I grew up in a house where holiday cookie baking would always reach a fever pitch and the result is this recipe. Why? It is a butter cookie, somewhat crumbly (and grumpy if you’re not nice to it) with the simple taste of clove added. So tasty and they go great with eggnog. The powdered sugar on the exterior is very “retro” and leaves you licking your fingers as you reach for another cookie. Want a plain butter cookie? Omit the cloves. Want to make a chocolate cookie? Make the chocolate ganache at the bottom and serve it warm, on the side, for dunking or dip the cookies once they’re baked and cooled in the chocolate and put them on a rack to set slightly before serving. The melted candy cane in the chocolate adds a fun peppermint touch, but you can also leave it out and just have the flavors of chocolate and butter speak for themselves.
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Bobby Flay took a break from cooking for “Savor Borgata: A Taste of American Classics” at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. to chat with us about his holiday plans. We asked him seven rapid-fire questions to help us get to know his holiday personality.
FN Dish: For a holiday drink, eggnog, apple cider or hot chocolate?
Bobby Flay: Hot chocolate
FN Dish: Vodka, tequila, gin or bourbon?
FN Dish: Christmas breakfast or Christmas dinner?
At a recent cooking demonstration at Bobby Flay’s namesake steakhouse, located at The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., Chef Flay not only cooked up delicious shrimp and grits, he also shared some great cooking tips that you’ll want to keep handy this holiday season.
Grits are basically the American version of polenta, but instead of costing a few bucks, Italian restaurants can charge $32 a plate. Make grits or polenta for the holidays: Take ¼ of the polenta you are going to make and toast it dry in a pan. This will give your polenta a nice nutty flavor and it will separate your polenta from everyone else’s. Try this trick with Bobby’s Shrimp and Grits from Bar Americain, for polenta are sure to impress.
Kohlrabi comes from the German words “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” (turnip). It tastes like a slightly peppery mixture of turnip and radish with a pinch of Brussels sprout. The bulbs are at their best when they’re around the size of a baseball or softball. If much bigger, they tend to have a tougher texture. I found that both light green and purple kohlrabi don’t taste dramatically different. Maybe the purple was a touch sweeter? You be the judge. How do you eat it?
Raw: The simplest choice. Simply peel the outer layer of skin off with a vegetable peeler and grate the kohlrabi raw over a salad.
This is a classic New England dessert my mother would make during the fall months. She would always make it in a deep, small dish, but I like a shallow (about 2-2 1/2 quart capacity) baking dish. The caramelized apples give the dessert a lighter, fruitier touch. I chose some of my favorite apple varieties for their flavor and ability to hold their shape while cooking. At my local farmers’ market, the guys always have great apple suggestions, and every season I like to pick a new apple variety and make it my “apple of the season.” Last year, I got stuck on the Mutsu for its tart, but also somewhat sweet-when-cooked flavor and crisp texture. This year, I am in search of the perfect cooking apple. What would that entail? An apple that would hold its shape when cooked and also retain a lot of flavor. Not an easy task. I am currently experimenting with Braeburn and Empire apples.
Speaking of his Turkey Day tradition at home with his family, Alton said, “It’s really simple. Really simple. I’m not one of those guys who wants to cook for 13 hours and eat for five. So it’s very, very basic stuff.” What exactly is on his menu? “I handle the turkey. There’s some dressing. My mother-in-law makes a pecan pie. I like Brussels sprouts. And we, like, cook some sweet potatoes, and it’s done.” he said. I bet Alton makes a mean batch of Brussels sprouts.
We also talked with Alton about his Good Eats Roast Turkey (pictured above), Food Network’s most popular turkey recipe, boasting a 5-star rating and more than 3,400 user reviews.
Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.
Recently, I shared my one of my two favorite apple recipes with you: a warm and comforting Mulled-Apple Cider. Now, I’m whipping up a Thanksgiving treat that will become a fall staple.
Jason Cameron and Tony Siragusa of the DIY Network show Man Caves believe that every guy deserves a space of his own. Together, they have given men across the country luxury rooms to match each one’s personality and passion. Recently, Jason and Tony stopped by Iron Chef Michael Symon’s suburban Ohio neighborhood to build him an in-house fitness center, complete with state-of-the-art exercise machines, a walk-in steam room and a juice bar. Not just a master of the kitchen, Michael rolls up his sleeves to lend a hand with the power tools and construction of his basement cave.
After four years of hosting The Next Iron Chef and 10 on Iron Chef America, Alton has witnessed hundreds of culinary battles, experienced a myriad of secret ingredients and tasted thousands of gourmet plates. We asked him about the difference between a typical Iron Chef battle and that between Super Chefs. He explained, “It’s professional, but there’s the added tension of having a lot to lose. Every one of those chefs doesn’t need to prove anything, but losing still really kind of sucks. There’s a lot of tension there because of that.”
Of the rivalry between the 10 Super-Chefs, Alton assured us that the battles would be aggressive, but never malicious. “You’re never going to see any backstabbing or cattiness; they don’t do that,” he noted. We would expect nothing less from such professionals as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Michael Chiarello, among others, as they are friends and colleagues outside of the competition, as well.
This afternoon, Alton Brown took to Twitter for a live Q&A session with fans and Food Network. Alton touched on topics from Iron Chef America, to current food trends and this Sunday’s upcoming premiere episode of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs — find out what he had to say.
Question: How do you decide what tie to wear on Next Iron Chef?
Alton: I do dress myself and I must confess, I travel with about 30 ties so that I always have choices.
Question: Do you get nervous when you walk into Kitchen Stadium?
Alton: I have butterflies in my stomach every time I walk into kitchen stadium.
Question: If you could challenge one chef to a battle, who would it be and what secret ingredient would you have?
Alton: If I could challenge an Iron Chef, it would be Morimoto: Battle beanie-weenies.