All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

Kentucky Bourbon Fest: Day 2

by in View All Posts, September 18th, 2009

Day two in Kentucky.  Yesterday was a great day.  Kevin Smith, Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, was our tour guide for the day.  We had about a four hour tour — about three hours longer than average.  I can now make bourbon with my eyes closed after that tour; check out some pictures.  Later that evening, we headed off to Bill Samuels’ house for dinner (so f-ing cool).  This guy is a character and a great host.  Charlie and I sat with his wife for dinner, heard stories about his family’s history in the bourbon business.  Now we’re off to Jim Beam…

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

Kentucky Bourbon Fest: Day 1

by in View All Posts, September 17th, 2009

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This weekend is the annual Kentucky Bourbon FestivalCharlie and I are lucky to be down here as guests of Maker’s Mark — we New Yorkers stand out in this crowd for sure.  This weekend we’ll be hitting up the Maker’s distillery, the Jim Beam distillery, having dinner at Bill Samuels‘ house and much more.  Stay tuned for pictures, and some good knowledge.

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

Beautiful Soup

by in View All Posts, September 11th, 2009

Returned from two weeks in Bogota, Colombia, with mind boggled by a country at once richer (culturally, agriculturally, ecologically) and more immiserated (4.3 million internally displaced persons, approx 10% of the population) than anything I had imagined.

As home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity and encompassing nearly every imaginable ecosystem–from the tropical rainforests, grasslands, alpine forests, deserts, temperate zones and on and on–Colombian cooking draws from a vast larder, and has evolved a fascinating array of distinct regional variations.

During my two weeks I was only able to sample the tiniest fraction of the country’s culinary riches, but I did bring back an insatiable craving for ajiaco santafereño, a soup of which Bogotanos are justly proud, and which must rival the hat and the scarf in providing warmth to the residents of chilly, drizzly Bogota.

Of course, to call ajiaco santafereño a soup is a bit misleading. And to call it a potato soup seems almost disrespectful. Ajiaco comes to the table as a soup, a yellow broth, full of shredded chicken, chunks of potato and corn. But it leaves as the meal itself. Served in black clay bowls, the soup is accompanied by separate bowls of heavy cream, capers and avocado, which are added according to the eater’s preference and which soon bind the soup into a sludgy, filling, and delicious mass.

I imagine it’s well worth attempting at home, but authentic ajiaco santafereño is near impossible to find outside of Colombia, depending as  it does on 3 native potato varieties–good luck finding them–and, crucially, the herb guasca–good luck finding that too–which gives the soup its unique flavor, one that reminds me strongly of artichokes. I imagine one could substitute cilantro for guasca and produce a perfectly delicious soup, but it would be hard to mistake for the real thing.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

It Came From The Library: What Else We're Reading

by in News, September 4th, 2009

My pal Ben over at The Nation just sent me over their new monster food issue — it’s in-depth and fantastic, and a must-read for anyone interested in where food intersects with politics and the future of both. I’ll let him round up who and what’s in it:

It’s fascinating, smart, and well-written. Have at it.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Cold Frame

by in In Season, September 3rd, 2009

This summer, my garden was my saving grace, offering the daily promise of adventures outside despite a busy work schedule. It’s also what inspires my next meal, and what keeps me moving between them. So, at the end of the summer, I’m incredibly reluctant to let the fun end, even though today’s unseasonably cool breeze reminded me that there’s a big chill in my future.

Last winter, my friends in my community garden built a cold frame, and I watched them munch on mustard greens in March while I was still waiting for final frost. Too much hassle, I thought, too much work. But this year, after visiting Sean Conway and his glorious year-round green houses on his set of Cultivating Life, and getting my hands on his how-to guide by the same name, which gives easy steps for building a cold frame, I’m singing a different tune. I’m not going to let cool weather be an excuse for me or my greens to hibernate.

If your wood-working skills are lacking, you can buy a ready-made cold frame here that will keep your green thumb working even with woolen gloves. But if you’re up for a DIY challenge, reclaim some salvaged wood and make your own cold frame with these easy steps.

Here’s to hoping we’re still swapping our harvests for months to come.

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens spokesperson

Late-Season Success

by in In Season, August 27th, 2009

Around here, temperatures creep above 80 degrees well into late September, making it difficult to think about cool weather food like beets and kohlrabi. But since gardeners are always planning ahead, it’s time to start thinking about planting late-harvest crops and returning seed to the soil for yet another round of delicious rewards.

The same wonderful vegetables (like radishes, lettuces and beans) that appreciate spring’s cooler evenings will thrive when planted in late August to early September, keeping your garden in business past pumpkin season. And consider planting hardy cold-weather vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, kale, mustards, spinach and Swiss chard, as well as bulbs like garlic and onions, which will survive even longer.

For the most successful fall garden, try to identify the average date of the first hard frost in your area, and count backwards, planting only seeds whose “days until harvest” fall within this time frame. If temperatures drop quickly in your area, consider planting in raised beds and pots, where the ground stays warmer longer, and can be moved inside in the event of an early frost.

But we don’t have to worry about frost just yet, so get out there and keep digging.

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens Spokesperson

The Old Man and the Marinade

by in View All Posts, August 24th, 2009

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Although I am the last person who should be casting aspersions on other people’s brand extensions — really? This is a good idea?

…They hadn’t seen a marinated steak in forty days. It made the boy sad that they had marinades but no steak to eat them on. The old man had taught the boy to rope the cows that once marinated would eventually become their steak. The old man had scars on his hands from the ropes used to catch cows but those scars were not fresh. It had been years since the old man had roped a cow and then marinated it. The boy said “Remember how once we roped eighty-seven cows and marinated steak?” “I remember” said the old man.

[EMD via YesButNoButYes]

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

In Which I Continue to Poison My Colleagues

by in View All Posts, August 21st, 2009

Anyone who’s ever visited the Food Network’s kitchens knows just how immaculate they are: all gleaming, crumbless surfaces and floors you could eat off of. And yet in even the most spotless of kitchens, there is always something better left uningested. The overwhelming majority of these somethings cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope and, fortunately, are rendered harmless by the miracle of cooking. But every once in a while some foreign object inexplicably finds its way into the kitchen. So let me explain. Yes, in a test kitchen lowboy, on the bottom shelf, all the way back, in the plastic container,  is a LIVE VIRUS TYPHOID VACCINE. Yes, it is mine. Me me me. All mine. I did it. And I can explain.

Owing to a doctor’s error earlier this week I find myself in the possession of a rather expensive vaccine that I don’t actually need and probably shouldn’t take. And due to force of law, neither my pharmacist nor my doctor is allowed to accept it for proper disposal. So today the vaccine sits in the lowboy, in a very strange sort of limbo. And until I can determine the safest way to dispose of it, there it will stay. Help!

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

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