Four-Wheeled Prizes On the Line in First-Ever Food Truck Face Off

by in Shows, August 21st, 2014

Food Truck Face OffIt’s no secret that the food truck industry has hit its stride in recent years, as the culture of traveling cooking and eating can be seen from coast to coast. Beginning this fall on the all-new series Food Truck Face Off, budding food truck operators will have the chance to break into that mobile arena, but not before they prove their staying power with a winning business model that can withstand the fierce competition.

Each week beginning Thursday, October 2 at 8|7c, four new teams will gather to present their food truck ideas to a rotating panel of proficient judges, but ultimately only two will earn the right to face off against each other for the win. Host Jesse Palmer, a former NFL superstar and a broadcast sports journalist, will be on hand to challenge the top contenders to 48 hours of no-nonsense contests, and if these future entrepreneurs want to impress Jesse and the judges, they must endure a roster of tests designed to demonstrate their powerful business mindset and impressive customer service — not to mention wow-worthy food.

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5 Things We Can Learn About Organizing from Chefs

by in News, August 21st, 2014

5 Things We Can Learn About Organizing from ChefsDo you long for a tidier life, a greater sense of control? Don’t we all. The secret, a recent post on NPR’s The Salt suggests, may lie in organizing like a chef.

Chefs approach their kitchens following a system called mise en place, a French phrase that means “to put in place.” Before chefs start cooking, they spend time painstakingly gathering and arranging their ingredients and tools — that way they know where everything is and it’s ready for them when they reach for it. It is, many chefs believe, the key to cooking well — and some suggest it is also the key to living a well-ordered life. Some even refer to it as their religion.

“I know people that have it tattooed on them,” Culinary Institute of America student Melissa Gray told NPR. “It really is a way of life … it’s a way of concentrating your mind to only focus on the aspects that you need to be working on at that moment, to kind of rid yourself of distractions.”

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The Beauties of Barbecue — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, August 21st, 2014

Wet BBQ Ribs

When it comes to barbecue, one size most certainly does not fit all. For some, it’s all about nibbling smoky ribs from the bone. For others, a pulled pork sandwich doused in barbecue sauce is where it’s at. And as far as regional differences go (from the Carolinas to Tennessee to Texas), don’t even get us started. This week, conjure your inner grill master with the forerunners of backyard barbecuing.

Pork Ribs: For a barbecue phenomenon that needs no utensils, ribs are always the answer. But the question remains: Will you have yours wet or dry? Cooked indirectly for hours on end, the Neelys’ Wet BBQ Ribs are dripping with a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. For those in the dry school of thought, there’s the Neelys’ Kansas City-Style Pork Ribs recipe, which encrusts the ribs with a dry rub of spices for a dose of pure barbecue.

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This Bayou Burger is Like Eating New Orleans on a Bun

by , August 21st, 2014

New Orleans is most definitely known as a foodie city. They have a culinary take that is uniquely their own as anyone who has ever strung together the words “po” and “boy” would know. Now a burger joint is attempting to cover the entirety of New Orleans centuries of food history into a single burger.

East coast chain Burger 21 has just unveiled their Bayou Burger, which is like eating New Orleans on a bun. The patty is made from andouille sausage and turkey. The patty is then topped with seasoned blackened shrimp and a spicy cajun coleslaw. Finishing it off are two sauces, a seafood remoulade and Sriracha. Some lucky burger chompers will also find a tiny, toy baby inside their patty(just kidding.)

Of course, if you are hankering for a taste of New Orleans, you could always head to New Orleans.

Looking Back on One Year of Progress: The Picky Eaters Project

by in Family, Food Network Chef, August 21st, 2014

The Picky Eaters Project One Year LaterMy littlest daughter was always complaining that she was too short, whining about being the shrimp of the family, until the day came when she could brush her teeth without a stool. Suddenly, she realized how much taller she was, and how the tiny bits of daily growth had sneakily added up to something quite significant. That is the nature of slow-but-steady change. We had a similar experience on vacation this summer, except that it was about the tremendous growth we’ve witnessed in our picky eaters.

