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Mexican & Marcela

by in View All Posts, September 9th, 2010
Marcela Valladolid of Mexican Made Easy

When it comes to comfort food, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, casseroles and pot pies will always hold a special place in this Georgia boy’s heart, but right up there are my step-mother’s amazing Mexican classics – homemade salsa, enchiladas, chalupas, and so much more. (Refried beans and mashed potatoes hold the same level of adoration in my heart.)

Marcela Valladolid is a fairly new talent at Food Network but has become the face of Mexican food around here. I find her show, Mexican Made Easy, (and recipes) enjoyable and very tasty. I appreciate Marcela’s different take on Mexican. She actually offers healthy, easy-to-make dishes. And, honestly, I didn’t think that was possible. A lot of the authentic Mexican I’ve seen prepared is an all out chore and lengthy process (if my step-mom is reading this, you know it’s true)! And healthy? Goodness, I don’t think that “health” was ever considered growing up. Marcela is truly busting down Mexican food stereotypes.

Recently, I made Marcela’s Mexican Shrimp Burger. When I first heard of this dish, I was a bit skeptical and thought “Come again?” But the ingredients sounded delicious and then I read the comments from those who tried it: “Maravilloso!” one posted. I couldn’t have agreed more. It was phenomenal, different, easy and the avocado aioli could make you cry it’s so flavorful. I also went to a barbecue this summer where a friend served Marcela’s Watermelon and Mint “Agua Fresca.” I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing beverage, and since it’s non-alcoholic the kids at the party loved it, too.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish? For more of Marcela’s, check out her recipes. Try some and post what you think. You can watch Mexican Made Easy Saturdays at 9:30am/8:30c.

 

Everyday Garlic Chicken Greats

by in View All Posts, September 8th, 2010

garlic chicken
Summer FestWe’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

A few cloves (or heads!) of garlic are great for livening up plain chicken dinners. For an explosion of garlicky flavor, add these favorite weeknight wonders to your repertoire.

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 7th, 2010
Alton, Thrilled About Costly Coffee
Alton, Thrilled About Costly Coffee

Coffee Prices Drip Up: Here’s a surge that won’t do much for your caffeine levels. Due to poor crops in leading coffee-producing countries, bean prices have reached a 12-year high. Some companies can’t help percolating those rising costs down to customers. [New York Daily News]

WWF (World’s Weirdest Foods) Roundup: There are thousands of recipes on FoodNetwork.com, but not a single one for fermented shark. Evidently, the stuff’s a delicacy in Iceland. And in Southeast Asia, don’t even think about carrying durian with you in taxis or on municipal transportation—that spiky fruit is so stinky it’s been banned in many public spaces. [telegraph.co.uk]

Roger Ebert and His Rice Cooker: Roger Ebert is a seminal movie critic and blogger, and with the release of The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, he adds cookbook author to his resume. But Ebert, who lost his lower jaw to cancer, can’t eat, so recipe development is based on what he knows things “must” taste like. “I can remember the taste and smell of everything, even though I can no longer taste or smell,” he tells the Times. “It’s all my experience, my visuals and friendly tasters.” [New York Times] [FoodNetwork.com's Rice-Cooker Recipes]

The British Government Wants Your Waste: London’s Imperial War Museum will display vintage Ministry of Food posters in an exhibit that runs early next year. While the posters pay tribute to WWII-era food rationing, their messages—growing your own food, composting—resonate today. [telegraph.co.uk]

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.

Wing Nut

by in View All Posts, September 2nd, 2010
Paula Deen’s Red Hot Sticky Wings
Seriously Tasty: Paula Deen’s Red Hot Sticky Wings

I do love ‘em! Nuclear ones? For sure. Barbecue sauced? Oh yes. Super messy? Um, is there any other way?! I don’t think there’s a single type of chicken wing that I do not enjoy.

I’m not exactly sure when and where my love for the wing developed, but since my college days they have been a staple of my dining out experience. I, on occasion, attempt to fight my natural urge and order something else – but, I usually fail and find myself saying to the server, “So, tell me about your wings.”

I sort of feel bad for my friends and family who eat with me. They have the unfortunate view of barbecue sauce smeared from my upper cheek to my lower chin. For a while I think the spectacle embarrassed certain ones, but now they overlook it. I, mean, honestly, they may as well. How do you even eat a wing neatly? Is it possible?! And besides, I think the messiness adds to their charm (and mine).

Do you love chicken wings? I’ve tried almost all of these on our website. Paula’s Hot Sticky Wings (see the image) are my fave.

So, I’m dying to hear from you – what’s your take on chicken wings? And, can you eat them without getting dirty? If so, tell me your secret!

