Taco Bell Will Launch Fried Chicken Shell Tacos Nationally This Month

by in News, January 16th, 2017

By Lauren Haslett

Okay, so, technically, Taco Bell’s newest menu item is called the Naked Chicken Chalupa — but if you ask us, that doesn’t quite describe the crispy fried chicken-taco hybrid accurately.

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Easy Beefed-Up Weeknight Dinners

by in Recipes, January 16th, 2017

Thai Beef with PeppersBeef dinners don’t have to be reserved for weekend decadence. You can have a protein-packed weeknight meal in no time with strategic prep work and the right ingredients. Check out these meaty recipes you can make tonight. Read more

Chatting with Spike Mendelsohn, a Co-Host on Kitchen Sink

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 16th, 2017

Chatting with Spike Mendelsohn, a Co-Host on Kitchen SinkThough Spike Mendelsohn calls Washington, D.C., home, chances are good that fans from coast to coast know him and his many restaurants. He and his family run multiple restaurant concepts, including Good Stuff Eatery, which specializes in juicy, satisfying, craveworthy burgers. But as Spike explained when we caught up with him on the set of Kitchen Sink, his culinary chops go well beyond the burger. “I’m a little bit all over the place,” he said, noting his experience with pizza, fine-dining and international cuisines alike. Read on below to hear more from Spike and get his take on what’s ahead on Kitchen Sink.

What can fans expect to see from you on Kitchen Sink? What will you be bringing to the party?
Spike Mendelsohn: I’m going to bring a lot of experience to the party. I’ve been cooking in the business for years, since I was a little kid, so I’ve done pretty much anything in the business. If they need me to washes on the Kitchen Sink, which it sounds like they might need me, I’ll be the perfect candidate for that. I’m just going to bring my fun and my experiences, and a lot of my experiences are travels and different cultures and cuisines and fun.

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Chefs’ Picks: Sushi Omakase, Los Angeles

by in Restaurants, January 15th, 2017

Sushi Omakase from Hanare
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

Spicy tuna rolls, salmon nigiri and California maki are popular bets when it comes to satisfying sushi cravings, but sticking to the old reliables isn’t exactly the most exciting way to experience the artistry and stunning simplicity of sushi. For those looking to expand their options, omakase is an ideal choice. Meaning “to entrust” or “I’ll leave it up to you,” omakase gives the chef total control, letting the master surprise you with his or her choice of prime seafood. Generally, that means a meal of hand rolls, sashimi and nigiri that go well beyond the usual suspects. Here, Los Angeles chefs divulge their favorite Southern California places to indulge in omakase.

Hanare
Executive Sushi Chef Jiro Kobayashi is known for his own six-course omakase at ROKU, so you can be sure he keeps his standards high when searching out a spot to dine on sushi during his downtime. When Kobayashi wants excellent raw fish without slicing it himself, he travels to see Chef Atsushi Yokoyama at Hanare in Costa Mesa, California. “His presentations are beautiful and the way he puts together his ingredients is very well balanced,” says Kobayashi, adding that the chef himself is “very humble and laid-back.”

 

Sushi from Shibucho
Shibucho
Costa Mesa is also where Top Chef alum Brooke Williamson heads when she has omakase on her mind. Shibucho is the first sushi spot where Williamson experienced this style of dining and she remains a loyal fan all these years later. “I’ve always loved their ability to blend unexpected ingredients,” says Williamson, who is co-chef/co-owner of Hudson House, Playa Provisions, The Tripel and Da Kikokiko, as well as co-owner of the culinary boutique Tripli-Kit. “It’s also the first omakase restaurant I can remember going to and being blown away almost 20 years ago, so I think for that reason it holds a special place in my heart.”

 

Sushi Gen and Q Sushi
Sushi Gen and Q Sushi
Executive Chef Angelo Auriana and restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi are self-proclaimed Japanese food fanatics. And though they prefer two different omakase spots, neither strays too far from their own downtown Los Angeles restaurants, Officine BRERA and The Factory Kitchen, when it’s time to step out for sushi. Auriana regularly visits Sushi Gen, where the chef personally serves his omakase menu. Ferdinandi’s preferred place is Q Sushi, particularly because Chef Hiroyuki Naruke’s Edo-style dishes remind him of Tokyo. “From the rice to the fish, the quality of the ingredients and craftsmanship is unmatched,” says Ferdinandi.

 

Shunji
Shunji
The siren call of seafood holds a powerful sway over native New Englander Andrew Gavalla, who is chef de cuisine at Craft Los Angeles. When he gets an omakase craving, he heads to Shunji on the Westside of Los Angeles. “Not only is the sushi excellent; you can [also] opt for unique dishes from the kitchen,” Gavalla says, noting that marinated baby eel and black cod milt have been among the items he has eaten here. “If you go in with an open mind, you will truly be rewarded. If your palate runs more on the safer side, they have no problem tailoring the omakase to your food preferences.”

 

Jinpachi
Jinpachi
With sushi powerhouse Nobu Los Angeles among the lauded restaurants on Chef Miles Thompson’s culinary resume, he obviously knows a thing or two about raw fish. Thompson, who currently helms the kitchen at Michael’s Santa Monica, calls Jinpachi in West Hollywood his favorite SoCal omakase spot. “Taka-san, who is the sushi chef, is very kind, warm and generous with his talent,” says Thompson. “The nigiri are either very classic and pristine or slightly modified — for example, a salmon nigiri with a compound chile oil and chives.” It’s this subtle approach that appeals to Thompson. “I enjoy that it is not trying to change too much about a classic sushi meal but applies modern techniques and flavors to excellent rice and fish.”

