All Posts In Food Network Chef

How to Spring-Clean Your Pantry in 6 Easy Steps, According to Melissa

by in Food Network Chef, March 21st, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianWe 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:

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The Bar Approach: Rachael’s Choice for Easy Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, March 11th, 2015

Rachael Ray and Guy CusimanoWhen 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.

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Cereal, Snacks and the “Sugar Game”: What They Mean to My Family

by in Family, Food Network Chef, March 7th, 2015

Cereal, Snacks and the My daughters had been begging me to buy a particular box of cereal for the month of March. In our house, cereal is either healthy enough to be considered a breakfast item (by virtue of low sugar and high protein and fiber), or it is a dessert treat that we buy once a month. This box of cereal was the “dessert” cereal for the month of March. I brought the cereal home today, and the girls cheered with excitement, knowing that dessert tonight would be a bowl of crispy chocolate cereal in cold creamy milk.

I returned to work back in my office. Suddenly I heard a soft knock and saw the eyes of my 7-year-old Margaux peeking through the cracked door. I knew it was important. I stopped my typing and invited Margaux in, with her earnest, somber face. In her little hands, she held the box of chocolate cereal. “Mom, I just checked, and this cereal has 13 grams of sugar. I don’t think it’s very healthy at all.” She was conflicted — a gift of being a reader and being incapable of unseeing what she had read on the label. What followed was a conversation about our health, making balanced choices and reading labels. We brainstormed some options that would enable her to enjoy the cereal sometimes, but without feeling bad about it. (Simply not eating this cereal again, however, was not on the table for Margaux.) We talked about maybe buying a treat cereal less often — perhaps every six weeks — and making the servings a little smaller in order to reduce the sugar. She suggested maybe skipping the piece of candy she is allowed at the movies next time to balance out the sugar. (I don’t hold high hopes for her making good on that one, if I’m honest.)

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Alton Brown to Host the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards

by in Food Network Chef, News, March 5th, 2015

Alton BrownOn May 4, Alton BrownCutthroat Kitchen’s master of eviliciousness, will take on the master of ceremonies duties as the host of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards, a prestigious awards ceremony that is the culinary’s world’s answer to the Oscars. After being held in New York for 24 years, the event will take place in Chicago this year at the city’s appropriately sumptuous Civic Opera House, home of its Lyric Opera. It will be Alton’s second stint hosting the awards; he previously hosted in 2012. Alton is also a repeat James Beard Foundation Award winner, most recently honored as Outstanding Television Host – for his work on Good Eats — in 2011.

You can find a full list of this year’s restaurant- and chef-award semifinalists here. The foundation will announce the final nominees in these categories, as well as the nominations for its book, journalism, broadcast media and restaurant design awards, on Tuesday, March 24. The annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, to be held in New York on April 24, will be hosted by Carla Hall, of ABC’s The Chew.”

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PHOTOS: Guy Fieri Makes Nachos in a Trashcan (and They’re Amazing!)

by in Events, Food Network Chef, March 2nd, 2015

Guy FieriLeave it to Guy Fieri to turn a simple live cooking demo into an all-out party, complete with pumping music, plenty of The Drunk Donkey cocktails and, of course, over-the-top eats. That’s just what happened at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival when Guy dished out the cheesiest, meatiest nachos ever … in a trashcan. This nontraditional (and clean) vessel was the only container large enough to hold his super-layered snack — so large, in fact, that when it came time to serve the nachos, Guy needed a few friends’ help to flip the can over.

Click the photo below to launch an entire photo gallery of the making of Guy’s next-level nachos.

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5 Reasons Trisha’s Southern Comfort Potluck Menu Is the One to Make

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, February 28th, 2015

Trisha's Southern Comfort PotluckYou don’t need to speak with a delightful drawl or live in a house with a wraparound porch to tuck into some serious Southern comfort. In fact, Trisha Yearwood’s Southern Comfort Potluck menu should be next up on your roster no matter where you call home. Complete with a few unexpected twists, these down-home favorites are notable for their convenience — and then some. Let us list the ways!

