All Posts By Emily Silman

How to Stretch Your Food Dollar: Herbs and Brown Sugar

by in How-to, January 17th, 2012

fresh herbs brown sugar
Many of you tuned in to Food Network’s special, The Big Waste, that aired last week, and we heard from lots of you about how eye-opening and shocking it is to see how much perfectly edible food ends up in the garbage. Even if you’re not tasked with cooking a meal for 100 people using wasted food like chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay and Michael Symon were, you can still learn how to get the most out of your groceries with the tips below.

1. Treat fresh herbs like flowers and give them a vase. Who doesn’t hate it when you need a tablespoon of fresh parsley for a recipe but you’re forced to buy a giant bunch? You can hang on to the extras for another use if you treat them well. Fill a glass halfway with water, remove any twist ties or rubber bands from the herbs, and then place them in the glass, stems down. Cover with a plastic bag (the produce bag you probably brought them home in is perfect), then secure the bag to the glass with a rubber band. This will keep them fresh and usable for much longer than if you’d just tossed them in the crisper drawer.

Keep brown sugar soft and moist »

How to Stretch Your Food Dollar: Food Storage Tips

by in How-to, January 4th, 2012


Last year The New York Times and other news outlets reported a scary statistic: Americans throw out approximately 40 percent of all the food we purchase. Let’s say you spend $100 a week on groceries — that’s like taking $40 and just tossing it in the trash. If you’re one of the many of us who are resolving to spend money more wisely in the new year, then taking a look at your grocery shopping and food storage habits and making some improvements will help stretch your food dollar even further. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing helpful tips to make the most of the food you buy and help you avoid having to throw anything away.

1. Don’t let oil or nuts go rancid. Whenever I cook in a friend’s home, rancid olive and vegetable oil is the number one food sin that I see committed. Many people don’t realize that oil goes bad, so it’s very important to keep it (especially pricey olive oil) in a cool, dark place. Take the sniff test to determine if yours has gone bad: if it smells musty and off, it’s time to say goodbye. (And here’s an important food disposal tip: if you must throw it away, don’t pour oil down the drain; it’s terrible for waste-water treatment plants.) If you don’t use a lot of oil, avoid buying giant bottles so it won’t go bad before you use it up.

The worst offense you could commit »

Super Bowl Snacks, Alton Brown-Style

by in View All Posts, February 5th, 2010

Alton's Slacker Jacks

I may not be that much of a sports fan, but I do love any excuse to cook something special. This year I’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party at the home of my Indiana-raised friend Katie, who is beside herself with excitement that her beloved Colts have made it to the big game. Since I love to bake, I’m usually the person tasked with bringing a dessert to a gathering. But since another party attendee has already signed up to bring brownies, I had to think of another snack to contribute. Because our party hostess is a vegetarian, the Indiana-themed Fried Pork Potato Skins from Food Network Magazine are unfortunately out of the question. And she’s already making chili and corn bread and will have pretzels and chips and dip, so what could I bring that wouldn’t be redundant? Luckily I found some delicious inspiration on FoodNetwork.com’s “Big Game Menus” section. Browsing through there I found the perfect snack: Alton Brown’s recipe for Slacker Jacks, his version of the classic stadium treat with a name that happens to rhyme. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and a lot crunchy. This should perfectly fill the void between potato chips and dessert.

—Emily

Rachael Ray’s New Bakeware is Without Compare

by in View All Posts, August 4th, 2009

Oven Lovin'
Listen up, Rachael Ray fans… Rachael’s got a brand-new line of bakeware, now at the Food Network Store! It’s called Oven Lovin’, and I’m really lovin’ it. I’ve been bursting at the seams wanting to tell you about it ever since I saw the line at the Chicago Housewares Show back in March. I was sworn to secrecy about it until launch, but the wonderful folks at Bonjour Gourmet—the company that produces Rachael’s cookware and bakeware—sent me some samples to try out at home. For those of us who love nothing more than playing around in the kitchen, getting new toys to play with is like being a kid on Christmas morning. And since I’m addicted to baking, getting the cookie sheets, muffin tins, cake pans, and loaf pans was like getting a visit from my kitchen fairy godmother. And boy, have I had fun with them.

CONTINUE READING

The Day Food Network Skips Lunch

by in View All Posts, May 6th, 2009

Skip lunch, you say? At Food Network? Blasphemy! But don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause. Every year, our office participates in the “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger” event that benefits City Harvest, an innovative local NYC food charity. In their own words: Now serving New York City for over 25 years, City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women and children.

What they do is quite cool: City Harvest’s fleet of trucks rescues perfectly edible food that would otherwise be thrown out at restaurants, event venues, farmers markets, office buildings and grocery stores, and then redistributes that food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the city.

In fact, our own Food Network Kitchens participates in City Harvest food donations every Friday — you see them in action at Food Network by going here. City Harvest has a lot of other great programs, and they’ve teamed up with Food Network’s official charity partner Share Our Strength(SOS) to provide SOS’s “Operation Frontline” nutrition and cooking education classes in New York (which I’m actually a volunteer for!)

The Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger fundraising idea was dreamed up by Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine and one of City Harvest’s board members. The premise of the idea is simple: brown-bag your lunch for a day, then take what you would have spent on lunch and donate it to City Harvest. Lunch in New York is rarely a cheap proposition, especially in our temple-to-gourmet-food office location of Chelsea Market. One can easily spend $10 here on just a sandwich and a drink. But according to City Harvest, that $10 would help feed seven children for a week.

This year’s fundraiser is today, May 6th, and many of our employees will be chipping in their lunch money to help support City Harvest’s efforts to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry. If you’d like to learn more about the fundraiser or would like to make a donation online, visit www.skiplunch.org.

Happy Earth Day – Join our compost party!

by in View All Posts, April 22nd, 2009

When you hear the word “compost”, do you think of crazy hippies or back-to-nature enthusiasts? Well believe it or not, composting has joined the mainstream. It’s easy and rewarding for anyone, and in fact our very own Food Network kitchens has a compost operation to handle the multitude of food scraps that they generate daily. As you can see from the photos, they have small compost bins at each of the kitchen workstations, and then these small pails get emptied into the larger bin at the end of the day. You can find a similar bin at the Food Network Store here. Shows like Ask Aida and Guy’s Big Bite have also started including a compost bucket in their show.

So what is composting, exactly?

CONTINUE READING

The Search for New Products

by in View All Posts, April 8th, 2009


Credit: Oscar Einzig

When it comes to major conventions and trade shows, the music industry has South By Southwest, the publishing industry has Book Expo America, the comics industry has ComiCon, and then the housewares industry has the International Home and Housewares Show, held in Chicago every March. It’s the nexus for everything new and cool in the housewares industry, which includes everything from kitchen products to bedding to cleaners. For Food Network purposes, of course, I stuck to the kitchen side of the show.


Credit: Bonjour Gourmet

CONTINUE READING

Every day can be FRYday

by in View All Posts, March 23rd, 2009

Being a northern gal, I don’t have any family fried chicken recipes passed down to me, so I’ve never had the impetus to make it at home. But when I saw Sunny Anderson make her Cider-Brined Fried Chicken on Cooking For Real, I knew I had to try it. Naturally Sunny makes everything she cooks sound delectable, but I could tell this recipe was going to be special.

Coincidentally, I also happened to have the Emerilware by T-fal Deep Fryer in my kitchen, a sample that the vendor had sent about two years ago and one which, I’ll sheepishly admit, I hadn’t ever used. (I’ll also sheepishly admit that I’m somewhat afraid of deep frying things because of the high potential for disaster, even though I know the Emerilware fryer makes it virtually foolproof.) Sunny’s recipe has glowing reviews on our site, and Emeril’s fryer is one of the most popular products in the Food Network Store, so I decided that these two were a match made in heaven, and that it was time to kill two birds with one stone and inaugurate the fryer by testing out the fried chicken recipe.

Continue for Emily’s frying results.

Slow and Steady Wins the Taste

by in View All Posts, March 10th, 2009

If you find yourself with a wide stretch of free time on a cold Sunday afternoon, I can recommend no better activity than spending the day playing around in the kitchen. Winter cooking is a breed of its own, and dishes that are braised, slow-cooked, and roasted are just what the doctor ordered on frigid days. So when I found myself in this situation last weekend, I decided that I’d finally test out Anne Burrell’s Pasta Bolognese recipe that was featured in the premiere episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. The recipe has been in my binder ever since I saw that episode, but because it lists its total cooking time at 4 ½ hours, it’s not exactly a weeknight dinner, so I was waiting for the right opportunity to tackle it.

Continue reading “Slow and Steady Wins the Taste”

Emily’s Goose is Cooked

by in View All Posts, January 8th, 2009

Goose, cookedThough known as kitchen adventurer, I even surprised my family when I announced a menu inspired by the Dickens’s classic, A Christmas Carol. Yes… the Cratchits enjoying a humble yet festive Christmas Eve dinner, with a goose at the center. I wanted a challenge.

With a roasted goose as the key, I immediately flocked to Emeril’s recipe for Roast Port Glazed Goose with Tawny Port Gravy because of the stellar reviews.

As I’m entrenched in the Food Network Store, the right equipment is a must, and I made sure I had sufficient roasting pan. With any type of poultry — chicken, turkey, duck, or goose- a rack is critical. The bird is elevated; allowing heat to circulate fully. Without it, your goose will be cooked — and not in a good way. Some of my faves are here.

Another vital tool is the bulb baster. Basting with pan drippings while it cooks will help to keep the meat moist. Once an internal temp of 180F is reached, your goose is good to go. Need a temperature check? These are solid choices.

I finished with a port glaze, followed by a brief broil to crisp up the skin. As the skin quite brown in areas, I worried about overcooking, but it was actually great, if I do say so myself. It was more delicate than duck and more richly flavored than turkey, which I find bland at times.

I accompanied with goose fat-roasted potatoes, tawny port gravy and a side of steamed green beans. For Dickensian desserts, I made mincemeat pie and hot wassail, and my mom made my great-grandmother’s Christmas pudding with traditional hard sauce.

Despite potential for disaster, it ended up as a great experience for my family to share a special meal. Goose sounds daunting, but recommend the experience for any great dinner. Though inspired by a holiday story, this special gathering with family and friends could be enjoyed all year long.

- EmilyFood Network Store guru and kitchen equipment geek