Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hey, Nice Glove!

Whenever someone sends me a link to check out a new food-related product or invention, my first question is, "is this a real product, or a joke?" After watching half of this video, I still wasn't sure. What do you guys think of this invention? Great idea? Totally ridiculous? Too hard to match with your shoes and belt? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Speaking of turning meats with your hands, Michele and I are headed up to Sacramento to grill some steaks with the in-laws. I hope you all have a delicious weekend, and stay tuned for a bunch of tasty new video recipes!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Faking Making Bacon – Part One

The inspiration for my recent making-bacon-at-home fascination comes from this "My BLT From Scratch" post on Michael Ruhlman's blog. Last summer Ruhlman challenged his readers to create and submit their own interpretations of a completely homemade BTL. This included baking the bread, making the mayo, preferably growing the lettuce and tomatoes, and of course, making the bacon.

No ingredient makes people lose their minds like bacon, so l
et me be clear right from the start, this is not technically "bacon," so save the "this is not technically bacon" emails. My only goal here was to establish a homemade bacon baseline. Instead of trying to paint a masterpiece on my first attempt, I thought I'd start with a simple charcoal sketch.The technique shown herein is very straightforward, and could be easily mimicked by anyone able to get their hands on pork belly. The idea was to rub the meat with smoked paprika, salt and cracked black pepper, before slowly roasting until tender. After an overnight chill, the belly would be sliced and fried crisp.For a first attempt, I was very happy with the results. The texture produced by this approach was very bacon-like, although I sliced it too thick for it to get truly "crisp." Above and beyond textural considerations, it needed more salt. Next time I'd be much more aggressive during the dry rub application.

Stay tuned for upcoming versions, which will include brining, curing, and some kind of smoking. In addition to better flavor and texture, these future attempts will also be much more exciting as we substantially increase the odds for some type of serious food borne illness.

By the way, since this wasn't "real" bacon, I decided to show it as humble breakfast meat, and not displayed in its most glorious form, the bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Enjoy!

Ingredients (what I used here):
3 pound piece pork belly
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

View the complete recipe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grilled Spanish Mustard Beef Doesn't Have a Ring to It

When people ask me if I'm ever afraid of running out of recipes to film, I usually joke that new recipes aren't the problem, it's running out of things to call them that's the real fear. Take this horribly named Spanish mustard beef for example. Least poetic name, ever.

Despite the awkward name, this fast and user-friendly wet rub did a fine job flavoring some carne asada I grilled recently (yes, that was redundant). I'm calling it Spanish mustard since I spiked the Dijon with a couple of my favorite ingredients of all time – smoked paprika and sherry vinegar.

Be sure to go find the real stuff (that it comes from Spain is one clue). If your marinade is only going to have a couple ingredients, you better make sure you're using top shelf stuff. The other two keys to this recipe are as follows: only let the meat marinate for about an hour, otherwise it may start to "cook" in the acid; and be sure to build a very hot fire.

Since this is a wet rub, we need the meat to sear and caramelize, not to steam in its own juices. After successfully grilling and slicing thin, against the grain, this can be eaten in hundreds of ways; all delicious. You'll see my tortilla delivery system, but everything from paper-thin rice paper wrappers to thick slices of grilled bread would be perfect.

This is also a fantastic marinade for thin-cut pork shoulder chops, or any of your favorite chicken parts. By the way, while you're grilling, sipping on a cold beer, or sangria, try and think of a better name. Enjoy!

2 pounds thin sliced beef (any thin flap meat, skirt steak, flank steak, round steak, etc.
2 tablespoons Dijon
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
4 cloves minced, crushed garlic, optional
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup light olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to tastes

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Grilled Salmon Sauce So Simple Even Someone Like You Can Make It

There's a certain art to making a recipe sound very easy and approachable, but at the same time not insulting people's intelligence.

I always get a little chuckle when I see food blog articles that contain wording like, "…for Dummies" or "A Complete Idiot's Guide to…"

Of course, since Food Wishes enjoys the reputation for having the smartest, cleverest, best looking audience in the entire blogisphere, I don't need to resort to such discourteous phraseology (pandering is another story).