Throw a Pepper Fiesta with Chiles Rellenos

by in View All Posts, September 1st, 2010
Chiles Rellenos Chiles Rellenos in Tomato Broth from Food Network Magazine

Summer FestWe’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

Mild poblano peppers are the star of this Mexican food favorite, chiles rellenos. The peppers (look for darker colored poblanos for the richest flavor) are stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg and fried until the cheese is melted and the outside is crisp. They’re a fiesta on a plate, especially when paired with a fresh, tomato-based sauce like the Food Network Magazine version above.

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, August 31st, 2010

0124657_Paula-Eating-Buttered-Muffin_s4x3_lead

Butter Busts: At the Minnesota State Fair this week, one lucky gal will be crowned the Midwest Dairy Association’s “Princess Kay of the Milky Way.” Along with that honor comes a new kind of solid, golden trophy: The winner will have her likeness carved in a 90 lb. block of butter and get to take it home. Someone page Paula. [Wall Street Journal via @grubstreet]

Texas-Fried Beer: Speaking of state fairs, Texas’ is catching some buzz for their from-the-fryer beer and frozen margaritas, which sound perfect for washing down the competition: Deep-Fried S’mores Pop Tarts, Fried Frito Pie, and the classed-up Fried Caviar. [Slashfood]

Get Hip to Carrot Sticks: Just in time for the back-to-school snack season, baby carrots are getting their fun-factor upped in a big way. Carrot growers have teamed to announce the industry’s first marketing campaign, one that positions them against snack-food giants. Among the plans are billboards calling the veggie sticks “the original orange doodles” and kooky seasonal tie-ins, like Halloween-time “scarrots” packaging. [USA Today via Eatocracy]

A Stab of Bacon: A Wendy’s employee in West Hartford, CT has been charged with second-degree assault after pulling a knife on a coworker. The gripe? Sub-par cured pork. “According to [the perp], his purposes were altruistic,” a police official said. “He wanted the public to get good bacon.” [Consumerist]

Diving for Dinner: Diners in Brooklyn, NY are taking to dumpsters to find fresh ingredients. The food-scavenging collective, called Grub, meet bi-monthly to prepare a communal meal made from goods waiting to be tossed. “It’s a way to feed a lot of people for free,” one dumpster diver told the Times. “And it’s a way to raise awareness of the way food is wasted.” [New York Times]

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.

Aarti’s Self-Portrait in 2 Minutes

by in View All Posts, August 27th, 2010

Watch now as Aarti shares the top five adjectives she’d choose to describe herself (I guarantee a couple will surprise you) and lists the music she’d include in the “soundtrack of her life.” Plus, discover her one can’t-live-without-it ingredient….

And speaking of signature ingredients — what’s yours?

Tune in for Aarti Party Sunday at Noon/11c

Facing Down an Iron Chef

by in View All Posts, August 27th, 2010
Morimoto
Would YOU want to be thown into the shark tank with this guy?

Facing down an Iron Chef is not for the faint of heart (or knife skills).  When she got the call to kitchen stadium, Chef Amanda Cohen’s first reaction was “I don’t think so.”

Having just opened restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City’s East Village, Chef Cohen explains on her blog that she thought “they were looking for chumps to throw into the shark tank with their big time Iron Chefs and I didn’t want to be savaged and mauled on national TV.” However, as the first vegetarian chef asked to be on Iron Chef, she realized it gave her a platform to show that “Dirt Candy is just about food, and it’s about vegetarian food as nothing more than cooking vegetables – no politics, no health claims or virtuous living, just giving vegetables a chance to be treated as seriously as chefs treat pork.”

Pitted against Iron Chef Morimoto, Chef Cohen details her entire experience taping the show (which she calls an “epic tale”) on her blog, which we encourage you to read, as well as learn more about Cohen who also did stints at New York’s famous Angelica Kitchen and Teany.

Can the first vegetarian Chef in Iron Chef America history take down the near mythical Masaharu Morimoto? Tune in this Sunday, August 29 at 10pm/9c to Iron Chef America on Food Network and find out.

– Brandy Shearer

Tyler’s Ultimate Tomato Salads

by in View All Posts, August 25th, 2010
Tomato Salad Tyler’s Heirloom Tomato Chow-Chow

Summer FestWe’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

Tyler Florence has a knack for creating the “ultimate” stand-by dishes. With tomatoes at their peak, I decided to tap his culinary know-how for farm-stand inspiration.

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Paula’s Perfect Peach Cobbler

by in View All Posts, August 18th, 2010
Peach Cobbler Paula Deen’s Perfect Peach Cobbler

Summer FestWe’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

With just five ingredients (granted, one is a whole stick of butter!), Georgia-native Paula Deen makes a perfect Peach Cobbler, one of the top recipes on FoodNetwork.com.

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