The Ins and Outs of Star Salvation, According to Its Co-Host, Plus Pilot Time with Rachael Ray — Jeff’s Star Report

by , August 10th, 2015
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Food Network Star, Star SalvationMy season of Food Network Star did not have this nifty little competition sub-series known as Star Salvation, and you know what? I am quite glad we didn't! It’s one thing to compete against other finalists hungry for a chance at their own Food Netw...

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Drinking Games, Cutthroat Kitchen Style — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 9th, 2015

There are the drinking games you likely know and love — and then there are Cutthroat Kitchen drinking games. On tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown took shots to a diabolical level when he auctioned off a tray of shot glasses filled not with liquor but with spicy, tangy and downright funky ingredients — not all of them liquid. Hot sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce and garlic made up the five evilicious glasses, and the unfortunate chef saddled with this sabotage was forced to take a shot of one each time he wanted to taste his food.

Alton brought this doozy of a challenge to the After-Show to show off to Simon Majumdar, and Alton was quick to turn the tables on the judge, saying to him, “I double-dog dare you to shoot the fish sauce.” Ever the cooperative judge, Simon wasted no time in throwing back the classically Asian ingredient in one fell glug. As is only natural, of course, Simon didn’t hesitate to challenge Alton to an equally cringe-inducing ingredient: the hot sauce. “Alton’s been giving it lots and lots of this,” Simon said, while making the chatter motion with his hand. While Alton was quick to refuse the hot sauce — “I’m not going to play that game!” he declared — he indeed put back a swig of Worcestershire sauce. “No way was I doing the hot sauce! I’m not insane,” Alton said. While both guys survived their tastings, the competitor stuck with this sabotage didn’t last into Round 2.

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One-on-One with the Latest Food Network Star Finalist to Go Home

by , August 9th, 2015
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Food Network StarIt's the nature of the Food Network Star beast that even though no matter how badly finalists want to achieve their dreams of stardom, ultimately only one can win the coveted title, and with that, 11 finalists will be going home. Every week Star Talk...

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Gooey, Surprisingly Healthy Mozzarella Sticks — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, August 9th, 2015

Crisp Mozzarella SticksIf you love the way mozzarella sticks ooze with cheese, but you don’t love their typically greasy bite, try this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. By using part-skim cheese and baking instead of frying the sticks, the chefs in Food Network Kitchen have transformed these craveable eats into a surprisingly healthy dish. You’ll still get that desired golden exterior, thanks to an herbed breadcrumb mixture, and creamy center, but you’ll be saving on most of the richness. Serve with store-bought marinara sauce for an easy dip.

For more kid-friendly recipes, check out Food Network’s Cooking with Kids board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Crisp Mozzarella Sticks

England Has a Shop Specializing in Potato-Chip Sandwiches

by in News, August 9th, 2015

England Has a Shop Specializing in Potato-Chip SandwichesPeople around the world like a lot of different things in their sandwiches. (See also this video.) And while we in the United States may generally prefer to eat our potato chips on the side, in the U.K. folks are apparently partial to eating them between two slices of bread — right where you might expect to find your lunch meat or PB&J or whatever.

Capitalizing on this taste for crunchy potato-chip sandwiches (“crisp butties,” they call them) is Mr. Crisp, which bills itself as “England’s first crisp sandwich shop” (apparently Belfast quite enjoyed a crisp sandwich pop-up — Simply Crispy — that launched there in January), offering sandwiches filled with “over 50 varieties of crisp for you to enjoy.” Customers also get their choice of bread (white or brown, teacakes or baguettes) and topping: Try it with ketchup, jam, peanut butter, Marmite or the mayonnaise-like “salad cream,” or get crazy and order it with chocolate spread. Crisp sandwiches start at £1 and go up to £1.50, depending on your toppings. (Marshmallow, anyone?).

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Buy These Fruits Now and Preserve Them for Later

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2015

As summer winds down, the thought of no longer seeing local strawberries and stone fruits is already making me yearn for another month of warm weather and seasonal produce. But not all is lost! You can buy fresh fruit now and preserve the produce with recipes for easy jams and preserves. Don’t be afraid to do it yourself: Canning jam is easy enough and means you can be eating summer fruit long past their market-fresh appearances.

Easy Strawberry Jam (pictured above)
Ina Garten loves to use big pieces of hulled, fresh strawberries in her jam, so she cuts the berries only in half. She adds superfine sugar (which melts really quickly), but if you can’t find it, you can blend your own in the food processor. Orange-flavored liqueur will bring out the sweetness of the strawberries, and a chopped green apple will help thicken the jam; a few blueberries will add depth of flavor and create a great deep-red color. The mixture will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks. But if you want to store it for longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Beat the Heat with Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks

by in Books, Drinks, August 8th, 2015

Punch Bowls and Pitcher DrinksAs the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).

Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:

  • The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
  • Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
  • Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
  • Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.

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Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Trail Mix ‘n’ Match — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, August 8th, 2015

Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Trail Mix 'n' Match — Infographic

Why Your Cupcake Might Not Taste as Sweet as Mine

by in News, August 8th, 2015

Why Your Cupcake Might Not Taste as Sweet as MineYou love to eat sweet things: yummy cakes, delicious candy bars and sometimes, maybe, on special occasions, crazy-decadent combinations of both. But did you ever stop to wonder if these things taste the same way to the person sitting across the table from you, digging in with – wait, is that equal gusto?

The answer — surprising or not — may be no. A recent study conducted by sensory scientists, and led by Danielle Reed at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, has determined that some people are more sensitive not only to bitter compounds, but to sweetness as well.

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6 New Ways to Top Grilled Pizza

by in Recipes, August 7th, 2015

Sure, pizza delivery is convenient, and it saves you the hassle of heating up your oven in the summertime. But it can also be costly, especially after you factor in tax and tip, and offers limited topping options to boot. The best solution? Turn your outdoor grill into a pizza oven. There will be no sweltering-hot kitchen to endure, no unnecessary expenses and, best of all, you’ll have full control over your sauce and toppings. Everything from eggs to fish to fresh vegetables or fruit can grace the top of freshly rolled-out dough. Here are some ideas to help you cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert using nothing more than your grill, some pizza dough and a handful of balanced, meal-worthy toppings.

The Good Morning Pizza
While no one can deny the beauty of a garlicky pie topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil, that might not be the most-appealing assemblage of toppings first thing in the morning. This Grilled Breakfast Pizza with Sausage (pictured at top) takes just 5 minutes of prep and will fuel your morning with stick-to-your-ribs Southern flavors. Simply top the flatbreads with savory sausage gravy, eggs and sliced scallions.

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