All Posts By Sara Levine

Sara Levine is a Senior Online Editor at FoodNetwork.com and a culinary-school-trained home cook. Several years ago she quit her magazine job to go to Le Cordon Bleu, which led to a stint in Food Network Kitchen. Although cooking professionally wasn’t her thing, she loves frequenting restaurants and putting her own amateur culinary skills to work in her tiny kitchen.

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Eat Lunch Like an Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marc forgione slab bacon
When we visited Chef Marc Forgione at his restaurant (in secret!) shortly before his winning moment aired on The Next Iron Chef, we wanted to see him in his element: Back in the kitchen, cooking. But Restaurant Marc Forgione is closed for lunch, so the laid-back, mohawked chef asked what he should prepare from the menu. We got back to him with this proposition: “Just make yourself some lunch. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy—whatever you’d normally whip up.”

The resulting pork belly and pickled apple sandwich is so addictively delicious, we had to share Chef Forgione’s recipe with you. Iron Chef Forgione’s recipe, that is.

Chef Forgione's late-night lunch: The B.A.D. Sandwich

Check out the making of this sandwich and get a tour of Marc Forgione (the restaurant). Plus, read our exclusive Q&A with the newest toque in Kitchen Stadium.

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Next Iron Chef Journals: A Look Back

by in Shows, November 17th, 2010

Read our eliminated rivals' journals for a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to compete on The Next Iron Chef

We started with 10 rivals in Los Angeles. Five went on to Las Vegas. Now it’s down to the last two standing. Marco Canora and Marc Forgione will battle it out in Kitchen Stadium for the title of The Next Iron Chef this Sunday at 9pm/8c.

To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look through the eight eliminated rivals’ journals from the competition. What was the thought process behind the dishes that won challenges—and those that sent rivals packing? Who drew lifelike sketches of their plates and who took meticulous notes? Flip through the pages of the chefs’ red Next Iron Chef journals to see.

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Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Sausage and Kale Dressing

by in Holidays, November 15th, 2010

sausage and kale dressingThe age-old question remains: What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? Traditional wisdom holds that stuffing is actually cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is cooked separately and served alongside. Makes sense, right? But in my experience, it really comes down to geography. My family (from New York and Pennsylvania) never stuffs the bird, but we always call our savory bread pudding-style side dish ”stuffing.” Go further South, and everything is “dressing,” as I learned at my first Thanksgiving with my fiancé’s family in Louisiana.

I’m not sure why Food Network Magazine decided to call this one dressing—maybe there was a Southerner in the room. Call it what you wish; it’s filled with many ingredients I love—kale, fennel sausage, focaccia—and is definitely going to show up on my spread this year.

TELL US: What stuffing and/or dressing will be on your Thanksgiving table?

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake

by in View All Posts, November 12th, 2010
The Cheesecake Factory wouldn't share the recipe for its popular November special, so Food Network kitchens got to work and recreated it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake is a seasonal special at the Cheesecake Factory chain, and diners can’t get enough. Good thing Food Network Magazine asked our kitchens to create the perfect replica. Even die-hard pumpkin pie traditionalists won’t miss the classic after a forkful of this decadent treat. Sure, it’s rich—as cheesecake should be!—but still fluffy and light thanks to a filling that combines cream cheese, sour cream and pure pumpkin. A sprinkling of toasted pecans adds a festive touch.

TELL US: What desserts will be on your Thanksgiving table?

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Paula’s Sweet Potato Pie

by in View All Posts, November 8th, 2010

Give Paula's pie an extra dose of Southern comfort by subbing in bourbon for the vanilla extract.

We’re kicking off a week of Thanksgiving desserts here on FoodNetwork.com and figured we’d start wtih a good old Southern classic, y’all. Paula’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie is a mouthwatering addition to the Thanksgiving dessert spread, no matter where you live. Make (or buy) your pie crust now and freeze it — Paula’s filling and picture-perfect meringue topping come together easily and quickly when you’re getting ready for your feast.

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.

Massive Burritos and $175 Burgers: Tom Pizzica Talks Outrageous Food

by in View All Posts, November 5th, 2010

This burrito may look intense, but it's nothing compared to the six-footer Tom will sample on tonight's episode of Outrageous Food.

You probably recognize him as the funny-guy runner-up from Season 6 of The Next Food Network Star, but Tom Pizzica is back on Food Network in a big way. To celebrate tonight’s premiere of Outrageous Food (10 pm/9c), we chatted with Tom about his new gig, his favorite on and off-camera memories from Star and even the menu from his recent wedding.

