“Did You Say ‘Compost Pile’?” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 30th, 2014

From chip-based cooking vessels and tools to mandatory claw hands and honey-soaked ingredients, Cutthroat Kitchen judge Jet Tila is no stranger to the most-diabolical sabotages to befall competition. But even this veteran judge could hardly believe his ears when host Alton Brown asked the crew to “bring in the compost pile” during the latest installment of his After-Show.

“Did you say ‘compost pile’?” Jet asked Alton, laughing. Sure enough, Jet had heard correctly, and indeed Alton had auctioned off a compost pile-inspired challenge that forced one chef to surrender his shopping basket and dig for all of his ingredients amongst 200 pounds of coffee grounds. “I don’t know what that is,” Jet admitted as he sifted through the pile and found — and later sniffed — a mound of mystery meat. According to Alton, it was simply “some kind of canned ham product.”

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Easy Apple Crisp — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 30th, 2014

Apple CrispJust because Thanksgiving is behind us doesn’t mean apple season is over. If you’re still craving the crisp, sweet-tart flavors of autumn’s apples, look to this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, an easy-to-make twist on a classic apple dessert.

While apple pies often require you to hand-mix the dough for the crust, then roll it out and form it to a pan, the Neelys’ Apple Crisp (pictured above) simply features a cinnamon-laced fruit filling and a fuss-free crumble topping. Just sprinkle this buttery pecan-sugar mixture atop the apples before baking for a go-to treat.

For more holiday inspiration, visit Food Network’s Thanksgiving Desserts board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Apple Crisp

Who Needs a Regular Ice Cream Scoop When You Can Have a Giant One?

by in News, November 30th, 2014

Giant Ice Cream ScoopHere’s one for the “can’t have too much of a good thing” file: an ultra-big ice cream scoop that serves up a solid pint of frozen deliciousness in every helping. Talk about a cone crusher!

The scoop, which regularly retails for $60, but is currently on sale for $36 on Fancy.com, features a shiny 4-inch-diameter stainless steel bowl and a brass-plated chrome handle. It weighs 1 1/2 pounds and is dishwasher safe.

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How to Roast — Off the Shelf

by in Books, November 29th, 2014

How to RoastMichael Ruhlman’s newest cookbook, How to Roast, is here to bring the magic back to holiday cooking. Slated to be the first in a series of technique-specific cookbooks, How to Roast takes you through the history of and variations on roasting, one of the oldest forms of cooking. The book reads easily, laced with Ruhlman’s signature wit and humor, and his efficient approach to cooking translates nicely here. He gives you all the information you want without making you feel like he’s telling you too much, or taking too much of your time. It’s beautifully concise while remaining descriptive enough to whet your appetite for roasting.

The book starts with an introduction that lays out a quick history of roasting, then jumps right into chapters on The Basics, The Recipes, and Equipment and Tools. The Basics covers the technical side of roasting, from what Ruhlman means when he says “high heat” versus “medium heat” to various kinds of specialty roasting, like spit roasting and smoke roasting. Then you move on to The Recipes, a chapter that includes iconic dishes like Roasted Chicken and includes step-by-step tutorials for skills that are a little more complicated, like how to properly truss that chicken up before you pop it in the oven. But Ruhlman doesn’t stick solely to the classics. You’ll find recipes for roasted dishes that range from Roasted Shellfish with Tarragon and Thyme Broth to Broccoli with Garlic to Roasted Tomato Sauce. He even sidles up to the sweeter side of the technique with dishes like Roasted Peaches with Creme Fraiche and Mint (recipe below for you to try at home).

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Way to Entertain for the Holidays?

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 29th, 2014

Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Jeff MauroIt’s just days after Thanksgiving, and likely your calendar is already dotted with invitations for holiday parties happening from now through New Year’s. Over the course of the next month, friends, families and co-workers will come together at seasonal bashes to honor the holidays, reflect on top moments of the past and raise a glass to the year ahead. Just in time for these upcoming events, the cast of The Kitchen kicked off the holidays with good-to-know party tips and crowd-pleasing recipes, including potluck-perfect dishes and slow-cooker showstoppers.

FN Dish wants to know, as you get set for a December full of holiday happenings, what kind of parties are you most looking forward to hosting? Do you prefer to throw casual potlucks and open-house-style gatherings, or do you like formal dinners and cocktail parties? Do you count down the days until your annual gift-wrapping event, or are you most excited about a cookie-swap extravaganza?

Cast your vote in the poll below to share your favorite way to entertain during the holidays.

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The Secret to Holiday Bake-Ahead Success: Buttermilk Scones (Plus, 10 More Recipes!)

