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Mexican Made Easy : ¿Cuán fácil fue eso?


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#1

OHgamer

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Posted Jan 17, 2010 @ 10:52 PM

Food Network dice...

Premieres Saturday, January 23, at 9:30am/8:30c

About the Show
Professional chef and cookbook author Marcela Valladolid prepares a fresh take on Mexican food and shares simple and authentic recipes in her series, Mexican Made Easy. Marcela, inspired by her dual Mexican and Southern California upbringing, transforms stereotypes of the cuisine into healthy and easy-to-prepare Mexican meals. Whether serving home-cooked dinner for her son or entertaining friends and family, Marcela brings to the table fresh flavor that fits all tastes.


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#2

addicted_aardvark

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Posted Jan 17, 2010 @ 11:42 PM

I'm looking forward to this show. I don't remember much about her from Martha Stewart's "Apprentice" show, but she apparently already has a Spanish language cooking show on Discovery Spanish language. And while she isn't going to go all "Mexican regional" like Rick Bayless, the recipes on her website seem taken from family memories and combine American and Latin influences. And in one YouTube clip I saw, she was explaining ingredient substitutions that might be more common in standard chain groceries. Helpful.

Let's just hope that FN leaves THEIR influences out of it.
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#3

MsGonzo

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 11:04 AM

She's cute and perky...kind of a Mexican Giada.
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#4

Jojocooks

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 1:12 PM

She's cute and perky...kind of a Mexican Giada.



That's the kiss of death around here...
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#5

Jennionthefarm

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 1:15 PM

I knew I recognized her, but couldn't figure out where- thanks! I'm really looking forward to this show. When I lived in Mexico I was a junior in high school so I didn't learn much about how to actually prepare the wonderful food I had there on a daily basis. Rick Bayless is good but I can't wait for this to begin!
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#6

Baysu

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 2:58 PM

Premieres Saturday, January 23, at 9:30am/8:30c


Not exactly a great time, unless of course you record it.
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#7

vera charles

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 4:22 PM

Apparently, they think that the people who actually want to see cooking shows are up early on Saturday morning, since that's when they cluster the shows that feature cooking. Maybe there's some truth to it, since I generally am up early on Saturday and enjoy the lineup of actual cooks like Nigella and Ellie and Tyler. She is displacing "Ask Aida", which is OK. That's when I usually change the channel. If she would displace the Neelys, even better.
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#8

Baysu

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 6:48 PM

Ask Aida is still on? I thought that show was canceled? Never did like that show. Saturday morning is not my time to watch FN, until noon when I try to catch the new Giada & Ina shows.
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#9

osomarie

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Posted Jan 18, 2010 @ 6:55 PM

I thought Mexican Giada at first, too. But for superficial reasons - her perkiness, gesturing with the hands, same dress style, and the So.Calif. backdrop out the window.
I'll give her a chance first. She does have the C.V. I hope she does various regional Mexican foods (a la Rick Bayliss, Diana Kennedy) because most people are only familiar with the typical Tex-Mex foods. There's SO much more.
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#10

PowerfulNiolani

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Posted Jan 19, 2010 @ 1:01 PM

She was on our Fox affiliate this a.m. to promote her show which is filmed here in San Diego. She made a hollandaise sauce with chipotle to pour over her eggs "benedicto". Her pronunciations of Spanish words is as annoying as Giada's Italian. Very affected and over-enunciated. We live close to the border but if you pronounce certain words like she does around here people will probably do a double-take and say "say what??"
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#11

Baysu

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Posted Jan 19, 2010 @ 3:51 PM

LOL, a mexican Giada, just what we need on the FN.
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#12

OHgamer

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 4:59 PM

anyone watch? I had to work this AM and I don't have DVR or Tivo
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#13

Baysu

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 5:10 PM

NO, 8:30 am saturday morning is not a time that I sit down to watch TV and I didn't record it. Bad time slot.
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#14

jcbrown

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 6:22 PM

I kind of liked it, though I thought she needed to use something other than a trowel to put her make-up on next time. She seemed very natural on camera. The first dish did not appeal to me (I'm one of those people who can't stand cilantro) but I may try her hollandaise method--I've always made it in a double boiler. I'll TiVo this for a while to see how it goes.

Someone also needs to tell her that the URL she read off contains a forward slash, not a back slash.
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#15

SnowDog

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 6:28 PM

I watched it and I liked it. Unfortunately, I can't remember much about the episode except that the coffee with orange and cinnamon sounded good. It also ended abruptly; one second Marcella's talking and the next RR pops up.
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#16

osomarie

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 7:05 PM

I think she shows a lot of potential. She is not at all awkward with the camera (like Melissa D!). She gave background on the dishes - different versions from different family members - mentioning she'd lived in Europe. Etc. Making it clear she has a lot of influences in her cooking.

