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What’s Your Favorite Crazy Flavor Combination?

by in News, View All Posts, July 21st, 2010
bacon cupcakes
According to our Facebook fans, everything's better with bacon. Even cupcakes.

We asked for it, and you delivered, with gusto, the wackiest flavor combos you crave. Some pairings were surprising, to say the least (shaved ice with sliced avocado and chocolate sauce on top? Really, Shannon Wahyudi?), but some sounded pretty good to us, like Tracy Schadler‘s salami and honey-walnut cream cheese on rye sandwich, Sara Beth Hanson‘s gouda, pear and anchovy on a Triscuit idea, or Mary Jefferson Rabon‘s pancakes and syrup served with a side of cheddar. A few were quite simple, Larry Marshall‘s favorite, for example: Hershey bars and beer. More still were elaborate  – Donna Malarsie offered up her (healthy) crave-worthy recipe: Quinoa with feta, toasted almonds, orange pieces and dried cranberries tossed with a shallot, dijon, olive oil, lemon dressing, and Bill Hughes made us drool a bit thinking of his Smoked Coffee and Mignonette Pepper-Crusted Leg of Lamb.

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24 Hour Restaurant Battle Bash

by in View All Posts, July 20th, 2010

Have you seen the commercials or heard the buzz for Food Network’s new show 24 Hour Restaurant Battle?

24 Hour Restaurant Battle
A Sneak Peek

Host Scott Conant, an esteemed New York City chef and a frequent judge on Chopped, gave a preview of this new reality competition at his restaurant Faustina. As guests toasted with summery cocktails and lined up for pasta, he exclaimed, “It’s hard enough to open a restaurant period, much less in 24 hours!”

Chef/Host Scott Conant
Chef/Host Scott Conant

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Summer’s Best BBQ Pork

by in View All Posts, July 20th, 2010
Roasted pig from Smokin' Joe's True-Blue Texas Barbecue
Roasted pig from Smokin' Joe's True-Blue Texas Barbecue

Sure, summer is all about fantastic in-season veggies, but sometimes you need to take an afternoon to sit back, relax and smell the hickory smoke. Low-and-slow BBQ and grilled meats are definite highlights of my summer.

My heart skipped a beat when, browsing the booths at New York’s Meatopia event, I caught sight of this beautiful, whole roasted pig, courtesy of Smokin’ Joe’s True-Blue Texas Barbecue.

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A Beer Can Chicken Convert

by in View All Posts, July 12th, 2010
Beer Can Chicken
The Neelys' Beer Can Chicken being basted with a brush made of fresh-picked thyme and oregano.

This past week the Neelys announced they are bringing their BBQ expertise to the Big Apple with Neely’s Pig Parlor. While they definitely are the pit masters of pork, Pat’s recipe for Grilled Beer Can Chicken is superb for grilling at home. As strange as placing an actual bird on a beer can might seem I highly suggest giving it a whirl from my recent experience.

This past weekend I attended a backyard barbecue and the host put this recipe to the test, as he was a bit skeptical about the beer can too. He made the dry rub the night before including smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried cumin, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and black pepper that combined into dynamite! He patted down the chicken with the rub 12 hours before grilling so the flavors would meld together tenderizing the skin.

The day of his party he carefully placed the bird on the grill perched atop the 3/4-full light beer can—then he was able to set it and forget it. But he did baste the chicken every 30 minutes with a light barbecue sauce using (bonus!) a brush made out of fresh thyme and oregano picked from his garden. It added a fresh kick of flavor! After almost 2 hours of hungry anticipation I became a beer can chicken convert with my first bite—the spicy dry rub and beer provided a rich juiciness that I had never tasted before!

What are your favorite grilled chicken recipes for a summer cookout?

Reena Mehta

50 Kebabs With Bob

by in View All Posts, July 2nd, 2010

kebab

Here’s how it starts: The magazine staff pitches the idea to Food Network Kitchens. In this case, “How ‘bout 50 kebabs?” The concept is then assigned, by test kitchen vice president – Katherine Alford – to one of the recipe developers. 50 Kebabs went to Bob Hoebee, who has a special fondness for authentic, exotic foods from around the globe. And also, well, who else should develop a ton of kebabs but Bob . . .

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World Cup Eats: Go Team USA!

by in View All Posts, June 25th, 2010
Prosciutto-Wrapped Crudite
Need a simple soccer snack? Try Giada's prosciutto-wrapped veggies.

