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FIRST AIDa — On Set

by in View All Posts, November 20th, 2008

Healing tea

If you’ve ever tried to talk to camera while wielding a large chef’s knife, you’d know that it’s easy to mistake your finger for a piece of produce. You might also know that thumb wounds seem to bleed disproportionately to the severity of the cut. At least we found that out on set at Ask Aida, Season 2.

It was Shoot Day One and all was going as smoothly as ever, until poor Aida missed the preserved lemon and got her thumb instead. Ever the trooper, she wanted to patch and get back into action, but her thumb was not cooperating. I immediately thought of liquid bandage, but it turns out that stuff doesn’t work well on cuts that are still bleeding. The first aid kit had clotting spray, but that failed as well.

Producer Matt applied pressure, but all that did was make it hurt even worse. It wasn’t until a crew member suggested a wet tea bag that we found our solution. Who knew? Apparently the tannic acid in tea is a natural coagulant. It’s a common remedy after getting wisdom teeth pulled or for problematic cuts on pets. For all that we know about food, our ‘food as first aid knowledge is pretty light! Learn something new every day — particularly on set.

- FN Fay, Program Manager

Thanksgiving Survey from the Food Network Kitchens

by in View All Posts, November 19th, 2008

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I would ask the Food Network Kitchens crew a few critical questions about some Thanksgiving favorites.

While most of the choices were easy, two questions were particularly difficult. Brining is downright controversial in the FN Kitchens. Although many stand by the method, one of our recipe developers’ take was, “brine, well, that just makes me angry!”

Not so surprisingly, it looks like our cooks just can’t get out of the kitchen, except those who still crave mom’s cooking or just can’t stand the clean-up.

Rob, our executive chef, struggled with his response: “Well, in a perfect world, I’d want a house big enough to cook it all and host all the guests,” while Athen, our steward, cuts right to the chase: “Cook? You must be crazy, I just want to eat and leave!”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer

Click through for recipes and results: Read more

You Asked and Aida Answered!

by in View All Posts, November 19th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who wrote in their burning questions for Aida! As mentioned on a post last week, we just shot a behind-the-scenes piece with Aida on her second season of Ask Aida (for an upcoming FN Dish video) . Because we love our dedicated FN Dish readers so much, we thought it would be fun to give immediate gratification to you guys… that is, use our access to have Aida answer your questions directly!

Now, sadly I only had time to spit out 4 of the 6 questions to Aida during her lunch break (hey, a girl’s gotta eat)…but Eddie and Lyndsay, I promise I’ll waltz, or at least walk, upstairs to our culinary department and get an answer to your knife sharpening and chocolate questions, as well. OR, if Aida is still on your brain, you can go the longer route, and email the show directly. Maybe they’ll pick your question to be answered next season! Email: AskAida@foodnetwork.com.

Without further babbling, here are your questions re-posted with answers straight from the horse’s mouth (not that Aida is a horse):

QUESTION FROM JEFF: I recently got a grill pan that covers two burners. I want to grill steak or chicken but I tried it once and it set off my fire alarm — small apartment. How can I reduce smoke from an indoor grilling pan?
AIDA’S ANSWER: So, you’ve got the grilling indoors going on too? I do this all the time! I use a grill pan, a nice heavy, cast iron, grill pan..and so my roommate doesn’t get mad at the smell and so my fire alarm doesn’t go off, I make sure EVERY window is open, turn my ventilator on, and keep ANY extra fans going on as well…. Its all about getting any smoke out of there ASAP and having cross ventilation.

QUESTION FROM WD: How do you know what herb or spice to use with which meat or dish? Is there a book or anything that has suggestions? So I have an idea where to start and what not to use other trying a tasting, possibly ruin a good piece of meat.
AIDA’S ANSWER: So lets see, you want to know specific herbs and spices for specifics meats… a really good book to turn to is, Field Guide. It’s called, Field Guide to Herbs and Spices and Aliza Green wrote it…before you know it, after you read this thing, you’ll be a total pro when you walk through your grocery store.

QUESTION FROM NICKIE: Can I make homemade bread and bake it the next day?
AIDA’S ANSWER: So if you’ve already made your bread dough, I’d recommend just throwing it in the fridge and then what happens is the yeast that’s in there actually ages and you kind of get a more complex bread flavor. For most dough, it’ll last 12 – 24 hours in the fridge before you bake it off, just make sure you let it come to room temperature first. As far as freezing, you can totally freeze bread dough, just shape it into the shape you want before freezing, but probably not best to do that if you’re going to make it the next day. If you want to make it to bake the next week, just cover your dough with some plastic wrap, and you’re good to go before you decide to bake it off!

