Ming Tsai Fuses East and West Flavors on The Kitchen and Previews His Upcoming Family Reach Event

by in Shows, October 31st, 2015

Food Network's The KitchenWith fall in full swing, the time is now to take advantage of the best seasonal produce autumn has to offer. Just a few weeks ago, The Kitchen‘s Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid showed off their tricks for transforming in-season squash, and on this morning’s all-new episode, renowned chef and restaurateur Ming Tsai dropped by to offer another go-to recipe, this time one that fuses together the flavors of the East and West.

To make his Kabocha Squash and Shiitake Wontons with Pomegranate-Vinegar Syrup, Ming starts with roasted kabocha squash, the flesh of which he scoops out of the vegetable and mixes with shiitake mushrooms to create the base of the dumpling filling. Once these two-bite beauties have been fried and are golden brown and crispy on the outside, he drizzles them with a sweetened rum sauce studded with ruby-red pomegranate seeds for a burst of color and freshness.

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Is Sushi Better with Butter?

by in News, October 30th, 2015

Is Sushi Better with Butter?Certainly there are those among us who think that pretty much everything tastes better with butter. Toast, naturally. Pancakes, sure. Popcorn, corn on the cob — those go without saying. But … sushi?

Jinen, a popular chain of sushi restaurants in Japan, is now offering its customers sushi with a long, not-so-skinny fingerlike pat of butter on them — and the hungry, fish-loving masses apparently can’t get enough of them.

The unagi butter sushi — which consists of the usual morsel of rice (vinegared, in this case), layered with unagi (grilled freshwater eel) sushi, topped off with a sizable strip of butter and held together with a strip of nori seaweed — is melting the hearts of eaters across the city of Osaka, where the chain is based, RocketNews24 reports.

“I’ve been wanting to have this!” one diner captioned an Instagram photo of the butter sushi. “Excellent!”

Bet it would be good on tamago (egg) sushi too.

Photo courtesy of @yoshitch

9 Kitchen Essentials You Can Make at Home

by in Recipes, October 30th, 2015

Quick Vanilla Buttercream FrostingThink about it: How many times in a week do you find yourself reaching for the same pantry and refrigerator standbys, like butter for your morning toast, ketchup for the kids’ chicken nuggets and hummus for an afternoon snack? These go-tos and others are often at the top of your grocery list when you’re nearing the end of your supply — but they don’t have to be. It turns out that it’s often just as easy — and perhaps more economical — to make them from scratch at home. Read on below to find out how to put a DIY spin on some of your favorite condiments, fixings and meal starters.


Even if you opt for a boxed cake mix (no judgment here), making a from-scratch frosting instead of reaching for the jarred stuff can save you from a cloyingly sweet dessert. Made with only four ingredients and ready in just 12 quick minutes, this top-rated Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting turns out light, fluffy and just sweet enough every time. More of a chocoholic? Look no further than Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate Frosting.

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Anne Burrell Has Done It Again: How She Mentored a Worst Cooks Recruit to Red Team Victory

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 30th, 2015

Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity EditionFresh off her Worst Cooks in America, Season 6 win not even one year ago, Anne Burrell has done it again: She successfully mentored a culinary novice from worst to first place. Only this time the victorious recruit wasn’t a home cook; she was a bona fide A-lister. As Jenni “JWoww” Farley of The Jersey Shore successfully outcooked her finale rival, Kendra Wilkinson, she not only claimed the title of best of the worst for herself, but she also scored another Red Team victory for her mentor, Anne. FN Dish caught up with Anne recently to look back on what it took to mentor the celebrities and to chat about her secret to success after clinching five wins in just seven seasons of the Worst Cooks franchise.

What was it like competing against and working with Rachael Ray, as opposed to Tyler Florence, your regular Worst Cooks in America co-host?
Anne Burrell: It was a different ball of wax. Tyler is great, but Rachel brought a bit of levity to an already very fun and silly situation. Well, a very fun and silly and serious situation. But Rachael and I got along just so well. It was great working with another girl chef.

Did you have any preconceived notions about what these celebs would be like in the kitchen, since they are so visibly in the public eye?
AB: No, and I was nervous that there was going to be, like, a whole bunch of divas and people being like, “Ah, I’m not going to do that.” But we did not have one in the bunch, and everybody really readily embraced the entire thing. It was really delightful.

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What to Watch: Special Guest Raven-Symoné on The Kitchen, and the Season Premiere of Holiday Baking Championship

by in Shows, October 30th, 2015

Raven-Symone on The KitchenThis weekend, whether you’re feeding a crowd or just yourself, your favorite chefs have you covered with new recipes and easy kitchen tips. First up, Ree Drummond has the house to herself, and she’s cooking up lamb chops and Dulce de Leche Coffee for dessert. Next, it’s a romantic alfresco dinner on Nancy Fuller’s farm with Shrimp Scampi with Bucatini Noodles and bourbon-soaked bread pudding. Then, Ming Tsai stops by to demonstrate fall-flavored fried wontons while Jeff Mauro shows actress Raven-Symoné around the kitchen. After that, Patricia Heaton is hosting a party for her lady friends and serving Mini Quiche and Classic Cheese Fondue. On Saturday night, go behind the scenes of the making of your favorite foods with Unwrapped 2.0.

