Dinner Rush! Pork Chops with Pierogi and Seared Apples

by , October 7th, 2014

Ready yourself for impact because that magical time of year when apples manage to sneak their way into every corner of your autumnally themed life is now. Just try and look away as their dappled red and green skins flood quaint little baskets at farmers markets. Resist the smell of freshly fried cider doughnuts? Impossible. You might as well just surrender as “25 new ways to cook with apples” overtakes your Pinterest feed.

Speaking of which, here’s a delicious dinner recipe to try using apples.

I poke fun, but the reality is that apples are great to cook with. They play well with sweet and savory flavors and give you that wonderfully satisfying feeling of being in tune with the new season. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the myriad varieties staring you down at the store? Reach for McIntosh — they’re a safe all-purpose choice for cooking, baking or simply eating out of hand.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Aarti’s First Cookbook

by in Contests, October 7th, 2014

Aarti Paarti Cookbook Giveaway
There’s something undeniably eye-catching about opening up a cookbook for the first time and feeling like the author has shared with you one of the most passionate parts of his or her life — including family roots, recipes and laughs about life. I’m talking about Aarti Sequeira‘s first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul. So many Food Network fans first met Aarti when she won Season 6 of Food Network Star. Others were introduced to her when she hosted her first show, Aarti Party.

One of the most-approachable Indian-American cookbooks available today, the book is broken down into typical cookbook sections (including breakfast, salads, soups and stews, and dessert). There is also a section on chutneys. “Chutneys are a wonderful place to start for both new cooks and new-to-the-Subcontinent cooks because they either require no cooking at all or employ familiar cooking techniques,” Aarti shares. What makes this book stand apart are the anecdotes about how her mother and grandmother cooked these dishes — how they made exotic-sounding dishes sound familiar and comforting for their family. Before you get cooking, read Aarti’s introduction to common Indian spices — there’s no such thing as an intimidation factor in this book. FN Dish strongly suggests you read through the introduction, then run (not walk) to recipes for Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce, Lasagna Cupcakes, Lucia-Lucica Fried Rice, Pregnancy Potatoes, Indian Street Corn, and Homemade “Magic Shell” with Garam Masala and Sea Salt.

You can buy a copy of Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Aarti Paarti, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite recipe from Aarti (must include recipe URL). Need inspiration? Flip through her recipes here.

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Sifted: Cider-Salted Caramel, Oktoberfest Beer Bread, Kale Salad + More

by , October 7th, 2014

Kale Salad with Sauteed Apples

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • You may have been proud of your apple-picking loot at the farm, but if you ran out of ways to use the bounty after baking a crisp and a pie, try serving the fruit in this Kale Salad with Sauteed Apples from Brooklyn Supper.
  • Even in the name of Octoberfest, guzzling pint after pint can be taxing (and beer-belly-inducing). Take your brew differently  and arguably more responsibly  with Spiced Octoberfest Beer Bread by Savory Simple.

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Behind the Wine: It’s Harvest Season in Oregon

by , October 7th, 2014

vineyardOctober is an exciting month in the agriculture world, as peaches and corn give way to apples and pumpkins, prime for the picking. And in certain vine-filled valleys, it’s a lush time, indeed: the grape harvest. On a recent visit to Willamette Valley — Oregon’s up-and-coming wine region known for its bold Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays — we learned that an unusually warm summer had sped up the growing and ripening process, resulting in an earlier harvest. Lucky for us, that meant we were able to get up close and personal with those big, juicy grapes.

To learn all about the harvest process — and see how varying microclimates within a 10-mile radius can yield entirely different grapes — we visited a few different wineries. We checked in with Winemaker Melissa Burr from Stoller Family Estate as she sampled some of the new juices coming off of the vines, and toured Sokol Blosser and Penner-Ash wineries to see how their harvests were progressing.

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5 Fall Recipes with Fresh Fennel

by in In Season, Recipes, October 7th, 2014

There are very few ingredients that can add to a dish what fresh fennel can add. It’s got a hint of sweetness, a nice crunch and a refreshing flavor. Known for being eaten raw as a palate cleanser at the end of a big Italian meal, it can be prepared or eaten just about any way you can imagine. Take these recipes, for example: roasted fennel in pasta, fennel salad and even a fennel slaw. Try out a few of these and before you know it you’ll be adding fennel into all kinds of things this fall.

Baked Penne with Fennel: When you think of creamy baked pasta, you don’t necessarily think of light flavors. But fennel can add the perfect soft flavor to just about anything — including this creamy baked penne. With pancetta, heavy cream and three different cheeses, the dish definitely benefits from the fennel’s subtle flavor.

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Could the Lunches This Mom Packs Be Any Cuter?

by in News, October 7th, 2014

Bento Box MonstersIt’s not uncommon for parents, when they’re concerned about their kids missing them at school, to sneak a little note into the kids’ backpacks or special treat in their lunchboxes to cheer them up. But Li Ming, a stay-at-home mom in Singapore, has taken that concept to a whole new level with the elaborate bento boxes she makes for her two sons.

Ming says she “started bento-ing” in 2008, when her older son was in nursery school, and graduated to making the more involved, ultra-adorable charabens, or character bentos, when he began primary school in 2011. “He missed me terribly then and had problems adjusting to the longer hours at primary school. I started packing him charabens, along with lunch notes, hoping to cheer him up and let him feel my presence and love through them,” she explains on Bento, Monsters, the blog where she documents her bentos and offers recipes, tips and tutorials.

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Restaurant Revisited — Paradise: Impossible at Padre Rita Grill

by in Shows, October 6th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleA tiki bar-style restaurant offering live music, Padre Rita Grill in South Padre Island, Texas, is just four years old, but already the owners, husband and wife Micheal and Cathy Laferty, are finding themselves inundated with debt. They looked to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team not only to transform the interior of their space from island-oriented to next-level nautical, but also to overhaul the menu, adding fresh flavors and coastal influences. Read on below to hear from Micheal and Cathy to find out how Padre Rita Grill is doing a few months after reopening.

Micheal and his employees alike are pleased to be rid of the salad bar that was previously in their restaurant, as Cathy explains: “I believe the staff is very happy about not having the salad bar to deal with. It was a daily issue [in terms of] cleaning and keeping [it] filled, and they each voiced their dislike of the duty.”

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Chefs to Climb the Culinary Ladder on All-New Series Kitchen Inferno

by in Shows, October 6th, 2014

Curtis Stone on Kitchen InfernoIt will be a delicate balance of risk and reward for chefs on Food Network’s brand-new upcoming series Kitchen Inferno, as they’re forced to bet on their skills with cash on the line. Each week beginning Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 10|9c, contestants will face off in culinary showdowns in front of a live audience during the course of four possible rounds — how far they advance depends on their willingness to tempt fate by playing for more money and risking it all in the process.

With a grand prize of $25,000 at stake, chefs will be forced to do more than execute a properly seasoned plate or a beautifully adorned dish; as they begin their journey up the culinary ladder, they’ll face tests that are progressively more difficult, and it’s up to them to decide which to tackle and when to walk away. They can continue playing for the whopping sum, but if they chance their luck and fail, they’ll have to forfeit their winnings and succumb to blazing defeat.

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