Bitchin' Kitchen - We know reception is mixed, but what about the RECIPES?
I did my Chow research before posting, and I know there was a big post (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/740408) discussing whether people like or dislike the show. Supposedly, even the real Nadia G herself popped in to defend herself at one point.
All I want to know is if anyone's actually attempted her recipes. What did you try and how did you like it?
I've seen exactly one episode, about being a rock star/reaching your dreams, and I found it funny. Except for the mocha, I didn't really get how the other dishes applied to being a celebrity/being successful, but hey, that's just me. I'd like to give her stuff a whirl, just to say I did.
I was a bit skeptical when the show first premiered because I thought it looked like the usual gimmicky triumph of style over substance one sees on the food network - but I've tried a few of the recipes and they were very, very good. And, you'd never know it from watching the promos but the show is pretty informative. I've gotten at least one 'keeper' of a recipe from each episode. It's like an Italian grandmother's recipes - with a twist.
Okay, so tonight I decided to take a crack at one of her recipes. I give you The Splitsville Salad:
My mom was going to do a huge chicken dinner tonight, replete with mashed potatoes and biscuits, but she agreed to simply roast a chicken and some vegetables (onions, peppers, carrots, parsnips) so we could start with this substantial salad. I don't know if it necessarily 'went' with our main course, but nobody complained!
Splitsville Salad is spring greens and fresh figs dressed with homemade pesto, topped with toasted slices of baguette smeared with warm goat cheese, and a warm brown sugar and aged balsamic drizzle on top. I know a salad sounds easy, but you should know that:
- I'm a newbie cook who's just barely getting her feet wet
- I ADORE spring greens and goat cheese (and, oh yeah, baguettes)
- I'm recovering from a car accident while trying to keep up my grades and work, so I wanted to do something simple, and save the more complex recipes for the weekend.
That being said, I actually don't care for fresh figs. Something about the texture has never appealed to me. Also, I can appreciate the simple, green beauty of pesto, but it's never excited me. I've had it on gourmet sandwiches and over linguine, and it's been tasty, if not a bit bland.
Tonight I made my own pesto, as per NadiaG's instructions. I used the best quality cheese and olive oil available to me, and found some very fresh spinach. My mom and I tried some on pieces of baguette, and really loved it. I may have to make some again and try it over pasta some night!
I wasn't sure if all the flavors and textures would blend harmoniously together. Specifically, I didn't know how the reduction would meld with the pesto and figs. (I knew it would taste killer on the goat cheese and baguette slices though.) I shouldn't have worried; it was really quite good. We drizzed it on over the well-tossed greens, glistening with homemade pesto, and across the warm baguette. It was just enough sweetness and bite to compliment the figs and play against the pesto.
My mom and I really liked it. My dad thought it was good, but he'd like to try it with balsamic vinaigrette instead. One of my brothers (age 14) couldn't get enough of it, and asked us to make it again. The other (age 19) ate only the bread covered with the goat cheese and balsamic reduction and proceeded to ask for more.
All in all, I'd give it a B+/A-, if only because I'm still not crazy about figs.
Soon, I'm going to try NadiaG's Pink Grapefruit Meringues. I'll post again after I do!
not sure if this helps, but it looks like her cookbook has actually gotten pretty good reviews on Amazon:
of course there's no guarantee that any of the reviewers' opinions are really Chow-worthy, so you're sort of flying blind ;)