Having said that, if you are indeed a dummy, and/or an idiot, pay particular attention to this amazingly simplistic salmon sauce recipe.

I never get tired of this style of grilled fish topping. As I say in the clip, there isn't really anyway to screw this up. As you watch the video, I want you to already be thinking about how you would tweak the formula.

As long as you start with the basic brown sugar and rice vinegar reduction, you can swap out any of the other ingredients to create countless versions.

This is really wonderful on salmon, but equally delicious on swordfish, halibut, tuna, or any other firm, full-flavored fish. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 (8-oz) grilled salmon filets (by the way, fish was salted before grilling)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sambal chili sauce, or any spicy Asian-style chili paste
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger or ginger puree
4 cloves garlic, very finely crushed or minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup basil chiffonade

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Steak Pizzaiola" Sunday Dinner with Someone's Italian Grandmother

Anyone that grew-up in an Italian-American family can tell you about Sunday dinner, where someone just like the adorable woman in this video cooks an old family favorite, after which the family gathers around to eat, drink, and talk way too loud.

I've wanted to film a version of Steak Pizzaiola for a while now, but can't decide which version to do; the quickly seared, pan sauce style, or the long, slow-cooked recipe seen here. Maybe I'll try and combine the best of both. Thanks to fellow YouTube foodie, Foxbytes, for this tasty-looking clip. If you have a favorite recipe for this Italian-American classic, please send it my way. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Contests and Awards Update!

You may have noticed over the course of the last year or so, I've been much more aggressive in regards to entering, or asking for nominations in, various contests and competitions. While these awards are good for the ego, more importantly, they're also great for generating new traffic. I want to thank you for all you've done to sustain these efforts, and for your continued support!

Next Food Network Star YouTube Challenge

The response to my entry has been stunning! My loyal, cult-like following of 56,000 subscribers on YouTube has basically taken over the Food Network's YT channel, where there have been over 1,000 comments of support. If we're chosen as one of the 15 finalists, the voting will begin on August 2, so stay tuned for an update then!

On the Lamb

Our All-American Lamb Moussaka Burger has won the grand prize in the American Lamb Board's third annual “Get Your Grill On” video competition. The prize is two tickets
to the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s “Blue Moon Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray. Of course, we'd have to fly to NYC and get a hotel to collect, but still.

Help Nominate Chef John for a 2011 Tasty Award!

The Annual Tasty Awards are the premier broadcast awards show to celebrate the best in food and fashion programs on TV, in Film, and Online. Last year, Food Wishes wasn't nominated for an award, but that was my own fault. I was so busy at the time the awards were announced, I never asked for a help getting nominated!

If you'd like to help nominate me, please follow this link and cast your vote. Nominations are open through September 5th. I believe you can nominate the website in several categories, but "Best Food Program - Web" and Best "Home Chef in a Series" are the ones I'm hoping to get. Thanks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rochester's Famous "Chicken French" - Spoiler Alert: Only Half the Name is Correct!

Chicken French has everything I love in a recipe. It's delicious and easy, frugal, yet fancy, and everyone loves it. Better yet, it has a vague, confusing history and completely preposterous name.

This not-French recipe hails from the Rochester area of New York State, where it's a staple on virtually every Italian-American restaurant menu. It's something of a mystery why this recipe would have exploded in popularity in this one city in particular, but that's exactly what happened.

The origins of the recipe go something like this. Italian cooks in northern Italy have a sautéed veal dish called vitello francese, which uses a wine/lemon/butter pan sauce similar to ones used in France. The recipe comes to New York City with the first wave of Italian-American immigrants, where it becomes known by the locals as "Veal French."

Eventually, the recipe migrates to Rochester's large Italian-American community, where chicken is substituted for the more expensive and harder to find veal. The rest, as they say, is history – delicious, tender, moist, buttery history.

