All Posts In Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes of Food Network’s Fall Entertaining Guides

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, October 8th, 2012

One of the most recent additions to the Food Network website is the addition of product guides, guides in which readers are offered insight into some of the products that editors believe are among the best in helpful cooking tools, tabletop items and edibles available online. A lot of these product guides are tied to the season, like Food Network’s Summer Cookbook Guide. In August the editors began working on our fall product guide. Thanksgiving may be several weeks away, but we have to start working on these guides as early as the summer months to make sure that every edible product that gets selected for the guide has been tested (i.e. eaten) and approved by our staff.

For about two weeks, our office was flooded with an array of samples — from gourmet marshmallows to specialty cocktail mixes and Thanksgiving gumballs (turkey-flavored included!). After organizing a formal tasting within Food Network’s digital department and consuming probably 20 times more than our daily allowance of sugar, the most-popular products were chosen.

Keep reading for our final picks

Stacked Stuff: It’s National Pancake Day

by in Behind the Scenes, Events, September 26th, 2012

Food Network Kitchens celebrate National Pancake Day by seeing how many flapjacks they can stack at once; click the play button on the video above to watch.

Tell us in the comments: How many pancakes do you think were stacked before the tower toppled?

Pancakes are a great way to personalize breakfast and dinner, too. From bacon and corn to triple chocolate, they’re so versatile. Here are five of our new favorite ways to make pancakes: Reinvented: Pancakes 5 Ways.

The Wedding Planner: Robert Irvine Says “I Do”

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, August 16th, 2012

Robert Irvine, Bride, and Guy Fieri

It’s a sunny Thursday in May at the Charles Krug winery in St. Helena, Calif., and Guy Fieri is giving Robert Irvine a shoulder massage.

In a few minutes, Robert will be marrying his girlfriend of three years, professional wrestler Gail Kim, and Guy, one of Robert’s best men, is giving the usually unshakable Restaurant: Impossible host a rubdown to calm his nerves. Just a half hour earlier, Robert was singing a different tune: “I feel the calmest I’ve ever been. I haven’t screamed, not once,” he said as he looked over the grounds where the cocktail hour and reception would take place. This whole wedding is his brainchild — conceived, planned and executed with the same military efficiency Robert brings to the massive two-day restaurant overhauls on his show. But today it won’t be a restaurateur who is dazzled by his work; it will be Gail. Robert has kept her in the dark about the details of the party, including the main event: the food.

“No one goes in there until I say it’s OK!” Robert barks, pointing to the venue. (So much for not screaming.) Satisfied with how everything looks, he throws back a beer in five gulps and keeps moving; the ceremony is about to start.

With Guy at his side, Robert beams as his daughters, Annalise, 15, and Talia, 11, read poems to the crowd, then he lets out an audible sigh of relief when Guy produces the ring and he exchanges vows with Gail.

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Break the Mold: Gelatin Watermelon

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, August 6th, 2012

Watermelon Gelatin
Each month, Food Network Kitchens chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Dreaming up gelatin desserts for the July/August issue proved no easy feat: We wanted the bites to be fresh and elegant, yet whimsical and maybe a tiny bit kitschy (a concept we jokingly referred to as “jell-egance”).

The gelatin squares on page 90 of the July/August issue have a sleek modernist edge, but they originally started as a kid-friendly trompe l’oeil dessert (pictured above). We used the rind of a sugar baby and mini chocolate chips to give them their fun watermelon look.

Re-create it at home by pouring and setting the watermelon gelatin mixture in the hollowed-out half of a sugar baby watermelon. Make sure it’s completely set before cutting it, then apply the chocolate chips just before serving so they don’t turn to mush.

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Stacked Stuff: It’s National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

by in Behind the Scenes, Events, August 2nd, 2012

ice cream sandwichesYouTube Preview Image

Food Network Kitchens celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day by seeing how many of the sandwiches they can stack at once — click the play button on the video above to watch.

Tell us in the comments: How many ice cream sandwiches do you think were stacked before the tower toppled?

