For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient catfish. They determined that its sweet, flaky flesh was perfect for frying, and in this case, the fish doesn’t get fried in just any kind of breading. Using pulverized corn tortillas in this Tortilla-Crusted Catfish Po’ Boys recipe is not only a good use for leftover tortillas from taco night, but also a great way to add lots of texture, more than you could ever get from breadcrumbs. A mixture of buttermilk and Cajun-seasoned flour functions as the glue. Serving the catfish as po’ boy sandwiches is the perfect Southern twist and a great way to enjoy a fun meal with the family.
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No matter what recipe you’re cooking, when it comes to being prepared in the kitchen, few things are more important than a quality heat source. From live flames from a gas stove to the warmth of an oven or the power from a microwave, heat is needed to make critical things happen, and without it, or with an inferior heat supply, cooking anything well can be nearly impossible. On tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown auctioned off a sabotage that would seem to spell doom for one competitor: Instead of being able to prepare a clambake on a conventional stove, one chef would have to use tiny flame cubes set within a miniature prop. Was this too much to ask of a contestant in a 30-minute round? No, the sabotage was indeed fair, as the culinary team had tested the obstacle beforehand.
Click the play button on the video above to watch how this test unfolded, and learn which elements of the sabotage were approved and why some parts weren’t successful.
Did you know Flavortown Market is a fully operational grocery store packed with more than 20,000 items? Click play on the video above to get an inside look at the market (which took the team just two weeks to set up), built expressly for Guy’s Grocery Games (Sundays at 8|7c).
And what does the culinary team on the set of Guy’s Grocery Games do with all that leftover food each week? The team worked diligently to maintain a recycling program for waste management. Crew members always got to take home items that may be on the way out, but most of the products went to a local farmer, local food banks and charities.
1. Grab the smallest cart available: Studies have shown that grocery stores can do one simple thing that will result in you unwittingly spending more money — put out bigger grocery carts. So use this information to your advantage and always select the smallest cart available. And if only one size is offered, then either use the hand held basket (if possible), or make your cart visually “smaller” by filling it up with inexpensive produce first, before hitting the rest of the store.
2. Buy meat when it’s a loss leader: Imagine a world in which all your meat was 50 percent off (or more!) — it’s doable if you shop the loss leaders. Every week in major grocery store chains, there is usually one beef, one chicken and one pork cut on sale for 50 to 75 percent off its normal price. The objective of a loss leader is to get shoppers in the door of a supermarket, and though the store may take a hit on this one item, they know that you will also likely buy the rest of your groceries while you’re in the store (and make up the cost). I like to stock up on a few packages of these loss-leader meat items because meat freezes so beautifully. Then you always have a stock of various meats at the ready for diverse and cost-effective family dinners. (Wine is also sometimes a loss leader.)
Just when fans likely thought that Robert Irvine had seen it all after nearly eight seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this week he opened the doors to a themed restaurant for the first time. Cave Inn BBQ, located in Winter Garden, Fla., offered a prehistoric ambiance, complete with pictures of dinosaurs and fake rocks in the dining room and a menu of hearty, meaty plates. While Robert was taken aback by Cave Inn’s display, he couldn’t convince owner Buzz Klavans to abandon his business’ theme, and ultimately Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew continued the theme during the transformation. After just two days and with a $10,000 budget, the Stone Age-inspired restaurant reopened, reinvigorated with a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Buzz to find out how this business is doing today.
“Revenue has risen about 10 to 18 percent,” Buzz says. “I’m doing my best to follow all of Robert’s advice — some things are easier said than done, especially regarding [the] back of house — but we’re trying.”
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient almond butter. Traditionally a satay is made with peanut butter, but the chefs wanted to prove that almond butter makes a great substitution, with a slightly nuttier, richer flavor. In this Almond Chicken Satay recipe, the almond butter gets combined with coconut milk to create a tasty sauce for seared chicken breast, snap peas and rice noodles. Try this unique take on the classic Thai dish for dinner tonight.
Food Network celebrates the launch of the summer grilling season with a week of barbecue and grilling episodes, including premieres of Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Iron Chef America and Restaurant Impossible. Get the full schedule below.
Sunday, May 25
Guy’s Grocery Games: In the first game of this grilling episode, four chefs must use peanut butter in their grilled pizzas. Next, the chefs must dig through Guy’s Clearance Carts, filled with mystery meats, unmarked cans and more, to cook up the best dish possible. In the final game, we find out who comes out on top in the game Top Shelf/Bottom Shelf.
Iron Chef America: Grill Masters: Team USA (Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione and Alex Guarnaschelli) battles Team Australia (Chefs Adrian Richardson, Darren Robertson and Tobie Puttock) in a Grill Masters competition.
Cutthroat Kitchen: The ultimate backyard grill suit is unveiled. One chef’s equipment becomes all tangled up in fishnets. In the final round, claw hands are the name of the game for a barbecue chicken sandwich.
“This is awesome. I say that all the time, but I really mean it,” judge Jet Tila told Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown on tonight’s brand-new After-Show. “I know I keep saying that. This really is awesome,” he added. Jet has judged multiple episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen and is no stranger to the kind of evilicious Alton is capable of bestowing upon the competitors. So when Jet showed such a wowed reaction to one particular sabotage featured on tonight’s episode, fans knew this challenge must have been especially diabolical.
The sabotage in question was none other than the paper cutter auctioned off during Round 3’s steak Diane test, which allowed Chef Frances to slice or dice Chef Jaron’s piece of meat for a whopping 30 seconds. Because a singular round of meat — usually a fillet — is a signature element of steak Diane, shredded meat could mean disaster, and it ultimately did for Chef Jaron, who failed to take advantage of his newly cut-up beef. Alton told Jet of how he would have approached the obstacle, explaining: “I’m going to chop it down to even smaller pieces, and I’m going to either do it like it started to be a tartare, or I’m going to make a fricken burger kind of thing out of it.” He added of Chef Jaron’s obvious demise, “The second that he didn’t do that, I thought, ‘This is over.'” And sure enough, Chef Jaron walked away empty-handed.
After six weeks of competition, one home cook has separated herself from the rest and proven worthy of the title America’s Best Cook. Being mentored by a Food Network chef has helped her become a better home cook and a better competitor. The rigors of the competition strengthened her resolve to win, and helped her get to the finale, where she excelled in defeating three other finalists. She has made her region proud. America, meet your best cook.