emeril live

4

“I’d have to say like many food enthusiasts, the love of food started at a young age at home. Both of my parents were foodies before there was a term for it. The “what” is by virtue of my dad’s career in the Army. We traveled so much and experienced food in several different regions and countries through out my youth. Therefore, that partnered with my natural curiosity to try new things has really influenced the kinds of foods I eat and prepare.” - Sunny Anderson

Sunny Anderson grew up travelling the world with her family, as her father was in the Army. After graduating high school, she enrolled in the Air Force and became a military radio host until she was honorably discharged. 

After being discharged from the Air Force, Sunny became a radio host in New York, until she opened her own catering company, Sunny’s Delicious Dishes, in New Jersey. She appeared on the Food Network in 2005 as a guest on Emeril Live, and began hosting shows such as How’d That Get on My Plate, and more recently, The Kitchen.

anonymous asked:

re: blue apron and foodieverse, are there blogs/youtubes/podcasts you recommend for the kind of clueless and inept millennial stereotype who briefly did blue apron but couldn't devote that much time and money to learning to feed themselves? <3

It’s tough to say, because if you’re not willing to put in the time cooking the meal itself, watching food TV in the hopes of learning to cook might not be helpful either. I mean, not everyone has to cook beyond basic feeding themselves. Some people just don’t like cooking and that’s okay.

I learned to cook primarily from two sources, my mother and Alton Brown. I recommend seeing if you can find some old episodes of Good Eats on youtube – they haven’t aged well but the content in them is still exceptional, because Alton Brown cooks like a scientist: he tests theories of food, he understands why you do the things you do as a cook, and he expands that knowledge into how to cook better. So I don’t oil my pasta water, for example, because Alton found out it doesn’t help – it sits on top of the water and keeps it from bubbling over, but it also reduces the amount of sauce that sticks to the pasta, since it coats the pasta when you pour it out (in defiance of Alton, I also don’t salt my pasta, because I can’t detect a difference so why bother). I always fry my fried food in very hot oil with a high smoke point, because it absorbs less oil and comes out crispier and less greasy, which is something he also tested on his show. These are small things I can point out – the big things are so unconscious I’m not sure I could describe them at this point, but it comes down to a “Why does it do the do” attitude. I created a recipe for vegan brownies and a muffin recipe once using “why does X cause Y in a recipe” research.  

But Good Eats is a bit dated and it’s rather longer than most youtube food episodes will be, so. Honestly, I know I talk about this show all the time, but Cooking With Dog is a fun show and Chef demonstrates a wide diversity of recipes, but she also always includes tips and tricks like “You gotta do it this way because otherwise that happens” and that’s invaluable information. You don’t even need to make the recipes – just watch for fun and absorb what she says. Eventually you’ll start realizing where you can apply the lessons you’re learning in your own cooking. (But her recipes are great so also make them if you think they look good.)

Also, Serious Eats is a great website that does a lot of food science, even if they get a little over the top sometimes (I have ground my own meat for hamburgers but I have never managed to acquire an oxtail to add to my meat blend). You don’t even really need to read or do the recipes, just skim through the articles and read whatever looks interesting. 

And if you want a break and some humor, check out You Suck At Cooking. My personal favorite is the Corn episode. Watch it all the way to the end, even through the ad in the middle, because the song at the end is awesome. 

Part of my education was also self-directed because I, like you, don’t necessarily want to expend a lot of effort in the kitchen. I like cooking but I don’t necessarily like complicated recipes. My mum was a big fan of Emeril Lagasse when I was a kid, and I was too – Emeril Live was a really fun cooking show. But his recipes are super complicated and contain a lot of ingredients, which a lot of the time are unnecessary. I haven’t actually seen any Blue Apron recipes but I suspect they too might have some frills I wouldn’t normally bother with. 

(Emeril used to finish cooking a dish, hand it to the front row of the audience, and say “Here – make friends” and sometimes my mum still says that when she gives me a dish to put on the table.) 

Anyway a lot of the time I would see a recipe somewhere and think, I bet I could make that easier, and go venturing online to see what I could find, or what I could alter because I don’t want to add broccoli or buy half-and-half or whatnot. And by swapping out ingredients (I do a lot of “Substitutes for X in cooking” google searches) you learn what will and won’t work, what does and doesn’t go together.

And it involves a lot of failure. Sometimes food just doesn’t work, or you burn the rice, or you add basil when you should have added sage, or you discover that unlike most other dairy, you cannot freeze sour cream. 

I used to get angry about failing a recipe, because it was a waste of food, so after a while I had to adjust my attitude: yes, food is meant to be eaten, but cooking can also be like art or sewing or model trains. It’s a hobby that you spend money on and sometimes fail at. You don’t generally get pissed at the waste of pencil lead when a drawing doesn’t come out the way you want it; why would you get angry that you have to buy more macaroni because your macaroni salad sucked? (Speaking from experience.) When you approach food as if it were like art or music or video games, something you have to fuck up a bunch before you get really good and will still fuck up sometimes, just in more interesting ways, suddenly it gets easier. Then it’s okay to “waste” time and energy on it, because it’s something you’re doing for fun. 

But dude, you know what, I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never be a painter or a gamer. I don’t enjoy them enough to put in the time, for a start, but also they’re not things I have an inherent sense for the way I do cooking. And if that’s the case with cooking for you, that’s okay. You need to know enough to feed yourself, but beyond that, you don’t have to be a Great Chef. Spend your time on shit you love doing and order a pizza instead. :D