Yes, that is a platinum-coated pie pan. No, you can’t bake in it.
(via the NYT)
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer
Today, I weaseled my way into one of the edit rooms. “Just pretend I’m not here,” I told editor and producer extraordinaires, Jim and Jenny. They’re working on Anne Burrell’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. No spoiler here, but come January 17th , you’re in for a treat. Chef Burrell’s grilled pizza episode is sizzling. No major gaffes, other than the overuse of “lovely,” and a few “ums,” which probably won’t make their way to your screens.
The color coordination—all pastels with pink spoon AND rolling pin — is so sweet; you’ll get a rush before she whips out the pizza dough. However, the girly décor doesn’t keep Anne from doing the tough stuff, like opening a bottle of oil with her teeth — or actually, removing the bottle wrapper (that part might get cut).
I dug for dirt on the snappy blonde from my new peeps. I learned about Anne’s sous chef, who’s on Top Chef now, and heard big praise for the steak recipe. Evidently, Anne’s brown sugar-coated steak is pleasing to carnivores and dessert-ivores alike. So nice — Jim’s made it twice.
Before I go, a shout out for Tyler. Saw you the other day in the elevator, Mr. Florence, bundled and sniffly. You’re a trooper!
I know Thanksgiving 2008 is way over, but I can’t stop dreaming of the three new side dishes I cooked. They were so fabulous that I’m planning on making them again for Christmas.
I grew up in San Antonio and had two cousins from Austin visiting me in NYC this year, so I chose a menu that reflected the foods we loved on Turkey Day when we were kids in South Texas. When it came to the turkey itself, I admit I cheated. The big bird I bought from a local BBQ joint tasted just like my dad’s version, only no one had to get up at 4am to start smoking it over mesquite in the back yard. It paired perfectly with the two types of BBQ sauce I forced my cousins to smuggle from home, and it freed up my tiny Manhattan oven.
The sides were the real winners, though. I chose these three easy but truly tasty recipes.
Fennel Orange Cranberry Sauce from Dave Lieberman
I opted to grind my fennel seeds a bit with a mortar and pestle, but I wished I hadn’t. The rush of fennel when you bite into a seed is part of this recipe’s appeal, and the flavor works so well with turkey.
Twice Baked Potatoes from the FN Test Kitchens
I ran the cooked and scooped-out potatoes through my ricer to make the filling extra fluffy and smooth. Then I snuck in some extra butter and sour cream since my taters were jumbo-sized. I also trashed the tops and served them open-faced like my grandma always did.
Creamed Collard Greens from The Neelys
Follow the instructions and let the cream reduce by half. I got impatient/hungry, so the dish was a little too runny. Mea culpa.
Remember: We’ve got your back (and your sides) here at FN.com.
When people visit Food Network, they are often surprised, and I’ll venture to say disappointed, that they don’t find delicious heaps of food for the taking by our offices. I guess one can rightfully assume that one of Giada’s awesome, mouth-watering plates would just be waiting for them in a grand buffet line. Alas, this is not the case. [We do have coffee though.]
Full confession: I am by no means gifted in the kitchen. New husband will happily attest to this. But I recently tried out Giada’s Florentine-take on sea bass and I cannot tell a lie — it was unbelievably good. You have to try it! It’s so easy and I am now one with the beauty of canned tomatoes…and the magic of flour; a little dusting and the fish tasted just right.
The people populating your typical set for a Food Network show generally wouldn’t be winning a lot of fashion awards. The crew has a lot of running around to do, and let’s be honest, we didn’t get into this line of work to wear suits and skirts every day. But one notable exception to this rule could be found on the set of Ask Aida Season 2: Executive Producer Irene Wong. It doesn’t matter that the set is an obstacle course of fat cables, Irene will be wearing heels. Tall heels. I rarely seen her in pants, let alone jeans. Fabulous dresses, killer boots, hair perfectly in place. In short, Irene brings the style and puts the rest of us to shame (she’s the Susie Fogelson of the set).
