On today's ABC hit show "The Chew" they celebrated the 100th episode of tonight’s hit family show, “The Middle.” This afternoon show has quickly become a staple for its family atmosphere of stars. With two the Iron Chefs, Mario Batali and Michael Symon, the masters of their culinary arts, they are joined by Carla Hall, twice a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” fashion consultant and no slacker in the kitchen, Clinton Kelly, and the beautiful daughter of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Daphne Oz who puts a healthy spin on her recipes.
Today’s theme was meals from the heartland, and nothing is more heartland than “The Middle.” This middle-income family, living in the middle of the United States in Indiana, are typically in the middle of all things they strive to achieve. Underachieving hard-working parents of three completely different children endure their share of challenges both as parents and children encountering relatable events in their lives.
The show gave the entire cast a chance to show their skills in the kitchen. Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn who play Frankie and Mike Heck, the parents of three polar opposite children got to help Michael, a Cleveland boy, also from the Midwest. Patricia said that both she and Neil grew up in Irish-Catholic environments with cereal, prepared food and fish sticks on Friday. Michael proceeded to make stuffed cabbage with their help, even though Neil is a very bland eater. Asked if his mother was a good cook, he replied that she is still living and nothing they can do will touch her cooking. Michael said that the fanciest spice in Midwestern cooking is salt.
As he prepared the cabbage, but dropping it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, to soften the leaves, they mixed the chopped meat, rice and onions. Neil admitted that he did not cook and eats out a lot. When asked his favorite meal, he replied; sandwich. After tasting the stuffed cabbage, Neil said he would never eat this in real life because there is too much green, and he could only count the times in his life he ate cabbage as single digits.
Next, Mario brought out the child stars from the show to make a meal that kids could make and enjoy. He was joined by Charlie McDermott who plays Axl, Eden Scher who plays Sue and Atticus Schaffer who plays the youngest son Brick. Each kid brought their favorite ingredients; Eden brought avocado, Atticus brought pepperoncini peppers, and Charlie brought skirt steak. Mario said the pepperoncini was the most out of the box ingredient, but would make something with all three ingredients. Together they made tostadas. Mario and Charlie made a spice mix for the steak rub then put them on the grill. Erin opened the avocado like a champ. Atticus chopped up the peppers and they made a pico de gallo with the avocado, chopped tomatoes, the peppers and chopped onions. Mario crisped up the tortillas in oil to start the tostadas. Once removed from the oil, they started putting on layers of refried beans, then chopped lettuce, the slices of steak, then pico de gallo, cotija cheese, jalapenos and topped it off with hot sauce and they all chowed down on this collaborative effort.
Don’t forget to watch the episode tonight and see how the Heck family celebrates the 100th episode.
If you liked what you read, please click on the "Subscribe" button above, and you will never miss another post from this Television Examiner. Thanks!