Every year, a new batch of cookbooks hits store shelves. Some bad and some good, but only a handful (or 19 if you agree with The New York Times) rise to the top and really shine.
You’ll see a familiar name while browsing their list: Former Food Network Star (season five) contestant Debbie Lee‘s cookbook, Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub to Share With Family and Friends, made the Times list with glowing reviews.
Debbie’s small plates, cocktails and Asian-inspired comfort classics make Korean food accessible. Sure, you might not be able to pronounce some of the ingredients, but we bet her beer-heavy recipes will make fans out of even her biggest haters.
Year-end food festivals are a paltry lot. Nevertheless, they exist and are as jubilant as any festival, regardless of the date. This month brings gingerbread houses, warming beer, local wine and seasonal creativity.
Holiday Ale Festival, Portland, Ore., Nov. 30 to Dec. 4: The last vestiges of Thanksgiving are hopefully fading into pleasant memories in time for a Pacific Northwest beer fete, just in case you didn’t put back enough of it last week. This edition will include more than 45 winter warmers, hefty suds to wick away the damp chill. Held annually under the cover of a tent in Pioneer Courthouse Square, the beloved celebration is known for tapping rare, limited releases. Due to flow, this year is a keg of Cascade Brewing Company 2007 barrel-aged Baltic Porter, which organizers tout as the last one, and a 2005 keg of the brewed-once annual dopplebock Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus. The beer brunch will be hosted on the last day of the festival. Throughout the festivities, designated drivers will receive complimentary Crater Lake Root Beer and bottled water.
More December food festivals »
As November comes to a close, serve one last bright meal that channels summer and casts away the soon-to-be-winter chill. Beets are not only pretty, but this versatile root vegetable can be easily thrown into a quick salad.
When shopping, choose beets that are firm and have smooth skin. Small or medium-sized beets are often more tender, while their color can range from a garnet red to white.
Serve a Beet and Apple Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine as an easy starter. Apples and sugar give this dish a natural sweetness, while endive and walnuts add some crunch.
More beet recipes from family and friends »
As a kid, I loved those rotating dessert cases in restaurants. I’d usually have a slice of pie picked out before we even got to the table.
So when it came time to create 50 pie recipes for Food Network Magazine, I often thought about an imaginary dessert case large enough to hold them all. Our solution? We decided to freeze a slice of each and have a little fun.
Read more »
Alex uses frozen pizza dough as the base for this upscale appetizer. Top with crème fraiche, briny caper-scallion pesto and crispy bacon.
Get the recipe: Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto
Browse more of Food Network’s easy and elegant appetizer recipes for the holidays.
This is a classic New England dessert my mother would make during the fall months. She would always make it in a deep, small dish, but I like a shallow (about 2-2 1/2 quart capacity) baking dish. The caramelized apples give the dessert a lighter, fruitier touch. I chose some of my favorite apple varieties for their flavor and ability to hold their shape while cooking. At my local farmers’ market, the guys always have great apple suggestions, and every season I like to pick a new apple variety and make it my “apple of the season.” Last year, I got stuck on the Mutsu for its tart, but also somewhat sweet-when-cooked flavor and crisp texture. This year, I am in search of the perfect cooking apple. What would that entail? An apple that would hold its shape when cooked and also retain a lot of flavor. Not an easy task. I am currently experimenting with Braeburn and Empire apples.
Get the recipe for Indian Pudding »
Ellie’s hearty, meatless pasta dish won’t break the bank for dinner tonight.
Get the recipe: Penne With Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans
Browse more of Food Network’s smart indulgence recipes for the holidays.
Still finding Thanksgiving leftovers buried in the back of your fridge? Put them to good use by incorporating them into a meatless shepherd’s pie. Maybe you have a few stray onions or celery stalks that didn’t make it into the stuffing — toss them in. Did you accidently buy too many carrots? No problem. This recipe calls for three. What to do with Grandma’s mashed potatoes? Repurpose them as the creamy topping on this hearty baked dish.
And if you’re not sure what to make with a lone can of pumpkin, Ellie Krieger’s Pumpkin Muffins are a sweet, spiced option for an easy breakfast treat or after-dinner snack.
Get the recipe: Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie from Food Network Magazine
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.
There was a tangible change in atmosphere as we entered the second half of the competition.
In part, it was because our location moved from laid-back Los Angeles to the electrifying buzz of New York City. Four of the remaining chefs call this amazing city home, while the two others were obviously determined to represent their West Coast towns. Where once there had been jollity and camaraderie, now there was tension and nerves set on edge. One mistake, one poor dish or one unwise choice in presentation, and the chance of a lifetime could be over.
If you are going to prove you can cook on a grand scale, where better to do so than in Grand Central Station, one of the most beautiful buildings in New York? This time, the three regular judges were joined by restaurateur Charlie Palmer and the winner of NIC Season Three, Iron Chef Marc Forgione. Their role was to add sage words to our own comments about the dishes presented by each chef in response to the Chairman’s request to prove themselves as great storytellers. It may seem like an odd task for a cook, but the current Iron Chefs will tell you that many battles have been won or lost based on how the dishes have been presented to judges in Kitchen Stadium.
More from Simon
- Your Caption Here
The playing field is now tied up — three women and three men remain to battle it out in NYC for one Next Iron Chef title. In this candid shot from Sunday’s episode, the ladies (Chef Guarnaschelli, Chef Falkner and Chef Burrell) take a quick breath and a rare break in Grand Central Station. Are they strategizing about the next challenge? Bonding and gossiping about the guys?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch these talented female chefs in action, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.
Who’s your favorite rival chef so far? Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.