As an example contrast this pic of Irene on set (pic on the left) with with a shot of a more typical wardrobe choice (pic on the right)…
Personally, I think the sneaker selections of Executive Producer Bob Larson and myself are pretty sharp and certainly practical, but I think Irene made us all feel pretty slobby that day.
The following article, about the salt cod industry in Portugal, has so many spectacular pullquotes it’s hard to choose just one.
“The greatest friend of Portugal is bacalhau,” said Fernando Santos, an officer of the Friends of Bacalhau, a club that has 46 chapters around the world, hosts salt cod lunches and distributes cod-decorated neckties, pins, baseball caps, T-shirts and flags.
Any friend of bacalhau is a friend of mine, sure. But then, a little further down, you come to this:
To prove it, Mr. Guedes Vaz has set up a small corporate dining room, where Isabel Santos, a chef with no formal training but a lot of loyalty, prepares the company’s premier frozen brand, Sr. Bacalhau (Mr. Cod), in half a dozen different ways.
And it honestly just keeps getting better.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer
Food Network Design Director, Wendy Waxman, got her latest assignment — create a vibrant tablescape for a Food Network charity event featuring Chef Duff…oh, and make it kid-friendly. Wendy immediately saw red — in a good way.
As the table came together, Wendy shared some great tips…
1) Bold, vibrant colors will stay true to you – going bold works well all year long, whether the holidays or the 4th of July.
2) Pick a plate that’s ready to take the stage. For this, Wendy fell for a rich collection from SoHo-based Global Table.
3) Let your creativity bloom. Wendy chose amaryllis and orchids from Ovando to complete her vision. A top-notch florist should always supply fresh product (and ideas, if you want them).
Have a holiday tablescape question?
Hit Wendy up in the comments below…
Or check out her holiday tablescape photo gallery.
Continuing on the food pareidolia theme, except this time it’s totally justified: for the cover of her new album, singer/model/legend Grace Jones commissioned 16 life-size versions of herself to be sculpted out of chocolate. I’m not going to lie; the eyes on the one she’s holding are sort of terrifying to me.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer
The FN Dish goes backstage at Guy Fieri’s upcoming special, Guy’s Big Night.
FN DISH CONTEST!
Enter in the comments a short description of your favorite diner, drive-in, or dive — the top entry will win the autographed book featured in the video!! Thanks to all who submitted cooking techniques — CONTEST ENDED on 12/21 — winner will be contacted via email!
Move over, Barbara Walters. Secretary Confidential thought it would be fun to interview intriguing FN staffers. Check out Part I, when she chats with scheduling manager, secret FN tour guide and roasted broccoli enthusiast, Joe Moseley.
SC: If you could be any FN Star, who would you be and why?
Joe: Jamie Oliver. The first time I watched him, I felt an amazing calm wash over me, instant valium! The real star of his show was the food, as it should be. I wanted to be in his garden, eating it all. What I truly love about Jamie is his generosity. He mentors youth at risk; turning them into food professionals — awesome. He even challenged the UK to rethink school lunches with fresh, healthy alternatives.
SC. What was your most memorable experience with the talent?
J: When I brought my daughter Alexine to see Emeril Live. We had front row seats and were fed like royalty. I was so happy to bring her backstage to meet him personally. She’s 14, is a huge FN fan and I was pleased to give her that unique experience. I felt like a real cool dad that day. One of my all-time favorites, Jacques Pepin, was the show’s guest and I got to meet him as well.
SC: How long have you worked here and what’s the best part of it?
J: I’ve been here since September ’97 — the network’s grown so much since then. The best part about FN is the people. Everyone loves food and cooking, we eat lunch together (even watch Bourdain on No Reservations—shhhhhh!). I’ll know many of these folks for life. I even met my wife here. What can I say?
J: “Soup’s on!”
What’s your cooking phrase, FN Dishers? We know you have one, so share!
Happy Holiday Plating…