What a friend we have in macaroni cheeses
Tyler’s Ultimate 6pm, LifeStyle Food
I’M sorry. There are limits. I honestly believe the average Australian viewer interested in food ( and who else would be tuning into a food program?) will find this series insulting at worst and a waste of valuable time at the very least.
‘‘ I’m telling ya, this is the most fabulous soup,’’ Tyler Florence tells us. The soup is tomato: with onion, garlic, chicken stock and . . . tomatoes. All right, he roasts the tomatoes.
There’s much worse. As a child, Tyler ate macaroni cheese two or three times a week.
Well, what can I say? Such abuse would engender in the adult Tyler a violent reaction resulting in an allconsuming, investigative interest in food or a lifelong retrograde desire for macaroni cheese. Indeed, both these things have happened.
But must we go down this sorry path with him?
We endure detailed instructions on how to make white sauce ( with butter and flour: ‘‘ You know what I’m talking about, it’s flour and butter, mixed together, and it’s going to be the binder that holds the sauce together’’), and the options ( skim milk, whole milk, even a bit of cream).
Tyler deviates slightly from the ordinary in his use of kosher salt, which has ‘‘ a clean, slightly salty flavour’’. We learn how to take the dried macaroni out of the packet and throw it into the water.
Then it’s back to the roux (‘‘ Now, in a classic French kitchen this would be considered a mornay sauce at this point, right?’’). We stir our milk into our roux, and stir and thicken our flour and butter. This is as riveting as watching paint dry.
But now a moment of excitement: ‘‘ At this point, if ya see a coupla lumps . . .’’ Then an anarchic turn of events as Tyler reveals he likes a bit of green.
Chop, chop, chop. He adds some parsley: ‘‘ If ya don’t wanna do this, I understand, ya don’t have to do this, if your family doesn’t like parsley.’’
We switch back to the ultimate tomato soup, in which chicken stock out of a box ‘‘ is totally fine’’, the flavours marry together, I’m telling ya, it’s fantastic, you’re gunna love it. I think I’m starting to turn into Tyler. But I swear to you, dizzy as I am becoming, it’s the ultimate macaroni cheese and soup, fantastic, you’re gunna love it, all right.
He did say ‘‘ if you’re a fan of cream that’s made of soup’’. I played it back three times. The rush and repetition with no content is even getting to Tyler. Or maybe it’s that lifetime of macaroni cheese.
Sauce of discontent: TV cook Tyler Florence