All Posts By Food Network Kitchens

Free Food

by in In Season, May 28th, 2009

If you’ve been reading the Good Food Gardens blog, you’ve probably figured out that I consider gardening the best way to get free food. Not only does food you grow yourself cost virtually nothing after the initial investment of soil and seeds, it’s also the surest way to have quality, locally grown ingredients and make sure that the things you love to eat are always available to you.

Of course, you can’t grow chardonnay smoked sea salt or vanilla beans in your backyard (although I’d love to hear about it if you are), but you can grow a huge variety of lettuces, vegetables, and herbs — exactly the kinds of garden goodies that make it easy to layer summer meals with texture and flavor. Farmers’ markets are also superb, and I still count on real farmers to do the heavy lifting, but even they can’t beat the ease and freshness of picking greens from the garden just hours before dinner.

So you live in a tiny apartment in a big city with no light or backyard? Trust me, you can do it. We’ve proven that anyone can grow a garden by planting one, tended by school-aged kids, between high-rises in the middle of New York City. Okay, my can-do attitude is made significantly easier by the help of Teich Garden Systems, who build our Good Food Gardens, but my own little plot of dirt at the Two Coves Community Garden in Long Island City should be even more convincing. My garden, now packed with strawberries, lemon verbena, rhubarb, Hungarian peppers, and over 10 varieties of lettuces and leafy greens, started out as a packed plot of dead soil just a year ago. Its success is the result of several bags of organic compost tilled into the soil, a few sunny weekends with a shovel, and the occasional rain dance.

Probably the easiest and most prolific garden doesn’t even require a plot of soil at all. The Earth Box, used in schools in Harlem, rooftops in Chicago, and by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for a international program called the Growing Connection, requires little more than an upfront investment and the desire to grow food—a lot of food. 4 to 6 boxes, some say, can feed a family of four for a summer.

So, what’s your excuse now?

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens Spokesperson

Summertime Rum

by in View All Posts, May 27th, 2009

Several of us in the test kitchen were fortunate enough recently to get a visit from Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Rum. Not only did she bring her warm Jamaican disposition, but she also brought two fantastic Jamaican rums from their Estate line of super-premium rums.

Both the 12-year-old and the Estate Reserve were ultra-smooth and rich with aromas of orange, vanilla, honey and nutmeg. While the 12-year-old is best enjoyed neat, perhaps with a little splash of club soda, the Estate Reserve makes some of the tastiest cocktails I’ve consumed in a long time.

These perfect summer beverages are a refreshing relief from overly sweetened tropical drinks. And there’s just something about the scent of rum combined with the classic Caribbean favorites like Ting, lime and ginger that instantly transports me to the beach.

I put these cocktails to the test over the weekend. The result? Instant summer. All my friends needed was some white sand and an ocean breeze.

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer

Appleton-Ting

1.5oz Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
Juice of half a lime
1-2 teaspoons agave nectar
6-8 ounces of Ting (Jamaican grapefruit soda)

Fill a highball glass with ice. Combine the rum with the lime, agave and soda in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Stir gently and pour into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit peel.

Jamaican Breeze

1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 ounces Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
2 ounce Pineapple juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Dash of Angostura bitters

Muddle ginger in a pint glass, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice, then garnish with a slice of lime.

Sustainability and Solutions

by in View All Posts, May 26th, 2009

I recently attended the Cooking For Solutions conference at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Other people have written in far more detail, but my quick take is that I’m glad to see the sustainability movement growing upwards and outwards — while simultaneously realizing that speaking to the converted gets you nowhere. There are signs (albeit small ones) that we may be on the road to a mainstream tipping point for sustainability awareness.

Katherine Alford, VP, Test Kitchen

Saving Seeds

by in In Season, May 21st, 2009

Sometimes, when I’m overcome with the heady aroma of a 26-pound Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the middle of May (occupational hazard), my mind wanders out the window and into the nearest garden. Today, this daydreaming was made easy by the arrival of the Seed Savers Exchange Catalog. The catalog is a 101-page testament to the work of the Seed Savers Exchange, an organization that works tirelessly to protect, promote and share our country’s valuable farming heritage.

Specifically, they’re dedicated to preserving the thousands of heirloom varieties of flora that date back before the turn of the 20th century. And they’re a close ally of the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, where we will be planting our next Good Food Garden this June as part of their summer-long Edible Gardens exhibit.

Heirloom varieties, much like heritage breed animals (like the Berkshire pig or Bourbon Red turkey), are a window into the history of food, marking a vegetable’s migration, immigration and crosspollination from land to land with their names and stories.

