Country-Fried Steak — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, March 28th, 2014

Country-Fried Steak

Country-fried steak is called chicken-fried steak in Texas and pan-fried steak, cube steak or smothered steak in other regions; but frankly, once you taste this dish of down-home comfort, you’re not going to care what it’s called. This is pure meat and potatoes — simple country cooking that is as basic as basic can be.

When considering classic comfort food dishes, it’s often a bit of a mystery where they came from and how they became so exalted. Although it’s not a great feat of culinary genius to consider breading meat and frying it in a skillet, the dish does enjoy uber-celebrity status in Texas. This may be due to the German settlements in the Hill Country near Austin. If you think about it, chicken-fried steak is just a Texas two-step away from das schnitzel.

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What to Watch: Martha Stewart Visits The Kitchen and Actors Compete on Chopped Tournament of Stars

by in Shows, March 28th, 2014

MarthaStart your Saturday morning with Amy Thielen, who’s making recipes that are perfect to bridge the gap from winter to spring. Then on The Kitchen, special guest Martha Stewart stops by to make an icebox cake and she gets inducted into the Cookbook Club. Copies of her newest book, Martha Stewart Cakes, will be given away on FN Dish tomorrow.

Then on Sunday morning, Damaris whips up kid-friendly recipes for her niece and her niece’s friends. Later on, Jeff makes brunch-inspired sandwiches and a special dessert. In the afternoon, watch Buy This Restaurant as Keith helps two friends find a restaurant space in San Francisco. In the evening, watch all-new episodes of Food Court Wars, Chopped — where four actors enter the competition — and Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Cupcake ATM, Artisanal Ice Cubes, Why Beer Belongs at Your Barbecue

by in News, March 28th, 2014

CupcakesCupcake Lovers’ Dream Come True: Sprinkles bakery, which has installed 24/7 cupcake dispensers in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Beverly Hills (celebs apparently love ‘em), has now brought the sweetly convenient concept to the city that never sleeps (and consequently never stops craving baked goods). New York’s first Cupcake ATM opened for business Tuesday on the Upper East Side, dispensing frosted treats to the hungry hordes for $4.25 a pop. On Tuesday night, David Letterman used the news as grist for his Top 10 list, sharing “things overheard in line for the Cupcake ATM.” No. 7: “My PIN number is also my cholesterol level.” Ba-dum-bum. [Gothamist]

No Ordinary Ice Cube: There’s a new trend in the cocktail biz: artisanal ice cubes. The Half Step cocktail bar in Austin regards the ice in its drinks as a work of art, hand-cutting every piece of ice it serves using special equipment and storing the “harvested” ice in a dedicated shed. The bar’s founder, Chris Bostick, tells Zagat that a well-cut cube is the key to making “a three-ingredient cocktail memorable.” Watch the Half Step’s handcrafted ice take shape here. [Zagat]

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All-New on Sunday: Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, March 28th, 2014

Alton BrownFans have noticed from watching more than two seasons of Cutthroat Kitchen competition that some sabotages appear simply too evilicious to ever be allowed, and Food Network has heard your curiosities. It turns out, however, that even the most-demanding challenges have been vetted and approved by the show’s culinary team; that’s what makes them acceptable for the contest. Before Alton auctions off any sabotage to competitors, the Cutthroat crew tests it to see if it is, in fact, possible to work with during the allotted 30 minutes. And beginning this weekend, you’ll be able to watch some of those tests unfold in a series of brand-new Web-exclusive videos.

Visit Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen headquarters after Sunday’s episode to watch the first Testing the Sabotage video, then mark your calendars for the below dates to catch even more clips in the future.

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Geoffrey Zakarian’s Brunch Essentials

by in Shows, March 27th, 2014

Geoffrey ZakarianWhen you imagine brunch at an Iron Chef’s house, you might picture a lavish affair complete with an overflowing spread of all manner of croissants, made-to-order omelets, thick-cut French toast and the bubbliest Bellinis. But according to Geoffrey Zakarian, “less is more” when it comes to this midmorning meal, and it can be surprisingly easy to execute. As he explained, “Everything at brunch is done the day before.” FN Dish recently caught up with Geoffrey in Miami as he hosted his own brunch event, and we chatted with him about what it takes to pull off the ultimate crowd-pleasing meal. Read on below to learn his top tips for entertaining and thoughts on classic brunch picks like eggs, waffles and mimosas.

What’s a go-to rule of thumb to remember when preparing brunch?
Geoffrey Zakarian: I always say less is more. What people do with brunch is they overwhelm you with too much stuff that’s, like, throwaway. They pile breads and pastries and all this stuff, and no one eats it anyways. You end up throwing it away. So I say just be very focused and really edit what you’re going to do. Do seven, eight things maximum. Make people just eat those things, and make them really delicious and different, and it’ll be a very successful brunch.

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Elevate Escarole with a Tex-Mex Spin

by in Recipes, Shows, March 27th, 2014

escarole quesadillaFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient escarole. Most often used in Italian cooking, escarole is a slightly bitter lettuce that you’ll commonly see in soups and sometimes salads. But there’s more to this leafy green than meets the eye. A quick saute in some oil and garlic turns it into a simple side dish, but using it in these Escarole Quesadillas along with cheese transforms it into main dish territory. Try making them for your family the next time you have Tex-Mex night at home.

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Inside the Beat Bobby Flay Kitchen

by in Shows, March 27th, 2014

Beat Bobby FlayMuch like you probably prepare to cook an important meal by stocking up on any ingredients and specialty tools you may need, so, too, do the culinary teams on Food Network shows before filming begins. Shopping for goods to stock the pantry and refrigerator is up to them. For the all-new series Beat Bobby Flay, the team was tasked with readying the kitchen with enough food and equipment for not one round of cooking, but two, and the selection had to be great enough to ensure that the guest chefs and Bobby would be able to make whatever dish they wanted.

FN Dish was on the set of Beat Bobby Flay recently and caught up with the show’s culinary producer, Danielle LaRosa, to find out more about what it takes to make the series happen. Read on below to see insider photos of the kitchen and learn some of the most-popular ingredients on set from Danielle.

“We have at least 200 items in our pantry daily for both contestants and Bobby to have access to,” Danielle said. “Some of these 200 items include 30 kinds of spices (plus more as the season has gone on), 80 items in the dry pantry (including breads, vinegars, dried fruit, etc.), [and] 45 different kinds of fruits and vegetables.”

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