Bourdain’s Back in Brazil

By Karen

In tonight’s new episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain revisits Brazil — but this time, he bypasses cosmopolitan Rio for the Amazon jungle. During this shoot, he developed a severe back problem and honed his acting skills trying not to wince in pain. Here’s the promo of him eating an anesthetizing local soup called Tacacá…

Tony seems to be branching out with his own TV endeavors in association with Zero Point Zero Productions. BourdainChankoTV posed this demo for Komrads, a potential new show featuring Zamir and ZPZ Associate Producer Nari Kye as unlikely traveling companions…

John Kessler at the Atlanta Journal Constitution is still trying to sort out the Bourdain/Mariani ethical debate over food writers getting comped for their subject matter.

It’s one of those “burning” issues that reminds me how NOT a foodie I am, particularly after taking someone’s advice to use my homemade chicken stock to prepare couscous. All I can say about couscous is Bleeeecccchhhh! Not rice, not pasta, just bland and grainy. And this is after forcing myself (for cholesterol’s sake) to acquire a taste for oatmeal.

Alice Waters leaped into the Twitter fray on March 28 with a folksy chicken motif, and then confessed to LA Weekly that she is Ruth Bourdain. Yeah, right. Next she’ll be claiming she’s the Bronx Zoo’s cobra.

16 Responses to Bourdain’s Back in Brazil

  1. adele says:

    Sorry about the couscous, Karen. I guess I should have said that if you don’t have something saucy to put over it, throwing in some sauteed shallots and mushrooms helps immensely. I’ve come to prefer Israeli couscous, which is like little pasta pearls; you brown them a little in olive oil and then pour boiling stock or broth over them, turn down to a simmer then cover and cook for ten minutes. Still, though, like pasta, couscous is a vehicle for sauce.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, couscous is good for scouring out the garbage disposal. That’s where half the batch I made ended up. But I’ve still got half a box left,and since I paid almost $4 for the stuff, I’m going to use it somehow, but I wouldn’t waste any kind of good sauce on it. It seems more like something that you could use to stretch a pound of ground meat instead of bread crumbs.

    The next thing I plan to try, and may hate, is quinoa. Ever since I heard Carla mention it on Top Chef, it’s been simmering on my mental back burner.

  3. cheray smith says:

    I think Nari and Zamir would be hysterical!

    Karen, I agree with you about couscous! If I’m going to eat something that needs a sauce, I will go with pasta every time. Very versatile and many delicious variations! I could (and do) eat it almost daily.

    While not a dedicated foodie, I always thought I was fairly up on various types of food, but whathehell is quinoa? I had never heard of Durian either, but would like to try it…

  4. catsworking says:

    Cheray, quinoa is a whole grain and you can find out about it here. It’s supposed to be very good for you:

    Durian is something I know I would not want to try. It looks nice and creamy, but the smell alone would probably make me throw up.

    When my cholesterol hit 241, the doctor prescribed a statin and I started doing some stuff myself, like eating more whole grains and taking fish oil. My cholesterol is now 200, but I’m still working on it so I can get off the prescription. That’s why I’m eating steel-cut oatmeal. I also eat a lot of whole-grain pastas and brown rice, but I’m always game to mix it up with something new. But not couscous!

  5. zappa says:

    Israeli couscous is the only one that I eat/cook.The other stuff reminds me of spackling I don’t like rice either and I hate that wild rice stuff.My go to substitue for rice,etc,is orzo
    Karen,I hate to break it to you,but quinoa is a combination of gross and blah.Well,maybe its not that bad but,I see nothing redeeming in it.
    Congratulations on the drop in cholestrol!! 41 points is amazing!

  6. catsworking says:

    ZM, thanks for the warning on quinoa. I guess you’re saying if I didn’t like couscous, I’ll hate it.

    I’ve got a box of De Cecco acini di pepe in the pantry right now, which I bought in an attempt to recreate the Pastina of my childhood. I haven’t made it yet, but it’s pasta, so I figure it has to be good. I think on that shopping trip, I picked this stuff over orzo because the orzo reminded me of head lice. But white rice doesn’t. Go figure.

    Now I’m wondering how I’ll drain the stuff. It’s so small, it will go right through my colander. Guess I’ll use a paper towel.