To add a little more fun to your summer barbecues, bring along some sandwiches of the sweet variety. All you need is either store-bought or homemade cookies and several pints of ice cream in your favorite flavors — then scoop away! Read Squeezed in the Middle for ice cream sandwich recipes and inspiration.

Behind-the-Scenes: Blending entwine Wines

by in Behind the Scenes, Drinks, June 29th, 2012

rob rupa and karl entwine blending session
Last year, Food Network made the exciting announcement that it was partnering with Wente Vineyards to unveil entwine, a portfolio of California wines intended to inspire food lovers to dive into the vast and sometimes overwhelming world of wine with ease. The four varietals fans can get their hands on now include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Earlier this month, Executive Chef Rob Bleifer and Culinary Writer Rupa Bhattacharya from Food Network Kitchens traveled to California to visit fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente from Wente Vineyards to conduct a blending session for the newest bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. While I’m surrounded by food all day long, I was curious to learn more about the winemaking process, so we asked Karl and Rupa to break down several of the basics.

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Season the Rim: How to Make Flavored Salts

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, June 28th, 2012

Perfect Margarita
Dress up your margaritas with flavored salt. A bold flavor on the rim is a fun, easy way to gussy up a classic. In a recent issue of Food Network Magazine you’ll find three awesome variations, but I wanted to share one more favorite that we didn’t have room for this time around: a mixed-berry salt.

The tartness of the freeze-dried fruit goes perfectly with a margarita. And of course, feel free to experiment with whatever fruits you like!

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Behind the Booklet: 50 Things to Grill in Foil

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, June 25th, 2012

50 Things to Grill in Foil
Coming up with 50 of anything for Food Network Magazine’s monthly 50-recipe booklet can be daunting — in the past, the magazine has featured 50 tacos, 50 brownies and 50 grilled cheeses — but this month, chefs in Food Network Kitchens tackled the ultimate way to cook out: in foil packs.

Sure they included the usual suspects — chicken wings and various vegetables — but it’s dishes like Paella (No. 12), Gnocchi (No. 11) and Upside-Down Cakes (No. 47) that up the wow factor.

Traditionally, paella was cooked on an open flame, says Claudia Sidoti, Food Network test kitchen manager. Cooking paella in the foil pack resembles that traditional style, bringing a nice crunch to the rice, she adds.

Read tips our chefs picked up after making dozens of foil packs

Leftovers Make the Perfect Family Meal

by in Behind the Scenes, June 19th, 2012

family meal leftovers
Leftovers: This is what Family Meal is all about at Food Network Kitchens. It’s important that we limit the amount of wasted food in the kitchens. This past week, we had multiple meals left over: some jerk chicken from a dinner we hosted for one of our cable partners, grilled meats from a lunch meeting we held with the digital department and some fennel from Anne Burrell’s satellite media tour. Miriam, the Throwdown queen, roasted the fennel with lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper, then finished it off with Parmesan breadcrumbs. It was so good — I ate it and I don’t even like fennel. (Try Giada’s Roasted Fennel recipe at home.) So even though we get swamped with various types of projects, we’re grateful that they help make Family Meals happen.

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Perfect Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, June 14th, 2012

Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs
In the June issue of Food Network Magazine, I put my own spin on fried chicken and eliminated what I think is the worst part of making the much-loved dish at home: the frying part. My kitchen always ends up spattered with oil. Not to mention, disposing of all the oil is a big pain.

To make this recipe, I took a technique I learned for making Italian chicken spiedini (essentially skewered chicken). Instead of deep frying, you coat chicken kebabs in bread crumbs and then grill them for a crispy, crunchy crust.

It took a couple of tries, but the natural fat in the chicken literally fries the bread-crumbs as they grill.  You get the best of both worlds — the crispiness of frying and the smoky taste of grilling. Just make sure to keep the heat of your grill on medium so the chicken doesn’t get overly charred.

Try it: Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs

Get more cookout ideas from Food Network Magazine