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Tapas Time with Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

by in Recipes, Shows, January 15th, 2014

piquillo peppers
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient piquillo peppers, which you’ve probably seen in jars on the supermarket shelf or in salad bars. These peppers have a pleasant sweet taste, so no heat, and even though they’re relatively small in size (the name means “little beak” in Spanish), they’re actually great for stuffing. Consider this recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers a great tapas-style appetizer or light meal. The quinoa is packed with protein and the raw zucchini salsa is full of flavor. But best of all, the dish is simple to prepare, taking only 30 minutes.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Judges of Chopped?

by in Shows, January 14th, 2014

Chopped judgesYou’ve seen them critique all kinds of dishes from competitors that have included professional chefs, amateur cooks and even celebrities. And you’ve seen them go from behind the Chopping Block to cooking front and center in All-Stars and the Web series After Hours. But how well do you know the judges of Chopped?

In a series of Q&As, FN Dish revealed several facts that viewers didn’t know about the judges (who didn’t have anything to hide). See how much you know about the judges from what you’ve seen on TV and what you’ve read here on the blog in the quiz below. Prove you’re a Chopped superfan! Continue to watch the competition every Tuesday at 10pm/9c, plus all-new online episodes of After Hours this month.

Test Your Knowledge: The Judges of Chopped

Think you know everything about the Chopped judges? Take this quiz to find out how well you know the panel of nine chefs.
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14 Things You Didn’t Know About Alton Brown

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 14th, 2014

10 Things You Didn't Know About Alton BrownMost fans believe Alton Brown‘s a walking food dictionary (and he is). He’s the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he’s a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there’s still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.

1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. “Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time.”

2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.

3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. “I always travel with a guitar when I’m on the road.” He also sings with his trio on his live tour.

4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. “I’m anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she’s listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-’70s Elton John,” Alton shared with FN Dish.

5. Alton is terrified of calf’s liver. “I’ve tried it and I can’t make it edible. I don’t like anyone else’s either — and mine is just worse,” Alton adds.

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The Search for the Best of the Worst — Worst Cooks in America Is Back for Season 5

by in Shows, January 13th, 2014

Bobby and AnneWorst Cooks in America returns with a new season on Monday, Feb. 17 at 9pm/8c. Chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay are back again to coach 14 kitchen disasters, turning them (hopefully) into culinary successes with seven weeks of Boot Camp. Every week the recruits, who will be divided into two teams, have to face two grueling challenges that aren’t necessarily related to the kitchen — certain field trips will show these amateurs where their food comes from — and one member from each team will be sent home.

At the end of Boot Camp, the title of Best Worst Cook will go to the most-improved recruit, who will win $25,000 and earn his or her mentor highly coveted bragging rights. Last season, Bobby earned his first-ever win, facing off against formerly undefeated series champ, Anne. Watch the premiere on Monday, Feb. 17 at 9pm/8c to find out which mentor will win this season.

Read About the Premiere and Vote for Your Favorite Team

Grown-Up Sabotage in a Kid-Size Kitchen — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014


From competition and available prize money to chefs’ hopes and judges’ expectations, Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t short on anything, least of all sabotage. But tonight the contest took a turn for the pintsize in Round 3, when Chef Midgley found himself cooking strawberry shortcake in a tiny kids’ kitchen, equipped with a miniscule sink, toaster oven and induction range, as well as petite utensils.

“If you can only imagine in your mind’s eye big ol’ mitts on that guy using these little-bitty tools,” Alton said to Simon after he revealed the play-size setup to the judge on his After-Show. “I probably would have cried and run off into the corner,” Simon joked of how he may have approached this challenge, as he and Alton crouched down next to it. It turns out, however, that Chef Midgley found success with this sabotage, as he completed the round on time and presented Simon with a dish superior to his rival’s balsamic-soaked plate.

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Playing with Fire — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014


When it comes to chefs working with mystery basket ingredients, the Chopped judges look for creativity and, above all, an expert incorporation of all the ingredients into one harmonious dish. And sometimes it takes a bit of playing with one’s food to achieve that, or in this case playing with fire. Facing the same dessert basket as the contestants from Chopped: Firefighter Chefs, the judges accomplished exactly that. Alex, Scott and Amanda took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with wafer sheets, lemon soda, vanilla pudding cups and a blowtorch.

