Reuben's the sixth and final eliminated hopeful to attempt redemption on Sta...
From The Next Iron Chef to Iron Chef America, Simon Majumdar is no stranger to a judges’ table, but the difference between the evaluations on those shows and those on Cutthroat Kitchen is that with the latter, he isn’t aware of all that led to the chefs’ finished dishes. Round after evilicious round, Simon and the other judges are introduced to seemingly innocent plates, and they’re unaware of the oddball products and the perhaps inferior utensils and tools used to create them; it’s then up to Simon and the other judges to review chefs’ offerings as simply as the food they are, not as the results of sabotage. FN Dish checked in with Simon recently to chat about his experience judging on Cutthroat Kitchen, plus his memorable dishes from the show and the process of being hidden from the competition.
What are you most looking forward to as Cutthroat Kitchen continues to evolve into more seasons?
Simon Majumdar: Alton’s getting into his stride with it, so I think he loves the fact that it’s getting more and more evil .… There’s a lot more [that's] elaborate coming up. I mean there are fat suits, there are mini kitchens, there are – I mean it’s getting seriously crazy. I walk out of the studio sometimes to the trailer where they put us and I walk past the challenge producers — the ones who devise all this eviliciousness — and I have no idea what they’re doing. There are carpenters out there, bouncing table-tennis balls, I mean, and it’s basically becoming like Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and I think that’s what people love. Because I think people were worried at first; they were like, “It’s not a cooking show, and how can you eat that food?” but the thing is that some of the food is really good.
If you frequently find yourself trading breakfast for a granola bar, skipping lunch and hitting the vending machines, or passing up dinner and grabbing a quick bite on the way to your evening activity, you are hardly alone. Increasingly, over the last three decades, the Wall Street Journal reports, America has become a nation of snackers. And if the trend continues, the three square meals we Americans have long prided ourselves on may go the way of the electric typewriter, the rotary phone and the passenger pigeon.
Back in the late 1970s, only 10 percent of Americans snacked three or more times a day. By the 1990s, that number had risen to about 20 percent. In 2010, 56 percent of us were snacking that frequently, the Journal reports, citing the most recent government data. What’s more, a 2013 survey by consumer tracker The Hartman Group found that 48 percent of Americans passed up meals at least three times per week, and the majority of us — 63 percent — didn’t decide what we were going to eat until about an hour before we ate it. And while in the morning we tend to reach for healthy snacks like fruit, in the evening, as willpower wanes, we’re diving into the candy jars and ice cream bowls with abandon.
On an all-new episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy is heading to the West Coast for a taste of California. In Culver City, Guy will get the ultimate surprise when Gene Simmons from KISS makes a special appearance. He’ll then continue his trip by visiting Garden Grove, where he’ll discover a family-run Mexican joint serving tamales and traditional beef Chamorro. Guy will also visit the coast of Monterey for a seafood feast fit for a king. Catch this episode on Friday, July 11 at 10|9c. Until then, check out these exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of Guy’s California adventure.
1. Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Tomato Cocktail Sauce
Take this classic party starter outdoors and onto the grill. Grilled tomatoes, onions and lemons serve as the smoky base for a homemade cocktail sauce that’s blended with Worcestershire sauce, honey, horseradish and hot sauce until smooth. Whether you serve the sauce warm or at room temperature alongside simply charred shrimp, the dish is perfect for a crowd.
Summer days (and nights) call for refreshing, light meals that require little or no advance planning. Much of the time, a salad of the leafy variety will hit the spot, but it might not be substantial enough to get you through to the next meal. Here,...
Pickling isn’t just for veggies. Slice any relatively firm fruit like strawberries, grapes, peaches or cherries, then cover with vinegar (balsamic, sherry or white wine), add some sugar and salt and let sit 10 minutes. Drain and add to a salad, like Food Network Magazine’s Pickled Strawberry Salad (pictured above), or serve on grilled meat.
Photograph by Justin Walker
It’s feeling hot, hot, hot out there. We’re certainly feeling the heat — and so is this stationery! There’s no denying that the food world has been buzzing about all things hot sauce, but I’m here today to spice up your snail mail too. If you douse breakfast, lunch and dinner with your beloved spicy sauce of choice, these cards are for you (like the one pictured above from Gotamago).
You know what they say: “If you can’t take the heat ….”
I scream, you scream. Everyone seems to be screaming about ice cream right now. And as the mercury continues its seasonal climb, the cries may grow louder, the cravings stronger.
The New York Times dedicated its Dining section last week to frozen treats. The new and trendy, soft and custardy, shaved and crushed, fancy and French, malted and milky, the ethnic and exotic all get their shivery due. The paper’s tribute to local ice cream parlors may inspire some readers to make nostalgic trips home and prompt others to make previously unscheduled stops during summer road trips. And Melissa Clark’s DIY tips and recipes — and her urging to experiment and taste — may inspire a new generation of ice cream tinkerers.
Pasta is most often the easiest party staple. It’s quick to prepare and can be amped up in a number of different ways — from using diverse types of pasta like tortellini or penne to using various sauces like pesto, cream or tomato. There’s a pasta for every mood. Still, having a warm and hearty main may not be the most ideal choice for a summer soiree. Luckily, pasta is also a dish that is wonderful when cold, and can be made into a healthy, light salad.
In this Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad from Rachael Ray, tortellini is used to create a filling meal. The recipe allows the use of all kinds of this stuffed pasta, from chicken to prosciutto, but those going meatless can buy the mushroom-, cheese-, or spinach-filled kinds. Along with the pasta comes the addition of fresh spinach and artichokes to amp up the nutritional factor while the sun-dried tomatoes work perfectly for a salty touch. With a tangy dressing made from garlic, lemon zest, vinegar, ginger, olive oil and thyme, this cold salad is the perfect light summer staple.