QUESTION FROM LINDA: For those of us who’ve seen the light and given up table salt for kosher salt when cooking (or sea salt, or fleur de sel, or whatever) what uses *are* there for table salt?
AIDA’S ANSWER: I get this question all the time! And there are still a lot of good uses for table salt because table salt, for one, is a lot cheaper than other salts, and since it’s so small, it dissolves beautifully. So especially when you’re baking, and doing any kind of sweets, turn to table salt.

———–

Rachael Knudsen
Associate Producer, The FN Dish

My 15-minute Meal

by in View All Posts, November 18th, 2008

So, I’m a mom of an 11-month-old and a 4-year-old, and I work full-time and still have to feed everyone and pack lunch.

Here’s my go-to 15 minute meal (even 30 minutes is too long!) that feeds the whole family and can go to preschool with my daughter for lunch:

Take 1 (32-ounce) box organic low sodium chicken broth and bring it to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 cup alphabet pasta and cook. Chop up about a cup of spinach leaves (or just use frozen spinach) and add it to the pasta to wilt.

At this point, I remove a cup or so for my 11-month old, since he can’t have whole eggs yet. Beat up an egg or 2 and add some grated parm. While soup is boiling, drizzle in the egg mixture and boil another minute. Ta-da! Dinner, lunch, and we can work on letters while we eat it.

Jill Novatt, Executive Culinary Producer

Truth or No Dare

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, November 18th, 2008

The FN Dish’s Bruce Seidel asks your favorite Food Network chefs truth or no dare Thanksgiving questions.

FN Tour Guide’s Top FAQs

by in View All Posts, November 18th, 2008


On special occasions, FN offers private tours to visiting dignitaries, celebrity chefs and the like. One FN’er, Joe, takes time from his day job to lead this behind-the-scenes tour.

A recent tour-ist, Lana, suggested… “You could ask Joe what questions folks ask the most (during tours). I’ll bet it’d make an interesting read.” Good post, Lana. Thanks, Joe. Here goes:

Q) Who gets to eat the food?
A) Who ever is closest – studio crew etc… We only purchase food for what we are making that week and we donate to any extras to City Harvest each Friday.

Q) On Iron Chef America, do they know the secret ingredient?
A) Before the show, the chefs are told that it could be one from a list of items. The challenge is still amazingly difficult to pull off in an hour. Plus, the cameras never stop rolling…no matter what.

Q) Are all of the Iron Chefs here for each show?
A) When we shoot a battle, there is only one. The others are stand ins.

Q) What is the weirdest ingredient a challenger chef requested on Iron Chef?
A) Jose Andres – Goat testicles

Bonus fact — Our offices are on the site of the original Nabisco factory. The Oreo was invented here in 1912.

The New Yorker's Annual Food Issue, an Appreciation

by in View All Posts, November 17th, 2008

It’s excellent again, as per usual. Highlights include FNK favorite (and Vendy judge) Calvin Trillin on Texas barbecue; former NYTimes food critic Mimi Sheraton on the fish soup brodetto, and what I believe to be the first-ever documented usage of the phrase “hot ghetto mess” in the New Yorker, in Burkhard Bilger’s article on craft beer.

Most of it, sadly, is not available online to non-subscribers; if you’re not a subscriber, it’s definitely worth newsstanding.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

The Cat’s Meow

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, November 17th, 2008

The FN Dish’s Bruce Seidel visits Iron Chef Cat Cora at a book signing and Bon Appétit culinary demo.

FN DISH CONTEST!
To win an autographed copy of Cat’s new book, Cooking from the Hip, tell us about your favorite Cat Cora recipe in the comments section below!

Contest Ends: Sunday, November 23, 11:59PM/10:59c
By entering a comment you are consenting to these contest rules.

FN Dish on Dishes

by in View All Posts, November 14th, 2008

One tiny canister corner

One of the best kept secrets in NY is tucked beneath Food Network. In an undisclosed location (think: the warehouse in Indiana Jones), lies a vast storeroom of the dishes, props and accessories FN has used for the past 15 years. Rachael Ray’s original GBs, Mario Batali’s favorite ravioli rolling pin, Sunny’s entire kitchen — it’s there.

One artistic visionary, FN set decorator Wendy and her creative prop coordinator, Jamie, have the awesome responsibility of maintaining, organizing, expanding and decorating with the massive collection.

FN Dish will start showcasing certain pieces, like this giant bowl that’s great for “kicking light” — (being highly reflective on set). Wendy stumbled across it and knew it would be perfect for a dramatic Iron Chef America ingredient.

Questions about a Food Network set? Need inspiration for an innovative tablescape? Curious about culinary “minis”? Post and Wendy will attend to the most burning questions…

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