Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guy Fieri - on Saving Grocery Costs and Food Trends

Another interview from Canada today; mostly stuff we've heard before, but there were two interesting questions, I thought.

From FoodTV Cananda, by Elana Safronsky:

E.S.: On Guy’s Big Bite, your recipes are already fit for budget-watching – you cook in bulk and often with very affordable ingredients. Do you have any specific advice for the hard times these days, on how we can stretch our food dollar?

G.F.: That’s a great question! These things that we buy – convenience foods like sauces, chicken stock, beef stock, marinara sauce [see Guy's Marinara Sauce recipe below], Alfredo sauce – you can make all this stuff. I think that’s probably one of the most critical things people can come to realize. Chicken stock for example, think about the health factor, let alone the savings – the lack of sodium and how you can fortify it at home, beats anything you can buy.

Chili is one of my favorites; you get some dried beans – they cost nothing – soak them, and then make turkey chili, or chicken, whatever you want!

[Guy's Chili recipe here]

Instead of buying all the pre-processed, pasteurized cans of whatever – make it! I make ten gallons of tomato sauce at a time. I lay them flat in Ziploc bags, let them freeze and then you have a little catalog of sauces sitting there. Grab them, and within ten minutes of soaking them in some warm water you’ve got the best sauce that cost you one third of what it cost to buy it ready made.

E.S.: Any word on upcoming food trends?

G.F.: I think we’ll continue to move forward in this realm of healthy eating. People are becoming much more conscious to the reality of they are what they eat. With cancer on the rise and all these different things going wrong, I think we’re going to find more creative ways to get healthy food into people.

We’ve gone through our fads of taking pills and we’ve gone through fad diets, like drinking only salt water and lemon juice. It’s time now for true healthy practices like, for example, Heirlooms. I think we’re going to start seeing them produced on a larger scale, as opposed to just farmers' markets. People will start to recognize that these are wonderful specimens – I’m mean come on! We are talking about going back to the way it started! As opposed to what we’ve mass produced into this perfectly, genetically shaped Roma.

But I’ll tell you one thing: Food Network is definitely leading the way. We’re hot, and we right on the front lines of what’s going on. We are where it’s at!

Guy's Marinara Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
6 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In medium saucepan, heat olive oil, add onions and cook over medium to low heat until onions are transparent. Add garlic and cook until almost brown and then add tomatoes. Cook for 1/2 hour over low to medium heat, then add basil and oregano and continue to cook for 30 minutes longer. In a food mill or a blender, puree into a sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 3 cups

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