Plus she demonstrated some "basics" - how to make hollandaise, poach eggs . . .


(And PS, O/T - just how does one add those critical diacritical marks to one's words?)

Edited by osomarie, Jan 23, 2010 @ 7:08 PM.

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#17

jazzbruce

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Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 10:13 PM

I'm always up-and-at-em by 9:00, so this Sat. 1/23 I watched the "Gaucho Grilling" episode of Simply Delicioso and then followed up with the debut of Mexican Made Easy. I was immediately reminded of one of the golden rules of evaluating anything: "Everything is Relative". Although I agree with most of the slightly negative comments re: Ingrid's shows, and also with the few "just so-so" comments for this show, I feel certain that both of these ladies could out cook the following while half drunk with their hands tied - Giada, R.Ray, ol' Big Teeth, Aunt Sandy, Mr. and Mrs. Horny, and quite a few others. In other words, relative to many other FN shows, I liked almost everything about both of these. Then again, maybe I was just extra hungry.
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#18

addicted_aardvark

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 12:07 AM

I thought the series was off to a good start today, and will leave it on my schedule of recordings.

As mentioned, she seemed to relate well to the camera - with professionalism rather than silly, giddiness. Helped, of course, by a great set layout - even though she retrieved various ingredients, she didn't have to rush madly around a huge room or run the length of a bowling alley. Plus she spoke at a fairly normal pace rather than the breathless rush of some hosts. (Plus, the windows comprising the background were absolutely beautiful!). Her previous experience with a television cooking show is presenting her quite well.

I imagine her "start cooking it in a ladle" hint for the poached eggs will give some people the courage to try poaching an egg - although I'll skip the extra utensil to clean and go with freeform blobs. Plus providing substitutions for ingredients is helpful as well. Yet it didn't seem a dumbed-down beginner or semi-ho show.
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#19

blakec73

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 7:20 AM

I did not like the show at all. BUT, I am not a fan of eggs, so maybe that is why. I thought if she had made huevoes rancheros or migas, I would be more in to the show. I do not like the commercials it is like a take off on Ingrid.... I did like the way she showed how to poach an egg. But was not inpressed at all with the show. I am more concerned with the recipes and how to than the stories or the window. I will still watch it for a while. I will see..
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#20

jazzbruce

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 8:00 AM

Holy Cannoli !! I thought she demonstrated more great "how to" techniques about all of the recipes than just about anyone else on FN. Her few stories didn't get in the way of her cooking and I didn't even notice a window. Using the Chilaquiles as an example, she showed 1) how to start by using stale or dried out tortillas so that when you fried them they would not get soggy in the oil; 2) how to fry the pieces in batches so that the oil would not cool down; 3) how to cook them slightly less than done so that they could be finished later in the salsa; 4) how to roast all of the green salsa items together in the oven and the correct doneness; 5) how to use a kitchen towel when pureeing the hot roasted items so that your blender would not explode; 6) how to re-introduce the hot fried chips into the pureed salsa to finish cooking; 7) how to use feta cheese as a substitute for the Mexican cheese as a final topping. I know I learned a few things. Her eye makeup is scary though.
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#21

MsLark

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 8:11 AM

Finally, a Mexican cooking show with a cook I can tolerate. (Hate the breath out of Ingrid--cannot watch.) Thank you FN, been waiting a long time. I'll be watching!

I love chilaquiles, but have only had/made red. Have to try the green sometime. Lots of really good tips, but for poaching eggs, I'll use my poaching insert (actually a coddler). Those runny stringy things squick me right out.
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#22

ToothbrushFence

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 2:35 PM

Overall, I liked the show. I particularly want to try the chilaquiles, although it's hard to imagine those as a breakfast food. My husband and I loved Mexican coffee when we had it during our honeymoon, so I was very happy to see an easy recipe for it. She did seem natural in front of the camera. I liked when she pulled her premade chicken stock out of the fridge and said that because she cooks for a living she makes her own, but that it's fine to substitute canned. To me, that is a far preferable way of doing it than having professional cooks use canned broth.

I do have some gripes, though:
  • The eyeshadow - she seems to have fallen victim to Claire Robinson Syndrome (overly smoky eyes for casual daytime cooking).
  • Her valley-girl accent, to the extent that she reminds me of Jackie from That 70s Show. I'm sure she could tone that down a bit with some vocal training.

