As you may know, we're hosting a clean-out-your-cupboard challenge with Eric Ripert. He's going to take what's in one of your pantries (or fridge) and turn it into a wonderful meal. Doubtful that this highly skilled restaurant chef can make something accessible to us home cooks? Well, his new website is doing a pretty good job of convincing us...
First, a disclaimer: The website, Avec Eric ("With Eric"—he's French, in case you didn't know) is sponsored by a few big brands, one of which is Cuisinart. So all of the videos currently on the site, which are part of the "Get Toasted" series, show Ripert cooking dishes in (surprise!) a Cuisinart toaster oven.
However... These are good recipes. Simple recipes. Recipes that are great for those people who live in small apartments, cook for one or two, or just don't want to heat up the oven for a quick meal. There's a zucchini frittata, a raspberry clafouti, and beautiful figs wrapped in bacon. None of them are intimidating or require exotic ingredients or special skills.
We are starting to love these short cooking videos that are becoming more popular on the web. So few restaurant chefs show up on television, maybe because their personalities aren't geared for a big, loud production on the Food Network, and frankly we have less and less time to watch a 30-minute episode. Web videos like these are like searching for a recipe you'd like to make for dinner tonight and getting a visual how-to along with the ingredients list. On demand! We like that.
We'll be interested to see what else Eric posts on his site. We're hoping to see some appliances beyond the toaster oven...
• Check it out for yourself: Avec Eric
Related: Eric Ripert Cupboard Challenge! Watch for Eric's answer to our soon-be-revealed challenge.
(Images: Avec Eric)