Debunking Myths: How to Grill the Ungrillable

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2015

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetable Spaghetti Foil PackIf you think of your grill as basically a big oven with a lid, you can cook just about anything on it — providing you have the right vessel. In the spirit of the hungry camper craving a fresh-baked brownie in the middle of the forest, here are nine “ungrillable” items that are great prepared over hot coals. (For the secret to the brownies, see below.)

Spaghetti with Sauce: Skip the unwieldy pot of boiling water and seal up fresh tomatoes, eggplant, dry pasta and some water in a packet of heavy-duty foil, place on the grill and voila! A hearty sauced spaghetti with a deep simmered taste. Get the recipe here.

French Toast: Buttered nonstick foil is the secret here. Use it to wrap 2 slices of eggy soaked bread, arranging the pieces side by side (not stacked). Grill over medium-high heat with the top down, flipping once after 5 minutes. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand for drizzling. Get the full recipe here.

Brownies: Fill a metal (not glass, please) pan with batter, place over an unlit burner on a grill prepared for medium-high heat, cover and bake; check for doneness often.

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“The Most-Spectacular Thing That We’ve Ever Done Here” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 28th, 2015

While surely all Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are designed for a bit of shock-and-awe factor, perhaps no single challenge delivered as much wow-worthy reaction as the brand-new dollhouse that was rolled out — literally — for tonight’s Round 3 oatmeal cookie battle. For host Alton Brown, this is quite simply “the most-spectacular thing that we’ve ever done here on Cutthroat Kitchen,” he said to guest judge Susan Feniger during the After-Show.

He explained that in this at once oversize and miniature house, one chef not only had to prep all of the cookie ingredients, but also cook them in there by way of the mini kitchen. “This was like a miniature kitchen dropped into the middle of hell,” Alton told Susan, adding that in true evilicious fashion, this sabotage wasn’t just what met the eye.

Aubrey, who works on the show’s team bringing the sabotages to life, explained that this house featured “some challenging ways for the chef to have to use the kitchen.” Think hanging through wall cutouts to reach the kitchen and crawling along stairs to get to the bathroom, where Chef Demarco, who was gifted this unprecedented challenge, chose to use the shower basin as a mixing bowl. “Our Cutthroat Kitchen workshop wasn’t big enough to build the whole thing in one piece, so we had to build [the house] in two separate pieces,” Aubrey explained, “and then when we rolled it into stage, we could actually put the roof on.”

Check out more photos below to see inside the dollhouse and get an up-close look at what this sabotage entailed.

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Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?

by in News, Restaurants, June 28th, 2015

Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?Back in 2009, The New York Times ran a two-part list, written by restaurateur Bruce Buschel, of “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do.” Included on it were these three instructive items:

17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

75. Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

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Garlicky Flatbread with Tomato Sauce on the Side — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, June 28th, 2015

Garlicky Grilled Flatbread Strips with Fresh Tomato SauceIf summer parties are all about casual, alfresco entertaining, then the menu at these seasonal bashes should be just as relaxed; that’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in. Instead of an intricate, involved hors d’oeuvre, opt for this simple, eat-with-your-hands appetizer. Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, this crowd-pleasing recipe takes advantage of a welcome timesaver — prepared pizza dough — to turn out chewy, smoky grilled flatbread that’s made conveniently on the grill, so you can spend time outside with your guests. For even more flavor, brush the dough with a garlic-spiked olive oil before grilling, and serve the bread with bright, no-cook tomato-vinegar sauce on the side.

For more easy party ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Entertain board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Garlicky Grilled Flatbread Strips with Fresh Tomato Sauce (pictured above)

The Ultimate Burger Guide from the July/August Issue of Food Network Magazine

by in Food Network Magazine, June 28th, 2015

burgerThe mouthwatering burger you see pictured above features the results of Food Network Magazine’s survey that asked thousands of fans what makes a perfect burger. The findings: Most people cook their patties to medium, are pro-bacon, choose a sesame seed bun over plain and prefer cheddar cheese to American. But voters also shared some less obvious burger additions — like peanut butter, kimchi and pickled beets — revealing that almost nothing is off-limits in burger building.

To celebrate the versatile backyard fare, the July/August issue features an entire section dedicated to the art of the hamburger. From fancy flavored buns to regionally inspired toppings, you’ll find new ways to enhance your grilled patty all summer long. Find snippets of the guidebook below.

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4 Flag Desserts for a Festive Fourth

by in Holidays, June 27th, 2015

Who needs fireworks when you can celebrate America’s birthday with a sweet bite of red, white and blue? These flag desserts will make the perfect patriotic conclusion to your backyard gathering with family and friends.

Ina Garten’s Flag Cake (pictured at top)
Topped with rich cream cheese frosting and seasonal summer berries, this cake is the best centerpiece for your July Fourth celebration. Make the easy vanilla sheet cake ahead of time, and decorate it with berries and frosting just before serving.

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U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes Up

by in News, June 27th, 2015

U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes UpCall it the Keurig effect. Thanks in large measure to the rise in single-cup brew pods, Americans are consuming less coffee — although they are also spending more on it than ever.

U.S. coffee consumption is projected to decline from 24 million to 23.7 million 60-kilogram bags in 2015-2016, down for the first time since 2009-2010, according to a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

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How to Make Dairy-Free Ice Cream with a Creamy Coconut Base

by in Recipes, June 27th, 2015

Cool and creamy, light yet rich, ice cream has the ability to satisfy your cravings without filling you up. It’s these qualities that make frozen treats the perfect ending to just about any meal.

Making dairy-free versions of traditional desserts often involves a few extra steps, from making a nut-based milk or cream to replacing an egg by mixing ground flax seeds with water. These additional steps can put home cooks off, as they take extra time and ingredients, and create more dirty dishes, too. This recipe for vegan ice cream is the exception — it’s actually easier and faster than ones with traditional dairy and egg ice cream bases. It can easily be done by beginners and experienced ice cream churners alike. There’s no extended time spent over the stove awaiting the moment the custard thickens and no reason to worry that you’ll scramble the eggs if your mixture cooks too long. All you need to do for this ice cream is warm coconut milk and thicken it with a little dissolved arrowroot powder before cooling and churning — it’s that easy! Infusing the milk with vanilla bean adds great flavor but can be skipped in a pinch. This ice cream is the perfect base for a variety of mix-ins, and some of my favorites are included below.

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