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 29th, 2014

Simple Buttermilk SconesFor the d’Arabian family, the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season. We put up holidays lights, shop for a Christmas tree, light up the fireplace (even though it’s 70 degrees) and decorate the house. The girls celebrate with a teapot full of homemade hot cocoa (tip: stir in a spoonful of pumpkin puree for a little extra fiber and vitamins), and we start our holiday baking. Our annual Mother-Daughter Holiday Tea is usually the first week of December, which means we typically have one or two weeks to bake up the treats. And because the holidays are our favorite time to share homemade gifts with friends, neighbors and teachers, we have plenty of baking to do!

My girls, of course, want to be part of it all, and that’s the fun of it — it’s a family activity! One of the best pieces of advice I can give parents who are looking to cook more with their kids is: Plan it for when you have plenty of time. Make it a Friday night activity after an early dinner, or spend Sunday afternoon with music on and the oven humming, keeping you cozy and warm while you bake away lazily. To get the baking done in time, then, we have to start early and freeze just about everything. So whether we are cooking for neighbors’ gifts or getting a jump-start on party food, I embrace make-ahead options that can be frozen (which in baking, is just about everything).

And that leads me to my No. 1 holiday baking secret weapon: my Simple Buttermilk Scones (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine. They are quick to make, they are scalable, and they are a versatile canvas for almost any flavor profile you can imagine — add tiny chocolate chips and fresh rosemary, or orange zest and dried basil, or dried edible lavender and chopped white chocolate.

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5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

by in Family, Holidays, November 29th, 2014

Ginger-Peanut Stir-FryWe have four small kids at our house with small kid appetites. That means leftovers are a nightly thing. But in the spirit of variety, I try to change things up for round two with two things in mind: Half the cooking is already done (hooray for me!), and I can usually incorporate our leftovers into a riff of an already beloved dish (hooray for the kids!). For example, leftover broiled salmon might become a simple salmon frittata for my egg-loving brood. Knowing our kid-tested family favorites, here’s our plan for those Thanksgiving leftovers to come:

Leftover: Turkey
Make: Creamy Lemon Pasta or Peanut-Ginger Stir-Fry
Give that bird a whole new flavor with one of our family’s two favorite ways to eat (and re-eat) poultry: Creamy Lemon Pasta or stir-fry with fresh ginger-peanut sauce. Both kid tested, both approved.

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Turkey Tetrazzini — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, November 28th, 2014

Comforting, bubbling casseroles such as this down-home comfort Turkey Tetrazzini have long been prepared by the ladies of the Methodist church in the south Georgia town where I grew up. They were taken to the families in celebration. As different as most faiths seem to be, they all share some sort of ceremony at key moments in human life: the union of two people, the birth of a child, the celebration of adulthood — whether that be a bat mitzvah, a confirmation or a hunter killing his first antelope — and the celebration of death. Food is more than keeping the family fed. Food is the adhesive that binds the community. This sentiment is especially clear at Thanksgiving as friends and family gather together in gratitude.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Leftovers

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 28th, 2014

Turkey TetrazziniYou’ve planned for your Thanksgiving dinner, prepared the meal and hosted the holiday party, and you’re now looking at a refrigerator full of leftovers. While simply reheating the fixings and enjoying a next-day feast is surely a can-do approach to tackling what remains, try reinventing the turkey, potatoes and vegetables into all-new dishes, like an easy-to-make frittata or over-the-top sandwich. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving leftovers ideas, then head over to Thanksgiving Central for more leftover inspiration.

5. Turkey Pot Pie — Made with leftover turkey meat instead of the traditional chicken, this comforting pot pie boasts a buttery premade pie crust, so it’s a cinch to prepare.

4. Turkey Frittata — An all-in-one breakfast featuring creamy eggs, boiled potatoes and bell peppers, this potato-studded frittata is topped with a blanket of cheese and turns fluffy after just a few minutes in the oven.

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What to Watch: It’s One Big Party This Weekend on Food Network

by in Shows, November 28th, 2014

Damaris' Karaoke PartyWe hope you’re in a festive mood this weekend, because the Food Network chefs are ready to celebrate. Tune in to The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, Giada at Home, Guy’s Big Bite and Southern at Heart for everything from a birthday party to an office party to a slumber party.

If you want to keep up the excitement, check out all-new episodes of Rewrapped, Guy’s Grocery Games, Holiday Baking Championship and Cutthroat Kitchen. There are all kinds of food shenanigans involved, ranging from fruitcake to marshmallow guns. And if you want to wind down with mouthwatering recipes, watch Farmhouse Rules for dishes like Classic Rosemary Lamb Chops, Twice-Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Garlic Broccoli Rabe and B and W Chocolate-Dipped  Shortbread Cookies.

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