Parade Route Eats: Gras Dogs

by in Holidays, February 12th, 2013

Gras Dogs by David GuasThe Mardi Gras parade, dating all the way back to the late 1830s, included street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders — some carrying fascinating gaslight torches. Fast-forward to present day, the parade now consists of over-the-top floats, exotic costumes, lots of beads, balls and never-ending feasts of King Cakes.

Louisiana native David Guas knows a thing or two about Mardi Gras, especially when it comes to food. His restaurant, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, is the first Washington, D.C. establishment to offer authentic delectable Southern sweets and savory casual eats. While King Cake gets all the glory during this time (as it deserves), we went to David and asked him, “If there were such a thing as parade route food, what would that be?” His answer: the classic hot dog. Well, sort of classic: “the Gras Dog,” he dubs it.

Why hot dogs? “There’s something to be said about the all-beef hot dog,” David says. “It’s about as American as they come and I think they’re the best. This is how you make a Gras Dog — Louisiana-style — and when it’s Mardi Gras time, your most important concern is how you juggle catching beads and keeping a cocktail or beer in the other hand. So when you take a break to eat and free up one hand to get some food fuel in your system, it has to be easy and take only a few bites to finish. After that, back out to catching beads.”

Get the Gras Dog recipe

Geoffrey Zakarian’s Valentine’s Day Souffle

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, February 12th, 2013

Geoffrey ZakarianInstead of fighting the crowds of couples at hot spot restaurants on Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie to an extra-special dinner and dessert at home on Thursday. Food Network’s one-stop Valentine’s Day destination has everything you need to plan a savory meal for two, while Chopped judge and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has the ultimate confection for an unforgettable supper — a showstopping dessert that’s by far more impressive looking than it is difficult to prepare, even for the most novice bakers among us.

FN Dish caught up with Geoffrey during a live cooking demonstration at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., and he shared his tried-and-true Flourless Raspberry Souffle recipe from his cookbook, Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table. He’s the first to admit that most people are “freaked out by souffles,” but he promises that there’s no reason to be. A master of souffles himself, Geoffrey first began making them in his earliest days as a chef at New York City’s Le Cirque restaurant. “That was my first job in the kitchen,” he told us. “I was a souffle chef.” There he’d prepare nearly 150 souffles every day, and he quickly picked up “all the tricks of the trade.”

Whether you’ve dabbled in from-scratch souffles before or are new to making them, Geoffrey explains that there are a few must-know secrets to pulling off this dessert successfully. Check out his top-five tips for baking up light, fluffy souffles every time, then read on to find his can-do recipe.

Geoffrey’s souffle tips and recipe

United States of Cheese

by in Food Network Magazine, February 12th, 2013

United States Cheese BoardsPut out a state-themed cheese board. Then, plan a trip to see the cheesiest destinations in America.

Getting a new license plate can be a headache. Getting a license-plate cheese board, not so much. These fun state-themed beech-wood boards (pictured above) are etched with locally themed tag numbers, like BIG APL3 for New York and FRS SQZ for Florida. Eight states are up for grabs: California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, Florida and Minnesota ($25 each, Talisman Designs; amazon.com).

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Let Them Drink Cake

by in Food Network Magazine, February 11th, 2013

Parade Time Cocktail
When Mardi Gras rolls around in New Orleans, king cake reigns supreme. Local bakeries crank out thousands of the ring-shaped cakes, topping each with purple, green and gold sugar and baking a plastic baby inside (getting the slice with the baby is considered good luck!). But when the holiday hits this February 12, fans will be drinking their cake too: Big Easy bartenders are using new king cake-flavored vodka, introduced last year, to create king cake cocktails, including this fun one from Carousel Bar & Lounge at the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans’ French Quarter (214 Royal St.; hotelmonteleone.com). Just like a traditional king cake, the drink is cinnamon-spiced and decorated with colored sugar. We snagged the recipe so you can try it at home.

Try the recipe: Parade Time Cocktail

Spaghetti and No-Meat Balls — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 11th, 2013

Spaghetti and No-Meat BallsTofu often gets a bad culinary rap—and rightfully so. When eaten on its own, plain tofu can be quite boring and doesn’t taste like much of anything. When given an intense flavor boost in the form of bold sauces or complementary ingredients, however, it takes on rich, enjoyable flavors and becomes a go-to substitute for meat in countless traditionally beefy dishes, like meatloaf, meatballs and burgers.

In Food Network Magazine‘s recipe for Spaghetti and No-Meat Balls (pictured above), extra-firm tofu is incorporated into a mixture of garlic-laced mushrooms, sauteed onions and a pinch of red pepper flakes, which adds a hearty punch of flavor without a lot of fat. Together with breadcrumbs, the tofu binds the blend together so that it can be rolled into two-bite no-meat balls. A quick pan-fry turns the balls a deep golden-brown hue and gives them a slight crust on the outside. After simmering them in a light tomato-basil sauce, toss the nonmeatballs with your favorite kind of pasta for a family-friendly dinner than can be prepped in less than an hour.

Keep reading for more recipes

Chocolate Love Bark

by , February 11th, 2013

chocolate bark
The perfect Valentine’s Day pair is chocolate and nuts. This homemade chocolate bark is super simple to make. Just combine dairy-free chocolate chips and your favorite nut: hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts — whatever you like. Choc...

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A Valentine’s Menu That Will Impress Without the Stress

by in Holidays, February 11th, 2013

Beet, Goat Cheese and Arugula SaladRaise your hand if you’re not into going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. I know I have my hand straight up in the air. It’s not that I don’t love restaurants; I honestly do. But it’s always such a zoo and I would much rather stay home with my honey and make us a memorable dinner spread in the comfort of our own home.

This year I’m jazzed about our menu: it’s fun and comforting and I know my husband is going to love it.

First I’m going to make a cheese plate, complete with lots of crackers and fruit — a cheese plate is the perfect way to start a nice meal at home. Read these tips from Food Network and head to the market to pick out several great varieties of cheese.

After that, we’re going to have salad from Giada (pictured above). I love beets, goat cheese and arugula, so this is the perfect salad. Plus it’s light so it won’t be too filling.
Get the recipe: Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

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An Interview With the Winner of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off

by in Shows, February 10th, 2013

 Dean and Carnie
Rachael vs. GuyThe second season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off has been filled with challenges that have gone beyond the call of cooking and has had its share of celebrities pulling any antic at a chance of winning the competition. But tonight, the show has one winner, a very deserving individual who has gone through many ups and downs. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the champion of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.

Last night’s finale had the competition reduced to just two celebrities: Carnie and Dean. The challenge this time would have them cooking a dinner for 11 special guests made up of celebrity chefs and VIPs. In 90 minutes they would each create a three-course meal, which would be voted upon by the dinner guests. By the end a winner would be declared and a donation of $50,000 would be handed out to his or her charity.

Find out which celebrity won