Since I'm from the Rochester, NY area, it's a little surprising I haven’t done this one already. Thankfully, a wonderful dinner at my Aunt Joyce's on a recent trip home caused me to realize I hadn’t yet immortalized this hometown favorite. I really hope you give it a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 4-6 portions:
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 eggs, plus 2 tablespoon milk, beaten
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon butter for sautéing

For the sauce:
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup good white wine or dry sherry
1 cup vegetable broth or chicken stock
4 tablespoon cold butter, cut in cubes
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coming Soon: Chicken French

Tomorrow we'll be airing a new video recipe for Chicken French. This delicious and super-fast chicken recipe from Rochester, NY is a bit of a culinary mystery. Stay tuned!

Using My Melon… for the Third Time!

So, to celebrate the last rerun you'll have to suffer through for a while, I've decided to post this spectacularly delicious watermelon and feta salad with toasted cashews. Not only is this a rerun, it's a rerun of a rerun.

The original was filmed when I first started online. The camera I used back then was a tiny web-cam, duct-taped to a spice rack. The sound was bad, the humor even worse. A couple years ago, I decided to use the original footage and some of the audio to produce a new clip in iMovie.

Above and beyond having some fun at the expense of the rerun complainers, I wanted to post this today because watermelon has been super-sweet lately, and there are few things as perfect together as sweet, wet watermelon and salty, feta cheese.

This is Michele's favorite summer salad (probably mine as well), and anyone I've ever talked to that's made this, and brought it to a summer cookout, has gotten an embarrassingly large amount of compliments. So if you're into that kind if thing, please give it a try!

UPDATE! Sorry, I should have mentioned that this salad is even more awesome with some fresh mint on top (as pictured above).

Note: We attended a very cool cookbook release party at Domaine Chandon last night (if you were following me on Twitter, you saw some of the highlights, like this blurry iPhone pic of green gazpacho with tiger prawns), and are driving back into San Francisco today. Stay tuned for some amazing new video recipes very soon! (like tomorrow, I hope)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

En Route

I'll be traveling all day today (including a lovely 5-hour layover at JFK where I'm posting this from…hey, I'm still smiling!). I arrive into San Francisco late tonight after a wonderful, albeit too short visit to my homeland, and as many of you predicted, I have a head full of new video recipe ideas!

FYI: Michele and I are heading up to Napa Wednesday for a special event at Domaine Chandon, but after that it will be back into the kitchen to do what we do. Thanks a million to all of you who commented on the Next Food Network Star YouTube Challenge, as well as defended my honor against the "others." It means a lot. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Tao of Reruns

Whenever I travel, whether it's somewhere I want to go, or somewhere I have to go, I always get a bunch of irate emails regarding my "slacking off." When I have a trip coming up, I'll film a few videos ahead to post from the road (as I did this time with the beef neck sauce and grilled shrimp recipes), but invariably I have to fill in the gaps with either reruns or other types of filler.

This trip I've been accused of "short-changing" the fans, of being too "distracted by shows and travel," and of "not caring about the blog as much as you used to." Even though I'm sure their hearts are in the right place, I can't tell you how upsetting I find these emails. The only thing more annoying are the accusations that my mustache is not real.

I won't spend too much time explaining myself since I believe 95% of the visitors here "get it," but I did want to cover a few points. I can't make a living (yet) just providing few video recipes on this blog. So, as many of you know, I'm also a freelance employee of the New York Times Co., writing the American Food site on

It is in that capacity that I'm occasionally blessed with press passes to things like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen I covered last month (and where the photo above, from one of the after parties was captured). When thes
e trips come up, I jump at the chance to go, not only to collect content for, but also to help raise my profile as a food writer and "influential blogger."

Other trips, like this one, are personal, and I'll never apologize for taking time away from the blog to visit my family (having said that, I believe I still always apologize when I post reruns and filler). I sleep well knowing no one posts more original video recipe content than I do; not even close. By the way, as the regularity of these side trips, projects (like the cookbook), and "distractions" have increased, so too has the blog's traffic and popularity – almost tripling in the last year.