You got a first glimpse of the show along with fans during last week’s sneak peek, featuring a 105-pound burger. Where’d you watch?
I was in Minnesota with the production company. We had a big party, and my mom came, which was really nice. Seeing the show was as much fun as I thought it was going to be, it comes off as fun as it was to film. It’s going to be awesome—a fun way to spend a Friday night.

Of all the cities you visited, what were your top three favorites and why?
I really enjoyed Minneapolis, a great town. It’s just a nice little city. It kind of looks brand new but it’s not. It’s got a cool little downtown, fun little bars and the people are really nice. I’d never been to Chicago before and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a great food city and I finally had my first real deep dish, which was fantastic. And I gotta say, New York was fantastic. It was my first shoot, after the Next Food Network Star finale aired, and my first time being in New York as a kind of a “star.” I had a lot of nerves going on, but everything worked out well.

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Next Iron Chef: Catching Up With Jose Garces

by in Shows, October 29th, 2010

Chef Jose Garces's winning moment on Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef

Chef Jose Garces won Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef, and this Sunday he’ll join the judges’ panel to critique the efforts of our current rivals. We caught up with the newest Iron Chef about being in the rivals’ shoes just one year ago and what he’s been up to since his big win.

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Claire’s New Cookbook: 240 Pages of 5 Ingredient Fixes

by in View All Posts, October 27th, 2010
On the cover of Claire's new cookbook, she's shopping at one of her favorite spots: NYC's Union Square Greenmarket

Our own Claire Robinson has a new cookbook out this month, and it’s 240 pages of the fresh, simple fare you love from her Food Network show, 5 Ingredient Fix. Claire shot the cover photo at one of her favorite places on Earth: New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket, where you can often find her roaming around, getting inspired and selecting the ingredients for her recipes.

5 Ingredient Fix in print makes a great holiday gift for a novice cook, a busy mom or anyone who doesn’t want to lug home dozens of groceries just to make one meal.

Claire is all about simplifying food without sacrificing flavor. Think it’s impossible to bake with just five ingredients? Claire did too, she tells us, when she first started shooting 5 Ingredient Fix. But recipes like her Millionaire’s Shortbread (featured in the cookbook) will prove that it can be done—with delicious results.

What else will you find in the book? Party-worthy recipes and tons of ideas for weeknight dinners—think updated comfort food like Cheesy Penne and Buttermilk Pecan Chicken.

Buy Claire’s book and tune in for new episodes of 5 Ingredient Fix on Sundays at 10:30am/9:30c.

10 Sweet Questions for Dessert First’s Anne Thornton

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2010
Anne Thornton's personal faves? Ice cream and anything salty-sweet.

Pastry chef Anne Thornton’s ridiculously delicious Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie (and fun, bubbly personality) caught the attention of many a guest — including a few top Food Network execs — at last year’s SWEET event at the NYC Wine & Food Festival. Now, one year later, Anne has joined the FN family with her very own show for the sweets-obsessed: Dessert First.

It’s a dream come true for Anne, who left a corporate career to pursue her passion for food. “I always thought, I’m going to go to culinary school when I retire,” she says. “Then I realized, you don’t have to wait until you retire to do what you like!”

Dessert First premieres this Sunday at noon. Before you tune in to watch Anne make festive Halloween treats (Couture Caramel Apples rolled in fun toppings like popcorn and peanut butter cups; spooky Red Velvet “Brains” Cupcakes), get to know our new pastry gal with 10 questions from the Dish.

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Dishing with Sandra, FN’s Queen of Halloween

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2010

To get in the Halloween spirit, the Dish took a few minutes to chat with Sandra Lee while she baked up mini pumpkin bundt cakes in Food Network Kitchens. Sandra’s Semi-Homemade Cooking Halloween special airs this Sunday at 11:30am/10:30c, and believe us, you don’t want to miss it. The theme is Renaissance Faire, the costumes are amazing, and there are some surprises, including … Sandra as Cher?

Semi-Homemade is now in its 14th season on Food Network — “I think Friends was only on for 10 seasons!” she says — and to celebrate, Sandra worked with Food Network to publish Semi-Homemade: The Complete Cookbook, stocked with 1,000 recipes.

Read on for Sandra’s dish on the new book, Halloween tips and buy bid-worthy tablescapes.

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