Better Brussels Sprouts, Courtesy of The Vegetable Butcher

by in Books, In Season, October 18th, 2016

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds, Walnuts, and ManchegoThe chill is starting to tease its way into the air again, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere, so we’re calling it: It’s officially time to start talking about autumn produce. There are few ingredients we love more than the tiny (but still so mighty) Brussels sprout.

When looking for new ways to enjoy these small cabbages, we turned to Cara Mangini’s new book, The Vegetable Butcher. While there have been volumes written about how to properly prepare and handle meat, the details that go into the proper preparation of vegetables have been under-represented in print … until now. We love this book because it’s incredibly well-researched and articulate but easy to follow, thanks to great writing and step-by-step photos. It’s chock-full of amazing recipes and contains more information than you ever knew you could learn about vegetables. Cara Mangini sat down with us and gave us the low-down on the secret to unlocking the perfect Brussels sprout dish. Hear from her below, then read on to learn how to make the beauties pictured above.

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Andrew’s Lucky Chopsticks, a Reminder of Asia’s Bustling Food Culture

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Closing out the New York City Wine & Food Festival weekend was Lucky Chopsticks, a pan-Asian setup reminiscent of the bustling night markets of Japan, China, Vietnam, Laos, India and more. Hosted by Andrew Zimmern (who himself worked a booth), the event was a delicious reminder of what happens when an eclectic range of cultures come together to celebrate good food.

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Bobby and Michael Turned the Big Apple Into One Big Backyard BBQ at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Backyard BBQ with Bobby and MichaelOn an uncharacteristically warm fall evening, people gathered at one of the last events of the New York City Wine & Food Festival, enjoying family fun at Backyard BBQ, hosted by Bobby Flay and Michael Symon on Sunday. With this new event the two chefs and best friends invited some of the city’s best barbecue chefs and pitmasters to cook for an evening. “Anything that I can do with Michael is always going to be a good time,” said Bobby as we sat down with the two hosts to chat about the event. “We basically major in fun,” added Bobby. People might be thinking, barbecue in the Big Apple? But Bobby immediately cleared up any doubts. “New York City may not be known as the barbecue capital of the word, but it is today,” he said. After tasting the offerings, we wholeheartedly agree: All these city-slicker chefs can make some darn-good barbecue.

Michael added: “I love being in New York. I love what this event stands for. I love the money that it raises. And to do it with one of your best friends, cooking a style of food that both of us love so much, and surrounded by people that love food, it’s magical.” When asked how the event came to be, Bobby said: “In some ways it was just sort of natural. Food Network said: You guys are such good friends. Why don’t you do an event together?” We were like, “Alright.” And since both guys love to cook and eat barbecue, it was simply the perfect fit.

Find Out Our Top 10 Picks and Who Won the Night’s Awards

Food and Theater Take Center Stage at Broadway Tastes with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

by in Events, October 17th, 2016

Neil Patrick Harris and David BurtkaBefore the curtain closed on the ninth-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, the scene was set for Broadway Tastes at the Metropolitan West, where fans of Broadway and food converged on Sunday morning. It opened with a full house, and hosts Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka set the stage for special performances from the casts of Chicago, Something Rotten! and Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, while all-star chefs served up brunch bites inspired by the most-popular Broadway musicals. These were some of our favorites.

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11 Easy Weeknight Dinners You Can Make with Ground Beef

by in Family, Shows, October 17th, 2016

Greek-Style Stuffed PeppersGround beef just may be the most-versatile ingredient around, and these recipes, featuring Asian, Italian, Greek and more bold flavors, are ideal for fuss-free family dinners.

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers (pictured above)
This recipe for this amazingly flavorful dinner uses two smart shortcuts: You don’t have to cook the meat in a separate pan first, and by cutting the peppers horizontally you’ll save on cooking time too. Just pair the meal with a big loaf of crusty bread and call the kids to the table.

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The Stars Came Out and Gloves Came Off at Guy’s Food Fight

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Friday night a slew of well-fed food fans were drawn to the late-night party emceed by Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. The first iteration of the late-night trivia event, pitting star against star, appeared at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February. Guy was proud to announce that this was Round 2, only bigger, better and with more booze. Guy’s ever-present energy ricocheted off the walls as he riled up the crowd for the panel of Food Network stars, distributing drinks personally before introducing the two teams. Carla Hall, Josh Capon and Valerie Bertinelli faced off against Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy and Scott Conant. Food Fight with Guy Fieri was a rare chance for the attendees to see the Food Network stars unedited and unfiltered.

