It’s my turn to take a stab at the famed Chopped basket. I’m sure I’d come up with something different from these options if asked today, tomorrow or the day after. It’s the beast that is Chopped!
Appetizer basket: Fruitcake, shad roe sack, vodka and Tokyo scallions
I’ve only cooked shad roe sack once and it reminded me of how you cook a good piece of liver — hot and fast. I’d build a brown butter sauce with capers and lemon, then in another pan quickly fry the shad roe sack with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper, maybe a dusting of flour, then I’d rest them in the brown butter sauce while I finished the rest of the dish. With the vodka and the scallions, I’d add some minced shallots and garlic, and I’d simmer them all in a pot with apple cider vinegar and maybe a bit of honey or sugar. Then I’d toast a slice of fruit cake and cut out cubes and make tiny croutons in butter. I’d put the quick vodka-pickled scallions on a plate alongside the shad roe sack in butter sauce and either make a quick bitter green salad for the croutons or just sprinkle them on the plate and hope I don’t get sent home because I didn’t want to incorporate the fruitcake into the dish completely, (ick). Hopefully the quick-pickled scallions would cut the brown butter sauce and I would get points for that — Seared Shad Roe Sack in a Brown Butter Sauce With Quick Vodka-Pickled Tokyo Scallions With Fruitcake Croutons.
I have to admit that watching Chopped actually stresses me out so much that if I watch when it airs late in the evening, I find that I can’t sleep. My husband thinks it’s “fun” to press pause and spit out quickly what he would do if he were getting the basket. Clearly he has never been in the Chopped kitchen himself. I can’t watch Chopped without feeling like I’m the one who actually has to pull off a culinary miracle in minutes, but for you, dear readers, I will take one for the team. I will give myself 30 seconds for each round to come up with a menu. Thirty seconds; that’s it (I’m on the honor system here, I realize). Time starts — now.
Appetizer basket: Fruitcake, shad roe sack, vodka and Tokyo scallions
I imagine opening the basket on that first course and pulling out fruit cake, my mind racing to the brandy-soaked monstrosity that my mom used to make for months leading up to the holidays. (Is this the Chopped basket where all fruitcakes go to die?) My mind would be spinning in despair, but not for long because the rest of the basket has potential — shad roe sack is amazing when simply sauteed, vodka and Tokyo scallions for the most part fit into the flavor profile. Even our (fr)enemy the fruitcake can play along nicely, adding some sweetness to play off the richness of the roe sack (think seared fois gras with berry compote). The biggest challenge for me is getting the onion not to overpower the rich roe sack.
Every Wednesday, Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star, Season 8, is remixing the Chopped Champion baskets as seen in the episode the night before in pure Justin Warner style: edgy, intense, passionate and full of wit. If you’ve ever watched an episode and found yourself yelling at the TV that you would have made this or that instead, then these are the posts for you.
by Justin Warner
I’ll be frank: sometimes I don’t know everything. Sometimes I call it a steamer and you’ll call it a sloppy Joe. Sometimes I call it a clam and you’ll call it a steamer. Sometimes you don’t know what the heck is in the basket and you just have to taste it and roll along. Even the most complex things in the food world are made of simple things. It’s when you don’t know the simple things that you should be worried about what’s in the basket!
Appetizer basket: Fruit cake, shad roe sack, vodka and Tokyo scallions
Fruit cake — fahruit cake — fahhhruuit cake. Let’s face it: it’s sweetened bread. Salt and lemon will shut it up. It’s pre-made bread though, right? With caviar? And vodka? And onion? This is a gift basket if you ask me.
Ron Ben-Israel may have it all together in the sweets department, but he doesn’t always have his act together on the set of Sweet Genius. Don’t miss these hilarious bloopers from Season 3 (click the play button above).
Don’t forget to tune in Thursdays at 10pm/9c to catch Ron in an all-new season of Sweet Genius. Each episode, master pastry chef Ron will challenge four chefs to create scrumptious sweets with surprise ingredients to see who will win the $10,000 prize.
A new Iron Chef has officially been crowned and added to the prestigious roster. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli prevailed in the final showdown, a full-out Kitchen Stadium battle that paid homage to three long-standing Iron Chefs: Chefs Flay, Symon and Morimoto.
Iron Chef Guarnaschelli is the executive chef at both The Darby and Butter Restaurants (take a photo tour here) in New York City. She’s also a veteran judge on Chopped. Returning for a chance at redemption, Chef Guarnaschelli survived all eight of the Chairman’s intense challenges, only finding herself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown once.
We recently sat down with Chef Guarnaschelli at Butter to chat about her experience on TheNext Iron Chef: Redemption — why she decided to go for it a second time and what her biggest fear about Kitchen Stadium is.
We recently asked Food Network fans on Twitter to send their party-themed questions to an entertaining pro, Giada de Laurentiis. Just in time for New Year’s Eve, Giada shares tips to ensure you enjoy your own party, as much as your guests do. Click the play button above to watch Giada answer fan questions and get some of her party recipes below.
Yesterday we posed this question to readers: What do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Thanksgiving is all about turkey and Easter is all about the ham. But what meat do you serve on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
FN Dish went to the meat master, Pat LaFrieda, Jr., to chat about alternative meats for Christmas, and as always, he didn’t let us down. Keep reading for tips on standing rib roasts, get Pat’s recipe for stuffing and find out what his favorite holiday meal is.
Standing rib roasts are delicious, but some people may be nervous to try and cook one. Do you have any suggestions? How many pounds/ribs per person? PLF: Always figure on 1 pound of meat, in the raw form, per person. That should yield 12 ounces of cooked meat. Try the recipe pictured above: Paula’s Foolproof Standing Rib Roast
When it comes to decking the halls, you can be sure that your favorite Food Network stars have no-fail recipes, easy entertaining tips and party-ready menus to help you host your best holiday ever. But have you ever wondered how these chefs celebrate the season when they’re away from the cameras? Among them, which are known for an infectious Christmas spirit, and who prefers to spend a casual holiday enjoying non-traditional eats and drinks? Do they like to curl up in front of the fireplace with their families, or are they drawn to the hustle and bustle of the season? We recently caught up with Paula Deen, Sunny Anderson, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and more Food Network favorites to find out the answers to these questions and more, and what they told us may surprise you.
Test Your Knowledge: How FN Stars Celebrate the Holidays
Think you know how the chefs celebrate the holidays? Take this quiz to find out, and learn about their plans for this season, memories of holidays past, ultimate Christmas menus and more bits of seasonal trivia.
Congratulations - you have completed Test Your Knowledge: How FN Stars Celebrate the Holidays.
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Who owns a full-size leg lamp similar to the one that's featured in the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story”?
One Christmas when she was a child, Sunny Anderson was given an extra-special teddy bear that she still has today. What did she name that teddy bear?
For Trisha Yearwood, the perfect holiday meal includes baked ham, green beans, coconut cake and what other dish to honor her late mother?
Which two stars have experienced holiday cooking disasters involving raw turkeys?
Alton Brown and Bobby Flay
Trisha Yearwood and Rachael Ray
Sandra Lee and Alex Guarnaschelli
Paula Deen and Robert Irvine
Flannel pajamas and mismatched socks are part of whose Christmas morning wardrobe?
Giada De Laurentiis
“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is whose favorite Christmas song?
How many Christmas trees does Sandra Lee set up in her home during the holiday season?
Jellyfish, dumplings and seafood-stuffed pineapple are often what you'll find which star enjoying on Christmas?
"Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate" is what this star said is part of her perfect holiday meal.
Giada De Laurentiis
Which two chefs consider “It's a Wonderful Life” to be their favorite Christmas movie?
Paula Deen and Alex Guarnaschelli
Robert Irvine and Rachael Ray
Sunny Anderson and Bobby Flay
Sandra Lee and Giada De Laurentiis
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No stranger to competitions, Masaharu Morimoto is one of the Chairman’s longest-standing Iron Chefs and a seasoned veteran of Kitchen Stadium, with more than 35 Iron Chef America battles under his belt. On Wednesday night, however, the tables will turn for this king of Japanese cuisine as he trades in his chef’s jacket and takes his place at the judges’ table of the Miss Universe Pageant.
The Iron Chef will join 16 other famous judges including musician CeeLo Green and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to oversee this annual pageant. As 89 contestants from around the world come together to compete in several rounds like a question-and-answer segment and evening gown presentation, it will be up to Iron Chef Morimoto and his fellow judges to determine who has proven herself worthy of the crown and the yearlong title of Miss Universe.
Food Network stars reveal their favorite cookbooks. Give one (or all!) to the chef in your house.
ALTON’S PICK: The Fireside Cook Book
Alton Brown’s most beloved cookbook, written by James Beard, isn’t about food science or crazy gadgets — it’s an old-school American classic. “It’s a clear portrait of American cuisine at its post World War II height, before the rise of California or fusion cuisine, or any cuisine for that matter,” he says. $30, Simon & Schuster
MARC’S PICK: The French Laundry Cookbook
Iron Chef Marc Forgione loves Thomas Keller’s fine-dining bible as much for how it looks as for what it says. “When I first picked up this book, I realized I had never seen food look like that before,” Marc says. “Reading Keller’s stories about ingredients, purveyors and staff helped me confirm that I wanted to be a chef.” $50, Artisan