Author Topic: "Why Chef?" Re-visited  (Read 6578 times)

Offline DeShawn

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"Why Chef?" Re-visited
« on: August 19, 2011, 08:30:05 am »
I was out scouring the InterWeb Tubes for more recipes I could convert into dutch oven deliciousness, and I found the following quotes about Sandra Lee.  Now, to her credit, she studied at Le Cordon Bleu, has a show on the Food Network, and has sold over 4 million cookbooks.  In pretty much every respect, she is more of a chef than I am.  But I still wonder about her show, "Semi-Homemade Cooking" that uses way too many pre-processed ingredients.

I'm apparently not the only one that is wondering.

I found a blog called "Musings" on the Palm Beach Times web site that posted the five worst Sandra Lee recipes.

My favorite bits:

Though Anthony Bourdain has called her the "frightening hell spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker" (and we tend to listen to EVERYTHING Tony Bourdain says), we wondered if Sandra Lee was really all that bad?


In an effort to understand Sandra Lee, we watched a bunch of her videos. We're seeking therapy. This woman doesn't cook - she opens cans of the most sodium-laden gunk and mixes them together into a witches stew of unholy badness, then turns frozen crap into something you wouldn't dream of eating even if you were stranded on a deserted island.

Best laugh I've had today...and since I've been researching "worst recipes" a little bit this morning (for something fun I'm considering for this site) that's really saying something.

While I understand the allure of being able to use a million shortcuts to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible, the idea flies in the face of everything I believe about dutch oven cooking.

When my friend, Chuck, gave me his mama's recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, the first line of the recipe was this:  "If you are in a rush, cook something else."  I included that line as the first line of the Preparation section of the recipe.  Darren discussed the art of patience in another thread.

I have found that my favorite meals--both out of dutch ovens from more "traditional" cooking methods--are meals that are created from less-processed ingredients.  This is not to say that I don't ever use something canned or processed.  Sometimes that's necessary.  For example, I don't have access to fresh green chilies for chicken enchiladas, so I use canned, diced green chilies.  I could soak dried red beans, but I find that the canned red beans are much simpler to use and taste nearly as good. 

But sauces that are created from scratch are much more delicious to me than those with a cream soup base.  Flavors that are built up layer by layer taste much better to me than flavors that rely on packets or potions.  These flavors seem to take more time to develop, but, in the end, are much more satisfying to me.