Sure, a microwave is great for reheating leftovers, but did you know your countertop appliance was originally invented as a quick-cooking replacement for the conventional home oven? Research on radiation during World War II resulted in the realization that microwaves could cook food faster than regular ovens. Most microwave recipes are developed for units with 800 to 1,200 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster things will cook, so if your microwave is super powerful, it will cook your food significantly faster. Of course there are definitely a few foods you should never experiment with in the microwave: whole eggs, grapes and raisins, and chocolate-hazelnut spread (the high fat content makes it spark), but there are also many things the microwave does incredibly well. These recipes and tricks will inspire you to use your appliance for more than just reheating.
Since Cutthroat Kitchen judges are sequestered from the kitchen while the chefs are cooking, they’re not privy to the evilicious sabotages that unfold during each round. This means that when they first lay eyes on the dish before them, they have no information other than how it’s presented; then once they’ve tasted it, of course, they can take its flavor and texture into consideration.
Tonight’s judge, Simon Majumdar, explained what that feeling is like as he approaches the kitchen and sees contestants’ plates for the first time. “Sometimes as you come down the stairs,” he told Alton Brown on the host’s After-Show, “and you look at the dishes as they’re laid, and you go, ‘Uh, I think I know the way this is going to go.’ And often I’m wrong because they taste great.” It turns out, however, that Simon’s worst suspicions were confirmed when it came to tonight’s Round-2 Reuben sandwich challenge.
It’s not too soon to start planning for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. And this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week will help you prepare a sure-hit dessert. Aarón’s brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequin chile powder. If you can’t find pequin, just substitute cayenne pepper.
For more spring-season recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Spring board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Aarón’s Mexican Brownies
If you spend more time on the phone with the takeout-delivery guy than, let’s say, your family members, this is the moment to put down your device and head to the kitchen. The best part about turning out your own takeout favorites: You might j...
On today’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shifted the spotlight from meals to munchies as they revealed a few trendy bar snacks making appearances at local hot spots. While pretzels and peanuts may be the norm in most bars, picks like seafood cracklings and Scotch eggs have begun surfacing recently, and they’re surely a welcome addition alongside cocktails.
In addition to nibbling while out sipping drinks, most of us are familiar with indulging in a few bites at home to satisfy snack cravings. From good-for-you carrot sticks and cucumber slices to decadent treats like soft cookies, crunchy chips and salty popcorn, quick-fix munchies can take nearly any form. FN Dish wants to know, when you have a hankering for a snack, what do you grab? Do you have a sweet tooth that’s tempted by chocolate candies, or are you more likely to opt for crispy, cheesy, savory selections? Cast your vote below to tell us your favorite snack.
Hemp products are making more appearances at health-food stores, but what exactly is the story with this plant? To answer just one burning question: Yes, hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa, but no, it’s not the same as marijuana.
The Humble Mug-Side Message Goes High-Tech: It may be time to retire your old “Hang in There” or “World’s Best Boss” coffee mugs. Finnish coffee company Paulig has come up with a creative way for you to mix things up a little, mugwise. Its new Muki mug features a heat-powered epaper screen connected to a special app that not only indicates when your coffee is the right temperature to drink, but also allows you to upload and display different photos, comic strips, inspirational quotes or messages sent by friends. Watch a video showing the mug in action here. Cool … or, er, hot! [YouTube via Business Insider]
“Bottoms Up!” = Bigger Bottoms? The key to losing weight may be not only eating less, but drinking less too. Drinking more than three large glasses of wine may spur people to consume about 6,300 extra calories over the next 24 hours, according to a new British report. A little more than half of the 2,042 people surveyed said they tended to binge on fast food after drinking — not just while they were feeling the effects of the alcohol, but the next day as well. Dr. Jacquie Lavin, head of nutrition and research at the U.K.-based weight-loss organization Slimming World, which commissioned the survey, blames the loosening effect of alcohol on self-control. Plus, she said, “Alcohol makes the food even more rewarding. It tastes good and feels even better than it would do normally.” [BBC News]
There seems to be a requirement for comfort food that it is simple, unpretentious and modest. There is a natural humbleness to home-cooked foods from the wild. Sure, chefs all over are foraging and turning bits of moss into foams and gelees, but long before the old became new again, people were gathering food from the wild and harvesting from the seas, lakes and rivers.
Fried fish and hushpuppies are quintessential examples of such simple country cooking. If you had a hook and a line and a little cornmeal, you might have dinner. (Well, then there’s the whole idea of noodling — catching catfish with your bare hands — but that’s just crazy.) A fish fry would not be complete without a hushpuppy. Hushpuppies are traditionally made from the seasoned cornmeal used to coat the fish (often mixed with beer) and fried in the oil used to cook the fish. Nothing is wasted — another hallmark of down-home comfort.
A Purrfect Cup: Considering the fact that it combines two of our nation’s collective obsessions — cats and coffee — under one (temporary) roof, it’s probably no surprise to read reports that a pop-up shop that’s being billed as America’s first cat cafe, which brings to the U.S. a concept that’s already a hit in other countries, has had lines out the door since opening in New York’s East Village on Thursday morning. (Watch a Livestream from inside the cafe here.) Patrons of the Purina-sponsored cafe will not only be able to drink their Cat’achinos — cappuccinos customized with kitty faces — and fraternize with a bunch of felines, they will also be able to adopt cats from a local animal shelter and get expert advice about cat health and behavior. It’s open only until Sunday, April 27, though, so if you want to check it out, don’t pussyfoot around. [Business Insider]
Going Once, Going Twice: An artifact both sad and rare — a second-class menu from the Titanic — will be offered for auction on Saturday by British auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son. Written on a 3-by-5-inch postcard dated April 11, 1812, and featuring a prophetic note (“Good voyage up to now”) written by one of the oldest crew members to have survived when the ship went down, Jacob Gibbons, the menu reveals that passengers traveling aboard the ill-fated ship dined on foods including potato hash, ham, eggs and oatmeal. Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told ABC News that he’s sold several first-class Titanic menus during his 20 years in the business, but second-class menus are far more rare. It is expected to fetch $150,000 on the block. [ABC News]
At least once a week, I try to make something for dinner that helps me clear all the odd bits out of my produce drawers. During the colder months, I make huge pots of soup that serve as the basis of quick meals all week long. When the weather starts to warm up, however, I turn to salads to use a handful of mushrooms and the last skinny stalks of celery from the very center of the bunch.
No one really needs a recipe for this kind of use-it-up salad, but sometimes it’s nice to see how other people approach their clean-out-the-fridge meal. I can easily fall into a rut, so a little bit of outside inspiration is just plain nice.
This is where Jeff Mauro’s Garbage Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette comes in. It’s not a recipe that’s reinventing the wheel, but it does pull together a nice assortment of complementary flavors that are outside my regular, well-trod paths. The vegetable base is a motley collection of romaine, iceberg, carrots, celery, mushrooms and pepperoncini. The brain wave is that he also includes blue cheese, sliced deli turkey and oil-packed anchovies. That means there’s enough protein in that salad for it to pass for a full-on meal (at least in my house).
It’s good for Sunday afternoons or whenever your Weekender craving may strike.