All Posts In View All Posts

App-solutely Appetizing

by in View All Posts, April 7th, 2011
Tea-Smoked Chicken Cups - Image Courtesy foodnetwork.com

Looking to update your appetizer agenda? Look no further, because we have a list of bite-sized party starters that will wow your guests.

Mario Batali’s recipe for Deep-Fried Ricotta Balls from cookingchanneltv.com is every bit as indulgent as it sounds. Fresh ricotta is combined with parmesan cheese and walnuts before getting breaded and fried. Serve these bites alongside a bowl of your favorite tomato sauce.

Foodnetwork.com’s Tea Smoked Chicken is chopped small, mixed with scallions and topped with a soy-ginger sauce. Easy to prepare and fun to eat, these Asian-inspired apps will go quickly, so be sure to make an extra batch.

For an Italian-style dip that is fresh and healthy, try food.com’s Kalamata and Fig Tapenade. Dunk crisp endive spears or toasted ciabatta bread in this savory mixture of salty kalamata olives and capers, mission figs and fresh herbs.

Stuffed Mushrooms from food2.com will leave your vegetarian guests (and carnivores alike) totally satisfied. Filled with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and shallots, mushroom caps are baked until soft then topped with delectable pan juices.

A New Crop of Chefs

by in View All Posts, April 7th, 2011
Best New Chefs Awards (photo by Arthur Bovino)

Our friends at Food & Wine Magazine just revealed their annual list of the country’s Best New Chefs. We’re always on the lookout for impressive up-and-comers in the food world, so we attended the announcement celebration and talked to several of the honorees. Should we expect to see some of them as future competitors on Iron Chef? It certainly seems possible.

We asked each of the winners we interviewed to choose a favorite ingredient and one chef who has been a major career influence.

Chef Bryce Gilmore
Barley Swine, Austin

Most influential ingredient: eggs from a local farmer
How he uses it: smoked trout pasta with scrambled eggs and Granny Smith apples
Most influential chef: Dan Barber

Chef Jamie Bissonnette, People’s Choice winner
Restaurant Coppa, Boston

Most influential ingredient: ramps
How he uses it: ramp paella with snails and rabbit, chard and ramp chimichurri, ramp pasta
Most influential chef: Jacques Pépin

Chef Jason Franey
Canlis, Seattle

Most influential ingredient: lettuce
How he uses it: a salad of mixed greens and up to 40 ingredients, including asparagus and salted, fried pea skins
Most influential chef: Daniel Humm

Chef Ricardo Zarate
Mo-Chica, Los Angeles

Most influential ingredient: ají amarillo (a South American yellow chili)
How he uses it: ají de gallina, a spicy chicken dish recommended by Giada De Laurentiis on The Best Thing I Ever Ate
Most influential chef: Mark Gregory

Chefs Viet Pham and Bowman Brown
Forage, Salt Lake City

Pham
Most influential ingredient: seafood of all kinds
How he uses it: “There are just a million ways to cook it.”
Most influential chef: Laurent Gras

Brown
Most influential ingredient: wild herbs and greens, watercress
How he uses it: a visually striking seasonal salad called “Vegetable Garden”
Most influential chef: René Redzepi

Congratulations to all of the 2011 Best New Chefs. To discover more trendsetters, visit our Chefs of Tomorrow feature. To find restaurants featured on Food Network in your area or around the country, check out the new FN Local.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, April 5th, 2011
How does your garden grow? (Note: garden pictured is not in New York City)

NYC’s Homesteaders Live Off the Land…The land in their own backyards and on their own rooftops. The Post takes a look at hardcore urban farmers, who raise chickens and bees, butcher their own rabbits and forage for greens in New York City parks. The trend isn’t without its backlash, but these hillbillies have one up on the non-farming population, says Brooklyn’s Brandon Hoy, who co-owns a restaurant that grows its own produce: “We’re set up for the zombie invasion.” [nypost.com]

Study Supports Possibility of Food Addiction: Food-a-holics may rejoice at the findings from a recent Yale study, which suggests that food addiction might be a real-life neural affliction (as opposed to just an excuse to eat a few more cupcakes). “Scientists watched the brain activity of women tantalized, and then rewarded, with a chocolate milkshake. Their neural activity was similar to that of drug addicts.” [latimes.com]

Really Important New Food Gadget Introduced: There are classic food marriages (peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, ham and cheese) and then there are the orange-juice-and-tooth-paste, oranges-and-apples (wow, oranges don’t go with anything) combos that make us go “huh”? Will a kitchen scale with an iPod dock and speaker make it on any of these chefs’ must-own kitchen gadget lists? [wired.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments

The Latest from Food Network Stars

by in News, View All Posts, March 31st, 2011
Guy Fieri
Paula is putting on a new show.

