Alton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including grandmas, firefighters, the judges he keeps on hand and the A-list chefs on Superstar Sabotage. In this brand-new series, 16 all-star professionals, all renowned in their field, agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most ultimately fell in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few shined — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in tonight’s tournament finale. If you haven’t watched the newest episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and outs of the battle and reveal the tournament champion.
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Our young Chopped Junior contestants were tasked with using avocado — an ingredient that’s great solo — as part of an entree dish. Inspired by their dishes, we put on our aprons and wandered into the Food Network Kitchen to make lunch.
We thought about guacamole, the most-iconic preparation of avocado, and decided to make it portable for lunch. So we mashed and mixed it right in its shell — no bowl required. Here’s how to make your own:
Normally, well-respected chefs would cringe at the thought of boxed macaroni and cheese, but the appetizer basket from the special Mac and Cheese episode of Chopped is a different story. “If someone doesn’t use that little bag of powder in here, total cop-out — you’re chopped,” Alex Guarnaschelli says. In this new installment of Chopped After Hours, Alex — along with her fellow judges Maneet Chauhan and Aarón Sánchez — must make an appetizer using boxed mac and cheese, Canadian bacon, Swiss chard and monkfish.
Alex begins studding her monkfish with the bacon for flavor and plans on making a macaroni and cheese sauce for the dish. “I’m going full-on blasphemy and anarchy,” she says of her dish. Aarón and Maneet are going a little more traditional, however. Aarón is making escabeche (a Spanish fish dish made with vinegar) while Maneet has envisioned the fish with a korma sauce (a traditional Indian nut-based sauce). When Maneet and Aarón realize they’re both using saffron for their sauces, Aarón responds, “You’ve been saffroned.”
Where can you eat breakfast for dinner, drink a cup of joe all day long or sit and relax without any fuss? It’s the American diner. On a recent episode of Top 5 Restaurants, hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson revealed the best diner dishes and where to get them. Whether they’re homey comfort food or towering carb-loaded dishes that double as hangover cures, these dishes keep customers coming back for more. Find out what made the list and which diner to visit next.
This week on Foodie Call, Justin’s love of video games finally connects with his love for food when Nintendo’s PR guru, David Young, stops by to discuss the surprisingly wide crossover of games and food. Inspired by the squid motifs in Nintendo’s Splatoon, Justin decides to acknowledge his fanboy status in an interesting way.
No matter the dish of the day or the chefs competing in battle, Alton Brown frequently auctions off sabotages that send Cutthroat Kitchen contestants to the seemingly strangest of work stations to prep their plates. (Remember the ball pit, the canoe and the high chair?) This week’s face-off was no exception as the Round 2 barbecue bacon cheeseburger test landed one competitor — where else? — atop a mechanical bull for the ultimate in ready-for-anything cooking. In true After-Show fashion, Alton wasted no time in saddling the judge of the day to this diabolical fate, and Antonia Lofaso took her turn at the challenge. Luckily for her, though, she didn’t have to prep burgers from scratch.
“You’ve got mise en place for the papaya salad,” Alton explained to her, as she had everything she’d need to make the Round 1 dish so long as she could stay atop the bull. “This is actually not that hard,” Antonia said while reaching for her ingredients and assembling the salad. But that was before Alton showed off the power of the bull controls. “How hard is it now?” he joked with her, after turning her around on the bull so she faced squarely away from the prep table. Once Alton repositioned her at the table, it was all about making do with the bucking and handling the moves in stride before she ultimately turned out a finished papaya salad.
To usher in the holidays and kick off the season with good cheer, Bobby Flay is throwing a Christmas party for all of his Food Network friends on the upcoming special Christmas at Bobby’s, premiering Sunday, Dec. 6 at 12|11c. Fellow Iron Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian will be on hand, as will Katie Lee and Sunny Anderson, along with Scott Conant, Anne Burrell and the newest member of the Food Network family, Eddie Jackson, whom Bobby mentored on Food Network Star, Season 11. Recently FN Dish checked in with Bobby to see what the holidays look like at his house — how he celebrates with his family and what seasonal indulgences he craves most at this time of year. Read on below to hear from him as he dishes on his holiday entertaining strategy and looks back on seasons past from when he was a kid.
What does Christmas usually look like at your house? How do you celebrate?
Bobby Flay: It’s usually my family and some friends. We actually like Christmas Eve. I think we celebrate Christmas Eve more so than Christmas Day. Sometimes we go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. And usually there’s a biggish dinner for Christmas Eve, and sometimes I’ll make, like, Feast of the Seven Fishes. Even though we’re not Italian, it’s just a really great tradition.
With Thanksgiving, a holiday all but devoted to turkey, behind us, the focus has shifted to the upcoming holiday season and the entertaining that comes with it. From cocktail parties and cookie swaps to family dinners and open houses, holiday get-togethers can be what you make them in terms of the food and drink you pass and serve. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast kicked off the season with a hearty menu ideal for entertaining, including Jeff Mauro’s roast beef.
FN Dish wants to know: When it comes to the centerpiece element at your holiday feast, what dish do you most often prepare? Do you, like Jeff, reach for the beef, or do you follow the suit of Thanksgiving and opt for a turkey? Cast your vote in the poll below to let us know.
What to Watch: All-Star Gingerbread Build and the Premiere of Grocery Games’ Tournament of Championsby Ricky Smith in Shows, November 27th, 2015
Now that you’ve had your fill of turkey, stuffing and your extended family’s company, it’s time to move on to cookies, competition and new ideas from your favorite chefs. First up on Saturday morning is Ree Drummond’s menu of make-ahead dishes for a cocktail party, including Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Caprese Skewers with balsamic drizzle. After that, Nancy Fuller hosts a feast for her farmer friends featuring Short Rib Stew and Savory Garlic Scones. Then, the co-hosts of The Kitchen are kicking off the holiday season with Porcini-Rubbed Roast Beef and DIY holiday wreaths. Next, Patricia Heaton cooks Bite-Size Chicken and Waffles and a signature cocktail for a surprise anniversary party she’s throwing for her husband. And finally, Valerie Bertinelli is surprising her friends with a party featuring a home-cooked meal for their birthdays. On Saturday night, Ron Ben-Israel and Jonathan Scott go head-to-head against Duff Goldman and Drew Scott on All-Star Gingerbread Build. Then, Duff Goldman, Damaris Phillips and Sherry Yard are on hand to crown a holiday cookie master on Christmas Cookie Challenge.
Having a glass or two of wine in the Chopped kitchen isn’t a rare occurrence, but during this round it’s almost a necessity. That’s because judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Alex Guarnaschelli are taking on the appetizer basket from the Pub Food episode of Chopped. On the all-new episode of Chopped After Hours, they’re required to use house-cured bacon, deviled eggs, fish cheeks and housemade pickles in a completely original appetizer.
Amanda is not shy about admitting her love for the basket: “I look at the whole thing and I think, ‘Thank you.’ You have acid, you have fat, you have bacon, you have eggs and you have fish cheeks!” She starts off using the brine from the pickles, which she and Ted Allen both agree is underutilized at home and should be saved more often. “Amanda and I are starting an organization called Pickles without Borders,” Ted says. Alex is using the pickle brine in a vinaigrette to go alongside a frito misto — a platter of fried foods that she does not think she has enough time to finish. When Ted disagrees, Alex replies, “I appreciate the vote of confidence, my friend, but, you know, we’re only human, Ted.”