All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

When Life Gives You Heirloom Apples, Make Heirloom Applesauce

by in In Season, November 14th, 2008

Our main produce vendor offered to send over some samples of heirloom apples. I’ve always loved apples, and I’ve been getting more and more excited about the growing variety of apples out there, as there really is such a huge difference in taste and texture.

The good news is that our sales rep brought 3 varieties: Black Oxford, Roxbury Russet, and Blue Pearmain.

The bad news is that there were only 4 of each variety.

I immediately ran to look online to see what info I could find on each apple. As it turns out, Blue Pearmain are excellent for baking, Roxbury Russets are old cider apples that are also good eaten as-is, and Black Oxfords are supposed to be good just eaten out of hand.

Well, it was exciting to try these centuries-old varieties that almost went extinct, but nothing jumped out at me and screamed “let’s buy more now!”

I turned away mildly disappointed and looked at what remained. Since it was mid-afternoon with the weekend fast approaching and 1 or 2 of each variety now gone to tasting, there was only one thing left for any chef to do: make applesauce!

I wanted to let the unique flavors of each apple shine through, so I added just a pinch of cinnamon and a few tablespoons of sugar, cooked them slowly for 30 minutes, passed them through a food mill, and wow, some of the best applesauce I’ve had in years!

I can’t wait to try more varieties!

Rob Bleifer, Executive Chef

Esquire's Totally 80s Thanksgiving

by in View All Posts, November 11th, 2008

Esquire magazine has opened up their archive of celebrity Thanksgiving recipes from the 80s; highlights include William Styron’s clam chowder, Helen Gurley Brown’s strangely tragic Skinny Hot Buttered Rum, and Timothy Leary‘s prune-and-apple-stuffed roast goose, which I wish were a metaphor for something, but sadly is not.

No word yet on whether there’ll be a 50s edition; I’m holding out for all Alice B. Toklas, all the time.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Hunt for the Stink-O Nut

by in View All Posts, November 10th, 2008

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Last weekend, my mom and I walked through Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn in search of “bai guo.” Translated from Chinese, “white fruit” or gingko nut is a product of the gingko tree.  Surrounded by an orangey flesh that smells horrendous (I liken it to a mix between vomit and dog crap), the nuts are predominately valued by Asians for their medicinal value. You also may have heard of it through the nutritional supplement gingko biloba extract, which is purported to help with memory and concentration.

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The gingko nut is surrounded by an incredibly smelly orange flesh.

I’d only had gingko nuts a few times in a Chinese dessert soup and in a vegetarian dish with hair-like seaweed.  I thought the flavor was kind of bland and unremarkable.  But still, hunting for the nuts seemed like a fun thing to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  After a few minutes of stooping under the trees, my mom said she would come back in a couple of days with gloves and plastic bags to retrieve the fruit since they were too smelly to handle. A few days later she came back with a box full of the nuts. Though they’ve been washed and scrubbed of their flesh, I get a faint whiff of them every now and then, as they are sitting on the window sill drying. I’m not quite sure what she’s going to do with them, but I can’t wait to find out!

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After the flesh is peeled and rinsed away, the nuts resemble pistachios.

Shirley Fan, RD, Nutritionist

Muling Bacon

by in View All Posts, November 7th, 2008

A few years ago, a couple friends and I decided we needed to try some Summerfield Farms bacon, bacon so good that the Grateful Palate was calling it the Chateau d’Yquem of pig. Now, I like Yquem (I got ’01 Yquem instead of an engagement ring and was entirely okay with that) and I like pig, so it seemed like a logical decision.

Except that the Summerfield only came in 5-pound slabs that we’d have to split ourselves. Fine. Jonathan and I had it shipped to the office, then we split it into 5 equal pieces, and then wrapped those pieces in a layer of tinfoil, then a layer of plastic wrap. I put them in my purse, and we headed off to the bar where the handoff was taking place.

What I didn’t realize was that this was the first week of random bag checks in the subway, and there I was, waltzing in with a bag full of 1-pound foil-wrapped bricks. Of course, that would be the day I got stopped. They look in at the foil-wrapped bricks, then look at me. It gets very uncomfortable. It does eventually get resolved, but not without significant tension on all sides.

Everyone I’ve told this story to says that it’s the sort of thing that would only ever happen to me. I tell it now because I’m delighted to say it’s not: police in Kuettigen, Switzerland received a series of horrified calls earlier this week when passerby spotted a long trail of blood on the road.

They followed the trail for 12 miles to find… Read more

Iron Skillet Cookoff

by in View All Posts, November 4th, 2008

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Last night, I had the privilege of attending the 7th annual World Cares Center’s Iron Skillet Cook Off, thanks to my awesome cousin, who invited me to the event. It was a meeting between renowned restaurant chefs and FDNY firefighters, battling for the first place title in the Iron Skillet Cook Off.

Besides their devilish good looks, these hardworking firefighters also had really sophisticated food. I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation and execution of their dishes. Now I want to become a firefighter so I can enjoy meals like that every day!

Click through for winners, dishes, and more pictures: Read more

My Dinner With(out) Andras

by in View All Posts, October 30th, 2008

Last weekend, I promised my (very) new husband Andras a cozy newlywed weekend with me and our CSA box (translation: simple fall meals and movies). By Saturday afternoon, we’d worked our way through several squash, two bunches of turnips and two double-features and as afternoon slipped into evening, I struggled to make miracles out of what remained in our stash—a humble pile of baby potatoes.

While he ran out to pick up another movie, I put the potatoes in our new favorite copper pot, slipped on his oversized blue Crocs and, hoping desperately no one would see me and mistake my look for an early-Halloween clown attempt, headed out for some fresh air and inspiration.

Just outside our front door, I noticed a tall and thin gent with a low-slung apron and set of broken-in clogs that indicate the kind of restaurant credibility a resume doesn’t quite capture. My deductive reasoning skills told me he was the chef at the soon-to-open ELO restaurant just below our apartment, which had sat empty for the last 6 months. I gave him a quick nod and, hoping my restaurant-impostor clogs would go unnoticed, I dropped a courtesy, “So what’s on the menu?”

So what was on the menu? Click through for more:

Read more

Your Daily Awesome

by in View All Posts, October 29th, 2008

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From menupages’ recently-launched blog, a roundup of food-related music videos, with interpretations. (via seriouseats)