By Teri Tsang Barrett
What will the stars and suits behind Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men and the other Emmy-nominated shows be dining on at the 2014 Emmy Awards Governors Ball on Monday night after the big ceremony?
Winners will celebrate, and those without statuettes will compensate with a sumptuous three-course meal featuring local seasonal vegetables and a fresh take on meat and potatoes. The food selections will highlight a variety of hues in keeping with the evening’s theme: a “Kaleidoscope of Color.”
The 3,800 assembled guests will start with a Grilled Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad featuring little gem lettuce, candy-striped figs, Burrata cheese, Vidalia onions, a honey-lemon vinaigrette and toasted Marcona almonds, all seasoned with fleur de sel, peppermint and basil.
Aside from boiling a pot of water for noodles, pasta doesn’t necessarily require the heat of the stove or oven, as sauces can come together with little more than some stirring or blending. And during the dog days of summer like these, that’s indeed welcome news, on account of the scorching temperatures outside. While pesto may be the most-common no-cook sauce, tomato sauces, too, can be served raw, especially at this time of year when tomatoes are at their ripest — and sweetest.
Melissa d’Arabian lets seasonal tomatoes shine in her recipe for light and fresh Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda (pictured above). The star of this fuss-free supper is a simple yet bold combination of seeded tomatoes, briny olives, salty capers and fragrant mint; after incorporating these go-to ingredients with bright orange zest and olive oil, let their flavors marry for a bit, then top them with just-cooked noodles. The heat of the pasta will gently cook the salsa-like tomato mixture to create a warm, satisfying plate, finished with grated Parmesan for added flavor.
You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.
Health-aware food marketing experts want to help, basically by using the things restaurants do to manipulate diners into ordering high-profit menu items for the greater good — or at least to boost our collective good health. In a study recently published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cornell University professor Brian Wansink (the man credited with the 100-calorie snack pack) and co-author Katie Love found that people eating in restaurants tend to order descriptively named menu items more frequently than those with bland names. Renaming “seafood fillet” something like “Succulent Italian Seafood Fillet,” for example, boosted sales 28 percent.
As you can probably tell by looking at all of the downward facing heads at any restaurant, food-based apps are kind of a big deal. You can snap pics of food and put it on your Instagram. You can offer scathing reviews of your not-so-favorite eateries on Yelp. You can let the whole world know you are about to consume a double cheeseburger on Foursquare. Until now, there has not been a single app that let you do all of these things. Introducing Foodmento.
Foodmento, a name which is going for ‘nostalgia’ but ends up just hitting ‘mint,’ is your all-in-one food-based smartphone app. First of all, it is dish based, meaning that you use the application to search for a particular dish. You can then find the best of said dish in your area. You can also check out the best rated dishes at a particular restaurant, which thankfully will take the guess work out of that whole deciding thing (overrated.) There is location-based social networking, just like Foursquare. There is also a heavy social component, with the app letting you know if a friend has tried out the same stuff you have. It’s pretty cool, even though society may have already hit critical mass with this stuff.
What better way to savor the last days of sunshine than packing up a breakfast picnic? There are two ways to do it: Go old school with a blanket in the yard, or head to the patio. Either way, just pack a thermos of coffee, another full of milk (doing double duty as a beverage for the kids, plus creamer for the java), then bring your breakfast out on a tray — it’s easier to handle than a basket. Now take your pick: We’ve got muffins, eggs and more, each of them to go.
1. Baked Scrambled Eggs (pictured above): You don’t need a bug-shaped pan to pull this off, but it’s sure fun. Beaten eggs plus milk and the toppings of your choice (cheese, ham, tomatoes and more) go into the oven for a sturdy egg dish that’s just as good at room (or outdoor) temperature as it is hot.
The mini kitchen is no stranger to Cutthroat Kitchen, as chefs have been asked to work in kid-size constraints challenge after challenge. But on tonight’s all-new episode, Alton Brown unveiled a different tiny tool capable of doling out similar great trials during the Round 3 chocolate cake test: the toy stand mixer. Would this kid-friendly apparatus consisting of little more than a short, hand-powered wooden whisk and a shallow plastic bowl be enough to serve as a chef’s sole means of mixing? After all, to make chocolate cake, a competitor would need to be able to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients.
Before Alton auctioned off this doozy of a sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen’s culinary team tested on the mixer to make sure it was indeed possible to execute within the contest, and Chelsea, a food stylist on set, wondered, “Does the cute factor, you think, count as extra points for this challenge?”
Click the play button on the video above to see the test in action, and learn how the mixer earned an “approved” rating.
On this week’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the teams found themselves headed to Tucson, Ariz. Some hoped the change in location from California to the Southwest would be a seamless transition that wouldn’t require much modification in menu or strategy. A Truck Stop challenge of selling a local favorite, and later a Speed Bump that relocated the food trucks to a local festival, both tested the teams’ marketing abilities. But the challenges were easier for some more than for others. One team in particular wasn’t able to get out of the rut they had put themselves into in the previous city. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the latest team cut from the race.
You would never guess that these marbled brownies combine two decadent treats, lightened up. The cheesecake layer is made with reduced-fat cream cheese while low-fat buttermilk keeps the brownie base moist and fudgy. You’ll quickly see why these brownies are this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
For more dessert recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Cheesecake Brownies
Plump and juicy tomatoes aren’t just a summertime seduction, they’ve got nutrition credentials as well. They’re low and calories and high in vital nutrients, including choline, fiber and folic acid. They also feature cell-protecti...