Holiday Baking Disaster Recovery: What Happens When a Cake Flops?

by in Holidays, How-to, December 20th, 2012

Holiday Bake Disaster RecoveryBy Ron Ben-Israel

I once made a few cakes for dessert — some coffee cakes. The recipe that I tried was not accurate; it said butter the pan, but should have said butter then flour the pan. Half the cake came out and half of it didn’t, and it had a big crack on the side.

So if a cake flops, what can you do to save it? If the cake is supposed to be frosted, then don’t worry about it. Just cover it with frosting. It will still be delicious. If it’s like a coffee cake, which doesn’t get frosted, preslice and serve it plated with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

Always remember this rule of thumb

Restaurant Revisited: Rising Sun Bistro

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Rising Sun Bistro in Kalispell, Mont., he learned that this French food-focused eatery was nearly $500,000 in debt. On top of that, it was being run by three owners, Jennifer Griffith, Peggy Kirby and Sally Racine Truscheit, who couldn’t put their strained relationship aside to effectively run the business. In just two days and with only $10,000, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team put new life into Rising Sun, adding fresh, authentic French offerings to their menu, revamping the interior design and working with Jennifer, Peggy and Sally to mend their partnership and begin to ease their debt. We checked in with Jennifer a few months after the renovation to find out how the restaurant is doing today.

Since the transformation, she tells us, sales at Rising Sun have increased nearly 27 percent and diners have been pleased with the updated French-inspired decor and communal table that Robert and his team created.

While Rising Sun is no longer serving breakfast, its dinner menu has stayed largely the same since Robert left. Jennifer says that they’ve added “a cod dish, pasta [and] boeuf bourguignon” to their list of offerings, but she notes that Robert’s “brie and caramel is a big seller.”

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The Next Iron Chef: Redemption From Alton Brown’s Point of View

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Alton Brown and Chef Amanda FreitagBy now you’ve noticed that after Alton announces, “Let the cooking begin,” at the start of every Chairman’s Challenge, he takes his place in his kitchen alongside the rivals as they spend each of their precious minutes prepping ingredients, cooking and plating. Instead of just watching what goes down, however, he interacts with the chefs, questions their plans for their challenge, explains their cooking techniques and comments on ingredients, all while playing cameraman. That small gray box you’ve seen Alton toting this season, propping on top of workstations, inside blenders and above stoves — that’s his very own GoPro video camera, and he’s used it to record behind-the-scenes happenings, rival chef banter and all of the flare-ups and meltdowns that a large camera couldn’t catch.

Since we can’t be in the kitchen with the Redemption rivals, Alton’s video footage is the next-best way to experience exactly what the chefs are thinking, feeling and cooking. Want to watch the challenges from Alton’s point of view? Check out this exclusive video clip (or click the play button below) of Alton chatting with Chef Marcel Vigneron and tasting the rival’s blue cheese ice cream, then browse this photo gallery to find insider images of Alton with his GoPro camera.

Be sure to tune in Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the finale of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

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Beyond Holiday Ham: Pat LaFrieda, Jr. on Meat for the Holidays

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 19th, 2012

Standing Rib RoastYesterday we posed this question to readers: What do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Thanksgiving is all about turkey and Easter is all about the ham. But what meat do you serve on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

FN Dish went to the meat master, Pat LaFrieda, Jr., to chat about alternative meats for Christmas, and as always, he didn’t let us down. Keep reading for tips on standing rib roasts, get Pat’s recipe for stuffing and find out what his favorite holiday meal is.

Standing rib roasts are delicious, but some people may be nervous to try and cook one. Do you have any suggestions? How many pounds/ribs per person?
PLF: Always figure on 1 pound of meat, in the raw form, per person. That should yield 12 ounces of cooked meat.
Try the recipe pictured above: Paula’s Foolproof Standing Rib Roast

Keep reading for more tips

Simple Brussels Sprouts Recipes — Fall Fest

by in In Season, December 19th, 2012

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts by Food Network Magazine
fall festWhen it comes to in-season Brussels sprouts, simplicity is key. Your ingredient list should only be a few words and the preparation should be effortless from market to plate.

