All Posts In View All Posts
11 days remain until the premiere of The Next Food Nextwork Star. Our marketing and PR teams have been sending out all 10 finalists to foodie events and festivals around the country to stir up excitement about the chefs and the show. Here on The FN Dish, we’re giving the finalists their own platform to rant and rave about all the adventures along the road! First up…… finalist, Teddy Folkman:
This last weekend, I headed out to the annual two day event “Brew at the Zoo” at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where I was going to be meeting the guests and talking about being 1 of 10 finalists in the upcoming season of The Next Food Network Star. I’d also be demoing my specialty – Mussels and Fries. I was really excited to be part of this particular event… beer, food, music and later on I’d run into giraffes kissing and polar bears in heat… the typical weekend of a Next Food Network Star finalist – this is so cool.
Several of us in the test kitchen were fortunate enough recently to get a visit from Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Rum. Not only did she bring her warm Jamaican disposition, but she also brought two fantastic Jamaican rums from their Estate line of super-premium rums.
Both the 12-year-old and the Estate Reserve were ultra-smooth and rich with aromas of orange, vanilla, honey and nutmeg. While the 12-year-old is best enjoyed neat, perhaps with a little splash of club soda, the Estate Reserve makes some of the tastiest cocktails I’ve consumed in a long time.
These perfect summer beverages are a refreshing relief from overly sweetened tropical drinks. And there’s just something about the scent of rum combined with the classic Caribbean favorites like Ting, lime and ginger that instantly transports me to the beach.
I put these cocktails to the test over the weekend. The result? Instant summer. All my friends needed was some white sand and an ocean breeze.
Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer
1.5oz Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
Juice of half a lime
1-2 teaspoons agave nectar
6-8 ounces of Ting (Jamaican grapefruit soda)
Fill a highball glass with ice. Combine the rum with the lime, agave and soda in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Stir gently and pour into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit peel.
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 ounces Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
2 ounce Pineapple juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Dash of Angostura bitters
Muddle ginger in a pint glass, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice, then garnish with a slice of lime.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was really excited to put together our online Breakfast feature. After the pancake explosion I created for Mother’s Day, I tried to focus mostly on bacon and eggs for this one. But the carb-lover inside me couldn’t resist adding French toast and sticky buns. (I love to watch Bobby struggle with baking in Throwdown: Sticky Buns)
And, of course, I added muffin recipes. Muffins are a great grab-and-go breakfast treat, and they usually freeze well, so they can be a cheap, healthy, home-made frozen pastry. Ina’s Blueberry Muffins look like the most-loved on FoodNetwork.com, but Sunny’s Sunny Morning Muffins caught my eye.
I recently attended the Cooking For Solutions conference at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Other people have written in far more detail, but my quick take is that I’m glad to see the sustainability movement growing upwards and outwards — while simultaneously realizing that speaking to the converted gets you nowhere. There are signs (albeit small ones) that we may be on the road to a mainstream tipping point for sustainability awareness.
Katherine Alford, VP, Test Kitchen
I’ll admit. I occasionally nibble at the Whole Foods buffet before paying, you know, to test out my options. And of course, my hands find their way into many a platter here at FN, which might be a bit on the restricted side. But when my handy little camera caught this warning: Ultimate Recipe Showdown Pantry. Please Do Not Touch!, I knew better than to pick, but not even a few exclamation points can keep SC from prodding for answers.
What did I find out? The test kitchens are in the midst of testing recipes for the new series, as the sign indicated, Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Apparently thousands of submissions came in from all over the country, and now the FN recipe testers have to narrow each category (comfort foods, hot & spicy, desserts, etc..) down to just 4 contestants for each show. By the looks of the pantry (dark chocolate chips, boxes of brown sugar, molasses, cupcake tins…), I think they’re in the middle of testing for the desserts episode. Maybe they need help taste testing? I’m available!
Here’s to Eating Well!
We are just one day short of Memorial Day weekend (Hooray!), and I’m sure that many of you are thinking about breaking out the barbecue to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Do you think that this year’s budget limits the menu to hot dogs and potato chips?
Well, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on those tried and true backyard favorites, but you’ll be happy to hear that you can provide an entertaining menu to satisfy all palates without blowing through your budget. Being a Food Network insider has allowed me to gather the best tips for feeding a crowd economically and deliciously.
My favorite part was seeing Bobby and Rachael debate over burger patties. Not sure who won the debate, as both Rachael and Bobby stuck to their guns, but I’m curious to hear your guys’ take on the dispute. This is the disagreement:
Bobby Flay puts nothing INSIDE his burger patty. No chopped onions, no garlic, no bell pepper, not even salt and pepper. He liberally puts salt and pepper outside the patty, but nothing inside. (Here are Bobby’s perfect burger rules).
Rachael Ray likes to mix every ingredient combination possible in her burger patties: from worcestershire sauce to fennel seed to chipotles, and of course, salt and pepper.
Bobby’s argument: When Bobby wants a burger, he wants a burger….not meatloaf.
What side are you on?
So my pal Robert, last heard from here, rears his way-smarter-than-me head again in the pages of Gourmet, this time about how I commandeered his house, backpack full of Greenmarket rhubarb in tow, to make mustard last weekend. I just want to make clear: at no point during said kitchen commandeering did I use the word “isothiocyanates,” hence the way-smarter-than-me-ness, but hey, at least I know what they are now.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer