Tyler Florence, but there are no other sentiments that rhyme with the surname of Florence. The closest rhyme I can come up with is “St. Lawrence,” but St. Lawrence is really not an emotion that you can feel for someone.
A more accurate description of my feelings for Tyler Florence would be annoyance. Florence and annoyance, however, are only approximate rhymes, and I know that approximate rhymes annoy some people more than Tyler Florence annoys me.
What is it about Tyler Florence that grates on my soul?
It’s not his recipes… ever since my husband discovered Tyler Florence’s online recipe for Banana and Pecan Pancakes with Maple Butter, and then proceeded to make Banana and Pecan Pancakes with Maple Butter for his wife (that’s me, yay!), not one of Tyler Florence’s recipes have failed us. You can count on them to be uncomplicated yet elegant, and deliciously delicious. I just made his recipe for cold sesame noodles (see below for recipe) and was more than pleased by the results.
So it’s not his recipes. It’s his writing. It’s atrocious! One month ago, I purchased his cookbook, Eat This Book, and then I spent the next month becoming increasingly irritated by his uninspiring comments. My typical Eat This Book reading sessions would go something like this:
Sight a gorgeous photograph.
Lovingly caress said photograph.
Read ingredients and recipe and think to self, “Someday I will make this recipe.”
Drool on photograph.
Wipe drool from photograph in case cookbook is going to be returned to bookstore.
Read Tyler Florence’s comment about recipe.
Read irritating comment out loud to husband or anyone who will listen.
Experience violently fluctuating thoughts about whether I will keep the book or return the book.
Repeat steps until I am so clogged with indecision that I have to go eat a banana to calm myself down.
I need help. I can't decide if I am retarded or not.
I returned the cookbook yesterday in a fit of confused rage, but I still haven't decided whether that was the right thing to do. I have typed out a whole bunch of his comments so you can read them and tell me if:
a) I am both retarded and overly judgmental…I should get over it and re-buy the book for the wonderful recipes…stop being such a snot.
b) I am not out of my cotton-picking gourd because I think it’s important that someone publishing a book should able to write well.
A Few of his Comments that will Help You Help Me:
“I guarantee you, roasted this way, your bird will really taste like something.”
But everything tastes like something, Tyler Florence. Even poop.
“This recipe is very simple and it’s really good.”
No doi. If it weren't 'really good,' Tyler Florence, it wouldn't be in your cookbook.
When you bite into a Bosc pear, you really know what time of year it is.
I do, Tyler Florence?
“Summertime is my favorite time to cook because the produce is so great.”
'Great?' Couldn't you think of a better word, Tyler Florence?
“Fresh pasta’s also kind of fun to make.”
What's up with the apostrophes? They are everywhere, Tyler Florence. I don't know why it annoys me but it does. And 'kind of'? It's a book, not a blog, for crying out loud! Maintain some professional standards here!
“…I realized how important it was to savor the important stuff.”
Once again, Tyler Florence, I emphasize the importance of word choice.
Please note excessive use of the word ‘truly.'
“This is truly a great dish.”
“The recipes are easy to put together and they truly taste like the sun.”
“This is a hearty winter dish, a truly satisfying casserole.”
“…how truly great simple great Italian food can be.”
“…you can find amazing organic produce and farmers who truly take pride in their craft.”
“…this everyday vegetable was transformed into something that tasted truly amazing.”
“…the mushrooms taste truly amazing.”
Get ready for the worst one of all:
“The truffles tasted like sex.”
Not appetizing, Tyler Florence!
Get away from me, book!
Before I returned the gross book, I made his recipe for cold sesame noodles. I feel rather guilty about it because they really are filled with so much spicy-peanut-buttery goodness and Tyler Florence really does not deserve abhorrence from anybody (except for writing the above mushroom description).
Cold Sesame Noodles
Truly amazing recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
1/2 pound Chinese egg noodles (I used vermicelli, came out fine)
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal oelek
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cucumber slices, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together.
In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over medium-low flame. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook and stir for a minute until soft and fragrant. Mix in the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has smoothed out. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with the sesame seeds, cucumber slices, and cilantro.