Savannah Now is reporting that the Lady & Sons has added dinner theater to the dining experience at Paula Deen’s restaurant. Diners can now enjoy Hard-Hearted Hannah’s Playhouse presentation of ‘There’s a Bomb on Trolley 409!’ while sampling some of Paula’s best dishes. The Lady & Sons has rented basement space for the production and a buffet will be provided before the performance begins. For now, Hard-Hearted Hannah’s has dates available through October, and more dates may be added later. Tickets are $55 per person, which includes the dinner buffet and the performance. For information or reservations, visit www.hardheartedhannahsplayhouse.com or call 912-659-4383.

Alton Brown brought large crowds to Dauphin Island for a gumbo cook-off this past weekend, serving as judge for the gumbo competition. The al.com blog reported record attendance for the event in an area bouncing back from the BP oil spill.  Alton is a big advocate for local and sustainable seafood. The event featured 21 different teams cooking variations of the dish competing for the best flavor in the seafood and freestyle categories.  Before giving out the awards, Alton declared that gumbo is “the hardest thing I’ve had to cook” and took then questions from the audience.

The Food Network Fans are constantly looking for info and sharing links on where we can find favorite stars, discuss favorite shows, visit a book signing, or see an appearance in other venues. We invite you to stop by and visit at FoodNetworkFans.com

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, March 29th, 2011
And we thought we had weird pancakes

Mac & Cheese Pancakes? The story goes something like this: Famed NYC chef Kenny Shopsin had a patron who only ate either mac and cheese or pancakes. One day, said patron couldn’t choose between the two and asked Shopsin to decide. The result is a serendipitous combination of the disparate dishes, and now Shopsin is showing us how they’re made. [youtube.com/TheNewYorkTimes]

DIY Easter Candy: We’re looking ahead to Easter, and we’ve been busy baking up the most festive desserts yet: springtime cupcakes, a new kind of carrot cake and more. Well here’s another totally adorable idea: a deviled egg-inspired Cadbury Creme. [seriouseats.com]

Cooking Beets and Spinning Beats: The New York Times profiles “Lunch Breaks,” a web video series that combines hip hop and healthy cooking, helmed by famed break dancer Richard Colon. Its verdict? “Think of Wayne’s World meets the Food Network — with a funky beat.” Fun! [nytimes.com]

Kitchen Things You Can’t Live Without: 13 chefs weigh in on their five favorite kitchen tools. They range from the commonly used (pepper grinders) to the totally personal (special spoons). We’re still unclear on what to do with one chef’s tweezers. What can’t you live without? [huffingtonpost.com] [Food Network Store]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Nadia G. Unplugged at South Beach

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2011
Meet Nadia G., Cooking Channel host and South Beach reporter extraordinaire

At this year’s South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Cooking Channel’s Nadia G. — the hilariously irreverent host of Bitchin’ Kitchen — was on the ground chatting it up with everyone from Duff Goldman to our newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione. Check out some footage from this Canadian rising star’s whirlwind weekend down South.

At the Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach party, Nadia posed a question that’s bound to get any chef fired up: What’s the worst thing you ever ate?

YouTube Preview Image

During the day, Nadia chatted with Guy Fieri about cooking with kids, a subject near and dear to both of these personality-packed chefs, who also share a penchant for tattoos.

YouTube Preview Image

Then Nadia hung out backstage during Guy’s standing-room-only cooking demo, which truly looked like a rock concert. Check out her guest appearance on stage — it was a surprise to everyone, including Nadia!

YouTube Preview Image

Want to see more Nadia G.? Check out more videos from South Beach on our sister blog Devour and catch Bitchin’ Kitchen on Wednesdays at 10:30pm/9:30c on Cooking Channel.

