Exclusive: Chatting with the Newly Crowned Iron Chef Stephanie Izard

by in Shows, May 21st, 2017

Iron Chef GauntletThere’s reason to celebrate in kitchens everywhere tonight: For the first time since 2012, a new Iron Chef has joined the Chairman’s esteemed ranks. Stephanie Izard, a chef and restaurateur based in Chicago, defeated not only six challengers to earn the right to run the gauntlet but also a trio of Iron Chefs — Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto — following a series of three epic battles on Iron Chef Gauntlet. Each of these showdowns featured a different Secret Ingredient, and it was up to her to decide with which Iron Chef she wanted to do battle as each altar was revealed. It took only the first heat to realize that she wasn’t going to make this mission easy on herself, as she chose to face off against undisputed pepper king and Southwestern-cooking master Iron Chef Flay in Battle Pepper. From there, she challenged Iron Chef Symon to Battle Cheese and Iron Chef Morimoto, a seafood guru, to Battle Tilefish. And though she fell to Iron Chef Flay in the first heat, she ultimately out-cooked Iron Chefs Symon and Morimoto to best their combined score by three precious points.

We were on set with Chef Izard became Iron Chef Izard and caught up with her moments after her momentous victory. Read on below to get her take on where she went wrong in Battle Pepper, and find out why she told us, “I made the challenges as hard as possible for myself.”

Congratulations, Iron Chef! Take us back to the moments before Alton announced the results. You see an empty fourth podium, one that you could potentially take your place on as an Iron Chef. What was going through your mind?
Stephanie Izard: I had a feeling that Iron Chef Flay had beat me by a couple points, and I had a feeling that I had beat Symon by, hopefully, more than a couple points. … Morimoto made a soup and I made a soup, and in my mind, I was thinking, “I wonder which — even just coming down to which soup would you want to eat more.” I feel like the Iron Chefs are like: “All right, all right. You can be in our club.”

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Chefs’ Picks: Weeknight Dinners

by in Restaurants, May 21st, 2017

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

After a long, stressful day, weeknight dinners can make even the most-accomplished home cooks dream of hiring a live-in chef. We’ve done the next-best thing and asked the pros for new ideas — and some of their tried-and-true favorites — to make weeknight mealtimes a little more zen. Read more

7 Make-and-Take Snacks for Summer Road Trips

by in Recipes, May 21st, 2017

Nut-Free Ranch-Flavored Crispy Cereal Snack MixYou’re driving along, enjoying the scenery passing you by or, more realistically, sitting in traffic on your way to the beach, when you heard the words most dreaded by seasoned road trippers, “Are we there yet?!”

Extra bathroom and snack breaks make a long trip even longer, so how do you keep everyone in the car happy? Snacks. And lots of them.

Keep a variety of snacks – sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy – in your arsenal to avoid hangry passengers. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to start; carrot sticks, apple slices and zip-top bags full of berries are fantastic mess-free snacks. But if that doesn’t quell the crankiness? We’ve got some make-and-take snacks that will rock your summer road trips.

Ranch-Flavored Crispy Cereal Snack Mix (above)

This is not your average snack mix. Homemade ranch seasoning and fresh herbs boost the flavor levels on this crunchy, addictive snack.
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Take 5: Italian-Inspired Dishes for Summer

by in In Season, Recipes, May 21st, 2017

Antipasto SaladA few days of nice weather in a row have us dreaming about lazy summer dinners. But then we snap back to reality and realize that, between camp, sports and work, summer weeknights are just as hectic as the rest of the year. These quick, Italian-style meals will inspire your dinners all season long.

Antipasto Salad (above)

Giada turns pasta salad into a full meal with the addition of antipasto staples like salami, smoked turkey and provolone cheese.
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These Flower Jelly Cakes Look Like Edible Paperweights

by in News, May 20th, 2017

These Flower Jelly Cakes Look Like Edible PaperweightsRemember those Raindrop Cakes everyone was going ga-ga for last year? Turns out there are lots of people out there (historically in Japan but now at a hotel in Australia as well) who are doing something similar, featuring flowers trapped inside an almost-clear surrounding. Like a paperweight, only edible.

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Does the World Really Need a Smart Salt Shaker?

by in News, May 19th, 2017

Does the World Really Need a Smart Salt Shaker?Sure, your saltshaker dispenses salt. But what else can it do? Can it play your favorite song or light your meal with pretty colors? No?

Smalt does. What is Smalt? Why, it’s the world’s first (we’re assuming) indoor-outdoor Bluetooth-enabled saltshaker, of course!

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What to Watch: Ree’s Breakfast Hacks and The Final Battle on Iron Chef Gauntlet

by in Shows, May 19th, 2017

Iron Chef Gauntlet

Stay out of the heat, grab a seat on the couch, and spend this weekend learning some new recipes from your favorite Food Network cooks. On Saturday morning, Ree Drummond is experimenting with breakfast, testing new recipes, hacks and make-ahead meals. Then, the co-hosts on The Kitchen are testing out some new flavor combinations, and on Sunday morning, Ayesha Curry is making a citrus-based menu for a ladies’ lunch.

On Sunday evening, Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence are back on Comeback Kitchen to see which former Food Network Star finalist will get another chance at stardom. After that, Chef Stephanie Izard enters The Gauntlet to battle Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon for a chance to enter the ranks of the esteemed Iron Chefs. Then, finish up the weekend by visiting some of the Iron Chef stars’ favorite spicy and seafood-centric restaurants.

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7 Ways to Up Your Pasta Salad Game

by in Recipes, May 18th, 2017

As our calendars start to fill up with plans for picnics, potlucks and backyard barbecues, it’s safe to say that we’re going to be seeing a lot of pasta salads. The danger of such a staple side dish though is that “safe” can quickly become “boring.” Don’t let pasta salad after pasta salad blur together this season. Take a break from your standard mayonnaise-laced fare and give these 7 recipes a try.

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Grill, meet vegetables. Radicchio, fennel and bell peppers take a turn on the grill to add a crisp-tender texture and charred flavor to a dish simply seasoned with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.

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The Dangers of Your Avocado Addiction

by in News, May 17th, 2017

The Dangers of Your Avocado AddictionAvocado Warning No. 1: Guacamole prep may be perilous to your hand. Avocado is “one of the most dangerous foods to cut,” according to the New York Times. The Times of London reports that deep hand cuts from slicing avocados have become so common that surgeons in the United Kingdom have coined the term “avocado hand.” In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle notes that emergency rooms now anticipate a spike in avocado-related injuries on Saturday afternoons — a “post-brunch surge.”

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Your Sense of Taste Declines As You Age (Sorry)

by in News, May 16th, 2017

Your Sense of Taste Declines As you Age (Sorry)Some of us feel that our taste gets better as we age. (Consider some of those ill-advised outfits you wore in high school.) But when it comes to our ability to taste food, it actually gets worse.

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