Fun Cooking: How to Make Chocolate Tacos

by in Food Network Magazine, May 2nd, 2013

Chocolate Tacos

Try a salty spin on an old ice cream-truck favorite, the Choco Taco. Fill taco shells with softened vanilla ice cream and freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Melt 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave, then stir in 6 tablespoons chopped butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup. Dip the tacos in the chocolate, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and let harden, about 2 minutes.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

Iron Chef Jose Garces Off the Clock

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 2nd, 2013

Iron Chef Jose GarcesThis year gave me my first opportunity to judge Iron Chef Jose Garces in Kitchen Stadium. Although I already knew he has always been held in high regard in the culinary world, it was great to experience, first hand, how he combines his superb technical skills with an ability to make seriously delicious food.

I hope I have many more opportunities to sample his dishes again in the future. In the meantime, I caught up with him for a few moments to ask 10 questions about his culinary background and beliefs.

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Chefs Collaborative Celebrates 20 Years of Sustainability and Its Debut Cookbook

by in Events, May 1st, 2013

Chefs Collaborative CookbookMuch is made of the importance of eating organic, community-supported, farm-to-table cuisine, but for many chefs across the country, sustainable choices are difficult to make, oftentimes simply because of a lack of information. Chefs Collaborative, however, a nonprofit organization, is committed to educating culinary industry professionals on how to best purchase ingredients, partner with vendors and plan menus in an effort to help them offer the most-wholesome meals possible.

Founded 20 years ago on the basis that food should be “local, sustainable [and] delicious,” Chefs Collaborative celebrates the natural beauty of seasonal selections and believes that food tastes better when it’s intelligently grown and responsibly sourced. This network of more than 12,000 chefs, restaurateurs, culinary experts and business specialists, among them kitchen superstars Michael Anthony and Bill Telepan from Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern and Telepan Restaurants, respectively, has teamed up not to merely tell their peers a right way to buy and prepare their food, but instead to give them the tools and resources to do so efficiently in ways that make sense for them. Part of their mission is to “build a strong membership base of hundreds of members across the country,” and, in doing so, begin a nationwide conversation about making sustainability a key focus for chefs everywhere.

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Chopped Mystery Basket Weirdest Ingredient Bracket Tournament — Vote in the Finals

by in Shows, May 1st, 2013

Chopped BracketSome of the mystery basket ingredients that get used on Chopped are pretty unusual, to say the least. But the culinary producers who come up with them don’t just draw them out of a hat — though sometimes it does seem that way! They take their time to decide on the ingredients, making sure the basket components are just right and actually manageable. FN Dish queried the culinary producers to find out the top 16 weirdest basket ingredients they’ve had on the show. The list of ingredients ranged from goat brains to gummy eggs over easy — almost no ingredient is off-limits.

Now it’s up to you, Chopped fans, to vote on the ingredient you think is the weirdest of them all in this four-round bracket tournament, which coincides with the new season of Chopped All-Stars.

VOTE now!

Kid-Friendly Veggie Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Family, Recipes, May 1st, 2013

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli CasseroleMore likely than not, your kids have better things to think about than garden-fresh produce, bustling farmers’ markets and mindful grocery shopping. But, when they sit down at the dinner table, all that good stuff is what’s for dinner, even if they’re morally opposed to eating their veggies. Use these recipes to get your kids excited about spring produce.

For some, green beans are good eaten straight out of the produce bag. But for those who need a little push, Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole is just as the name implies. Rather than using the store-bought crunchy onions, Alton whips his up from scratch.

Broccoli is typically a no-go for most little ones, but when it’s served up in a style reminiscent of mac and cheese, it’s much easier to sell. With a foundation of rice and a scattering of florets, Sunny Anderson’s Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole (pictured above) does just that.

Get more kid-friendly sides from friends and family

Is It Healthy: Cooking Spray

by , May 1st, 2013

cooking spray
Can the key to healthy cooking be found in an aerosol can? There are pluses and minuses to using cooking spray.

Yes?
Using cooking spray as a replacement for oil and butter can help cut back the calories. Since butter and oil have 100 to 120 calorie...

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Catching Up With Ted Allen, Host of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards

by in Events, Shows, May 1st, 2013

Ted AllenOn Friday, May 3, the James Beard Foundation will have its annual Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards. And this year, Food Network’s own Ted Allen has the honor of hosting the event, one of the biggest in the culinary world. Ted isn’t a stranger to the awards — last year he was the winner for best Media Personality/Host for Chopped, beating out Ina Garten and Sara Moulton. Chopped also won for best Television Program in a Studio or Fixed Location. With all his experience hosting, the JBF awards should be a piece of cake for Ted. But does he have anything to fear?

We caught up with Ted to chat about his hosting responsibilities, his view on the awards ceremony and what he thinks is the next big thing to look out for in the food world.

Read Ted’s interview below

How Much of a Basket Ingredient Is Enough? — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, April 30th, 2013

“Use a little or a lot; I heard Ted say it before,” Marc Murphy told substitute host Alex Guarnaschelli during tonight’s premiere episode of Chopped After Hours. He and his competitors, fellow judges Aarón Sánchez and Chris Santos, opted to use only one portion of what was unquestionably the out-of-place ingredient in tonight’s mystery basket: coconut-chocolate bars. With just 30 minutes to cook an entree with the candy, plus pink beans, sofrito and striped bass, the guys didn’t have time to incorporate the bar as a whole, so they picked out of it elements that would be successful in their dishes. For Marc, who in a risky maneuver set off to make a cassoulet, and Chris, who prepared a Thai-style soup, it was the coconut center that was the chosen fraction; Aarón picked out the almonds to feature in his Louisiana-inspired plate of fish and grits.

What do you think of the judges using only a select portion of a mystery basket ingredient? Although doing so may indeed be battling within the rules, should they have worked harder to utilize the candy bar as a whole, or does its unusualness make up for the fact that it wasn’t incorporated fully? If a contestant had done that during competition, would the judges have been as accepting of his or her dish?

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Sandra Lee to Host the World’s Largest Bake Sale

by in Events, Food Network Chef, April 30th, 2013

Sandra LeeNew York City may be known for its myriad of posh bakeries, cupcake hot spots and sought-out dessert destinations, but tomorrow, there will be just one place to go to find the ultimate collection of sweet treats: Grand Central Terminal. Sandra Lee is lending her voice to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and hosting the World’s Largest Bake Sale alongside fellow Food Network chefs Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay, plus Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse and others. In the heart of Manhattan at this 100-year-old landmark, these food superstars will dish out thousands of classic and creative baked goods donated by local chefs, and all proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength as they work to end childhood hunger in America.

Want to pick up a few treats and meet Sandra, Bobby and Guy? Support Share Our Strength’s World’s Largest Bake Sale by stopping by Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City from 10 am until 7 pm tomorrow, May 1. If you’re not in the area or can’t make it to Grand Central tomorrow, read more about the event and find out how you can help the #WorldsLargestBakeSale on Twitter.