The catalog includes 6,200 kinds of tomatoes, 5,100 varieties of beans, and 2,400 peppers. But it isn’t the sheer numbers that delight me. It reads like an epic storybook whose heroes like Russian Giant (garlic) and Hungarian Heart (tomato) live in utopian harmony with the King of the North (pepper) and Sultan’s Golden (beans). And that’s just the beginning of the Edenic paradise. Seed Savers houses the seeds of flowers in every shape and shade, 200 vintage varieties of grapes and 700 different antique apple varieties.

As they say in the catalog, “not bad for a program that started as a little garden in mid-Missouri.” Not bad at all.

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer & Good Food Gardens Spokesperson

Isothiocyanates ahoy!

by in View All Posts, May 20th, 2009

So my pal Robert, last heard from here, rears his way-smarter-than-me head again in the pages of Gourmet, this time about how I commandeered his house, backpack full of Greenmarket rhubarb in tow, to make mustard last weekend. I just want to make clear: at no point during said kitchen commandeering did I use the word “isothiocyanates,” hence the way-smarter-than-me-ness, but hey, at least I know what they are now.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Sadly, in our era, we're stuck with the Magic Bullet.

by in View All Posts, May 19th, 2009

Anthropologists and palentologists from the Universities of Bordeaux (of all places) and Witwatersrand have come up with evidence that ancient humans may have used bone tools to make smoothies.

This is fairly heartening; I’ve always felt that there had to be some sort of biological smoothie-compulsion at work here, as I’ve never met a single person who actively enjoys smoothies. [via]

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

You Are What You Eat

by in View All Posts, May 18th, 2009

My boyfriend just sent me this Good Magazine gallery of people’s fridge contents, sorted by occupation, age, and details. We’re most similar to the Journalist/Designer/School Teacher household, since always have fresh produce everywhere, protein, leftovers everywhere (because he eats 24/7), and lots of knick-knacks on the top shelf and the door. The rest of the list is pretty entertaining, especially the connection between jobs and fridges — check out the bartender’s fridge!

Danielle LaRosa, Assistant Culinary Producer

It Came From The Library 9: Of Sustainability and Smarm

by in News, May 15th, 2009

As a cultural phenomenon, backlash generally surfaces at the point when a movement gathers enough force to actually pose a threat to somebody. So it could be taken as a positive sign that an increasingly vociferous backlash is emerging to the sustainability movement these days. This trend first became apparent last year, as some in the food media began to surfeit on locavorism. Now one can discern it in the avalanche of abuse that’s swirled around the sustainability movement’s proxy, Alice Waters, for the last couple months.

To be fair, much recent criticism of Waters is not backlash. It’s coming from fellow travelers whose patience Waters has exhausted. But there’s also an undercurrent of conservatism coursing through much of these Waters wars, an undercurrent most often betrayed in the tenor of the conversation, the ad hominem attacks, the vituperation. Ultimately, one senses that these attacks aren’t really about Alice at all. Or rather, are only about Alice insofar as she can be deployed as an instrument in an ideological battle whose timing is revealingly coincident with the arrival of a new administration and the possibilities for reform that it has opened up. It seems reasonable to expect that the closer the sustainability movement gets to realizing its goals, the more influence it wields, the cozier it gets with the Obama administration, the more desperate and aggressive the backlash that will emerge. Brace yourself, Alice.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

World's Smallest Food Critic: Dragon Chips

by in View All Posts, May 14th, 2009

Who knew if I simply baked kale until it was crispy, then called it “dragon chips,” my kids would gobble it down like potato chips?

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:”";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

The recipe:
1 bunch fresh kale, cleaned and dried thoroughly
Olive oil spray
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into smallish pieces. Make sure that the leaves are really dry. Spread them evenly in 1 layer on 2 baking sheets — depending on the size of your bunch of kale and your baking sheets, you may need to do this in batches. Spritz with olive oil (any vegetable spray works well, too) and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leaves are crispy but still very green. Flip and cook about 2 minutes more. Remove from oven and serve.

Jill Novatt, Executive Culinary Producer

When Food Blogs Attack!

by in View All Posts, May 13th, 2009

I just tried to access a blog review of vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy, and had it blocked by FN’s web monitoring for adult content.* I mean, I’ve heard this was a decadent take on vegetarian food, but really, that decadent? Now I’m going to have to investigate.

*Yes, the name of the blog is “Goodies First,” but I’m pretty sure said goodies refer to dessert, not, like, Ciara. Besides, the firewall was totally ok with “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant,” so I have to suspect something nefarious afoot.  If I mysteriously disappear from the stewardship of the blog, you’ll all know why.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

...10...131415...2030...