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#23

osomarie

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 2:54 PM

I feel certain that both of these ladies could out cook the following while half drunk with their hands tied - Giada, R.Ray, ol' Big Teeth, Aunt Sandy, Mr. and Mrs. Horny, and quite a few others.

@jazzbruce
Right on (imho)
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#24

ToothbrushFence

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 3:14 PM

Holy Cannoli !! I thought she demonstrated more great "how to" techniques about all of the recipes than just about anyone else on FN. Her few stories didn't get in the way of her cooking and I didn't even notice a window. Using the Chilaquiles as an example, she showed 1) how to start by using stale or dried out tortillas so that when you fried them they would not get soggy in the oil; 2) how to fry the pieces in batches so that the oil would not cool down; 3) how to cook them slightly less than done so that they could be finished later in the salsa; 4) how to roast all of the green salsa items together in the oven and the correct doneness; 5) how to use a kitchen towel when pureeing the hot roasted items so that your blender would not explode; 6) how to re-introduce the hot fried chips into the pureed salsa to finish cooking; 7) how to use feta cheese as a substitute for the Mexican cheese as a final topping. I know I learned a few things. Her eye makeup is scary though.


In fairness, whether some of these were techniques versus explaining steps in a recipe is splitting hairs, IMHO. It would be difficult to teach a chilaquiles recipe without explaining the use of stale tortillas, how to cook them, how to make the salsa, and how to fry the chips in the sauce. (And the don't-overload-the-fryer tip seems almost mandatory when FN hosts fry something.)

I do enjoy that so far she seems to be taking an educational approach. However, it seems like it is a lot easier to be educational early in the series, when all of one's techniques are new. For instance, queso fresco is used in a lot of Mexican dishes. The helpful feta tip will become repetitive if she reuses it, and she loses a teaching point if she doesn't. Part of the reason she might seem so refreshing is because the bulk of the instructional shows have been on FN have been on for a long time and in effect largely run out of things to teach.

Edited by ToothbrushFence, Jan 24, 2010 @ 3:16 PM.

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#25

Perthelia

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 3:40 PM

I enjoyed it a lot. She was professional and charming without being coquettish. I felt like I learned something.
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#26

tortietat

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 6:43 PM

I'm sure she could tone that down a bit with some vocal training


Voice sounds as if she's been breathing from a helium balloon.
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#27

angelblades

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Posted Jan 25, 2010 @ 7:09 AM

I do enjoy that so far she seems to be taking an educational approach. However, it seems like it is a lot easier to be educational early in the series, when all of one's techniques are new. For instance, queso fresco is used in a lot of Mexican dishes. The helpful feta tip will become repetitive if she reuses it, and she loses a teaching point if she doesn't. Part of the reason she might seem so refreshing is because the bulk of the instructional shows have been on FN have been on for a long time and in effect largely run out of things to teach.


I try to keep in mind that the producers assume new viewers for every show. The information would be new to them. People like me who watch all the time may find the info repetitive. If she repeats her tips, I really won't mind because I know very little about her style of cooking. I generally enjoyed the show, but she does remind me of Giada. The phone rang at one point and I muted her. Watching her movements without sound really drove that home.
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#28

tvmovielover

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 6:35 AM

I like her better than Ingrid because I thought she stayed closer to real Mexican and Latin cooking but updated it by using pans and machines we all have in our kitchen instead of grinding the sauce by hand,etc. When I saw the commercials, I thought she was a lot like Giada but after watching, not yet except for the hand gestures (which I think were real) but if she catches on, I see FN lightening her hair and trying to sex up her clothes.

I do not mind her teaching the same points again because she is on Saturday morning which I think is for instructional rather than stunt programing. Blender Hollandaise, for example, is an old, old technique but there are always new and/or younger viewers who do not know it and who maybe never fried a corn tortilla to make chips or her dish before. I only learned about frying up old tortillas a few years ago (as a topping for tortilla and corn soup) and it is a good thing to know since it makes a tasty snack as well as something for a recipe. Maybe others knew this one and I did not because I avoid most fried things for health reasons. The point is I think Saturday morning is for instructional shows and a good place to talk about techniques old and new and I think she offered a newer take on Mexican.
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#29

jazzbruce

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 12:29 PM

tvmovielover, perfectly stated. Bravo. (oops, I meant FNHD)
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#30

grisgris

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 3:04 PM

Voice sounds as if she's been breathing from a helium balloon.


I don't think that I can bring myself to watch this show because the commercials drive me crazy. "Real. Simple. Real. Good." She sounds like a kindergarten teacher.
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