This weekend get some great ideas for home cooking with new episodes from Ree, Trisha, Rachael, Giada and Jeff. They’ve got everything from cooking with pantry staples to making meals on a budget. Guy gets in the kitchen with Chef Duskie Estes to make a taco dinner, plus he’s got a taco challenge for the contestants on the finale of Guy’s Grocery Games. Also on this weekend is a new episode of The Kitchen, where the hosts give a tour of their personal pantries and make their favorite wing recipes. Plus, there’s a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen in which one chef must use a work light to cook his or her quesadillas.
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To celebrate season 3 of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, which airs Mondays at 9pm/8c, FN Dish is giving away this knife set by Guy Fieri to one lucky reader.
You can buy your own Midnight Series Guy Fieri Chef’s Set from the Food Network Store, or enter below for a chance to win the items. To enter: Tell us in the comments which celebrity on Team Guy you’re rooting for. The contest starts at 3pm EST today and ends Thursday, Jan. 23 at 3pm EST.
From a filthy interior to seemingly indifferent management, the problems at Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill in Auburn, Wash., were many, and it was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to decipher and ultimately fix them one by one if the business was to have any chance at future success. Over the course of two days and with a budget of only $10,000, Robert overhauled the interior of the eatery, redesigned the menu and worked with owner Donel Brinkman to implement positive changes that ultimately allowed her to reopen Spunky Monkey to a packed crowd. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Donel and find out how her business is faring a few months later.
“Customers are thrilled with the design (as are we),” Donel says of the diners’ reactions to Spunky Monkey’s transformation, “and we are receiving great commentary on the transition.”
The 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.
You’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
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Most 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.
Worst 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.
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.
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.
by 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.**