Beyond Gazpacho — Summer Soups

by in Recipes, June 30th, 2014

Cold Summer SoupFor years I never understood the allure of gazpacho (I can hear the collective gasp), but tomatoes and I have an interesting relationship. I’ll gladly eat them sliced with a bit of salt and a drizzle of olive oil all summer long. Cooked? No problem! I’ve never been a tomato juice person, though, and this is where gazpacho poses a problem. To my palate, it’s just chunky tomato juice with some seasonings and spices.

My thoughts, or shall I say tastes, regarding gazpacho changed a couple of summers ago when I paired it with watermelon. The watermelon added just enough sweetness to balance out the acidity. You can find my recipe for Smoky Watermelon Gazpacho here.

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Salad as Art: Presentation Is a Matter of Taste, Study Shows

by in News, June 30th, 2014

Salad as ArtAll that time you spend artfully arranging food on the plate before serving it to your guests or family is not in vain. And if you’re the sort of cook who doesn’t think much about how you present the food you make, thinking that taste alone will carry the day, you may want to reconsider your approach.

Presentation may not be everything, but when it comes to the meals we serve, appearance may be more important than we realize, capable of greatly influencing diners’ perception of taste, a recent study, published in the journal Flavour, has shown.

Building upon prior research showing that visual factors, like the color and balance of elements on the plate, play a large role in the way people respond to food, experimental psychologists at the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England, set out to discover whether arranging food “in an art-inspired manner” would affect diners’ expectations and experience of the food they were served.

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Grilled Eggplant Chickpea Wraps — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 30th, 2014

Grilled Eggplant Chickpea WrapsMaking lunch shouldn’t have to be a long, arduous affair. For extra-busy days, you need something that can be prepared in a flash — and that’s where chickpeas come in. Bursting with protein and fiber, canned chickpeas are already cooked, so all you have to do is rinse and drain them to pack some nutrition into your meal.

In this Grilled Eggplant Chickpea Wraps recipe from the chefs of Food Network Kitchen, the chickpeas are paired with sauteed eggplants for a tangy twist on a Middle Eastern falafel. The mixture is topped with a creamy, garlic-based yogurt sauce and stuffed in a soft tortilla wrap. Top the dish with oregano, tomato, lettuce and cucumber. With this recipe, lunch is ready in 20 minutes flat, and with a side of salad or french fries, you could make it an easy weeknight dinner staple as well.

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Soup’s On — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, June 29th, 2014

Many times on Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown demonstrates his truly evilicious side by taking away the contestants’ ingredients, their heating appliances and even all their knives. In this week’s episode, Alton takes evil to a whole new level — he takes away all pots, pans and mixing bowls, and replaces them with a bread bowl for one of the contestants and a soup ladle for the other. The two contestants have to make both a soup and a salad without all their mixing equipment. This challenge didn’t come without its share of difficulty — the soup ladle was extremely small and could heat up only a small amount at a time, and the bread bowl kept soaking up all the liquid for both the dressing and the soup. While sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen have to slow the contestants down and make things difficult for them, they can’t make it impossible for them to make a dish.

How did these two sabotages get approved by Food Network’s culinary team for this episode? Click the play button on the video above to find out.

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Prosciutto Pizza with Cauliflower Crust — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, June 29th, 2014

Prosciutto Pizza with Cauliflower CrustFor a summer treat that’s easy on the stomach as well as the waistline, look no further than this Prosciutto Pizza with Cauliflower Crust. Instead of using wheat, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen use cauliflower to add in a nutritional boost to a standard summer staple. With a mix of creamy Asiago cheese and salty prosciutto, it’s no wonder this guilt-free recipe is this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.

For more nutritious summer recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Prosciutto Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Make Your Party Pop with Independence Day Cocktails

by in Drinks, Holidays, June 28th, 2014

While there are plenty of ways to get festive for the holiday with cakes, pies and all-American favorites, the drink department requires a bit of effort. At any July 4th party, you can probably find lemonade, iced tea and maybe some punch. But to really wow your guests, you’ll need a few of these colorfully creative cocktails.

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris
Ah, the daiquiri. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy this classic summer drink. The red portion of this version is sweetened with strawberries and watermelon, making it extra-light, while the white portion is made with coconut sorbet, giving the drink a bit of creaminess. And the blue center is made with white rum, blue passion-fruit liqueur and blue curacao, giving the drink its grown-up kick. Fireworks Daquiri

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