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How (and Why!) to Roast a Pumpkin

by in Recipes, October 16th, 2016

Even before what I’ll refer to as the Great Pumpkin Controversy of 2016 (which Snopes fact-checked and says originated when “a viral social media rumor suggested the pumpkin in pumpkin pie is secretly produced from other squash”), there was one very good reason to roast your own pumpkin instead of buying it canned: It simply tastes better.

Sure, roasting a pumpkin is an extra step when making pie, but the fresh flavor makes it totally worthwhile. (And it’s an essential skill to have to make a whole slew of amazing recipes that call for whole pumpkins or pumpkin chunks.) Plus, when you roast a pumpkin at home, you also get the bonus of being able to roast the seeds to make delicious, toasty snacks.

So whether you’re test-driving a pumpkin pie recipe to make for Thanksgiving dinner or you want to mix up your tired salad routine with chunks of perfectly roasted pumpkin and toasted pepitas, here’s what you need to know. Also, get the recipes for some of our favorite fresh pumpkin dishes.

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Midnight in Harlem: Breakfast and Jazz with Patti LaBelle

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Closing out Saturday night’s festivities at the New York City Wine & Food Festival was Patti LaBelle and Carla Hall’s Midnight Jazz Breakfast at the Harlem hot-spot The Cecil. Guests were dressed in their Sunday best — this was a midnight party, after all — and ate good food, drank wine aplenty and danced to a live jazz band.

If I were to walk you through the night, I’d say it felt like an intimate house party that started in 2016 and ended in 1938. Though at first it might seem hard to believe that such a large party as one hosted by Ms. LaBelle herself could fit into the nooks and crannies of a local Harlem restaurant, The Cecil was an ideal venue for such an event.

First I was greeted by a bar — with familiar pours like bourbon on the rocks and a dry Prosecco, both ideal ways to start a meal. But then the bartenders offered a handful of vintage drinks as well, such as the classic sidecar — a sweet, citrusy cognac-based cocktail owing its origins to the Ritz Hotel in Paris, circa 1922.

After a drink or two, I headed into the main dining room for a bite or six. To a contemporary backdrop of Beyoncé, Jay Z and Kanye, I started with an unctuous jumbo shrimp and grits, studded with jalapeno, applewood bacon and a hefty supply of sharp cheddar cheese, from Chef Carlos Swepson of BLVD Bistro.

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Weeknight-Friendly Rosemary Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 16th, 2016

Skillet Rosemary ChickenWhen it comes to family-friendly dinners, few meals get the job done quite like chicken. Easy to make, quick cooking and endlessly versatile, the humble chicken can be transformed into a bold, flavorful supper with just a few staple ingredients, like it is in this top-rated recipe, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Bone-in chicken breasts are coated in a simple mixture of garlic, lemon juice and rosemary, then seared in a skillet and roasted with hearty potatoes and mushrooms to round out the meal. Perhaps best of all, this all-in-one meal can be on the table in just 40 minutes.

For more chicken dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Rooftop Chopped Brought the Competition Even Closer to Fans at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Chopped castAt Rooftop Chopped, a brand-new event for the New York City Wine & Food Festival, fans of Food Network’s long-running competition cooking show were treated to a special experience: an insider’s look at the show. Following the format of the show, participating chefs, among them former Chopped competitors, cooked their choice of either appetizer, entree or dessert, and the eventgoers had the chance to taste and vote on their favorite dishes from among 30 in total. And of course the cast of judges and host Ted Allen were on hand to try the dishes and present the awards for both their judges’ pick and the people’s choice.

“We are taking our participation in the Festival to a completely higher level,” said Ted of the highly anticipated event. “I am excited for the food, for the competition. It’s like Chopped Live,” he said of the new format. And this time Ted had the chance to taste the dishes — something he doesn’t get to do on the show. While the festivities were going on, fans could also audition. “We’ve never done an event where people could come and apply to be on the show,” Ted said of the unique opportunity. “It’s like they’re participating in a live, large-scale version of our competition.”

Get a look at some of our favorite dishes and find out which won.