Sunday’s Star Menu: A Finalist-Inspired Barbecue Feast

by , July 3rd, 2013

Memphis-Style Hickory-Smoked Beef and Pork RibsAs Sunday afternoons turn to evenings and the hours until the next episode of Food Network Star tick away, how do you settle in to watch the latest premiere? No matter who you’re with or where you’re watching from, you surely have on hand a spread of eats and drinks to last you through the episode, right? Here at Star Talk, we want to see what you’re munching on. Every Wednesday, check back for a themed menu to get you ready for the episode ahead, and on Sunday nights, snap photos of your spread and share them with @FoodNetwork via Twitter and Instagram using #FoodNetworkStar.

Just as you may host weekly viewing parties to take in the latest happenings in the Star Kitchen, so, too, do this season’s contestants, throwing food-focused bashes with their families and friends to catch themselves on television. Last weekend, rivals and friends Rodney and Chad came together to watch the 4th of July Live challenge (see the photo below), and they told Star Talk that true to the styles of the Pie Man and Barbecue Guy, their menu was a hearty one. At each of his three Dangerously Delicious Pies shops, Rodney offers a selection of classic dessert-style pies, plus savory options with chicken, pulled pork and potatoes. He brought a few kinds of both varieties to the party, while Chad stayed true to his point of view, providing the ultimate barbecue feast: Memphis-inspired ribs, traditional barbecue sauce and spicy coleslaw.

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Lessons from the Teens — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, July 2nd, 2013

The beauty of After Hours competitions is that by the time the judges try their hands at four mystery ingredients, they are, in fact, not mysteries at all, having been revealed to the panel during the show when the competitors opened their baskets. The judges saw what the chefs did to transform the disparate ingredients into one cohesive dish and often recognize where they made missteps in their executions and where there is potential for improvement. After watching the entree round in tonight’s all-new episode of Chopped, judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Marcus Samuelsson took what the young competitors did with goat leg, rhubarb, frisee and hummus and used their successes, not failures, to motivate their own cooking.

Aarón Sánchez was on hand to guest judge this round, and he encouraged the panel to elevate the teens’ already stellar dishes into something even more worthy of the Chopped Kitchen. “The flavors that they were able to get onto these dishes were absolutely amazing,” Marcus said of the teens’ offerings while cooking his own plate. “It actually inspired me to a do a really good job right now.” He set off to prepare grilled goat leg with a potato salad and bacon-studded red wine-rhubarb sauce, while Amanda and Marc prepared meatballs with rhubarb-tomato sauce and roasted goat with potato salad and grilled lettuce, respectively. After a quick 30 minutes of cooking, the panel came together to taste each other’s dishes, and Aarón admitted to his peers, “You guys did almost as good as the teenagers.” They agreed that their offerings were inspired examples of how to integrate dissimilar ingredients. “I love the way they cooked, and I hope we made them proud and gave them some new ideas,” Amanda ssaid at the end of the competition about the teenagers.

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Red, White and Blue Savory and Sweet Recipes

by in Holidays, July 2nd, 2013

Blueberry French Toast CasseroleColorful summer produce and clever ingredients make Fourth of July food even more festive with red, white and blue shades. Starting with breakfast and ending with dessert, these recipes will ensure your holiday food pays tribute to Independence Day in the colors of the American flag.

Rise and shine with this Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Whipped Cream and Strawberries. Prepare the bread and custard mixture the night before and simply bake the casserole in the morning. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and whipped cream complete this star-spangled start to the holiday.

When lunch or dinnertime roll around, utilize the colors of potatoes for a patriotic salad. Blue or purple potatoes, red-skinned potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes make up the United Tates of America side served with a spicy mayonnaise dipping sauce. Or try this Red, White and Blue Potato Salad with hearts of palm and piquillo peppers, tossed in a white wine and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Coleslaw gets an Independence Day makeover with red onion and dried blueberries in this Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw. Serve the salad alongside these mini Buffalo Puppies topped with a blue cheese sauce, diced red onion and crumbled blue tortilla chips.

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Editors’ Picks from the Summer Fancy Food Show

by in Events, July 2nd, 2013

Summer Fancy Food Show 2013In the ultimate celebration of who’s who and what’s hot in the food world, some 2,000+ vendors from more than 80 countries around the world converge upon New York City every year to showcase nearly 200,000 products at the Summer Fancy Food Show. From duck pate and gluten-free chocolate cake to flavored honey and seemingly everything in between, there was no shortage of products on display at the 2013 event this past weekend, and FN Dish was on hand to sample the edible goods and chat with the creators and manufacturers behind them. After several hours of mingling — and munching — we had indulged in our share of fancy foods, several of which had us craving more, even days later. Check out a few of the FN Dish editors’ favorite picks from the show, and get recipes from Food Network chefs to enjoy similar bites at home.

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WATCH: Anything Can Happen on Star

by , July 2nd, 2013

From missing ingredients and gadgets to fake fire alarms, Sunday’s episode of Star challenged the remaining contestants’ culinary skills as well as their patience, live-demo capabilities and on-the-spot thinking.

Click play on the video above to watch some of the funniest and most awkward moments that prove anything can happen when the cameras go live.

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Grill Veggies Right

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, July 2nd, 2013

veggies on a cutting boardYou don’t need a special basket to grill vegetables. Just slice them on the bias to expose more surface area — this prevents pieces of skinny vegetables like zucchini or yellow squash from falling through the grate, and it lets more of the vegetable come in contact with both your marinade and the grill.

(Photograph by Justin Walker)

4th of July Recipes for a Crowd

by in Holidays, July 1st, 2013

Patriotic TrifleThe countdown is on until Fourth of July entertaining begins, but before the party guests arrive, choose easy-to-prepare dishes that will please the crowd. Make-ahead meals will save time and minimize day-of kitchen chaos. Call up friends, family and neighbors worry-free this year by adding these simple, crowd-wowing dishes to your menu. Inspired by summertime and filled with festive red, white and blue colors, these Fourth of July eats will be the stars of the day.

While the party guests are rolling in, serve Red and White Double Dippers with Blue Corn Chips to tide over their hunger. The Creamy Garlic Lime Dip balances the spice in the Red Pepper Salsa. Don’t forget a big pitcher of this Perfect Lemonade. Ready in just 15 minutes and garnished with fresh lemon slices, the lemonade is a crowd-friendly refresher. Make a separate pitcher for adults and spike it.

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Vegetable-and-Bean Burritos

by , July 1st, 2013

Just the word “burrito” conjures up thoughts of high-calorie, high-fat fare that has no place on a blog about healthy eating. But, burritos should, quite frankly, be a staple on every healthy menu. It all depends what you stuff inside th...

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