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There Will Be Blood

by in View All Posts, June 29th, 2009

3026949625_9a639da938_mThe kids are home for the summer and the rain shows no signs of ever stopping, so I have two words for all of you cooped-up parents out there: Boudin Noir. For many the dark, almost black sausage conjures up feelings of warm, comfy, home-cooked goodness. For others deep, dark, pure disgust. And for others still, utter confusion. “What is it? Blood?! I don’t understand.”

To those of you in this last category, I’m no Harold McGee, but let me explain briefly. You fill a sausage casing with blood, gently poach it in water; the blood coagulates, becomes solid, and voila, blood sausage. Couldn’t be simpler.

So what will we need? Ingredients: A couple yards of natural hog casings, some ground mace and cloves, salt and pepper, an egg, a little cream, diced pork back fat, and about two quarts of pig’s blood. Equipment: A large pot to poach the sausage, a mixing bowl, a whisk, a funnel and someone (who isn’t squeamish or afraid to get a little messy) to hold the funnel.

Once this is all gathered, the process is easy and fun for all — as long as you don’t make the mistake I made on my first attempt.

Mix the raw ingredients in the bowl, tie off one end of the casing, stick the funnel in the other end and pour the ingredients into the casing. All pretty easy; that is, assuming the mouth on your funnel is wide enough for all the ingredients to pass through. (When it isn’t, you end up spending 45 minutes using your finger to stuff chunks of fat and blood through a hole they were never meant to get through, inevitably losing your grip on the casing and spraying you and your happy little helpers with blood.) In any case, the mission is eventually accomplished.

Then, the sausage is poached gently until all the blood has coagulated, and the sausage is sautéed with butter, apples and thyme and comes out of the pan just in time for your spouse to return home out of the rain to find their happy little family looking like the offspring of the barber of Seville, with a delightful hearty meal ready on the table.

I can’t think of a better rainy day activity. Enjoy!

Charlie Granquist, Culinary Producer

Bobby Flay Quizdown — Contest!

by in View All Posts, June 29th, 2009


Submissions are now closed! Three winners will be chosen by our Food Network limerick experts this week and notified by email. Check back on The FN Dish to see the winning limericks later in the week.


We’re giving away THREE autographed copies of Bobby Flay’s new book, Burgers, Fries & Shakes. To WIN, create an original limerick with the subject either about Bobby Flay or burgers.

What is a limerick, you ask
? A limerick is a five-line poem with an AABBA rhyming pattern. Here’s an example to get your juices flowing:

There once was a cow named “Fate”
The laziest in all of upstate.
She only ate grass
And passed lots of gas.
Now, she lays on my plate

(By entering a comment, you agree to these contest rules).

Is it Indian Mango Season?

by in View All Posts, June 26th, 2009


Yes, it is. Photo, and garbage can over which we’re eating said mango, courtesy of Ashley.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Susie’s Answers – Episode 3

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, June 26th, 2009

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Submit Questions to Susie
Read Episode 3 Viewer Questions
Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 2
Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 4

Ask Susie – Episode 4

by in View All Posts, June 26th, 2009

Want to know what Susie really thought about The Next Food Network Star, Episode 4? Now you can ask her!

After you watch Episode 4 THIS Sunday, 9pm/8c, write all of your burning questions in the comments section within this post! Susie will pick a few of the best questions and answer you directly via vlog next Friday, July 3.

Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 2

Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 3

Aunty Sandy Answered Your Questions

by in View All Posts, June 25th, 2009

sandra_lee_3817Fourth of July is upon us, and so Aunt Sandy took some time to talk with me about the holiday and a bit more. From explaining why the fourth is her favorite holiday weekend (her birthday is the 3rd of July, why wouldn’t it be?), to where she learned to grill (a summer job at the Ramada Inn during her college days), and of course Sandra treats us to a yummy fourth menu.

: SHOSHAM wrote in with this question: “If you could only splurge on one thing for your own July 4th party, which would it be: Food, Decorations, or Cocktails?”


SANDRA LEE: I’m thinking…that has got to be the hardest question anyone could ask me! Oh man, that’s like choosing your favorite child.

SC: So, is the answer D) All of the above?


Eating your Words

by in View All Posts, June 24th, 2009

The Japan Times brings it with a cool list of onomatopoetic Japanese food words (from one of which, incidentally, Pacman got his name). CF also this list from the LA Times a couple years ago of French food-themed idioms, as well as an illustrated multi-language list from SeriousEats, excerpted from this book.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Feasting on Inspiration

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, June 24th, 2009


Ancient Roman Philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero said “Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” Well, hopefully most of us definitely agree with the food part, but the mind needs inspiration as well, especially to cultivate a promo.

On her 9th anniversary at Food Network, I asked Writer/Producer, Olivia Mazyuk, to share some little known facts on where inspiration comes from for a Food Network promo, in regards to one of her most challenging spots to date, Feasting on Waves — to promote a 4-part series featuring Alton Brown’s personal journey exploring the Caribbean.

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  • For the initial brainstorming session, everyone involved took an afternoon trip to Chelsea Piers to literally watch the water move for ideas on how to begin. They watched the current, the flow of the Hudson River, observed the atmosphere – all in an attempt to find ways to evoke these themes into a graphics look.
  • The original script was written as a first-person narrative for Alton to record. Alton, being Alton, recorded something different, and we then adjusted it to a third person account. This collaborative effort is the version that went on-air.
  • The idea for the look of the spot, was inspired by the movie Stranger than Fiction starring Will Ferrell. The team wanted to express Alton’s unique point of view, so each video clip contained a graphic expressing Alton’s thoughts – similar to what was done in the box office film.
  • The original music was composed (in-house) at Food Network, and inspired by reggae songs like “Holy Mount Zion” by Alborosie and “Tranquility” by Gentleman.
  • The collaborative effort is the most inspirational; it took about 120+ hours, and about 8 people to create the 30 second promo.

Happy Wednesday!
Sommer, Creative Services

French Fries and Donuts

by in View All Posts, June 23rd, 2009


What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? I know what you’re thinking. Today? This week? Ever?? Well, Food Network’s newest show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, asks Food Network stars to divulge their favorite foods by food type, and tells you where to find them. In case you missed the sneak peek last week, it was all about : Fried Foods. So, what’s the best fried food you’ve ever eaten?

duff-goldman_medWatching the show, I took notes on eateries I’d like to visit and unusual foods I might or might not want to try (Fried shrimp heads, Duff? Really?). But at the end I was just plain hungry, craving my two favorite foods: French fries and donuts. I dove into our site and decided to satisfy my fried foods craving – my “best foods” craving – at home.


by in View All Posts, June 22nd, 2009

So Pizza Hut plans to change its name to “The Hut,” capitalizing on what I suppose you could call its iconic architecture. That’s not entirely unremarkable, following as it does in the wake of what seems to be a trend of restaurants-that-serve-unhealthy-food-rebranding-to-remove-all-reference-to-unhealthy-food (cf Kentucky Fried Chicken). And I eat at “the Shack” and “the Wallah” so not like I can talk on that front, anyway.

Stranger news in the world of food nomenclature is that Wolfgang Puck is aiming to petition the Internet to create a top-level domain of .food, which he’d own and presumably license out, and possibly also .wine and .restaurant.

So theoretically, this site could become “” — and we could then also have, and, should we want to. And I thought “Culinary Writer, Culinary Production,” which is what it says on my business card, was redundant.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer (Culinary Production)