On the show, the final two competitors were able to make great strides with the ingredients, but neither of them truly created a unified dish. The one whose dish was found to be the most disjointed was ultimately chopped. Alex, Scott and Amanda looked at the ingredients as an opportunity to create unique desserts and the blowtorch as an enhancer of flavor. Alex went the extra mile in using it to char a savory ingredient for her dessert, which impressed her fellow judges the most.

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The Sophomore Effort

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 12th, 2014

The Kitchen - Behind the Scenes, Episode 2by Jeff Mauro

What a blast it was watching the premiere of The Kitchen along with all of you. The twitter action was bonkers. I was up in the air on my way back from the 14th annual Mauro Mexico Family Trip (25 Mauros strong this year!). I was sad because: A) The vacation was a bit of a bummer because it rained five days straight, I lost my iPad and my mom got a terrible case of strep throat*, and B) I wasn’t able to watch the live airing of the premiere of our new show on TV. Luckily, we had in-flight Wi-Fi and I got to engage in the episode via Twitter. Overall, the response was very positive, which is always reassuring. Twittertown can be a rough and tumble joint (keep reading, you’ll see what I mean), and it is seriously not for the meek. But in this case, it seemed like the people really liked us. Phew.

Episode 2 was a blast to shoot. We hit the field energetic and, with a couple practices and a solid game under our tight belts, more confident. We had our first guest during Cookbook Club — the highly talented pastry guru, author and legitimate Chicago native Jenny McCoy (win a copy of her book now). She gave an effortless interview in which I totally blew it and forgot to ask her my favorite question ever (see photo below). Jenny then demoed some of her award-winning desserts with the girls, and GZ and I promptly got kicked off set. This gave us a bit of a “union break.” I enjoyed a necessary dose of Jersey sunshine with GZ (which I guess was highly necessary, considering I received several tweets, one claiming I look “pretty pale” and another asking “What’s with Jeff’s alabaster skin? It’s gross.”). Noted.**

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Rhyme Time with Vanilla Ice — Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

by in Shows, January 11th, 2014

Vanilla Ice Presents His DishOn Monday’s upcoming episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the celebrities must cater a cocktail party with a Hawaiian luau theme. Chopped judge Marc Murphy stops by to taste the dishes, offer his critique, and, most importantly announce the winning team and the MVP of the challenge. In this sneak peek photo from the episode, Vanilla Ice from Team Guy presents his dish for tasting, but Guy has a moment where he holds his head and Rachael giggles while she takes a sampling of the food.

Did someone say something funny or just plain corny? It is, after all, a Hawaiian-themed party, so the celebrities are taking the theme to heart with dishes that play up that fact. But Ice is also known to break out with a rhyme on the fly. Did he put a silly spin on his dish?

Write Your Best Caption and Get a Sneak Peek of the Challenge

One-on-One with Sunny Anderson from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 10th, 2014

Sunny AndersonYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Sunny Anderson, then get to know the rest of the group.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Sunny Anderson: I am hungry, I am impatient and I am lazy. This is how I cook.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
SA: I always talk about food, so why not get paid for it, right? And it’s a good excuse to get Geoffrey Zakarian to cook for me weekly.

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What to Watch: The Kitchen’s New Cookbook Club and Firehouse Chefs Battle the Heat on Chopped

by in Shows, January 10th, 2014

The KitchenThis weekend on Food Network it’s all about comforting dishes and competitions that prove it’s possible to overcome obstacles, no matter how big or small. On Saturday morning, watch a new episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, where Trisha cooks up Southern comfort foods for her friend Wendy Williams. Then on The Kitchen, the hosts launch their new cookbook club with Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season, a copy of which will be given away on the blog tomorrow. Then in the evening, watch a new episode of On the Rocks, where John Green redoes an Irish pub.

On Sunday morning, tune in for Rachael Ray’s 3 in the Bag, where she shows you how to make three dishes out of one bag of groceries. Then on Sandwich King, Jeff is making pizza burgers, an Italian sub and Bombini Doughnuts. In the evening, watch a new episode of Guy’s Grocery Games, a special firefighters episode of Chopped and a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, where one chef faces cooking in a tiny kitchen.

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