 

March Meatball Madness

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2011
Dressed Up Swedish Meatballs - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

If you are like me, you grew up eating meatballs in their most traditional sense: tossed in an Italian tomato meat sauce next to a heaping scoop of spaghetti pasta. Well, this is only one way to enjoy the minced meat creations. But have you ever had meatballs on a stick? Or have you featured them in a chili-based soup or combined them with bulgur wheat, pine nuts and lamb? These meatball concoctions are loaded with fun flavors.

While the traditional version is topped with a thick gravy alongside lingonberry preserves, this recipe for Swedish Meatballs from foodnetwork.com offers an updated twist. These golf ball-sized bites are flash fried, skewered with a pickled cucumber slice and served with lingonberry-cream dipping sauce.

Use the word “meat” loosely and try David Rocco’s recipe for Tuna Meatballs from cookingchanneltv.com.  For a mix of sweet and savory, David minces sushi-grade tuna and combines it with breadcrumbs, pine nuts and raisins before frying the balls and glazing them with a simple balsamic rosemary reduction.

Such classic Mexican flavors as cilantro, chili and mint are highlighted in Food.com’s recipe for Authentic Sopa De Albondigas (Meatball Soup). Better make an extra large batch of this timeless sopa – one bowl and you will be hooked.

Lamb and onions are sautéed then stuffed inside a hearty mixture of bulgur, mint and allspice in food2.com’s recipe for Kibbeh Meatballs. For a refreshing touch, serve these two-bite meatballs alongside a light mint yogurt dip.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, March 22nd, 2011
Duff Goldman: Ace of Ice Cream

Duff’s New Ice Cream: This Ace of Cakes has partnered with Blue Bunny to create four cake-themed ice creams. Here’s the scoop on the new flavors: Chocolate Lovers Triple Chocolate Cake, Strawberries are Forever Shortcake, I Do I Do Wedding Cake and Red Carpet Red Velvet. We’re already screaming for them. [eater.com]

Bolivia’s Quinoa Conundrum: Global demand for quinoa is so high these days those farming it in Bolivia are having to give it up as a dietary staple. As richer countries discover the super food, which is packed “with an exceptional balance of amino acids,” prices for quinoa have skyrocketed, making local consumption dwindle. [nytimes.com]

Alice Waters’ Daughter (Shockingly) Loves Salad: The Wall Street Journal profiles Fanny Singer, daughter of legendary chef Alice Waters, and reveals several noteworthy bites:  her first word was “lobster,” she doesn’t use a microwave and her biggest food indulgence is spending roughly $150 on 12 biodynamic limes. [wsj.com]

Restaurants and Bars Helping Japan: Here in New York, some local restaurants are donating proceeds from special menus to Japan’s relief fund. The New York Times shares a few of these spots, while Grubstreet.com has listed some local bars lending a hand. What establishments in your area are doing the same?

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

On the Triple-D Trail

by in View All Posts, March 22nd, 2011
Louie and the Redhead Lady in Mandeville, LA celebrated its DDD appearance with this tasty tribute to Guy. Image courtesy Louie and the Redhead Lady.

It’s not news to anyone that Guy Fieri is a total rock star. His “Chef-Dude” magnetism has been chronicled by the New York Times: It all started with his win on The Next Food Network Star; then came Guy’s Big Bite and soon after, the wildly popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. More recently there’s been Tailgate Warriors, a game show and cooking demonstrations that rival sold-out pop concerts. When Guy’s yellow Lamborghini went missing a couple of weeks ago, it was national news.

Diners at Louie and the Redhead Lady watch Guy's visit to the restaurant on a continuous loop.

But Guy’s rock-star status was never more evident to me than when I stumbled upon a mom-and-pop restaurant in Mandeville, Louisiana (a suburb across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans), that had received a visit from Triple-D. The episode featuring Louie and the Redhead Lady aired this winter, and Chef Louie and his wife Ginger (a.k.a., you guessed it, the Redhead Lady) are still flying high from the experience — and the huge boom in business that it set off.

Read more

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day With Irish Soda Bread

by in View All Posts, March 17th, 2011
Ina Garten’s Soda Bread

Whether you’re cooking up corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew to celebrate the Emerald Isle this March 17, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need something to sop up all those delicious juices. The answer: Irish soda bread. Thanks to baking soda, it’s as quick to make as banana bread, yet as hearty and satisfying as bread that took all day to bake. Here are some of our favorite versions.

Make soda bread tonight »