Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee: Semi-Homemade Name-Dropping

TV Arts

Sheesh! "Bobby Flay" this and "Mario Batali" that. Blah blah blah. A 
more proper title for this episode would have been "Semi-Homade 
Name-Dropping (because Gawd knows I cannot cook a damn thing)"! Boy 
would I have floved to have been at the FN execs meeting with Bobby and 
Mario when they were told they had to allow Sandie crap up some of their 
recipes and "take one for the team" in some half-baked scheme to make 
her look marginally credible as a "Food Network 'chef'". Has anyone 
taken the time to count how many times she engaged in name-dropping this 
week? Anyhow, on with the show!

"Hi, I'm Sandra Lee and welcome to Semi-Homemade.  Today is a great day 
because my friends Mario Batali and Bobby Flay have been kind enough to 
share with me their famous, gourmet restaurant recipes, but I've re-made 
them for you the Semi-Homemade way, so they're gonna be quick and easy." 
But how will they taste? SLop ignores my query and rattles off her menu 
of Bobby Flay and Mario Batali knock-offs before we bounce into the 
opening credits. *sigh* I miss the previous music they used.

SLop enters stage left, telling us "Every time I go to Mario Batali's 
restaurant I order his White Bean Ravioli". Of course, being SLop, she 
makes her own version from a can of beans mixed with balsamic 
vinegarette and a teaspoon of a packet of Italian seasoning that is 
pulsed in a food processor (properly this time) and put in wonton 
wrappers and boiled. As she makes the accompanying sauce, SLop claims to 
have been in Mario's kitchen. Yeah, right. I see another restraining 
order coming down the pipeline...As SLop stuffs her face with the 
finished product, SLop thanks Mario Batali.

As SLop begins to make the steak, she says "Now, if Bobby Flay was 
making this, he would make it all from scratch, but I have some great 
tips for you to get these dinners in and out or these dishes in and out 
of the kitchen in no time."  But how does it taste, SLop? Ignoring my 
query, she mixes some wine and a packet of Zesty Herb marinade in a 
ziplock Glad bag while announcing "Of course, Bobby would use all the 
fancy stuff, but I need somethin' quick and easy with everything in one 
package!" Yeah, right. Just as good as Bobby Flay's. SLop ensures 
Brycer's position as the most beat up kid in America this week by 
announcing that Bobby Flay is his idol and has been begging her to let 
him meet Bobby Flay. Unfortunately, there's that restraining order 
monkey business so he'll have to settle for cooking these recipe 
rip-offs with her. 

As the steaks cook on the indoor grill, SLop announces she's going to 
make Bobby Flay's Roasted Corn Salad, adding "Bobby Flay makes this with 
roasted corn on the cob, so I'm going to grill a bag of frozen corn in a 
frying pan!" As the corn defrosts, she mixes some yellow-colored lime 
juice, vegtable oil, and roasted salsa in a bowl. She cuts off a quarter 
of a red bell pepper and juliannes it, putting the rest away for later. 
SLop then slices up some green onions but stops at the white part 
because "the white part of these onions tastes very onion-y and I don't 
like that flllllavor very much" and throws them away. Huh? She then 
dumps the reheated corn from the pan into the bowl, assuring us that 
even the most picky kid will like it and adds the red pepper slices.

Returning from commercial, SLop declares "I have some fabulous remakes 
from Bobby Flay and Mario Batali!!!" and begins working on Mario 
Batali's Dried Fruit Compote with Goat Cheese after removing the Bobby 
Flay red wine steaks from the glad bag in which it's been marinating and 
cooking them crooked on the grill. SLop tells us that Mario Batali might 
use a GALLON of port wine in his recipe but she's in a hurry! Time's a 
wasting! When's Cocktail Time? SLop heats up the wine, then adds some 
sugar. SLop tells us that "Mario Batali probably uses fresh fruit for 
his [dried fruit] compote but I'm going to use trail mix!", then tells 
us she uses white grapejuice in lieu of port for Brycer (won't that make 
it less menstral?), thoughtfully recomending that we substitute these 
for raisins. After letting it simmer for five minutes, the dried fruit 
plumped up, making it resemble a black menstral clump. SLop spoons it 
into a martini glass, tops it with some crumbled goat cheese, and 
declares it a healthy desert snack for kids. Returning to the steak like 
Bobby Flay makes, she tells us to let it rest so it doesn't spill juice 
all over the place, adding "This is a gourmet dinner just like if you 
went to Bobby Flay or Mario Batali's place!".

When we return from commercial, SLop enters stage left clutching a 
bottle of wine and giddily announces "It's cocktail time! Best time of 
the day!", but sadly, there is no accompanying pop-up graphic. SLop 
slurs that she's going to make Bobby Flay's famous Mangled Peach 
Sangria, which consists of one cup of frozen of mango in liue of ice, 
one cup frozen peaches, one cup peach schnaaps (peach nector for 
Brycer), two cups of mango nectar, and "for Aunt Sandy, a bottle of 
white wine" (sugar-free lemon-lime soda for Brycer). She tells us to 
leave it in the fridge so the flavours meld together, but she can't wait 
so she begins guzzling it on the spot, declaring "Mmm...That is one good 
sangria, Bobby Flay!"  

Clutching a big glass of Bobby Flay's famous Mangled Peach Sangria, SLop 
tells us this week's tablescape was inspired by the rich, amber tones 
and beautiful milk chocolate in Mario Batali's restaurant and the 
oranges and yellows of Bobby Flay's. The centerpiece consists of four 
noseagays in a vase with brown sugar. For each setting, SLop printed 
name cards on her PC and tied a copper measuring spoon to it with a 
sweet knotted fishtail ribbon (Hmm, looks like a forked tongue, heh heh) 
So once again, SLop unloads a bunch of crappy "party favors" on her 
unsuspecting guests. Among the imaginary guests of honor were "io". Hmm. 
Yeah, I'm sure he'd be thrilled to have one of those lame gifts of 
Today is a great day

What the hell is a gourmet restaurant recipe, and furthermore, who ever laid 
that label on Flay?

As for time, I can make those dishes in less time than it takes a a half cut 
stick insect to go to the store to buy the shortcuts.

Do you think we'll ever solve the mystery of why Mario and Bobby gave her "their blessings?" Did 
Bob "The Tush" slip them some cash or threaten them with something so they'd raise her 
credibility [snort] or ratings? Do the Fandras even like Mario and Bobby, with their fancy-dancy