9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don’t Involve Spaghetti)

by in Recipes, February 10th, 2015

9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don't Involve Spaghetti)Sure, spaghetti and meatballs go together like bread and butter, but these beefy rounds don’t have to be confined to Italian cooking — or even to beef. The beauty of the meatball is that (almost) anything goes: Pork, chicken, turkey and vegetables? They’re are all go-to fillings, too, and when it comes to flavors and serving options, you’re limited only by creativity, from Asian-inspired and barbecue sauce toppings to gooey cheese fillings and taco stuffings. Read on below for the best-ever takes on meatball madness beyond the traditional pasta pairing.

When Pepperoni Won’t Cut It: Rachael Ray crumbles ground sirloin into large chunks that resemble meatballs in her quick-fix recipe for Mega Meatball Pizza. Since she starts with store-bought pizza dough, this family-friendly pie, blanketed in stretchy mozzarella cheese, can be on the table in just over 30 minutes.

When You Don’t Want to Choose: Who says you can’t have it all? Food Network Magazine’s Chipotle Chicken Meatball Tacos prove that you can indeed enjoy the best of a culinary mash-up. Here meatballs take on a Mexican flavor after simmering in a hearty sauce of smoky chipotle peppers and jalapeno.

Read more

Fixing Up Dessert Imposters — Cook Along with Kids Baking Championship

by in Recipes, Shows, February 10th, 2015

Cheeseburger CakeNot everything is as it seems. That’s what the kids learned last night on Kids Baking Championship, when they found out they’d be baking fake-out foods, like burgers, tacos and pizza that are all actually desserts masquerading as savory foods. Most of the kids were excited by the prospects, but their baking assignments were drawn at random, leaving a few competitors with dishes they weren’t too happy with. In a twist of fate, the one kid who hated her assigned dish won, while the one who was happiest about his was sent packing. It just came down to execution and a sidekick dish that didn’t do the entire package justice.

These fake-out foods may look more difficult to make than they really are; broken down into steps, they become a fun and easy project to make on the weekend. We’ve compiled some of our favorite deceptively sweet treats that will leave you and your friends doing a second take. Let this roundup of recipes get your ideas flowing!

Click to Get the Recipes

Where to Get Great Doughnuts, from Coast to Coast

by in Restaurants, February 10th, 2015

The correct, dictionary-approved spelling for these treats is “doughnut,” though the shorter “donut” has been around since the late 1800s. No matter how you spell it or which variety you favor (cake, yeast or old fashioned), one thing is certain: Doughnuts have broken out of breakfast and become more than just a pair-with-coffee staple.  The lines often stretch around the block for these popular doughnut shops, and once you’re biting into a decadent, deep-fried ring of dough, you’ll understand the reason why.

Washington, D.C.: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (pictured above)
You may recognize co-founder Jeff Halpern’s name: He’s a professional hockey player who played for the Washington Capitals, among other NHL teams. He and co-founder Elliot Spaisman grew up playing hockey together and doughnuts were their reward of choice after games. Grab fried chicken or Sriracha wings before choosing your dessert. You might find a new favorite day of the week based on Astro’s rotating doughnut calendar. Beat a case of the Mondays with Coconut Cake or enjoy the weekend with Elvis (think peanut butter-banana filling). No matter what day of the week you stop by, though, there are some pretty awesome daily flavors that include Vanilla Glazed, Creme Brulee and even Maple Bacon.

Read more

The Insider’s Take on Kids Baking Championship — Duff’s Recap of Episode 2

by in Shows, February 10th, 2015

Duff GoldmanDessert Imposters! Now, this is in my wheelhouse! Ninety percent of what we do at Charm City Cakes is make cakes that look like other things, and a lot of times we make cakes that look like other kinds of food. Last week I made a cake for a chef in Los Angeles that was a giant pile of raw meat. True story. This week’s challenge was so much fun on Kids Baking Championship, but it was also one of the most difficult for the kids. They had to recreate foods using sweet, baked stuff. It’s very tricky to get right, because you really have to sell the idea that, no, this is not a cake, this is a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Last week was really tough, but I think the kids gained an advantage in that they got used to the cameras, lights and even my big loud mouth, and I think they really stepped it up when they faced an even bigger challenge than the bake sale.

Read more

Calling All Chocoholics: 5 Decadent Chocolate Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 9th, 2015

Warm Chocolate Cakes with BerriesThere are chocolate lovers — and then there are chocoholics, a term reserved for only the most-diehard chocolate fanatics, those who dream about sleeping on a bed of fluffy chocolate frosting and swimming in a vat of chocolate fondue. If you consider yourself a member of this super-sweet club, you’re in luck: FN Dish is here with five of the most-over-the-top chocolatey recipes that you’re sure to swoon over this Valentine’s Day.

