Pie Wars

by in Food Network Magazine, November 9th, 2013

Pie Wars from Food Network MagazineCincinnati is the site of an epic pie battle, and it heats up every November: Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants and Busken Bakery both claim to make the best pumpkin pie. The rivalry started in 2010, when Frisch’s ran a billboard ad on top of Busken Bakery saying, “Hello, Pumpkin.” Busken put a sign next to it reading, “That’s ‘Mr. Pumpkin’ to you, Big Boy.” And the companies have been duking it out ever since. Last year, Busken’s owners dressed the seven-foot Big Boy statue in a Busken apron. If you’re in Cincinnati, keep an eye out for the latest pranks — and try a slice of each so you can pick a side.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

“The Final Frontier”: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Top 10 Tips for Cooking Risotto

by in Food Network Chef, November 9th, 2013

Geoffrey ZakarianGiven the chilly weather, shorter days and darker nights, comfort food season is at the top of everyone’s mind lately, and while many look to mac ‘n’ cheese or casseroles for hearty satisfaction, most forget that risotto is every bit as rich and decadent as those classic picks. This creamy, cheesy, Italian rice-based dish has been given a bad rap — some claim it’s too tedious to prepare at home — but Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is on a mission to dispel that culinary rumor once and for all.

Catching up with fans at the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival last month, Geoffrey assuaged fears of cooking risotto from scratch — something he’s deemed “the final frontier” — explaining, “It’s nothing more than rice …. It’s not that much work …. It’s just a technique.” He broke down that technique during his live culinary demonstration preparing a mushroom-lobster risotto, and he noted that the payoff promises versatile recipes and can-do results. Read on below to hear from Geoffrey and learn his top tips for mastering risotto at home.

10. If you’re new to cooking risotto, stick with a basic recipe featuring chicken stock, cheese and olive oil.

9. Opt for a pan that offers enough surface area to cook the rice. Whether you use a large skillet or deep pot, just be sure there’s ample space for the rice to meet the heat.

Get the top-eight tips

How to Make Wildly Inspired, Wicked-Good Waffles Out of Anything

by in How-to, November 8th, 2013

After wrapping up our waffle project, we in Food Network Kitchens kept thinking of new things we wanted to waffle. Let’s share the fun: You waffle some foods and share your hits and misses. Here are five tips that will help you through your waffling adventures:

Keep reading

Brownie Batter Cookies — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, November 8th, 2013

Brownie Batter Cookies - The WeekenderI believe everyone should have one cookie recipe that they know by heart — one that can be easily whipped together to welcome new babies, offer up at potlucks and make on a whim when you need a touch of sweet homemade comfort.

For some people, that cookie is a basic chocolate chip. For others, it’s a rough and tumble mix of oats, nuts and dried fruit. And I know other folks who can make peanut butter or sugar cookies with their eyes closed.

The basic requirements of this type of cookie are that the ingredients can be kept in the kitchen cupboard, that you need only a bowl or two to make it, that it drops from spoon to baking sheet with ease (no roll-out cookies need apply) and that it tastes good. Being sturdy enough to withstand the U.S. Postal Service is not required, but it’s a plus.

Before you start baking, read these tips

What to Watch: Trisha’s TV Dinners, Barbie on Cupcake Wars and Food Network’s 20th Birthday Party Special

by in Shows, November 8th, 2013

Food Network BirthdayThis weekend, learn the secrets to a quick meal from Ree, go back in time with retro TV dinners from Trisha, see Barbie-inspired cupcakes in the making and watch Food Network’s 20th Birthday Party, a special look back on the history of the Food Network, hosted by Mo Rocca.

On Sunday morning, Rachael shows you a week’s worth of recipes for spicy-food lovers. Then Guy cooks his favorite cut of steak. And Damaris delves into game-day grub on Southern at Heart. In the evening, start the competition with all-new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games and Restaurant Express, plus a special Thanksgiving episode of Iron Chef America.

Read About the Shows

Farm vs. Bar Food: Which Restaurant Divided Concept Did You Like Better?

by in Shows, November 7th, 2013

Restaurant DividedAfter years of unprofitability and a staggering debt of almost $50,000, the three co-owners of Maggie’s Farm in Baltimore faced a crucial crossroads that would ultimately determine if and how the eatery would ever see future success. One owner, Laura Merino, was adamant in her belief that her restaurant needed to stick to its farm-to-table concept to have any chance at future success, while her partners — the chef, Andrew Weinzirl, who’s also her fiancé, and the general manager, Matthew Weaver — maintained that an all-new Southern-skewed concept would be most beneficial in relaunching Maggie’s. Before he could help the owners come together in agreement, Rocco DiSpirito had to first divide them further, and the only way to do so was to begin a Restaurant Divided takeover.

Working with his design team, Rocco split the space at Maggie’s into two eateries and let diners and restaurant critics speak to which restaurant they’d most want to return. Laura ran the made-over, garden-inspired Maggie’s Farm that featured its signature fresh cuisine; Andrew and Matthew opened the speakeasy-bar hybrid Speakgreazy, a red-walled space with plush seating serving Southern favorites. While both concepts proved able to attract guests and dish out quality plates, 25 percent more customers were more willing to return to Laura’s restaurant, Maggie’s, than they were to the guys’ Speakgreazy. Knowing this and having dined at both establishments, Rocco ultimately revealed that the original business, Maggie’s, would afford the group the best chance at lasting viability.

Read more

Making Kid-Friendly Chili (There’s a Trick)

by in Family, November 7th, 2013

How to Make Kid-Friendly ChiliI must have made chili 10 times, all different ways — chicken chili, chili con carne, chili with corn, chili without corn — and the kids wouldn’t go near it. Until I took a tip from “Fancy Nancy” and made it, well, fancy (and until I also eased up on the cumin, which I suspect was an element that led to previous failures).

It’s the presentation for knee-high critics that often counts the most. You won’t ever find me sculpting scooters out of hot dogs or sharks from watermelons. There are three kids under 5 at my house and I’d need a lot more free time in my life to pull that off. But doing this wasn’t difficult. To make your chili “fancy,” simply spoon and layer it with cheddar cheese into small glasses. Repeat, serve and bask in the success of the moment.

Get more adult recipes made kid-friendly