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Giada De Laurentiis Proves You Can Have Pasta for Breakfast

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, February 27th, 2015

Pasta al la CarbonaraLeave it to Food Network’s own queen of Italian cuisine, Giada De Laurentiis, to transform a breakfast classic — bacon and eggs — into a rich, hearty pasta ideal for any time of day. While cooking for a packed crowd last weekend at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, in between answering fan questions and mingling with her onstage guest cook, Giada showed off how simple it is to make her carbonara, a next-level version of a traditional recipe featuring creamy eggs and Italian bacon. Read on below for her top-10 tips for making this silky, comforting pasta, then get her quick-fix recipe.

1. Instead of everyday bacon, Giada uses pancetta — an unsmoked Italian bacon — in her carbonara. When rendered, it becomes crispy and salty, and the drippings can be used to saute the onions.

2. Giada admits that while onions may not be an ingredient in the most-authentic carbonara recipes, they’re indeed a beloved element in her family’s recipe, as they offer sweetness, which offsets the salt, and promise “a lot of flavor.”

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Back in the Winner’s Circle: Anne Burrell Dishes on Her Worst Cooks Victory

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 16th, 2015

Anne Burrell and Kristen RedmondAfter a three-season winning streak, Worst Cooks in America‘s Red Team coach, Anne Burrell, suffered two back-to-back losses, but just last night she reclaimed her victorious title in a nail-biting finale. “It feels like I’ve been restored to my correct position,” she told FN Dish in an exclusive interview. The veteran mentor spent seven weeks at Boot Camp with her team of recruits, detailing the beginner how-tos of the kitchen and building confidence within the novice cooks, and ultimately her mentee Kristen Redmond proved just how much she’s learned from Anne in a cook-off against the Blue Team’s Genique Freeman.

Read on below to hear more from Anne as she dishes on the finale, shares her proudest moment as a mentor and gives must-know kitchen tips for Worst Cooks fans at home.

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My Favorite Recipe: Potato-Bacon Torte, and the Surprising Reason Why

by in Food Network Chef, February 7th, 2015

Potato-Bacon TorteThere are questions that I am asked over and over — by journalists, fans, and TV and radio hosts. One of them: What is my favorite thing to cook? The answer: my Potato-Bacon Torte (which, interestingly, seems to be my fans’ favorite too!). But the reason may surprise you. It actually surprised me, once I took the time to give real thought to the follow-up question, “Why?” — which no one ever seemed to ask, until recently.

The Potato-Bacon Torte (pictured above) is certainly tasty comfort food: rich with cream, slightly smoky from bacon and deliciously encrusted with the unmistakable aroma of buttery crust that flakes under the pressure of teeth sinking in for a bite. The entire house smells like a fluffy, warm croissant when I bake it. A small sliver served with a simple green salad with a tangy Dijon vinaigrette is the perfect winter supper, if you ask me. And the recipe costs pennies per serving to make, so it aligns with the frugal me.

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Anne’s Ultimate Game-Day Menu: “My Friends Don’t Request — They Tell Me I Need to Make Them”

by in Food Network Chef, January 25th, 2015

Anne BurrellNachos, sliders, wings, dips and beer — for most, February’s big-game day is a chance to indulge in the ultimate spread of snack food, and Anne Burrell is no exception. It brings “a license to go ahead and get down and dirty on all of the stuff I would not normally let myself eat all together,” she recently told FN Dish. Among her must-haves at the tailgate is “a big pot of meatballs” — her Excellent Meatballs, in fact. Anne’s friends practically demand these easy, saucy bites, and the secret to making them comes down to a basic rule: solid seasoning.

Read on below to hear more from Anne about her favorite football foods and how to make then, then find out what she’ll be looking for at the concession stand when she travels to Glendale, Ariz., for the big game on Feb. 1.

It wouldn’t be game day without _____ and _____.
Anne Burrell: It wouldn’t be game day without lots of friends and libations.

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