So, in summation, please continue to enjoy what you see here, no matter the frequency (or quality), and save the emails lecturing me on my commitment to the blog. Also, reading the unbelievably inspiring comments under the Next Food Network Star post is pure, ego-swelling joy, but many of you voiced concerns I'd stop doing this blog. That will never happen. I wouldn't take any job that meant the end of Food Wishes.

All right, now that I got that off my chest, here are a couple reruns originally posted way back in 2007. In addition to seeing my mom and sister's family, one of the great treats of returning home is getting to cook and eat with my aunts and uncles. They were very popular when first aired, so I thought I'd give them another run for the newer viewers. Enjoy!

(if you click on the recipe's title you will be taken back to the original post)

Uncle Billy's Chicken D’Arduini

Uncle Billy's Homemade Pasta

Aunt Joyce's Giambotta (Vegetable Stew)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Will Work for Food…Network

It's the most common question I get on my YouTube channel; "Why don't you have a show on the Food Network?" There are so many answers to this question, the most obvious being, "Have you seen me?"

So, when I saw that Food Network was having a Next Food Network Star YouTube Challenge, I was unsure whether or not to enter.

Part of me doubts I'm FN material, and another part wonders if it is even something I'd want to do – I mean, notwithstanding the long hours and semi-poverty, I have a pretty fun gig here.

I finally decided to submit a video, if only for the fact that I am considered to be one of YouTube's best and most popular chefs (and by "one of" I mean "the"), and it would have been bad form not to offer up something to the gallery of entries.

As you know, I'm in New York visiting my mom, and without any of my video equipment. Thankfully an old friend of mine, Jim Kerins from iTownVideo came to rescue and helped me film this clip. In addition to being a great musician, Jim is a Finger Lakes audio/video legend and did an amazing job pulling all this together. Thanks Jim!!! To see more of his great work, check out his YouTube channel here.

One important note, the video had to be under 3 minutes to qualify for the contest, so there was very little time to actually spend on the recipe, hence the severe editing. I will hopefully be able to post a director's cut soon with a lot more footage. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You Can't Stop Zucchini, You Can Only Slow it Down

Very soon, if not already, you're going to be faced with one of summer's great dilemmas; what the hell am I going to do with all these zucchini?

Maybe they're from your garden, or possibly some sadistic neighbor's, but regardless of where they came from, there they sit on the counter, taunting you with their size and numbers.

While it will probably only put a small dent in your cache of courgettes, this recipe I posted last year is very simple and quite tasty. Enjoy!

Tuna Zucchini Elbow Pasta - It's Just Dinner

I almost didn't film this meal. Initially, it struck me as so mundane and unimpressive that I wasn't sure it would make a worthwhile video recipe. Then I remembered I'm an atypical Food Wishes fan. While it's getti
ng harder and harder for me to impress myself, thankfully most of you remain fairly easy to impress.
I don't say that with condescension, but with envy. I have to remind myself that not everything I make has to be a "special." That it's okay to just cook, film, and post without a point, or an angle, or even a reason.This recipe is not impressive, it's not interesting, there are no new techniques, it doesn't remind me of any funny stories, and it certainly isn't going to win any beauty contests. I promised myself to never use the phrase, "it is what it is," but here, I really have no choice. It is what it is, and that's just dinner. Enjoy!

1 lb elbow macaroni
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 large zucchini, 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp dried Italian herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc., the usual suspects)
3 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups water
12 oz tuna
Parmesan cheese

View the complete recipe

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Shrimp with Preserved Lemon Aioli – Sometimes I Prefer Not to Skewer

Hello from steamy western New York! I just celebrated my 47th birthday with the family yesterday, and we had one of my favorite childhood meals; scalloped potatoes and ham. While that's not a classic hot-weather meal, this grilled shrimp with cured lemon aioli certainly is.

You'll notice a glaring lack of ingredients in this video recipe. Thanks to the intensely flavored cured lemons, the aioli sauce needs little
more than some fresh tarragon to reach its full potential. Having said that, you are well within your rights to toss in some garlic or hot pepper if you're in the mood.