I’ll back up. I have four daughters, and two and half of them are picky eaters. While I’d had some success in improving their eating with a few strategies here and there, I wanted to see a more fundamental shift, not just an occasional willingness to eat a vegetable. About a year and a half ago, I started researching picky eating. I suspected the story was bigger than finding a magical recipe that would make my kids like spinach. My research confirmed my suspicions: Picky eating was a complex issue with many causes. And each one of my kids probably identified with several of the root causes to varying degrees. So I decided to create a program that focused on root causes, something beyond tips and recipes. I invited Food Network viewers into my home to watch and learn along with us. The result was the unique Food Network Web series called The Picky Eaters Project. By the time we completed the program ourselves and the cameras came down from our family dining room (we called it “carrot cam” because it spied on us all throughout dinner!), my girls were eating foods I never dreamed they would (Margaux liked peas?!) and had started making their own wise choices about healthy eating (Charlotte was reading cereal labels before choosing a box). The response from fellow parents of picky eaters was tremendous, and we were thrilled that The Picky Eaters Project was included as a Webby honoree last year.

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Restaurant Revisited: Holy Cow! at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar

by in Shows, August 20th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleThe situation at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar wasn’t what it seemed when Robert Irvine first arrived there. Co-owner Jenny Leonzi admitted that the calm demeanor shown by her business partner — and former husband — Kerry Benton wasn’t usual; yelling and swearing were more commonplace, and because of that, Robert was forced to investigate never-before-seen footage of Kerry’s behavior at the eatery. In the nearly nine seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this is the first time that Robert has revealed the behind-the-scenes clips his producers collect ahead of his visit, and after watching those tapes, Robert saw the restaurant’s reality.

Before Robert could finish the two days of renovations at Country Cow, Kerry made the decision to leave the 12-year-old Campton, N.H., eatery once and for all, signing over all aspects of the business to Jenny. Read on below to hear from Jenny and learn how her restaurant is doing several months after its transformation.

Since Robert left, “sales were up $22,000 compared to June 2013,” says Jenny, who adds that “guests are loving the new decor.”

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Hump Day Snack: Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons

by , August 20th, 2014

RaspberryThis year’s 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, August 25, has the theme “Kaleidoscope of Color.”  Since, when you get down to it, awards shows are as much about what you’re wearing as they are about who might win, plan an impressive, colorful-packed party menu. (If you really feel daring, you can make exactly what the attendees will eat. Otherwise, try this stunning and elegant Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons.

A Dobos Torte is a Hungarian layered sponge caketypically layered with rich chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel pieces. But for the sake of summer (and sophistication), bake the sponge cake layers in a sheet pan and cut them into 3-inch round disks, then layer them with a light but decadent mascarpone mousse and fresh raspberries. For the grand finale, use a candy thermometer to transform sugar and water into statuesque sugar ribbons. Then wait for the accolades to roll in.

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Try a Whole New Take on Chicken Stroganoff

by in Recipes, Shows, August 20th, 2014

Chopped Dinner Challenge Chicken Liver StroganoffOn this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient chicken livers. Although chicken livers are more traditionally used in pate, the chefs decided to take advantage of their earthy flavor by cooking them with mushrooms and butter in a twist on stroganoff in this Chicken Liver Stroganoff with Greek Yogurt recipe. The Greek yogurt helps give the dish a creamy touch, and the egg noodles soak up the flavorful sauce. It’s a total comfort dish that will make you rethink chicken livers.

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Quick Dorm-Room Meals

by , August 20th, 2014

CerealAdjusting to dorm life from the comforts of home (and a fully stocked and equipped kitchen) can be a rough transition for college-aged foodies. But with just a few tools and a basic pantry, you can whip up satisfying meals for any time of the day or night.

Breakfasts
This whole-grain hot cereal (pictured above) uses bulgur and barley with oats to make an extra hearty and nutritious breakfast. Think about mixing a bigger batch of the cereal so it’s ready to use in an instant. For a cold alternative, mix a whole-grain, low-sugar dry cereal (Cheerios and Bran Flakes are two classic, good choices) with plain yogurt, fresh or dried fruit, a handful of nuts and a splash of lowfat milk. It will keep you fueled for hours.

If you’re in a hurry, try instant oatmeal cooked with lowfat milk and topped with peanut butter and banana, or top rye crisp crackers with mashed avocado and hard-boiled egg slices.

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