by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, April 25th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, News, April 25th, 2015
As Food Network’s official Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro is no stranger to between-bread creations, and on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, he joined Geoffrey Zakarian for a Flavor Bombs segment focusing on one sandwich in particular: the grilled cheese. For GZ, the next-level taste came in the form of rich, hearty brioche bread, which promised to give heft to his over-the-top grilled cheese, while Jeff added a bold punch of spice to his jalapeno-spiked recipe.
FN Dish caught up with Jeff on the set of The Kitchen to get his take on what it takes to build not just an everyday grilled cheese but his ultimate, best-ever grilled cheese. From the necessary thickness of the slice of bread to sliced-versus-shredded cheese thoughts, read on below to hear from Jeff and find out what he considers to be “the four best bites” of the sandwich.
“White bread — country white, because it’s usually a little sweeter. It’s got a little more density to it,” Jeff says. “Thick slices, but you don’t want to get too thick. You want to get not, like, your standard bagged sandwich bread, but something a little heartier. But not Texas toast. It’s got to be thin enough to let that heat rise to the interior to goo out the cheese. But it can’t be too thin, where you’re going to take it off [the heat] and it’s going to be floppy. I hate floppy grilled cheese. [Also,] butter on my grilled cheese. Yes.”
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, April 20th, 2015
If next month’s James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards Gala is the Oscars of the culinary industry, then last night’s James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards was the Golden Globes of the food world — at least according to the president of the James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro. At Manhattan’s Pier Sixty, nestled along the Hudson River with sprawling views of a shining city sunset, Ungaro joined more than 100 esteemed award nominees, plus revered chefs and tastemakers, and host Carla Hall, to celebrate the very best works in food media.
From the Photography and Podcast categories to that of the Personal Essay, the winners took the stage one by one to accept their James Beard medals and reflect on the journeys that brought them to that podium. Perhaps, however, no other award was more sought-after than the medal for Outstanding Personality/Host, as it was saved until nearly the end of the evening. For the second year in a row, Food Network’s Ina Garten earned the win in this venerable category for her hit show Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. Before and after her name was announced, the crowd looked back on familiar scenes from her show, as well as some of Ina’s most-mouthwatering recipes, which in true Ina form, she delivered with the relaxed and welcoming air that only she could provide.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, April 18th, 2015
No matter how hectic the day has been or how spent you may feel come dinnertime, meals still need to get on the table, and for those times when you’re left uninspired, Rachael Ray has a few tips for not just cooking food but relishing that experience in the kitchen too. At her live demo during this winter’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Rachael explained to a packed audience that the key to enjoying cooking involves both a relaxed state of mind and preparation. Read on below to hear what she had to say.
“Get yourself in a good mood somehow,” Rachael said. For some, that may involve music, and for others, a glass of wine may do the trick. “You can also get way ahead,” she suggested, explaining that on days when you’re not pressed for time, invest the effort in preparing a few make-ahead dishes, so that you’ll have them when you need them.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, April 8th, 2015
I spent most of my week in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, supporting No Kid Hungry’s efforts to feed our nation’s children. I attended the No Kid Hungry Summit alongside thought leaders, corporations, foundation heads and some of the best chefs nationwide. I joined forces with many of them to spend a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with our legislators, and I hosted two Taste of the Nation events in D.C. and Charlotte. Phew! As I type, I’m sipping a strong cup of coffee (after a 3 a.m. wake-up call!), sitting on a plane headed home to San Diego.
Why would I spend nearly a week away from my family and take that kind of time off from my “regular” work?
by Maria Russo in Contests, Food Network Chef, April 7th, 2015
Much like a classic roast chicken or towering chocolate cake, pasta Bolognese (pasta with a hearty meat sauce) is one of those recipes we keep in our back pockets for when we need a little comfort. It’s something many have made before — and successfully so — but that doesn’t mean there’s no need to improve upon the most-basic recipe. That’s where Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian comes in. At a recent demo at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he offered eager fans a few expert tips on elevating this staple Italian sauce to the next level of craveworthy satisfaction. Read on below to learn what he does to guarantee a rich and savory sauce, and find out his choice of noodles, then get his top-rated and simple-to-prepare recipe.
1. Bolognese is all about the meat, and for Geoffrey, that means a blend of four varieties: He opts for equal parts pancetta, pork, pork sausage and veal.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, April 4th, 2015
“I decided to do this book because I love summer,” Katie Lee recently told FN Dish of her brand-new upcoming publication, Endless Summer Cookbook. “That’s my favorite time of year, and summer food is my favorite kind of food to cook. It’s also the season that I entertain the most.” For Katie, the more than 100 recipes in Endless Summer are all about celebrating the season’s bounty of freshness and the plethora of local ingredients near her home in the Hamptons. “Before I started writing the book, I wanted to be able to capture summer,” she explained, “so my photographer came over, and I went to the farm stand and we bought a bunch of stuff and came home and cooked. And then I wrote the recipes to go along with the food that I cooked.” Ranging from sweet treats like Light Lemony Berry Cheesecake to hearty grilled fare like BLT Ranch Burgers, plus refreshing sips like Frozen Blueberry Daiquiris, these dishes and drinks are ideal for relaxed warm-weather entertaining at home, no matter where your home is. “I’m so excited to share these recipes with people,” Katie said.
