What to Watch: Meals Perfect for Celebrating Mom and a Surprise Elimination on Iron Chef Gauntlet

by in Shows, May 12th, 2017

Iron Chef Gauntlet

This weekend is all about mom, and what better way to show her you care than by making some homemade dishes from some of your favorite Food Network cooks? On Saturday morning, Ree Drummond is making some of her kids’ favorite meals like Broccoli Cheese Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup and Vanilla Yogurt Berry Parfaits. Then, the co-hosts on the kitchen are having a Mother’s Day tea party with actress Susan Lucci, and later Valerie Bertinelli is making a family feast using some of her mom’s favorite recipes.

On Sunday afternoon, Giada De Laurentiis is making a sunset dinner for her mother and daughter, and Ayesha Curry is serving breakfast for dinner at an adult slumber party. On Sunday evening, three Triple G judges and their moms are shopping and cooking their way to a chance at winning $20,000 for charity, and on Iron Chef Gauntlet, we’ll find out which competitor will enter the gauntlet and compete against Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto for the chance to become an Iron Chef. Then, it’s all about sandwiches and meat on Iron Chef Eats.

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Alex Guarnaschelli on the Secret to Iron Chef Success, the Mistakes She Won’t Forgive and a Certain Risotto by Bobby Flay

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 12th, 2017

Iron Chef GauntletAfter competing in not one but two seasons of The Next Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli ultimately earned the coveted title in December of 2012, which means she’s all too familiar with the nerves and hopes the remaining Iron Chef Gauntlet contestants are feeling right now. On Sunday, she and Ching-He Huang will come together to judge the final Secret Ingredient Showdown, an all-important battle, as it’s the last before one challenger advances to the gauntlet.

We chatted with Alex to find out what it’s like for her to reenter the world of Iron Chef, not as a competitor this time but as a judge. It turns out, though, that being on the other side of the table doesn’t eliminate her anxieties. “I still get up in the middle of the night and have night sweats from this competition,” she told us. Taking on this role, however, means that she will expect exemplary work, especially when so much is on the line. Read on below to get her take in this exclusive one-on-one interview.

You know better than most what it’s like to both compete on and judge Iron Chef. What’s it like to be back in this world?
Alex Guarnaschelli: I still get up in the middle of the night and have night sweats from this competition, like, “The eggplant is overcooked!” The tagline was, and is, “The only title that matters.” And I think that really is still true. I think people still feel that way. It’s very iconic, and I don’t think that ever dissipates with time. And I think it’s been napping gently under a tree, and now it’s time to wake up.

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Chefs’ Picks: Mother’s Day

by in Restaurants, May 12th, 2017

Brioche French Toast
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

On top of everything else they do, the moms in our lives often play the role of meal magician — deftly delivering mains, sides and desserts, to boot — so there’s no better time to give them time away from the kitchen than Mother’s Day. Here are some mom-inspired creations that chefs around the country are dishing up to celebrate the occasion. Read more

8 Brunch Dishes That Totally Win Mother’s Day

by in Holidays, View All Posts, May 11th, 2017

On Mother’s Day, there’s no such thing as too much. So pull out all the stops at brunch and make some seriously fun, seriously delicious dishes (stale bagels, limp French toast and overcooked scrambled eggs need not apply). These recipes are impressive, but employ short cuts and tricks to make them easy enough for even novice home cooks to execute. Mom will be so proud.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (above)

Cinnamon rolls are a quintessential special-occasion dish, but they require a significant amount of prep time. And because Mom deserves better than the stuff from the tube, we suggest this genius alternative: Pancakes that are just as gooey and cinnamon-y as their inspiration, but are ready in about a half hour.

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6 Recipes That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Spring Produce

by in In Season, Recipes, May 11th, 2017

Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a balanced diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly dinners, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn spinach, carrots, asparagus and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Carrot Mac and Cheese
We’ve never known a kid to turn down mac and cheese, so in our eyes, it’s the perfect dish for camouflaging vegetables! You can get really sneaky with it by mixing pureed carrots in with your family’s favorite recipe: Before baking, just stir in one tablespoon of carrot puree for every serving of mac. Not only does it fortify the dish with an extra serving of vegetables, it also lends a beautiful boost of color.