Photography courtesy of Hanare, Shibucho, Q Sushi, Shunji and iStock

Eating on the Cheap Doesn’t Have to Be Sad

by in Recipes, January 14th, 2017

Pot Roast Stir-Fry

Yes, the yearly effort to make you a better “you” might involve making yourself a little thinner, but you don’t want that same goal to apply to your wallet. For many of us, 2017 is the year we’re finally combating our ever-thinning wallets. With a few of our simple tips on your side, you’ll find that it’s actually easier to eat on the cheap (and to eat well) every day of the week.

Stretch your proteins.

Structuring your meals around a big hunk of meat and a little helping of everything else is a custom that’s falling by the wayside. Instead, use our tips to stretch one protein of protein into four satisfying dinner servings by boosting meat with other ingredients and not making it the focus of the meal. Take this Pot Roast Stir-Fry (pictured above), for example, which gets its heft from eggy noodles, veggies and a hearty sauce.

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3 Ways to Get Your Poaching On

by in How-to, Recipes, Shows, January 14th, 2017

Poached EggsIf you’ve ever enjoyed a plate of eggs Benedict for brunch, you know the rich decadence of poached eggs. To poach something is to cook it in liquid, and those poached eggs nestled atop a bed of Canadian ham and an English muffin bottom were gently simmered in hot water. Though poaching an egg requires a bit more finesse than does, say, scrambling one, the process is simple nonetheless — as is the technique of poaching just about anything else. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared tips for poaching eggs, plus salmon and pear. Read on below to get the recipes.

How to Make Poached Eggs
Let’s start with breakfast so you can make your own eggs Benedict. In addition to the eggs, you’ll need just one ingredient: vinegar, which helps to keep the whites intact and surrounding the yolks, instead of running in the water. It’s a good idea to crack the eggs into bowls before dropping them in the vinegar-laced water; in case the yolks break, you’ll be able to rescue them beforehand.

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Science Tells You the Best Way to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle

by in News, January 13th, 2017

Science Tells You the Best Way to Get Ketchup Out of the BottleWe all have our talents. I will confess that one of my own few (maybe only) gifts is the ability to get ketchup out of a bottle when others have struggled to do so to no avail. I’ve sat across the table from fry-eating friends as they’ve shaken, tapped, struggled, sighed and sneaked delicate peeks inside to see if progress had been made, and, finally, in frustration, they’ve reached for their knives to try to move things along. At that point, if not before, I offer help, taking hold of the glass bottle and giving a confident tap just below where the neck of the bottle expands into the wider part. Voila! Ketchup. That’s the sweet spot, people. I am telling you, it works every time.

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Don’t Throw That Out: Common Holiday Leftovers and How to Use Them Up

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2017

Purging your kitchen of leftover holiday ingredients can feel both necessary and overwhelming, especially when you’re working with limited storage space like I am. (Curse you, tiny New York City apartment.) In other words, yes, I understand how tempting it can be to throw out a half-empty carton of heavy cream or a mound of frozen pie dough scraps — in fact, I’ve succumbed to that temptation more times than I would like to admit. This year, in an effort to save money and reduce food waste, I’m hoping to use up as many leftovers from my holiday cooking arsenal as possible. Because who doesn’t want to start the new year with a fresh, tidy kitchen? I’ve found that it’s all about locating the right recipes to take care of your specific leftover needs — and recruiting enough friends to come over and help polish off the fruits of your labor. Here are the eight ingredients that I happen to have in surplus this month — and maybe you do too — plus, a few ideas on how to get rid of them as deliciously as possible.

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What to Watch: The Premiere of Kitchen Sink and International Flavor on Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, January 13th, 2017

Kitchen Sink
Stay out of the winter weather this weekend and tune in to your favorite Food Network chefs as they share some warming comfort food recipes. On Saturday morning, Ree Drummond’s making Fajita Nachos and Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili, Trisha Yearwood is making Chicken Spinach Lasagna for the Nashville Predators ice hockey team, and on The Kitchen, the co-hosts are sharing tips for how to make classic recipes like a professional chef.

On Sunday morning, it’s the season premiere of Kitchen Sink, and Food Network Star winner Tregaye Fraser joins Jeff Mauro in the kitchen to make some next-level nachos. Then, Giada De Laurentiis is throwing a cocktail party and serving Crab Crostini with Lemon and Herbs, Candied Prosciutto and Roasted-Carrot Hummus.

Then on Triple- G, four more chefs are competing for a spot in the DDD Tournament finale, and they must make hot sandwiches without a key ingredient. Then, on Worst Cooks, it’s all about flavor, as the recruits must make a dish using ingredients from a foreign country.

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6 Things You Never Knew About the Red Solo Cup

by in News, January 12th, 2017

6 Things You Never Knew About the Red Solo CupLast month, Robert Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup, that picnic and party staple, died at the age of 84.

Hulseman’s son Paul told the Associated Press that his father, a man dedicated to his work, his wife and 10 children, and his Catholic faith, had no idea the beverage cup he invented for family picnics had become a tailgate and keg-party icon and didn’t quite know what to make of Toby Keith’s cheeky country-music homage to his creation, “Red Solo Cup.” (Keith tweeted his condolences to Hulseman.)

He “never fully understood how massively popular the large red plastic cup became in pop culture,” Paul Hulseman told the AP.

It turns out that sentiment is mutual. There’s a lot the culture at large probably didn’t understand about the Red Solo Cup (which the Washington Post has hailed as a “marvel of modern engineering”) and the man who invented it. Here are six things to know:

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