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Tag: Food and Drink (51-60 of 584)

Gail Simmons blogs episode 9 of 'Top Chef: Texas:' Skewered at the judges' table

As told to Nuzhat Naoreen

For many reasons, I thought there was a big weight on our chefs during this episode. The fact that obviously we were in Texas, they knew that this challenge was coming. We did it at the Salt Lick, which is really a legendary barbecue spot. Not only was the owner with us, but Nathan Myhrvold was with us, and we were all a little nervous to have him on the show because his reputation precedes him. About a year ago, he came out with this extraordinary tome of a book called Modernist Cuisine. He was the first person to really put down in a comprehensive way all the tenants of cooking, and [how] it’s really not just about foam and fancy tricks. It’s basically an encyclopedia of technique. Not only did he create this book, but he’s also a barbecue champion, which you think would be counter-intuitive to modernist cuisine, but it actually gets at the heart of it in so many ways. Understanding the science of barbecue, why barbecue is cooked overnight, why it’s cooked so low, what happens to the meat, how to infuse it with the most flavor, and how to make sure the texture is right — all of these components are so vital in understanding how to make successful barbecue, and that’s what he has really mastered. We were all in awe of him. READ FULL STORY

Essential info: Which actress worked at McDonald's?

Here at PopWatch we’re committed to keeping you informed about the things you may not need to know, but that you want to know. So yes, go ahead and guess which of your favorite actresses worked at McDonald’s…  READ FULL STORY

Lunchtime Poll: Would you eat maple syrupy spaghetti with Buddy the Elf?

To me, one of the most amusing things about Buddy (Will Ferrell) in 2003’s Elf — and there are many — is his insistence on sticking to the four main food groups of his species: “Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Buddy’s ridiculous pasta concoctions rivaled Ally Sheedy’s Cap’n Crunch and Pixy Stix sandwich in The Breakfast Club in terms of sheer sugar per square inch. That is no small feat.

Whoa — was Ally Sheedy’s Breakfast Club character an elf? Did Allison Reynolds arrive at John Hughes High after passing through seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest and the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops? I would not be surprised. I feel like I’ve just figured out the answer to EVERYTHING.

My approach to sampling new cuisines is similar to Buddy’s: “Is there sugar in [dish in question]? Then YES.” But we’re not all as nice as Mary Steenburgen, and not everyone’s willing to go through life actively courting diabetes, even if the feelings of an adorable overgrown elf are at stake.

Vote below! READ FULL STORY

Hugh Acheson Blogs Episode 6 of 'Top Chef: Texas:' Raising the Steaks

As told to Nuzhat Naoreen.

It’s really difficult [to cook a perfect medium-rare steak]. There were 200 people at that ball. Cooking steaks for that many people can be a disaster, and they decided to cook individual steaks for the whole thing, which was a big mistake. It would be so much easier if you just took a rib-eye and sliced it down the center and then you’d have one really long cylinder. Then you could cook that to medium-rare and slice it and turn it over. I don’t think there was any mandate on the show that it had to be individual steaks, so we were surprised to see that.

[The gazpacho] was a little on the hyper-acidic side but to start out, it was good. For all the endless yelling that Beverly took during the prep time, she did a good job getting her shrimp done. But there was a lot of time and maybe she could have worked a little bit faster. I’m not sure if the encouraging words from Heather were debilitating or not. Beverly is a really interesting character. She’s great, but she’s a little bit out there. [She's] very wispy and Heather is not. She’s bossy. They don’t mix well. They’re very oil and vinegar. I think Heather is about to have a pretty rough road. She’s not making friends very easily. Nobody seems to really want to assist her in any way and as much as it’s about individual competition you’ve got to have people who will help you out. If nobody wants to help you out you’re going to be at a severe disadvantage.

[There was a] pretty powerhouse team on the [second] course with Chris, Paul and Edward. Those guys were all doing really good work. They get along, they’re very structured. I think they had a good dish, it had a couple little flaws, but overall it was a really strong dish. It was smart, too. You have to think about how you’re going to cook for 200 people and you need to bring novelty and interest and great flavor, but setting yourself up for something really hard to deliver is not what you want to do and they thought through that.

[Edward] may have just taken a little bit of a simple road. You gotta put yourself out there. Somebody always has to land at the bottom. I think I may have voted a different way, but it falls where it may.

I thought the main course was way too flawed all around. There was way too much stuff on the plate. I mean, Nyesha did a good job with sauces but it was just a train wreck of a plate.

Ty-lor is a very mature cook. He would take ownership of the mistake, no matter who touched it or mucked it up. It’s his fault at that point. There are people on the show who would have diverted attention from their mistake at the first opportunity and Ty-lor did not do that at all. And given the fact that he cut himself, he was at the hospital all night and he was working on an hour sleep, I think he did a pretty commendable job. But there was the initial mistake he made, which was that he shouldn’t have done individual steaks and that firing of the last steaks was a pretty big mistake. At our table there was such variance in the cooking, but what are you going to do when you’ve got 8 people cooking steaks?

[The dessert course was] pretty straightforward but for a group that size it was pretty smart. I think [Heather] was lucky to be in the top. I think she designed a good dessert that was stable and got out effectively. It was really consistent and it worked. Favorite dessert ever? No.[If I knew Heather used the same recipe as the quinceanera cake] it probably would have changed the outcome of [the challenge]. It could have been a more complex dessert relatively easily. [But] that’s all in hindsight; I didn’t know it was the same recipe.