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Chopped Junior Champions Return to Compete for the Ultimate Prize

by in Shows, May 11th, 2017

Chopped Junior ChampionsSixteen former Chopped Junior winners return to prove that they have what it takes to beat the odds and be victorious in the five-part tournament, Chopped Junior: Champions, premiering Tuesday, May 30 at 8|7c. These young hot shots must take on mystery baskets in three rounds – appetizer, entree, dessert – and create dishes that impress a rotating panel of judges, including Maneet Chauhan, Alex Guarnaschelli, Kristen Kish, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson and Dale Talde. The winners from the individual heats will meet to compete in the grand finale on Tuesday, June 27 to determine which junior chef walks away with a cash prize of $25,000 to jump start their dreams!

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‘Cloud Eggs’ Are Drifting Your Way on Instagram

by in News, May 11th, 2017

'Cloud Eggs' Are Drifting Your Way on InstagramI’m all for eggs, and I’m not picky: I’ll take ‘em scrambled, over easy, sunny side up or as the foundation for an omelet. And no one can accuse me of not embracing a viral food trend. Yet while I feel as if I ought to toast (no breakfast pun intended) this new “cloud egg” Instagram craze and I hate to rain on anyone’s parade (vague cloud pun maybe a little intended), I’m sort of on the fence about this one (no pun there at all).

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6 Mother’s Day Recipes for Moms Who Can Hang

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 10th, 2017

Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt SteakIt’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air and breakfast is in bed, or at least that’s one way to celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day. But your mom’s not a regular mom; she’s a cool mom! And maybe she wants to sleep late on her special day, thank you very much.

As lovely as the classic Mother’s Day crafts and recipes are, they’re hardly one-size-fits-all. For the mom who prefers a perfectly seared steak to a homemade edible shower scrub, here are a few unique and easy Mother’s Day dishes that are outside the papier mache box.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak (pictured above)
Fire up the grill, and crack open a cold one (or two — one for drinking and one for the marinade). Beer and beef aren’t just for Father’s Day anymore, folks. Go ahead and tuck your napkin into your shirt, and dig into this flavorful cut with a fork and knife, or slice against the grain for tacos perfect for any picnic.

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Airplane-Food Pop-Up: An Idea with Wings?

by in News, May 9th, 2017

Airplane-Food Pop-Up: An Idea with Wings?Food on airplanes, on the rare occasions it is served these days, probably deserves its bad reputation. The mini “meal” on the microwavable plastic plate that’s plunked down on your tray table is often bland and beige and almost begging not to be eaten, for fear you’ll be compelled to make use of that paper bag the airline has considerately provided. (Forethought!)

One fifth of flyers say unappetizing meals are the worst thing about long flights, according to a recent survey by New Zealand Airlines, the Sun reports. Half of those surveyed said they’d like the food better if it was made from fresher ingredients. (Although freshness was not the issue for this traveler who asked for a gluten-free meal.) One fifth said their in-flight meals would be better if a chef prepared them.

Given that, you might expect that that most people wouldn’t elect to eat airline food over restaurant food, if they weren’t trapped in the air without any alternative, that is. (In fact, almost half of those responding to the airline’s survey said airplane food could not match restaurant food, in terms of quality.)

But New Zealand Airlines didn’t let that stop it from opening a pop-up airplane-food restaurant — actually, a two-story “immersive experience,” This Is How We Fly — in London last month, aimed at showcasing the superior quality of its on-board meals.

Open for only two days in late April, it offered food “inspired by the airline’s on-board menus” designed by Kiwi chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith,” as well as “world-class New Zealand wines,” enjoyed by diners seated in airplane seating, according to the New Zealand Airlines website. (Free take-out airplane-lunch meals were also available, for those too busy to be immersed.)

As a restaurant concept, the airplane pop-up may not go anywhere, but here’s hoping the idea of good airline food really takes off.

8 Spring Breakfasts to Start Your Day

by in Recipes, May 9th, 2017

Green Smoothie BowlWith bright colors and fresh flavors, these breakfasts are the perfect way to celebrate spring. We’re got make-ahead meals, plus plenty of items that are easy enough to take with you on the go — ideal for busy mornings.

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