The shrimp prep is just as minimalist. A little oil, smoked paprika, and salt is all that's needed to coax out the shellfish's natural sweetness.

By the way, as I mention in the video, when I grill a relatively small amount of shrimp, I skip the skewering step. It only takes a couple minutes to grill shrimp over hot coals, and I can easily turn them one by one.

Skewers do make for a nice presentation, and for a large group it makes the turning much faster, but when I'm just doing enough for the two of us, I have no trouble keeping up. Whether you skewer or not, I hope you give this super-easy seafood recipe a try. Enjoy!

1 pound shrimp
2 teaspoon olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the aioli:
1/2 cup mayo
1 1/2 tablespoon minced cured lemons
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hungry Nation and Crispy Kale

I'll have more details when the channel is officially launched, but I'm excited to announce we've signed a content partnership with Hungry Nation! Hungry Nation is a new food network created by Next New Networks, the leading independent producer of online television networks.

Basically, NNN creates, packages, brands, and syndicates some of the Web's best content, which will now include all Food Wishes has to offer. They're also signing other movers and shakers in the video recipe space, including my buddy Average Betty.

The video below is from Amy Blogs Chow. Amy Cao is a fellow video recipe blogger who will also be joining me on Hungry Nation. I've been fascinated by kale chips since I saw them on Steamy Kitchen a few months ago. Looks like a very cool technique and one I'm sure you'll see on Food Wishes one day.

Stay tuned for more details about this exciting new partnership soon. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Penne with Neck Sauce – The Perfect Pasta for Your Next Vampire-Themed Dinner Party!

While I do think this penne pasta with beef neck sauce would be an amusing and delicious dish to serve at a vampire-themed dinner party, I'll admit my real motive was to attract some new visitors to the site using some of these extremely popular search engine key words.

Thanks to True Blood and the Twilight movies, America is vampire-crazy, and associated word searches on Google are very popular. So if you are reading this post because you thought it was going to be about vampires, or vampire movies, or vampire television shows, or vampire fashion, or vampire games, well, it's not. (See what I did there?)

This recipe does take a long time, but requires very little effort, and you'll be rewarded with a wonderful, richly-flavored sauce. The hardest thing will be getting some neck bones, but a quick conversation with your friendly neighborhood butcher should be all you need. Just be careful. For whatever reason many real-life werewolves actually make their livings as butchers. Look for the unusually thick ear hair.

By the way, speaking of search engine key words, I can't say for sure, but I think Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and LeBron James would really love this pasta recipe. Enjoy!

3 pounds beef neck bones (ones with some meat on them!)
1 onion
3-4 cups tomato sauce (a prepared pasta sauce would be the best choice)
1 cup water, plus more as needed
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
red chili flakes
2 tablespoon chopped fresh green herbs
penne pasta and cheese

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flying to the Finger Lakes for a Few Family Feasts

Just a quick note to let you all know I'm flying out late tonight to visit my mother, Pauline, and the rest of the family for a couple weeks.

I'm happy to report I have a few new videos filmed and ready to go, like this penne pasta with neck sauce for example. Stay tuned for those new recipes, and of course, the usual fun and filler from the Finger Lakes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Cure for the Common Quail

Hopefully you’ve been playing along at home, and now have a nice batch of cured lemons to start experimenting with. If not, you can catch-up in no time – just check out this video recipe for Thomas Keller’s cured lemons posted last week.

I ended up using these lovely lemons in a super-simple, but really gorgeous roast quail recipe. This would make a great special occ
asion first course, and really shows off the unique flavor of the preserved lemons. The recipe is stark, because I really wanted to taste what the lemons could do.

I usually don't tell you how to eat, but here I'm going to. You want to make sure each bite of quail has at least a tiny piece of the preserved lemon mashed on to it.

You can gauge your own personal tolerance for how much of the condiment to use, but it totally makes the bite. The way just a little bit draws out the flavors of the meat is a lot of fun.

