According to a chart recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average share of per capita income spent on food in U.S. households in 2013 was 9.9 percent, up a teensy bit from 2007, when it was 9.6 percent, but dramatically lower than the 17.5 percent spent in 1960.
By Jacob Schiffman, culinary purchasing manager, Food Network Kitchen
On the evening of Monday, March 16, Food Network Kitchen entered the 5th annual Brisket King NYC competition. A few hundred giddy patrons were able to taste some of the best briskets, which ranged in style from smoked and cured to downright innovative. There were 13 players fighting for the crown, and everyone put their best brisket forward. Below are three of my most-noteworthy bites of the night.
Richmond Flores of Food Network Kitchen created and served a beautiful brisket, which he first marinated and rubbed in a fermented black bean “love mixture” and then oak-smoked for 14 hours. He served it over a lemongrass-scented jasmine rice topped with pickled carrot-daikon with a crunch of fried shallot. Delicious umami flavor and soft, slightly tacky texture, to say the least.
A pan of freshly baked brownies can do a lot of things. It can round out a bake sale, satiate a soccer team or finish off a dinner party just right. It can ease a breakup, make a movie night complete or work as the base for a crazy-good ice cream sundae. But, in the end, a good brownie doesn’t need anything to be the best dessert ever; it can shine without a glass of milk whether it’s cut from the corner or the gooey center of the pan. In the spirit of brownie obsession, run down the line of the top 10 ways you can make your next batch disappear from the pan.
1. Go for store-bought cake mix — and then go absolutely crazy.
Ree Drummond’s Knock-You-Naked Brownies (pictured above) may start with a box of German chocolate cake mix, but you DIY-or-bust folks would be silly to let that stop you. With evaporated milk and caramel candies, Ree makes a decadent caramel sauce to drizzle over her first layer of batter, which she also tops with chocolate chips.
“Cooking on a sheet pan, letting your oven do most of the work, will put a great meal on the table and give you time to enjoy your life. And isn’t that pretty much what it’s all about?” Molly Gilbert asks in her new cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers. No matter what your family wants for dinner (or breakfast or lunch), the answer might be found in the kitchen tool you once used only to bake cookies: the humble sheet pan.
Gilbert’s technique is simple and straightforward: Use good ingredients to make delicious yet simple meals, like Quick Chicken and Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe after the link for you to try at home) or the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta Pasta. But sheet pan recipes can branch out beyond dinner to include small bites and snacks (like Spicy Cheese Biscuits and Crispy Roasted Potatoes), meat-free meals (like Hearty Ratatouille with Goat Cheese and Portobello Cap Pizzas with Garlic Knots), and even brunch dishes (like Fresh Brioche Cinnamon Rolls, pictured below).
It’s not every day on Restaurant: Impossible that Robert Irvine visits a 4,000-square-foot restaurant — let alone one that used to enjoy profits of more than $1 million. On tonight’s all-new Season 11 premiere, Robert and his team traveled to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on their most-massive mission to date at WhaBah Steakhouse, a part-restaurant, part-music venue that, despite its early success, was facing serious losses. With limited time to work, Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew had to not only re-inspire Donnie “Perky” Perruquet but also transform his enormous establishment. Read on below to hear from Perky’s daughter, Nicole Schwarzkopf, and find out how WhaBah Steakhouse is faring today.
Although WhaBah Steakhouse was packed immediately after filming, business has since slowed, though Schwarzkopf notes of the updated decor, “We love, love, love the clean, fresh new look, and the bar and tables.”
March Madness is officially upon us. With round two of the games starting tomorrow, brackets are being finalized. Watching the games at the bar can be, well, madness. Crowded and rowdy with passionate (and loud) sports fan, bars are fun but overwhelming — an experience better left to students with their school pride on the line. Instead of pushing your way up to the bar for an expensive pint, gather your buddies for a viewing party at your place. It guarantees you a comfy seat on the couch, and it’s a total game changer in terms of snacking — soggy nachos and flavorless wings are disqualified.
Here are seven better-than-bar-food snacks to make for the big tournament:
University of Kentucky is entering the tournament undefeated. Honor the team’s success with a Southern snack staple: pimento cheese. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Wildcats, this spicy cheese spread (fittingly nicknamed Southern caviar) is winning grub for everyone — bitter Arkansas Razorback fans included. Follow Sunny Anderson’s recipe (pictured above), then serve it with bread for a ridiculously easy snack.
Forget the fries. Would you like McKale Chips with that? If anyone needed further proof that “it” food green kale has gone mainstream, here it is: McDonald’s is reportedly considering putting it on the menu.
In a report last week, restaurant analysts at the Wall Street firm Janney Capital Markets said their industry sources assert that “McDonald’s U.S. plans to roll out kale as an ingredient” – possibly in salads or a smoothie – “in its restaurants at some point in the not-too-distant future.” Perhaps next year.
Sure, cakes without frostings exist, but it’s that sweet, fluffy topping that takes the everyday dessert to the next indulgent level. If fondant is the fanciest option and glaze is the most-basic, buttercream is in the sweet spot of the frosting world: a go-to, multipurpose smear that’s ideal atop any treat and easy to prepare with ingredients you already have on hand.
There are just two key elements to a buttercream: butter and sugar. Beyond that, you can dress up the mixture with vanilla extract, chopped chocolate or your favorite colors for special occasions. Read on below to get Food Network’s recipes for the best-ever buttercreams — both chocolate and vanilla — and learn how to recreate top bakery tastes in your own kitchen.
Move over, brie. There’s a new star player in the dairy aisle, and I’m not talking about Greek yogurt. Recently, firmer cheeses — such as halloumi, Indian paneer and Finnish bread cheese (leipäjuusto) — have been getting a lot of attention in the culinary world. And it’s for good reason: Magically, they keep their shape when heated. Their high melting points and low acid content make them perfect for grilling and frying, which gives them that oh-so-desirable crispy brown crust (like in Michael Symon’s Watermelon and Halloumi, pictured above). These melt-and-flow-resistant cheeses also star as a meal’s main ingredient more readily than their silky counterparts. Here are a few ways to experiment with these cheeses at home.
Aw, cats. Cute, cute cats. You love them on lattes. Now you can enjoy them as tasty treats too — the purrfect coffee-break combo.
A user of the art, design and photography community site Bored Panda who identifies herself as a Japanese Web designer named Laura has posted some adorable photos of “cat sweets” inspired by her own domestic short-haired cat, Apelila. And, photos indicate, Laura also sometimes likes to dress Apelila up in kimonos.