Everything You Need to Know About Pecorino

by in How-to, September 6th, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About PecorinoFor many people who see their favorite chef grating salty slivers of it over a plate of perfectly cooked pasta or a New Haven-style pizza, pecorino cheese has become almost interchangeable with Parmesan.
There is so much more to this beautiful, traditionally crafted cheese than just being an alternative garnish, however, and I hope that after reading this, you will not only realize just how much hard work goes into getting pecorino to your table, but you will also be tempted to make it a star ingredient in some of your future culinary endeavors.

What Is Pecorino?
The name pecorino is actually taken from the Italian word pecora, which means “sheep.” It links back to a time when sheep were an essential source of food and materials for rural families in what is now Italy. And the first historical records of the cheese being made come from nearly 2,000 years ago, in the works of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder.

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Poll: What’s for Breakfast on School Days?

by in Recipes, September 6th, 2014

Mixed Berry and Yogurt ParfaitNow that school is back in session, the late-morning breakfasts of summer are surely a thing of a past, and they’ve likely been replaced with a frenzied half hour of packing lunches, gathering supplies to toss into backpacks and tying shoes at the door. But while there may be hardly any time to sit down to extravagant breakfasts on hectic weekday mornings, it’s nevertheless important for little ones to leave the house with full tummies so they can begin to make the grade. When time is tight at your house on school days, what dishes do you reach for to feed your kids? Are you a fan of assemble-and-eat picks like a Mixed Berry and Yogurt Parfait (pictured above), or do you rely on last night’s prep work to save the day, as it does with Alton’s Overnight Oatmeal? When it comes to eggs, do you opt for hard-boiled beauties, or do prefer them scrambled?

Cast your vote below to tell FN Dish what’s for breakfast at your house on school days.

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How to Shop Your Pantry, Plus 3 Weeknight Dinners to Master

by in Family, Food Network Chef, September 6th, 2014

Melissa d'ArabianMy kids have been in school for exactly four days. Which is about how long it took to remind me that the summer routine of winging it for dinner won’t work anymore. Gone are the afternoons of lazily brainstorming dinner ideas at 5 p.m. from the comfort of a pool lounge chair (“grilled salmon or chicken, sweetie?”). In September, 5 p.m. without a dinner plan wreaks havoc on the delicate soccer-school-homework-ballet ecosphere of our home.

Anyone out there relate? What do you do?

Some common strategies: Race around like a madwoman cobbling together something – anything – that will feed the hungry bellies around the table, letting nutrition take a break for one tiny night. (Anyone?) Go to the drive-thru, or order delivery. Serve cereal (again).

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How Much Would You Pay for These Chocolate Bathroom Fixtures?

by in News, September 5th, 2014

Chocolate BathEven the most devoted chocophiles among us may not rush to splash out $23,240 on a toilet made of chocolate, but we may be gratified to know that, if the urge struck, we could.

The self-described “chocoholics” behind U.K.-based online retailer Bathrooms.com are offering a 980,000-calorie loo as part of a 100-percent-Belgian-chocolate bathroom suite that also includes a $11,620 chocolate bidet (210,000 calories), $14,940 chocolate sink (210,000 calories) and – the piece de resistance – an $82,990 chocolate bathtub (8 million calories!). They’re all available individually or as a set ($132,790) by special request via Bathroomsweets.com.

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Baked Corn Pudding — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, September 5th, 2014

Corn has been part of the American kitchen since Colonial days, as it was a hardy crop, relatively easy to grow and resistant to insects. It was a staple of the Native American diet long before the first settlers arrived and quickly became part of the settlers’ diet. It had a long harvest that extended over a longer period of time than wheat and was cultivated extensively from New England to Georgia. There’s also a long history of corn in the hills and valleys of Appalachia, as corn was better suited to the mountainous terrain than wheat or barley. Corn was eaten fresh in the summer and dried into meal for the winter months. Practicality guided it to find its way in some form, sweet or savory, into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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52 Weeks Fresh: End-of-Summer Lovin’

by , September 5th, 2014

Pizza SaucePlants worked hard all summer to deliver varied flavors, shapes and colors. Now it’s time to cook your bounty.

A garden row of seedlings at the season’s start should now be a greenmarket. If you’ve been following along this summer, you’ll have everything you need for pizza sauce (tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, onions) and salads (lettuce, arugula, red onions, edible flowers and beets).

This is the time to use your fresh tomatoes in lieu of canned tomatoes in any marinara or basic tomato sauce. Try Giada De Laurentiis’ version with carrots, celery and a bay leaf, or make Chuck Hughes’ classic pizza sauce. To make the substitution, use 10 to 12 blanched tomatoes in place of a 32-ounce can.

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25 Ways to Use Blueberries

by , September 5th, 2014

Blueberries are at the height of their season on the East Coast, which means whether you’re picking them from your backyard or the local farmer’s market, it’s time to stock up.

Small but mighty, blueberries are packed with antioxidants, and vitamins C and K. Utilize these sweet treats year-round by freezing them or by canning homemade blueberry jam (pictured above). For more information on your favorite summertime berry check out this Cooking Channel video on blueberries or just get straight to cooking with these 25 ways.

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Huckleberry — Off the Shelf

by in Books, September 5th, 2014

Huckleberry CookbookHuckleberry by Zoe Nathan is an all-around stunning book. From the immaculate food photography to the craving-inducing recipes to the yellow polka-dot pattern adorning the pages, Huckleberry is everything you could hope for in a bakery cookbook — and then some. Nathan’s witty stories bring you right into the heart of her kitchen, and it’s easy to feel like she’s unlocked her bakery doors for you and invited you in for a tour.

The chapters roll out based on what time in the morning Nathan and her team start which baked goods, from muffins at 3:30am to biscuits and scones, rustic cakes and tea cakes, breads and other things that rise, flaky dough and its many uses, things baked in a dish, fried stuff, pancakes, cereals, sandwiches, hearty plates each topped with an egg to 10am coffee and other beverages. The substance of each chapter is a marvel, and the book features more than a hundred recipes that you can easily make at home. Nathan gives detailed notes on ways you can change things up, and the balance between sweet and savory dishes ensures that the book has something that will speak to any craving. With food photographer Matt Armendariz’s stunning food images, there’s no way to escape craving the Chocolate Chunk Muffins, the Vanilla French Toast with Brown Sugar-Cranberry Sauce, or My Dad’s Pancakes. The recipe for Black and Blue Oat Bars is included below, in case you just can’t wait to try one of the recipes.

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Space Whiskey Finally Will Return to Earth After Three Years

by , September 5th, 2014

In 2011, a Scottish distillery teamed up with a Texas space research company to see how well whiskey would age in the cold, unfeeling nothingness of space. They sent a vial of unmatured malt and charred oak pieces into orbit. There it sat, spinning along with the cosmos, for three long years. Now it is ready to return home and, more importantly, be imbibed.

It’s actually an interesting experiment. On September 12, the vial will return home and be compared with a control vial, which was relegated to the boring confines of planet Earth. Which one became a better whiskey? Which one gets you to send drunk texts quicker, in the middle of the night, to ex-spouses? The world is about to find out.

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