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Don’t Even Think About It! Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

by in Shows, January 25th, 2013

Hines and Carnie
Rachael vs. GuyThis season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off puts the celebrity contestants in different situations every episode with challenges that test a certain aspect of their culinary know-how. This past episode tested their adaptability in a diner with reinventing classic sandwiches. But there’s even more pressure in the next challenge, which will test their ability to cook for some pretty picky eaters. Every recipe must meet a certain expectation if they want to survive another week.

In the above sneak-peek photo, Hines and Carnie from Team Rachael are cooking for the challenge. It appears Hines has got whatever he’s making under control, but then Carnie butts in. Or is Hines asking Carnie for help?

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What to Watch: A Weekend of Parties, Game-Day Food and More

by in Shows, January 25th, 2013

sausage bitesIt’s a weekend of celebrations, game-day get-togethers and competition on Food Network.

On Saturday Paula and her brother Bubba are preparing for a birthday celebration with lots of grilled and fried foods. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree is hosting a family game day on the ranch and she’s cooking up lunch afterward. Then Trisha’s having over her girlfriends for a game day filled with food. On Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s in Napa learning Thomas Keller’s secret to fried chicken. And finally Giada’s putting her twist on game-day grub.

Sunday morning Guy’s cooking with friends in Kentucky and he’s got a cocktail recipe to cap off the meal. Then on The Best Thing I Ever Made it’s meat lovers’ madness. Sunday evening it’s girls vs. boys on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off as the celebrity teams must cater to groups of kids. And finally on Iron Chef America, it’s Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. Chef Celina Tio, former competitor on Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef.

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Sunny’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Round Two

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 24th, 2013

leg of lambby Sunny Anderson

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.

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Melissa’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Round Two

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 24th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian and Ted Allenby Melissa d’Arabian

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.

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The Perfect Milkshake — Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off

by in Shows, January 24th, 2013

Rachael and Guy
Rachael vs. GuyOn this past Sunday’s episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the bottom two celebrity contestants, Dean and Chilli, competed in a milkshake blind-tasting challenge to determine who was to go home. Dean made a boozy Creamsicle-inspired milkshake that Rachael and Guy raved about. Chilli made a milkshake more on the classic side — though there was nothing wrong with it, she still ended up being eliminated.

Dean’s milkshake recipe included orange liqueur, orange zest and orange segments. It also had a liqueur-soaked Twinkie on the side. Chilli’s milkshake featured a combination of chocolate, peanut butter and cookies in a kid-friendly nod to her son. Both of these recipes were really exceptional, which made judging them that much more difficult. Without knowing whose creation was whose, Rachael and Guy chose the Creamsicle milkshake because it stepped outside of the box. Chilli regretted playing it safe, but she was still proud of what she made.

More From Rachael vs. Guy:
Episode 3 Recap (Video)
Watch the Full Episode (Video)
Episode 3 Highlights (Photos)
Chilli’s Exit Interview

If you were in either of the contestant’s shoes, what kind of milkshake would you have made?

SHARE your favorite milkshake recipe

Restaurant Revisited: Sapori D’Italia

by in Shows, January 23rd, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIn addition to his expected mission of renovating the interior and designing a crowd-pleasing menu at Sapori D’Italia in Fountain Hills, Ariz., Robert Irvine faced the challenge of mending a broken family. Together with their sons David and Jonathan, owners Gasper and Maria Manno used to spend much of their time at the restaurant arguing, something that was downright disruptive to customers trying to enjoy a meal. After working with the family to discuss their issues with the restaurant and each other and spending $10,000 on renovations, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team reopened the doors to Sapori in only two days. Today, the restaurant is a comfortable eatery with a made-over menu of full-flavored Italian classics to match. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Gasper to find out how Sapori is doing today.

Immediately following filming, Sapori’s revenue shot up nearly $8,000 per week for the first three weeks. Things have settled down a bit since then, with the weekly increase averaging a respectable “$2,000 more than the same time last year,” according to Gasper.

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Fruitcake Blinis and “Semifreddo” Sandwiches — Rebel Remix

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 23rd, 2013

Chef Walter D'Rozario - Chopped Champions Round 2
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.

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Chatting With the Round-2 Winner of Chopped Champions

by in Shows, January 22nd, 2013

Chefs Walter D'Rozario and Vinson PetrilloIn an all-new season of Chopped Champions, 16 chefs, each with a previous Chopped win under his or her belt, are returning to the kitchen to face off for a second time in the ultimate multicourse cook-off. Although they’re no strangers to mystery baskets, these chefs are under more pressure than ever, as they’re competing not just for Chopped glory but also a spot in the finale where they can ultimately claim a $50,000 prize and the coveted title of Grand Champion.

Each week, four chefs will take their places in the kitchen and battle it out in the hopes of outlasting the chopping block once again. While three will crumble beneath the demands of Champions cooking, one will prove his or her culinary chops for a second time. Check in with FN Dish every Tuesday night after the episode to hear from the latest winner.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won

Your Favorite Diner Sandwich — Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off

by in Shows, January 22nd, 2013

Carnie Wilson and Hines Ward
Rachael vs. GuyOn Sunday’s episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the challenge had the celebrity contestants at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The goal was to reinvent three classic diner sandwiches: the tuna melt, the cheeseburger and the club sandwich. Unfortunately, not everyone lived up to the challenge. The diners found Dean’s and Chilli’s dishes from Team Guy their least favorite. In the end, Chilli was eliminated.

When you think about it, a diner sandwich makes a pretty darn good lunch, especially when you want to satisfy a craving for greasy spoon cuisine. Everyone has his or her favorite sandwich — you may even order the same one every time you visit a diner. FN Dish wants to know, What’s your favorite diner sandwich? Vote in the poll after the jump.

More From Rachael vs. Guy:
Episode 3 Recap (Video)
Watch the Full Episode (Video)
Episode 3 Highlights (Photos)

VOTE for your favorite diner sandwich

What’s in Your Ultimate Chopped Basket?

by in Shows, January 21st, 2013

Chopped BasketThree rounds, three different baskets and 12 out-of-this-world ingredients. Whether it’s Chopped Champions, All-Stars or regular-season episodes, that’s a lot of combinations to come up with.

So we’re asking this question: What would be included in your ultimate Chopped basket? Not something you’d want to receive, but something you’d give to a fellow competitor. Would there be two proteins? All sweets? Would you include one or two ingredients they’ve probably never heard of? It can be argued that the simplest ingredients like eggs, chicken, pasta and rice are sometimes the hardest.

Tell us what you’d choose in the comments below.