  7. MorganLF says:

    OOh pastina! Have not had it since a child but will eat macaroni daily if allowed, pasta “fazool” being a weekly staple. I buy cous couscous already made at the deli counter. Sometimes it’s mixed with greens and lemon juice and garlic and not so bad, but not a fave.

    My cholesterol is high and I too take a statin but am not so conscientious as I should be. I really feel guilty now that Karen lost weight and Tony blogged about dropping 18 lbs. If he that most razor thin of all men needed to fight middle age spread it’s time for me to admit it and get moving. I have a reunion in August can I do it? Oh, just had a grill cheese & tomato w/fries for lunch and a Good Humor Toasted almond.

    Tonight I am lusting for Burrata which Mrs. B turned me onto in one of her tweets, I absolutely lust for it with fresh tomatoes, basil, prosciutto and some melon.

    I’m doomed!

  8. Imabear says:

    Not a couscous fan either. Haven’t tried quinoa though my hubby keeps suggesting it,wild rice and flax seed (he’s always after me to improve my diet, which I have to a great degree). I got some oatmeal with flaxseed at Trader Joe’s – and still have it (I tried one packet and didn’t care for it). I also tried whole wheat pasta and it was also a no go (or a “go down the garbage disposal”).

    Alice Waters was mentioned favorably in a mystery novel I read last week, and a friend mentioned having eaten at Chez Panisse on a recent trip to the Bay area. I just kept my mouth shut.

  9. catsworking says:

    Imabear, I don’t like oatmeal at all, but force myself to eat it a few times a week. The biggest problem with the steel-cut variety is the cooking time, which is FOREVER. More often than not, I forget it’s on the stove and have to chisel it out of the pot. When I do manage to eat it, I like to put some real butter and sea salt in it, which probably negate any benefits to my health.

    I’ve gotten used to whole grain pastas, although the regular kind is still my fave. Once you get past the chewiness and cover it with sauce, I don’t think the taste is drastically different.

  10. catsworking says:

    Morgan, what’s Burrata? I must have missed that tweet.

    I’ll try the couscous again (because I want to use up the rest of the box), but I’ll have to look up some recipes first. I did mix some of it with my made-from-scratch baked beans just trying to use it up and it went down OK, although the beans are better without it.

  11. adele says:

    Karen, I actually found some pastina st my favorite Italian market and have been meaning to send it to you. When I looked at it, I wondered about draining too, but maybe if you had a really fine mesh strainter . . .

    Morgan, I’ve deliberately stayed away from burrata — fresh mozzarella with an even creamier center sounds too like it would be right up my alley. I’m afraid to discover how good it is.

    I came back sick from my Tucson vacation — some bronchial thing, which is causing me to head to my doctor tomorrow, AND my friend Laura’s (with whom I stay in Tucson) father died yesterday. He was 90 and in the last stages of Parkinson’s, but still it was really sad.

    Alice, however, seems to have survived.

  12. zappa says:

    Trader Joe’s shoppers:
    In their pasta section is a bag of what I call bird seed.It’s a blend of 6 grain somethingorother.You cook it like rice,2:1,and its quite tasty with a good nutritional value(I wish I could remeber what it’s called)

    Morgan,add some bacon to that grilled cheese and you have one of my Death Row meals



  13. catsworking says:

    Adele, condolences on your friend’s father’s death, and we hope you feel better soon. Good news that Pastina is still being made. I’m going to keep looking around for it.

    ZM, thanks for the lead on that other stuff, whatever it’s called. I wish we had a Trader Joe’s on this side of town. I’ll try to remember to look for it next time I’m shopping there. And I’m with you on the grilled cheese and bacon. In fact, now I may make one for lunch today!

  14. zappa says:

    I’m making oatmeal for breakfast!


  15. MorganLF says:

    Burrata uber fresh creamy mozzarella, with a cream center…slice into it and the most heavenly creamy, melty…….tossed on warm pasta, sliced with fresh tomatoes, salt and olive oil on garlic rubbed crusty bread.

    Why must this haunt me so??

  16. catsworking says:

    OK you guys, now you’re making me think a trip to Fresh Market is in order. I bet they have this wonder-cheese.

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