Closed Captioned For The Thinking Impaired

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Giada De Laurentis: The True Domestic Goddess

I may lose tremendous street cred for posting this; but, now that I think of it, I have none to lose so why not just go ahead and speak my piece?

Giada De Laurentis is a goddess!

Yes, her teeth are frighteningly white and, yes, she is always baring them (as well as the rest of her anatomy; displayed in sharp relief with her daring decollete); yes, our husbands are all too prone to take a sudden interest in the Food Network Channel when channel-surfing if she's on the air saltim-ing her bocca, but, don't hate her because she's beautiful!

The woman can cook.

She does it simply with decent technique and makes her food accessible to all. I'll be damned if the food doesn't almost always look as good as she does!

Giada had an episode that I caught once called "Cooking for Beginners" that made me ashamed of my so-called lazy gourmet recipes. Her trout en papillote (she calls it fish & veggie pockets for this episode, see what I mean about her trying to be user-friendly), fusilli alla caprese & sugar cookies with a chocolate ganache center were masterpieces of ease & flavor. The ingredients were minimal, the preparation spartan, & the dishes looked more than just edible.

Will these recipes make her a James Beard winner or garner her Michelin Stars if she had a restaurant? No, but she's not trying to do that.

Giada has become the patron saint of home cooks (I wonder when El Papa will make it official) and she oversees her domain with a dazzling smile & a great rack which is why I call her the true domestic goddess. (Sorry, Nigella). She has a knack for distilling recipes down to their essence & taking shortcuts that are sensible to the home cook without overly compromising the overall quality of the dish. I have made dishes like these zillions of times but never considered adding them to this blog's recipe files. It took someone with Giada's sensibilities to make me realize that this is precisely the kind of home-cooked fast food people who are not accustomed to cooking can & would make for themselves. They are simple & elegant.

I'll post a link to that Everyday Italian episode for beginning cooks to inspire those who are slightly intimidated by their Wolf ranges: well worth a glance, I assure you.

Unfortunately, Food Network has no pictures to go with the recipes & I'm not fond of taking photos of other people's ideas no matter how simple even if I did cook the recipes myself (unless I'm reviewing a restaurant). However, I may break down, cook her food as written & take shots anyway, so that there will be images to go with this episode's recipes. (Nothing gets the gastric juices flowing like a little food porn.)

I wish Food Network had a video of this episode I could upload because a picture paints a 1000 words & I must say I was impressed with a few of her simple, sensible tips which are not as effectively communicated in her written recipes because they can't be. Seeing it is almost always more deeply imprinted in our minds than reading it. It's just an extra dimension of reinforcement. Do read them & then try them. They are simple, yummy & easy to embellish, if you are so inclined.

Here are the links:

Fusilli alla Caprese

Italian Fish and Veggie Pockets (Fish en Papillote)

Black and White Cookies

Happy Cooking! P.S. since I first wrote this posting the savvy Food Network people have put up photos of the dishes. So now you can see what the results should approximate.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I had seen the episode, but couldn't find the recipes. Your site lead me to them! I can't wait to make the cookies.

Lori Gomez said...

You are very welcome! Yaay!

How did you find my blog? Just curious.

I've been neglecting this food blog, I'm afraid.
I blog daily on MySpace now...

Anonymous said...

OMG! Yes, Giada is, literally, a GODDESS! That's how I found your blog - I Googled for "Giada is a goddess."

She and one other woman share a number of similar features and are equally beautiful - the other is Olivia Wilde from the TV show "House" - known as "Thirteen" on the show; and she also was the female lead in Tron!

Anonymous said...

And O-M-G! If Giada did what Vanna White did - do a spread in Playboy - she could make MANY MANY MILLIONS !!!!!! Not that she's not already rich, but... OH - EM - GEE!