Hot-from-the-oven chocolate cake on the outside with a pool of rich, creamy melted chocolate in the center: That’s the scene taking place when you make Giada De Laurentiis’ Warm Chocolate Cakes with Berries (pictured above). The beauty of Giada’s fuss-free cakes is that you can prepare them in the morning, then come back to bake them right before you’re ready to eat them, so you’re guaranteed a deliciously warm dessert. Follow Giada’s lead and add just a pinch of espresso powder to the batter; it will enhance the flavor of the chocolate without adding a coffee taste.

Read more

Bean, Kale and Egg Stew — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 9th, 2015

Bean, Kale and Egg StewWhile traditional stew may conjure images of a meaty supper that requires hours of slow simmering to cook, it’s indeed possible to pull off a vegetarian version ideal for Meatless Monday — and in a hurry, too.

The key to making a satisfying and meat-free stew is replacing the beef with an equally hearty ingredient, and for our Food Network Kitchen, that’s plenty of kidney beans in its good-for-you recipe for Bean, Kale and Egg Stew (pictured above). Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, this easy dinner boasts layer upon layer of flavor, starting with a base of sweet sauteed red onions, protein-packed beans and a warming broth spiked with soy sauce. Once the kale is tender, it takes just a few minutes to thicken up the stew, which is best topped with a runny sunny-side up egg and served with a side of broiled cheesy bread for easy dunking. Do you prefer a bit of spice in your stew? If so, don’t forget the hot sauce for DIY heat.

Read more

12 Must-Try Dumplings Across the Country

by in Restaurants, February 9th, 2015

By Meesha Halm

Dim sum dumplings — once the sole province of Chinese restaurants — are having their breakthrough moment. From a fifth-generation chef folding traditional xiao long bao to a food truck steaming up bacon cheeseburger dumplings for passersby, chefs across the country are delighting diners with dim sum and then some. Whether you like your shumai from a Chinatown dive or in a glitzy nightclub, we’ve tracked down some of the best dumplings to fit your taste and budget. Check out a sampler below and head over to the gallery for the full list.

Read more

One-on-One with the Latest Recruit Eliminated from the Blue Team — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, February 9th, 2015

Sarah Bettendorf, Blue TeamThis season on Worst Cooks in America, 14 new helpless home cooks entered the ranks to be mentored by chefs Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. Split into the Blue and Red teams, they faced new cooking challenges every week, honing their skills until just two finalists (one from each team) remained to face off in one final cook-off. This week, the remaining four recruits were narrowed down to just two, who next week will face battling one another for the chance to walk away with $25,000 in cash, along with bragging rights for his or her mentor.

FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team who haven’t been chosen to compete in the finale, although coming ever so close.

Find out who on the Blue Team went home

One-on-One with the Latest Recruit Eliminated from the Red Team — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, February 9th, 2015

Leopold Nunan, Red TeamThis season on Worst Cooks in America, 14 new helpless home cooks entered the ranks to be mentored by chefs Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. Split into the Blue and Red teams, they faced new cooking challenges every week, honing their skills until just two finalists (one from each team) remained to face off in one final cook-off. This week, the remaining four recruits were narrowed down to just two, who next week will face battling one another for the chance to walk away with $25,000 in cash, along with bragging rights for his or her mentor.

FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team who haven’t been chosen to compete in the finale, although coming ever so close.

Find out who on the Red Team went home

“Boxed” Chocolate Cake — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 8th, 2015

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen focused on perhaps the ultimate sweet treat — chocolate — and surely no chocolate showcase is complete without molten lava cake. Boasting a tender, moist cake on the outside and a warm, gooey center, this dressed-up dessert is tricky to master, even for the most-experienced chefs under optimal conditions. And inside the Cutthroat arena, the circumstances for preparing this cake turned even trickier when a sabotage forced one chef to mix all of the cake ingredients within the tiny compartments inside a now-empty box of chocolates.

As with all sabotages, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team tried its hands at this doozy of a test before Alton Brown sold it at auction, and within just minutes of starting, Food Stylist Codii realized, “The key to this is patience, which I think Cutthroat Kitchen lacks on a daily basis.” Despite her initial struggles, however, Codii managed to incorporate her ingredients as best as possible, and ultimately turned out cakes that, while “not pretty,” featured the signature lava river flowing from within.

Read more