Monday, June 15, 2009

An Easy Dish From The Master

If there's one thing that polarizes people, it's celebrity chefs.

Sounds strange in these times of widespread economic crises and
a wealth of other daily problems.
But true. Ever throw out the names Paula Deen or Rachel Ray in
a room full of cooks and foodies?

People love to weigh in on celebrities, giving opinions (yeah, I know, everybody's got 'em,
and they all think theirs doesn't, something like that)
about the famous and fabulous. Even in the food world, yes?

The past weekend I spent some time skimming food magazines and the interwebs
for something interesting, and I came across a couple of blogs and articles
discussing Bobby Flay.

First of all, how can anyone resist the man? Those boyish good looks, that
impish grin! Have you SEEN the cover of his latest book?!?! Eeeek!
(Sorry**shakes head, clearing cobwebs**)

One writer thought he was arrogant, an egotistical stinker showing off
(as cited by his show Throwdown). Apparently the writer saw this
program as Flay's attempt to showcase his own talent, when in fact the opposite is true:
the show was crafted to get out into the highways and byways, where real
people live and cook, discover cooks with specialties, and get the word about them out
to the audience. After watching many of the episodes I can point out that Flay very
often doesn't win the throwdown anyway.

Now, Mr. Flay does not need me to defend him. His excellent reputation precedes
everything he does. (Besides, he's so cute...SO not the point here. Again, sorry)

I just plain like his style.

He makes his food very accessible, but that's not to say ordinary.
His recipes seduce you.
He makes me think I can actually cook, grill, and bake like he does.
And I'm for anything or anyone who can give me confidence in the kitchen.

And Flay's food is healthy without being laced with weird stuff like quail,
quinoa, nigella seeds, etc. (although there's nothing wrong with those
ingredients: they're just not rife in Michigan grocery stores).

So for me, it comes down to this: I enjoy trying out Bobby Flay's food.
He makes it simple, with boatloads of flavor and visual appeal; fresh and
healthy without being esoteric or elitist.

And that grin...! **sigh** (my husband knows that Mr. Flay is on my
List of Five; Manhattan is a long way away, so he's fine with that.)

Make this potato salad.


Mesa Grill's Southwestern Potato Salad (Bobby Flay)


1 1/2 cups prepared mayonnaise (I used Kraft's new mayo with olive oil)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chipotle pepper puree
1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 new potatoes, about 3-4 lbs, cooked, drained and sliced 1/2 inch thick


Combine all the ingredients, except the potatoes, in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place warm potatoes in a large bowl and pour the mixture over potatoes and mix well. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

(My pics are faded but try to imagine away my dismal lighting)

Rather than be wearisome with my ass-terisks (I'm so juvenile), I'll just lay on you the changes I made out of necessity or personal taste:

I didn't use the cayenne-in my opinion, there was enough heat by the time I added slightly more chipotle puree than the recipe called for-I like that kind of heat better than the taste of cayenne.

Also, I didn't bother with the diced tomato because I was afraid that the salad wouldn't keep as well if there was tomato in it, getting all sogg
y and watery overnight. (Sorry, Mr. Flay)(You rule.)

I used small red potatoes instead of new white ones.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Gotta try this one. I like Bobby Flay myself too :)

I'm sorry it took me this long to get back to you with that Czech recipe. I searched my Czech/Slovak books "high-and-low" for that one recipe but I couldn't find it. Instead, I'm sending you one of my favorites that I make quite often ('cause my American hubby loves it) and although it might have a little unusual ingredients, give it a try - it's pretty darn yummy. Next time I make it I'll take some pics and post it on my blog. I'll send you the recipe on your e-mail address as I don't want to take up all the space.