend, with a little time to spare,  (because I'm actually a pretty sucky cook when I rush) I made Indian food, Chicken Tikka Masala (my favorite Indian main meal) and this Indian Style rice with Cashews and Raisins. OMG... Seriously. Coconut milk in the rice cooking broth! The best rice I've ever had IN MY LIFE. It was yellow from the turmeric and sweet from the golden raisins and spicy all at the same time. The chicken had  a mixture of cinnamon and cumin in the marinade.  The flavor in these dishes was so RICH.   Today I made, Rajma chawal (red bean curry) to go with the remainder of the rice for my lunch tomorrow.

These dishes were like a wake-up call to my senses and I liked it! It's been a while since my own cooking has spoken to my soul like that.

(Well except for that lobster popcorn but I fear that boarders on gluttony.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Christine - I would love to get my hands on a few of those recipes - post them! It all sounds fab! I cook a lot of different types of foods - but Indian is completely foreign to me. Just got around to Thai!