Here’s the most straightforward recipe of all: Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts. With just a gloss of extra-virgin olive oil and a shake of salt and pepper, halved sprouts come out crisp and tender.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts by Food Network Magazine are shredded before hitting the pan with shallots, butter and a shot of cider vinegar. Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts (pictured above) are roasted in a piping hot oven, with brown sugar bringing a smooth sweetness and cilantro keeping things vibrant.

Slow-Cooked Brussels Sprouts feature a quaint roster of ingredients; after roasting stove-side low and slow, they’re caramelized to perfection. Alternatively, bacon, chicken broth and shallots merge together in Rachael Ray’s comforting Brussels Sprouts With Bacon.

More recipes from family and friends

Champions Return to the Chopping Block

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Chef Rob Evans and Ted Allen on Chopped ChampionsFor even the most ambitious chefs, the thought of taking a single turn in the Chopped kitchen is daunting. But for a certain 16 competitors — an elite few who’ve already successfully conquered the chopping block once — the opportunity to do so again just can’t be missed.

This January, 16 previous Chopped winners are returning to battle in Chopped Champions, a five-round tournament that will again test their cooking chops and ability to work under pressure with baskets full of unknown, potentially odd and disparate ingredients. With dwindling time on the clock and a panel of professional-chef judges watching their every move, they’ll need to rely on more than past successes if they want to claim not just bragging rights but also a whopping $50,000 and the title of Chopped Grand Champion.

What can the chefs expect to find in their baskets this time around? Sea snails to be sure, but also haggis — a much-loved-to-hate minced-meat-like specialty featuring animal lungs, heart and liver cooked inside animal stomach — plus a few deliciously sweet and savory surprises.

Tune in to round 1 of Chopped Champions on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 10pm/9c to find out which of the first four chefs will become a two-time victor and earn a spot in the finale.

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As Seen on The Next Iron Chef: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Collection of Eyewear

by in Shows, December 18th, 2012

Iron Chef Geoffrey ZakarianWhen it comes to judging The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, boasting a discerning palate, a keen sense of smell and a lifetime of experience in professional cooking and eating isn’t enough; you need to look the part as well. For judge Geoffrey Zakarian, completing his ensemble requires two pieces: an Iron Chef’s jacket and a pair of knockout glasses. Unlike the jacket, which comes in just one classic shade and style, his eyewear can be changed for every episode, and throughout this season, we’ve seen just how much Iron Chef Zakarian takes advantage of that by switching between royal-blue rims, leopard-print specs and fashion-forward see-through frames week after week. He told us in this video that he brought with him more than 12 pairs of glasses to film The Next Iron Chef and after seven episodes, he’s only repeated pairs a few times.

Flip through this photo gallery to see some of the best pieces from Iron Chef Zakarian’s vast collection of eyewear, then tell us in the comments: Which of his pairs of glasses is your favorite?

Don’t miss the finale of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday at 9pm/8c.

Get an extended preview of next week’s final episode

The Christmas Meal: What’s Your Family’s Tradition?

by in Family, Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Holiday Dinner PartyThere’s no doubt about it that turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Maybe this year your family ate something other than turkey, like ham, but the bird really does symbolize the holiday no matter how you look at it. But what about Christmas? Is there a food symbolic of Christmas? Not really. Everyone does something different; maybe that’s what is so special about the holiday.

FN Dish wants to know, what do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Do you repeat the same turkey menu from Thanksgiving? Do you do a British-style prime rib with Yorkshire pudding? Or a Southern glazed ham with biscuits? Or a crown roast of pork or lamb? Every family has its special Christmas meal. What’s yours?

VOTE and tell us what you make on Christmas