Whitney had a lot of people advising her on [the potato gratin] but at the end of day it was her decision to make that dish and the way she went forward with it was her decision. That whole plate wasn’t designed well. They didn’t think about how big the steak was, they didn’t think about the greens. Nothing really unified the plate. She just had to step up a little bit more and bring something really exciting to it and she just kind of failed in that regard.

'A Bitchin' Christmas' music video featuring Nadia G in a red unitard: Recommended for Scrooges!

I only knew of Nadia G and her Cooking Channel show, The Bitchin’ Kitchen, in theory. So when I pressed play on this Bitchin’ Christmas music video — featuring What Not to Hair‘s Guy Fieri, Ace of Cakes‘ Duff Goldman, Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, and Nadia’s fellow Cooking Channel stars Kelsey Nixon, Ben Sargent, Alie & Georgia, Vegan Black Metal Chef and the guys from Epic Meal Time (and it was made for charity!) — I had no idea the creature writhing around in a shiny red unitard and ’80s hair/makeup was the actual host of a cooking program. I assumed she was a video ho for hire, like Old Navy’s animatronic Kim Kardashian.

Is it just me or is Nadia G a pretty convincing pop star? I mean, really think about pop stars. Wait, no, don’t exert yourself. Watch the madness here: READ FULL STORY

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show: If you're a fatty and you know it, clap your hands [CLAP, CLAP]

I just watched an hour-long commercial for overpriced lingerie, a.k.a. The 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a.k.a. Put That Down, You Fat Fool, It’s Full of Dangerous Nutrients.

You think the models looked too skinny? Well you must be a real jealous bitch! They were BORN THIS WAY, baby. The runway finale song said so. There’s no need to worry about these starving women. I swear, if you stare long enough at the protruding clavicles of the Angels, you can have some really deep thoughts. I’ll share some of mine below.

VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW REFLECTIONS INSPIRED BY THE BONES OF THE ANGELS

Miranda Kerr’s rib cage: What’s really higher in value, the $2.5 million Fantasy Bra, or the privilege of “opening the aquatic section”? (Someone should ask Adam Levine.)

Karlie Kloss’ pelvic girdle: If I showed up to the office tomorrow in pink jellyfish wings, would everyone think “too much” or “not enough”? Same question: mirrorball ass.

Chanel Iman’s coccyx: Do you think that when Will Ferrell said “No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative” in Blades of Glory (sampled in Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “N**gas in Paris”), he was also referring to the Victoria’s Secret PINK collection? And also, possibly, its most original 2011 creation, Nicki Minaj? READ FULL STORY

'Once Upon a Time' I found this 'Lost' candy bar

There have been plenty of Lost crossover hints, thought nuggets, time travel mindf—ery, etc. offered up on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. But the Apollo chocolate bar hanging out near a hatch on last night’s episode really SPOKE TO ME. It’s candy, it’s a hidden gem, and I could have sworn the last Apollo had spent the summer melting in a mail/garbage/Dharma peanut butter landfill in the least-accessible corner of Doc Jensen’s office.

Candy for breakfast, anyone?

Also did anyone else really, really want Des and his lava lamp to be making their own kind of music down in that Storybrooke hatch? And he’d promise to little Henry, “I’ll see you in another life, brutha,” and we’d all piss ourselves trying to predict which nefarious beast or chiseled horseback hero Henry Ian Cusick should portray in the show’s alternate universe, Fairy Tale? He has to be down there somewhere.

Come on, Desmond, press the button. EXECUTE my fantasy!

Read more: ‘Once Upon a Time’ recap: Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

Punkin Chunkin 2011: Rooting for Team Chunk Norris, obviously

It’s Thanksgiving, which means the return of Punkin Chunkin, the annual event that finds backyard “engi-nerds” building homemade contraptions to see who can hurl a pumpkin across a cornfield the farthest. MythBusters‘ Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci host this year’s TV special, airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET on both Discovery and SCIENCE. If the first time you heard of this kind of competition was on last night’s Modern Family, know that the real event is in its 26th year.

We endorse rookie catapulters Team Chunk Norris, if not for their name, then for the proud father who walks around wearing chain mail, carrying a sword, and saying things like, “$200,000 worth of engineering degrees, and this is what they do” and “I shall slay them if they lose.” Meet the team in the clip below. READ FULL STORY

Gail Simmons Blogs episode 4 of 'Top Chef: Texas': Turning up the heat

As told to Nuzhat Naoreen

I thought the [contestants] did a great job [at the chili cook-off]. It was really fun. I love chili. Texas chili is very specific. I’d never been to a rodeo before, so it was great to be at an event like that.

Chili is very, very regional. It’s sort of like a bolognese in Italy. Everyone has their own very specific recipe. Every region within Texas and also across the Southwest makes their own type of chili and every chili is made differently, so sometimes it takes six hours, sometimes it takes 16. But to make a great chili you definitely need to give it time. You can’t rush the meat. You want to make it as tender as possible. You want to cook it on a low heat for a long period of time. The flavor of the meat [should be] in the actual stewing liquid itself. READ FULL STORY

The Annoying Orange will become a TV series on Cartoon Network

Watching an Internet meme become an actual old-media product is always cause for bittersweet joy. On one hand, you feel proud: They’ve successfully monetized! But you also feel a little bit nervous that they might lose what made them special and become S#*! My Dad Says. So it goes with the Annoying Orange, the talking fruit that has starred in an array of ever-more-absurd videos. The series was a success on the internet — the original YouTube video is closing in on 89 million views — and now it’s graduating to the relatively major leagues of basic cable. According to a New York Times report, Cartoon Network has a deal in place to bring Annoying Orange and his perpetually-annoyed friends to television. READ FULL STORY

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