All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

Simulacra, Simulation, and Sevruga

by in View All Posts, December 11th, 2008

My pal Nico just sent me a thoroughly-non-work-safe picture of the first course he was served at Le Bernardin last night. It was salmon tartare topped with caviar, plated in such a way that I totally can’t post it. Regardless, it led me to wonder about the phenomenon of food pareidolia — which is to say, food that looks like not-food.

For example, there’s something very charming about this eggplant’s day out, the whole bento box phenomenon is worth a post of its own, and we’re fond here of the art of Saxton Freymann.

But to what extent does cuteness/anthropomorphicness factor into deliciousness? Is this like Easter bunnies, where the post-beheading guilt detracts from the experience? Or are these like those sugar-coated Easter marshmallows, which would be totally inedible if they weren’t cute? Also, why is this only discussable in Easter terms?

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Hot Fresh Cookies

by in View All Posts, December 11th, 2008

Once a year, our Ad Sales team throws a huge cocktail party to thank their top clients.  A regular holiday party just won’t do for us, so we combine a cocktail party with a full-on holiday cookie decorating experience, where guests can decorate gingerbread or sugar cookie men and women in all kinds of colors.  In addition to the food and cookies, they always want cocktails; this year’s signature cocktail was the “Sidewalk Santa,” a truly intoxicating blend of top-shelf bourbon, Lillet, cherry liqueur, and a few other secrets.

In the end, 400 cookies were decorated, some in ways that we never could have imagined, as reported by several of our staff who were a little surprised by what was left behind on the tables at the very end of the night. Apparently several tables had abandoned cookies that were decorated — well, let’s just say scandalously!

But I still can’t figure out why no one wanted to take them home.

Kudos to the entire Cookie Party Team and all of the guests who participated in making it a fun and fresh evening for everyone, especially the cookies!

Rob Bleifer & Claudia Sidoti

Creepy Cake

by in View All Posts, December 10th, 2008

Every year I make my daughter’s birthday cake. This year she wanted a princess. And she picked out one of those creepy half-Barbie molds. Oh. My. God.

She loved the cake (and helped make the dress). Question number 1 from the kids: Can we eat her hair? Answer: no. Question number 2: Can we eat her dress? Answer: yes.

What’s under her dress? We used the Food Network Kitchens’ Devils Food Cake and I made a simple chocolate buttercream.

Jill Novatt, Executive Culinary Producer

Food Party!

by in View All Posts, December 9th, 2008

Minor Disaster Minorly Averted

by in View All Posts, December 5th, 2008

So I have this terrible, ancient old fridge, and anything like keeping a steady non-freezing-but-still-cold temperature is apparently too much to ask of it. (Pictured here, in black and white to emphasize the ancientness).

I had put this lamb steak in to thaw yesterday morning; I arrived home from work last night with a loaf of bread and then began chopping vegetables to roast. When the vegetables were about 20 minutes from done, I pulled out the lamb steak to quickly sear it off, then realized it was still rock hard.

Ok, so we’re starving, we have no protein in the house, and the vegetables will be done shortly. Now what? Then it occurs to us — the following tube of tinned terrines was one of our wedding gifts, brought by a friend from France (and shot by our lovely, and remarkably fond of inanimate objects, wedding photographer):

And that would be dinner. (the terrines, that is — not the book.) And that would be delicious.

Perhaps I should mess up dinner more often.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Someday, all our sushi will come on conveyor belts.

by in View All Posts, December 4th, 2008

I had been eyeing a new conveyor belt sushi spot all semester long and finally had a chance to go after class the other night. Having been fascinated with automation and mass production since childhood, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Conveyor belt sushi is exactly what it sounds like: small plates of sushi that roll along a conveyor belt in front of you. You pick whatever you want and are charged by the plate. Prices vary according to the color of the plate.

The sushi wasn’t the best I’d ever had, and, after seeing the same cucumber roll come by more than several times, I began to wonder about its age. But still, it was pretty neat. It made me wonder why we don’t have conveyor belt tapas. Good idea? Maybe not.

Shirley Fan, Nutritiontron

What I Was Thankful For

by in View All Posts, December 2nd, 2008

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Thanksgiving is a wonderful excuse for families to get together and eat a ridiculous amount of food. This year, same as last year, I made lamb chops. I know this doesn’t sound too traditional or special, but it was special to my family — specifically my brother.

See, it was my brother’s last home-cooked meal before being shipped off to Iraq and my family wanted to make something special for him. It came out perfect and I was thankful that I was able to give him what he enjoyed. (Except for the fact that he likes his well-done and had to throw it back on the grill.) I hope your Thanksgiving was as special as mine and that the food was delicious!

Danielle LaRosa, Assistant Culinary Producer

Click through for the recipe: Read more