I am strangely fascinated by Deal or No Deal. What is it about that show? I love watching it, and I get so crazy, seriously yelling at the people to TAKE THE MONEY!!! I think Howie is so great too. He's a fun host, and somehow he seems like such a cool guy too. Ha ha - I just won 579,000 on the computer game on nbc.com. love it.
Did you all see Celebrity Cooking Showdown last night? It was such an awesome show to be a part of. First of all, Govind is such an amazing chef, and it was so incredible to have the opportunity to learn from him one-on-one. We talked a lot about what my menu should be and I was so excited to learn from the best.
When I was a kid, my Uncle Bill used to prepare a delicious lobster dinner for the family. It was such a decadent meal, but a really special treat. I always associate lobster with those fabulous family get-togethers. The lobster appetizer that Govind created was delicious - the avocado/cucumber salsa and the onion/jalepeno vinaigrette was light, but just tangy enough to make the meal interesting. After practicing preparing this meal for several evenings, I finally managed to do it in enough time to add in the Cilantro Salt as a nice finishing touch. Perfect!
I think Filet Mignon (or tenderloin) is such a delicious cut of meat. And Dave and I like to prepare it for special occasions. Usually, I make a marinade for it and then Dave BBQ's it. So when Govind suggested teaching me a more gourmet way of preparing steak, I was thrilled! I love ordering blue cheese with filet mignon at fancy restaurants - in fact, (Gael), Wolfgang offers that classic combination at his restaurants too. So, as you can imagine, not only did it shock me to have Gael say she doesn't like the combination of blue cheese and steak, but it seems completely unreasonable to take such an uncommon, personal prejudice and base your score on it. Setting aside the outcome of the judging (because I'm so not competitive), I was so proud of myself for learning such a complicated and challenging menu. Even if I'd known store-bought ice-cream would score better than me, I still would have decided to take advantage of the hands-on training from a professional chef. I wasn't going to take any short cuts. The crepe was really hard to do under pressure - and I suspect that it suffered the most of all the dishes, having to wait while the judges tasted and reviewed and scored everyone else first. But when I made it at home for my husband, and I also took some into the studio, and made it for some of the other actors and crew, I got great feedback from them! Deidre loved it and practically demanded the recipe!
It was so sweet - everyone helped me by eating my menu several times. Poor Dave literally ate those dishes every night for a week getting ready for the show. So I suppose it'll be a while before I can test out those recipes again, but now that I know the techniques, chopping and so forth, I'm already applying them to other recipes.
It was also really neat to meet Wolfgang Puck - my mom taught me to use his cookbooks a long time ago - he has wonderful recipes, and his restaurants are so fabulous. Who doesn't love Iron Chef America??? Meeting Cat Cora was so cool because I just love that show and I had so many questions about it to ask her.
All in all, it was such a great experience. And it's a really cool show. I have made a new friend, Govind, and I absolutely love his restaurant, Table 8. Govind was so patient and helpful. I am so lucky to have worked with him!