On Sunday morning, Duff Goldman bakes fantasy creations based on the challenges from Holiday Baking Championship on Duff’s Sweet Spot. Next, Damaris Phillips is recreating her favorite fair foods as bite-sized appetizers like Corn Dog Muffins and Meyer Lemon Shake-Up Tarts. Then, on Sunday night, a lineup of talented young chefs hits the aisles on Guy’s Grocery Games. Next, 10 new bakers take on a nutty chocolate dessert during the first challenge on the premiere of Holiday Baking Championship. And Alton Brown ends the night with brand-new sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Son Sneak Attack at Lake Arrowhead Sports Grill

by in Shows, October 29th, 2015

Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Son Sneak Attack at Lake Arrowhead Sports GrillKonner’s parents may not have known that their son was reaching out to Robert Irvine, but they soon learned just what he’d done when Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team stormed the couple’s five-year-old eatery, Lake Arrowhead Sports Grill in Blue Jay, Calif., in an unexpected ambush. Husband-and-wife owners Keith and Karen had seen significant declines in their business recently, so much so that Konner looked to Food Network’s own restaurant renovator to transform the restaurant and reinvigorate his parents and their relationship. Read on below to hear from Karen about how Lake Arrowhead is faring these days, a few months after Robert and his team completed their mission.

“We have had really good feedback from our regulars with all the changes visually and with the menu,” Karen says of locals’ reaction to the new Lake Arrowhead. “We scaled back our menu from four pages to one (two-sided), which has really helped our kitchen to streamline and get food out quicker with more consistency.” She adds that the restaurant has been welcoming “a lot more new faces,” as “regulars are bringing new people to show us off and to tell about the show.”

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One-on-One with the Chopped: Impossible, Part 2 Winner

by in Shows, October 29th, 2015

Chopped: Impossible, Part 2In this new Impossible tournament, Chopped is switching up the format: Chefs will compete in three preliminary rounds for a chance to earn a spot in the finale, where the champion will get the opportunity to compete against Robert Irvine in a wild-card round. Just for getting there, the champion will pocket $15,000, but upon beating Robert, he or she will win an additional $25,000, for a total of $40,000.

On tonight’s episode, four very accomplished chefs who’ve competed successfully on Chopped before will return to take on the most-impossible mystery baskets, but only competitor will earn a spot in the finale for an opportunity to get to Robert.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Part 2 Winner

Never Heard of Baijiu? Here’s What You Need to Know

by in Drinks, News, October 29th, 2015

Never Heard of Baijiu? Here’s What You Need to KnowPop quiz! Baijiu is … (pick one)

A. The French word for “jewelry”

B. The first name of a model-actress who’s the daughter of that guy from the Mamas and the Papas

C. A marshy body of water in the Southern United States

D. That song Megan sang to Don for his 40th birthday on Mad Men

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6 Tips for Better Pasta That Everyone Should Know, Plus Fall’s Best Gnocchi

by in Books, Recipes, October 29th, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and SageThe potential for that box of pasta sitting on your pantry shelf is almost limitless, as The Four Seasons of Pasta is here to prove. Written by mother-daughter team Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, this book stretches the classic standby ingredient into new and delightfully flavorful seasonal meals. Think Pasta alla Carbonara for spring, Spaghetti with SunBurst Tomatoes for summer, a hearty Ragu Bolognese for winter, or the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for autumn (recipe below for you to try at home).

And though you’ve likely been making pasta since you first learned to boil water, heed Nancy and Sara’s advice for a truly exceptional pasta dish:

1. Make sure your pasta water is abundant — 5 or 6 quarts for a standard 500-gram (about 1 pound) box of pasta.

2. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil.

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Quit the Candy: Savory Ways to Celebrate Halloween — Fall Fest

by in Recipes, October 29th, 2015

Crispy Phyllo-Wrapped Hot Dog MummiesThough you (and your kids) may disagree on whether pillowcases should be stuffed with candy rather than slept on, we’re here to tell you that Halloween is — gasp! — about more than the sweet stuff. No, your dentist didn’t send us to get you to nosh on more than candy ropes and chocolate bars this year. Instead, we’re just plain excited about these ghoulishly good recipes. Feast on these substantial-yet-spooky dishes we scared up for your Halloween party, like mummified hot dogs (pictured above) and ghost-shaped pizzas, or snack on them while you’re handing candy out to the neighbors.

For a party bite that will stop guests dead in their tracks, make these to-die-for Crispy Phyllo-Wrapped Hot Dog Mummies. The phyllo gives the little dogs a bandaged look and offers a buttery flakiness to every bite.

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