I know many of you will ask, so I'll tell you right up front, you can find quail. Higher-end stores like Whole Foods will carry them frozen, and any decent poultry purveyor can find some for you. If all else fails, you can simply order them online.

If you can’t find quail, you can easily adjust this for game hens, or even chicken breasts (using the slice of cured lemon under the skin). By the way, I was thrilled with how my lemons turned out, especially in this recipe, and would love to hear what your experiences are. Enjoy!

Bonus Coverage:
If you're as big a Thomas Keller fan as I am, check out this great post by YumSugar about the chef's demo, "The World's Best Preserves," from the 2010 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. That's where this whole cured lemons obsession started for me.

4 whole quail
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
pinch cayenne, optional
1 cup chicken broth
1 slice cured lemon, minced fine

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crusty Roasted Yellow Potatoes - Now with Extra Steps!

So, you know how I'm always saving you time and money by designing these video recipes with a minimum number of steps?

This time we're going the o
ther way. I'm taking a perfectly good roasted potato recipe and adding another procedure.

The secret to these deliciously crusty potatoes is the pre-oven boiling in a salted and seasoned liquid. The potatoes not only absorb flavor and salt, but more importantly
the surface of the potato cooks, which is what forms the great crunchy texture in the oven.

This is sort of the same idea behind the twice-fried French fries we featured in a video last year. By the way, it's very important to let the potatoes really dry well before coating with the oil. This will ensure a great crusty skin.

You can use this same technique, and flavor the cooking liquid any number of ways. If you like this recipe, you'll have lots of experimenting to do.

I hope you all have a fun Fourth of July planned! I'm almost done with the cured lemon quail recipe, so stay tuned for that soon. Have a safe and fabulous rest of the weekend, and as always, enjoy!

2 pounds new yellow potatoes
3 sprigs rosemary
3 cloves garlic, whole, peeled, bruised
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of cayenne

Friday, July 2, 2010

Make Your Own Cherry Pitter!

Since we recently reposted that fabulous cherry clafouti recipe video, I thought I'd also share this great trick for making a homemade cherry pitter from the guys at Hands On Gourmet (via my friend Darya from Enjoy!

Coming Soon: Roast Quail with Cured Lemons (Spoiler Alert: OMG)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hot Off the Press! Ham, Cheese and Peach Panini

I've received what I consider to be an inordinate number of emails requesting sandwich videos. A sandwich video? Why would anyone want to watch a sandwich video?" Since the bread for my sandwiches is earned in large part from video views, these things have to be considered.

Well, a few things have changed my attitude towards doing a sandwich video. One would be the shocking success of the inside-out grilled cheese sandwich video (done mostly as a goof), which showed me that these things could put butts in the seats.

Secondly, I received a panini press from IMUSA that I really wanted to try out. I decided to create a sandwich worthy of such a test, and what you see here is the delicious result – a ham, cheese and peach panini, or as I now call it, my new favorite sandwich.

The lightly smoked h
am, sharp white cheddar, and sweet/tart peach preserves pressed between the crunchy, buttery bread was an absolutely stunning combination. I know I say this all the time, but I really hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

About the IMUSA Panini Press Grill

You know I don't do a lot of product endorsements, but once in a while I get to test something that I really like, and when that happens I like to share the info. For the record, IMUSA sent me this press free of charge, so you can take that for what it's worth. By the way, the letters going around the grill don't relate to anything, I just thought they looked cool.

This grill heats up quickly. It was ready to go in just a few minutes. There are no controls. It's on or off, so there's no guesswork with temperatures. Just put in the sandwich and check back in 5 minutes. That was it.

I also like that it's a flat, not grooved grill. You can argue the grooves make for a better appearance, but this model is clearly easier to clean (I just used a paper towel).

I don't like to look at product reviews until I've formed my own opinion, so after I finished the video I popped over to Amazon and saw that this model was very well received. That's what I expected, but it's nice to have my findings corroborated. For more info, here's a link to the product page.