You can preorder your copy of Endless Summer Cookbook from the Food Network Store, but FN Dish is giving five lucky, randomly selected readers the chance to win a copy with a signed bookplate for free. All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment below with your favorite recipe from Katie (see all of Katie’s recipes here).
by Amy Reiter in Food Network Chef, News, March 24th, 2015
It’s Easter week, so we are loading up the minivan with the kids and heading out to spend the holiday with family. One of the great pleasures of my life is turning around from the front passenger seat of our minivan and seeing all four of my kids sitting in their seats, all buckled and excited for whatever adventure awaits the d’Arabians. Something about that view, even if they are just watching the DVD player that I swore I would never use when I bought the car, reminds me that at my core, the identity in life that brings me the most joy is that of being the mom of this family.
One of my favorite episodes of Ten Dollar Dinners is the one where my kids cooked with me. We made brunch: baked eggs with chorizo, a healthy smoothie and chocolate veggie pancakes. Valentine and Charlotte helped me cook (wow, they look young to me now in that episode!), while Margaux, Oceane and Philippe joined us to eat at the end of the episode. (It was the only time that gorgeous dining room table that our prop stylist had found at vintage shop was ever featured in an episode!) That was a real glimpse into what our family is like around the table, which is how I probably picture my family the most. The only unnatural part of that brunch (other than the cameras!) was the fact that we had to ask Philippe to speak in English to the girls for the purposes of TV. In real life, he speaks to them only in French. (In fact, for years the girls thought he didn’t know how to speak English! But that’s a story for another day.) If you listen closely, you can actually hear Oceane slip up and reply to Philippe in French in the last few seconds of the show.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, March 21st, 2015
The James Beard Foundation announced the nominations for its 2015 awards Tuesday morning in a breakfast ceremony at the James Beard House in New York City. Food Network talent and shows are among the proud nominees for the prestigious awards, considered the Oscars of the food world, which honor culinary-industry leaders across 59 categories.
Ina Garten, who won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Personality/Host for her Food Network show Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, has been nominated again this year in that category for her work on the show. Her fellow nominees are Vivian Howard, host of A Chef’s Life on PBS, and Pete Evans, host of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking, also on PBS.
Food Network’s Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, hosted by Bobby Flay and produced by Bobby Flay and Kim Martin, is nominated in the category of Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location. The other nominees in that category are Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and Sara’s Weeknight Meals, which both air on PBS.
by Maria Russo in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, March 11th, 2015
We moved into a new house last weekend. While it was only a few blocks away from our old house, the logistics were deceptively still monumental. The upside of moving, however, is that you purge, if only to save yourself from having to tape up, carry and unpack yet another box. So, in the spirit of celebrating spring (and because this is all so very fresh in my mind with our move), I’m sharing with you exactly how I do my favorite kind of spring cleaning: Clear the Pantry Week.
First, I should admit up front that I don’t love to clean in general. When friends say they find it soothing or relaxing, it only makes me wonder if they’ve never been to a spa. So let that shed a little bit of light onto my loose use of the term “favorite” when I’m describing any cleaning task. But stay with me here, because Clear the Pantry is a fun game, and I don’t mean that in the same way I try to talk my daughters into making their beds every morning by singing our way through the steps. I actually like Clear the Pantry (CTP) Week. And, unlike lots of spring cleaning tasks, CTP will actually save you cash immediately, which is the same thing as making money, except better because the saving is after-tax.
CTP, at its simplest, is a commitment to shop from our own pantries instead of the store, which reduces clutter and improves inventory rotation and cash flow. We’ll have fun, your pantry and fridge and freezer will be clean, and you’ll have some extra cash in your pocket. Ready?
How to CTP in 6 Easy Steps:
When it comes to hosting a party at home, there are two groups of people: those who panic and those who prepare. If the mere thought of cooking for a crowd sends you into cold sweats, chances are you’re part of the first group, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes to be prepared for your next big bash is having a plan for the meal, and for that, Rachael Ray likes the bar approach.
During a live demo with her husband at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival last month, Rachael dished on what she calls “a cheap and cheerful way to entertain.” She set up a bar of fixings for her chicken fajitas, like lettuce, radishes, cheese and crema, and explained that when re-creating the meal at home, each guest could be responsible for bringing just one portion of the spread. “Everybody can participate,” she said. That means that instead of all the pressures of the party — the shopping, the cooking, the plating (and the panic) — being put on you, the host, your friends can help out by contributing to the meal. And with everyone creating their own versions of their ultimate meal, like fajitas or tacos or pizza, you can be sure that each guest will get exactly what he or she wants.