Foodie Call with Justin Warner: Basil Sorbet Caprese Salad

by in Food Network Chef, View Video Only, May 11th, 2015

Those of you familiar with Food Network Star Season 8 winner Justin Warner know that the self-taught cook and popular Brooklyn restaurant owner has some seriously creative ideas when it comes to food. In the all-new Food Network Web series Foodie Call, Justin meets with culinary pros to chat about their hot-topic specialty foods, then wows each of them by coming up with entirely new ways to use the ingredient in a dish.

In the most-recent episode, Justin meets with Nicole Baum of Gotham Greens, an agriculture organization that designs, builds and operates commercial-scale greenhouse facilities in urban areas for fresh vegetable production. Nicole brings over some basil that has been grown down the street from Do or Dine, and Justin decides to give the classic caprese salad an even more summery twist. He turns that basil into a refreshing sorbet and serves it alongside tomatoes, mozzarella balls and a balsamic- and booze-infused basil seed “caviar.”

See more episodes of Foodie Call — and Justin’s dramatic culinary transformations — here.

Nighttime Food Obsessions? Blame Your Brain

by in News, May 11th, 2015

Nighttime Food Obsessions? Blame Your BrainNighttime food cravings? We have all been there — those moments when you’re burning the midnight oil trying to finish a project or watching a little late-night TV and all of a sudden can’t get the thought of a big bowl of ice cream or dish of salty snacks out of your mind, no matter what you do. It’s like a crazy itch that sneaks up on you, demanding to be scratched.

Turns out, there may be a biological underpinning for those after-hours food obsessions.

A study recently published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior used brain scans and pictures of both high-energy and low-energy foods to track how participants’ neural responses to the food images differed depending on the time of day, measuring them in the morning and at night. The study, conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University, examined both hunger and preoccupation with food.

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Celebrating Moms on Spring Baking Championship — Duff’s Recap of Episode 3

by in Shows, May 11th, 2015

BakersAs a chef, my biggest inspiration is my mom, so what better way to show her my appreciation than to cook for her on Mother’s Day? I’m on the road right now, Mom, but when I get back, I got a treat for you!

This week on Spring Baking Championship we asked all the bakers to bake for their moms. The first thing they had to make was something yummy using coffee and cream. I loved this challenge. I’m not a daily coffee drinker, but I love the flavor of coffee and I frequently try to use coffee desserts when writing menus. Here’s a fun fact: Coffee is to chocolate like salt is to beef. A little bit of coffee in a chocolate dessert will really make those chocolate flavors stand out without tasting like coffee. Try it next time you are baking a chocolate cake; you’ll be amazed. Now onto the competition.

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Easy Spanish Tortilla — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, May 11th, 2015

Spanish TortillaIf your first thought upon reading the title of this post had anything to do with chips or taco shells, you’re not alone. Yes, tortillas come in corn and flour varieties, and they can be fried into crisp, dip-ready chips. But the tortilla pictured above isn’t a wrap or a chip at all. This tortilla — a traditional Spanish dish — is a savory baked pie, of sorts, with a base of hearty potatoes.

Featured in Food Network Magazine, this easy-to-make dish is ideal for both brunch and lunch. It features thinly sliced potatoes, which are first sauteed with onions so they turn out tender. Before baking, the potatoes are combined with beaten eggs, which helps to bind the spuds as they cook and ensures they can be sliced into even wedges upon serving. Since the tortilla moves from the stove to the oven within minutes, be sure to start the process in an ovenproof skillet — using just a single pan will help to build the flavors. For a welcome burst of freshness, serve the golden-brown tortilla with a simple but bold lemon-laced salad of fragrant parsley and sweet piquillo peppers.

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Meet Cutthroat Kitchen’s Newest Models — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, May 10th, 2015

Just when you think you’ve seen it all on Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown unveils a next-level sabotage that just may take the cake in terms of creativity — and downright hilariousness. During tonight’s Heat 4 of the Evilicious tournament, the Round 2 dish was veal Milanese, and in true Milanese style, fashion was the name of the game. Two chefs strutted their stuff and struck more than a few poses as they walked from one catwalk to another, donning culinary getups complete with all of their allowed cooking tools. For Chef Tregaye, who, along with Chef Yaku, was saddled with this sabotage, the fashion show was less of a challenge and more of an enjoyable time for dress-up. “This might be the funnest sabotage ever,” she said. And it appears that Alton and Simon Majumdar, the guest of the day, would likely agree after the two of them attempted this very sabotage as well.

“No, you look like a deranged Terminator,” Simon jokingly told Alton after the host showed off his runway moves. To show Alton how it’s done, the judge took the floor, ending his impromptu catwalk with a fierce “sizzle.”

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Playing with Your Food Is OK When It Turns Out Like This

by in News, May 10th, 2015

Playing with Your Food Is OK When It Turns Out Like ThisIn a sense, cooking — whether or not you follow a recipe — is a form of making order out of chaos. But no one makes order out of a random assembly of ingredients like Seattle-based freelance photographer Brittany Wright.

Wright’s Instagram page, which features beautifully satisfying images of fruits, vegetables, spices, baked goods and other kitchen staples arranged by color into “food gradients,” has been getting a lot of attention lately. As of late this week, it had 83,700 followers. People are clearly responding to Wright’s rainbow-like photos, as well as her meticulous, orderly approach.

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Cheesecake Flan — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, May 10th, 2015

Cheesecake FlanIt’s no secret that Food Network fans enjoy culinary mash-ups. From Meatloaf Lasagna to tiramisu a la banana pudding, savory and sweet creations are endlessly comforting, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is no exception. Boasting the classic cream cheese center of a cheesecake and the golden caramel base traditional of flan, this impressive dessert is made with only a handful of ingredients, including a can of sweetened condensed milk, which promises a rich texture. For a wow-worthy presentation, serve these crowd-pleasing treats in ramekins for individual servings.

For more sweet tooth-satisfying dessert recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Cheesecake Flan (pictured above)

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