Run with the ball, because even if you aren’t a soccer fan, you can’t avoid World Cup fever. Go team USA! When Landon Donovan scored in the final minute against Algeria this past week, the overwhelming vuvuzelas never sounded so sweet. Can you say GOOOOOOOOOAL?!

When you tune in to the USA vs Ghana game Saturday have fast summer-stunner eats on hand. Each takes less than 20 minutes to prep; I’d suggest keeping your appetizers simple and fun so as not to distract from the screaming, high-fiving and even fist pumping.

Seven Layer Dip
Bring on the chips and Rachael's seven-layer dip!

To increase Team USA’s odds welcome your guests with Rachael’s Lucky 7 Layer Dip or one of Food Network’s other crowd-winning dips. Party it up with Giada’s Prosciutto-Wrapped Crudite for a mix of fresh summer veggies. And go for the goal with Bobby’s Grilled Flatbread with Asparagus Pesto! You can always rely on your guests to bring a classic six-pack but in case you want to up the World Cup ante let them wash everything down with Ina’s luscious Long Island Iced Tea.

What will you be munching on while watching the World Cup?

Reena Mehta

Lovin’ Lobster Rolls

by in View All Posts, June 22nd, 2010

Our friends over at Tasting Table recently hosted a Lobster Roll Claw-Off featuring some of NYC’s finest versions of the classic. We were lucky enough to attend and sample all eight sandwich competitors.

Claw-Off Fan Favorite, Courtesy of Tasting Table
Claw-Off Fan Favorite, Courtesy of Tasting Table

You don’t have to be an East Coaster to enjoy this summertime favorite. Try these new takes on the traditional roll from Food Network hosts.

Bobby's Lobster Roll

Bobby’s rolls with curry mayonnaise

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Haute Hot Dog Toppings

by in View All Posts, June 16th, 2010
Grilled hot dog with Michael Chiarello's quick pickle relish
Grilled hot dog with Michael Chiarello's quick pickle relish

I think summertime is all about haute hot dogs hot off the grill! Living in New York City, I have found that street vendors have really upped their hot dog toppings game. My best friend introduced me to Summer Saturdays at the Brooklyn Flea, which has an amazing hot dog vendor called Asia Dog. The varied toppings on their organic beef dogs are out of this world! They serve them with everything from spicy kimchi to exotic daikon and cilantro deliciousness.

Sadly I cannot make a trip to the Brookyn Flea every Saturday, but I have learned to dress up my dogs at home. Michael Chiarello’s quick pickle relish is a ramped-up classic that takes only minutes to prepare. It includes diced dill pickles, hot sweet mustard, pickle brine and fresh chopped dill. The simplicity of this will liven up your spread, and the fresh dill will give it a garden-fresh flavor.

And if you really want to turn up the heat I would try Tyler Florence’s Spicy Slaw. The crunch of the fresh green cabbage and spicy red chili peppers will make any hot dog dance in your mouth!

What are your favorite hot dog toppings?

Reena Mehta

Tie-Breaking Dad’s Day Grub

by in View All Posts, June 15th, 2010
Sliders-Chipolte-Mayonnais_s4x3_lead
How about Bobby's chipotle-spiked sliders for Dad?

Right around when your little boy or girl is three years old, buying Dad a tie—again—for Father’s Day feels tired. Instead, grab the grilling gear and win him over with Food Network as a revved-up sous chef. Guy’s on a family roadtrip with killer roasted turkey sandwiches, packed and ready to go. Big Daddy Aaron McCargo, Jr. is grilling marinated flank steak. And King of the Grill Bobby Flay has smoky chipotle baby sliders on the menu. That’s just the start of options for what to feed him.

bacon-spoon
Very special utensils from Etsy: Everything is better with bacon.

But what to give him? Our younger sister site, Food2, is showing off a gallery of handmade gifts to buy for food-loving fathers from our crafty pals at Etsy. Choose from a rugged retro bottle opener or a hot-shot grilling mitt, or splurge on a high-end hand-hewn meat cleaver. My pick? Well, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but can be sure the Dad in our house has one (a bacon-gilded one) in his.

What are you doing for Father’s Day this weekend?

p.s. Cooking Channel is sifting through Father’s Day ideas, too–look at what they found.