On the Road: Best Mac and Cheese

by in Restaurants, February 23rd, 2014

On the Road: Mac and CheeseOoey, gooey and chock-full of melted cheeses, there’s just no dish that’s quite as comforting as macaroni and cheese during the cold winter season. The craving for a creamy bowl of mac can attack at any time, so if you find yourself on the road this month and need an instant cure, stop by one of these top spots for mac and cheese across the country. With options like old-fashioned baked casseroles and gourmet lobster mac on the menu, get ready to sink your spoon into some of the most-indulgent bowls around from these masters of macaroni.

Mad Donna’s — Nashville
With a full section of the menu devoted to Mad Macs, you know that this Music City joint must be serious about mac and cheese. There are six “mad” variations to choose from, but on Heat Seekers, Aarón Sánchez and Roger Mooking braved the most-intense mac of all, the blazing-hot habanero mac and cheese. Amplified by whole peppers and doubly spicy habanero powder, this menacing mac is topped with even more heat in the form of “hellfire crunch,” a mix of crumbled tortilla chips and habanero powder.

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Worst Cooks Skill Drills: Ingredient Shmingredient

by in Shows, February 22nd, 2014

Anne Burrell and MichaelHave you ever shopped for a recipe and discovered that you forgot an ingredient or two once you got home? If it’s any consolation, it happens to the best. Or maybe you just can’t find an ingredient you thought you had for a recipe you planned to make. Your immediate reaction might be to come up with a substitution, but that’s not always the best idea. As Boot Camp recruits from Worst Cooks in America (Mondays at 9|8c) prove, some ingredients are not that easily exchangeable. Blue cheese for feta? Not really. Cilantro for parsley? It depends on the recipe (going for Mex-Ital?). Salt for sugar in a baked good? OK, it might have been an accident, but you can’t serve that!

If there’s one lesson to learn it’s this: You’ve got to know your ingredients and understand them. Watch the video to see some of the ingredient-swap sins committed in Seasons 3 and 4 — and you’ll know exactly when to point them out while watching the new season.

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Vote: What’s Your Favorite No-Bake Dessert?

by in Recipes, February 22nd, 2014

No-Bake Chewy Truffle CookiesOn this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee proved that when it comes to sweet tooth-satisfying desserts, sometimes preparation and assembly can be just as productive as baking. She welcomed her mom, Kim, to the set, and together they made a duo of no-bake desserts: No-Bake “Cow Pile” Cookies, featuring a crave-worthy combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oats, and No-Bake Banana Pudding Pie, a simple but comforting classic.

Whether you’re looking for fuss-free treats to make with your kids or just need a go-to dessert for a last-minute get-together, no-bake recipes like Katie’s offer endless quick-fix options. Since you don’t need to account for baking time, most dishes can be fully prepared in mere minutes (although they may need to cool) and are simple to execute, even in a hurry. Cheesecakes and tarts become even easier if they’re started with a store-bought crust, while trifles, mousses and mix-and-drop cookies guarantee wows from the crowd despite being nearly effortless to put together.

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Your Worst Cooks Moment: Share Your Kitchen Disaster Story

by in Shows, February 22nd, 2014

Anne and MuneerahThis season of Worst Cooks in America, Mondays at 9|8c, has a new set of Boot Camp recruits, a motley crew of culinary disasters who have proved they can’t cook. With Anne and Bobby as their mentors, one worst cook has the chance to become the best of the worst and win $25,000. But when it comes to cooking disasters, everyone has had a Worst Cooks moment at least once — if not more. Any blunder in the kitchen serves as a lesson not to make the same mistake again.

If while watching the premiere this past Monday you had a déjà vu moment, recalling a mistake you’ve made in the kitchen, FN Dish wants to know. Share your cooking horror stories.

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Beach Eats Meet Comfort Food at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 22nd, 2014

ZeppoleWhen you imagine classic shoreline snacks and sips, you likely picture buttery lobster rolls, crispy golden-brown fried shrimp and umbrella-adorned frosty cocktails. But at last night’s Life’s a Beach, Then You Eat! Dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the hosts and chefs, including Chopped judges Aarón Sánchez and Marcus Samuelsson, FN Dish contributor Hedy Goldsmith and New York City-based Chef Jonathan Waxman, proved there’s more to snacking in the sand than these tried-and-true picks when they rolled out their menus of comfort food favorites.

Gathering underneath the palm trees and hanging lights on the beach of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, this group of fan-favorite chefs and stars served hearty, satisfying dishes that not only wowed the sold-out crowd, but also held special significance for those who made them.

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, February 21st, 2014

Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage GravyAs an avid biscuit maker, I enjoy eating and baking many forms of biscuits. There are fluffy, light, flaky biscuits; tender, soft, cakelike biscuits; massive country-style biscuits called catheads; and delicate tea biscuits meant for ladies’ luncheons.

I’m asked quite a bit about biscuits. Random folks hear my accent and ask about Southern biscuits. People reach out on Twitter and Facebook. I also get at least a couple of emails a week asking how to make biscuits.

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2014 Burger Bash Winners: Michael Symon and Shake Shack

by in Events, February 21st, 2014

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So who won Food Network’s 8th Annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival‘s Burger Bash? Click play on the video above and check out photos from the event below.

The People’s Choice Award: Michael Symon (B Spot)
The Fat Doug Burger: Burger with coleslaw, pastrami, Castello-creamy Havarti cheese with stadium mustard.

Judges’ Favorite: Shake Shack
BurgerMeister: Cheeseburger topped with crispy beer-marinated shallots and ShackSauce.

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Roasted Cauliflower Melt — The Weekender

by in Recipes, February 21st, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower MeltDuring the fall and winter months, cauliflower becomes one of my staple vegetables, and we end up eating it at least once a week (and even more often during the depth of the season). The only trouble with my cauliflower habit is that it always ends up as a side dish and never as the dinnertime star.

That’s not to say that I don’t like the three ways I make it (mashed, roasted or baked in a cheesy sauce). But lately I’ve been seeing lots of ways that people are transforming cauliflower into the main event, and I want in on that action.

There’s this whole roasted cauliflower head that seems mighty intriguing, along with cauliflower steaks and pots of nutty, caramelized cauliflower soup.

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