Picky Eater-Approved: Meals to Make Dinnertime Easy

by in Family, Recipes, April 13th, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza PocketsAre family dinners a struggle in your home — you all but begging your little ones to eat something other than packaged pizza, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese while your kids stare back at you, adamantly refusing even a taste of something more wholesome? If so, know that you could be in for more manageable suppers simply by letting them eat the meals they want but opting for homemade versions of them, instead of relying on store-bought varieties. While it’s indeed best to attempt to patiently introduce children to diverse groups of food, that approach may prove unrealistic in many homes. In those cases, embracing kid-friendly foods in from-scratch recipes for pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese may make for happier times at the dinner table. Your kids will be pleased because they’ll think they’re enjoying their favorite meals, and you’ll feel better knowing they’re eating wholesome, home-cooked food. Check out Food Network’s top takes on classic kid-approved picks like pizza, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese below to find must-try meals that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your home.

Just like traditional pizza, Jeff Mauro’s Pepperoni Pizza Pockets (pictured above) boast creamy mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and a crunchy crust, but they’re formed into easy-to-eat pouches instead of an open-faced pie. The secret to Jeff’s recipe is starting with prepared pizza dough; having one on hand makes meal prep a cinch and ensures that these golden-brown beauties can be ready to eat in less than an hour. Serve each pocket with a side of Jeff’s sweet tomato-basil sauce, and let your kids indulge in this eat-with-your-hands meal with deliciously simple dunking.

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What’s the Most-Common Mistake Made in the Chopped Kitchen?

by in Shows, April 13th, 2013

Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag and Ted AllenWeek after week, Chopped fans tune in to watch four eager chef competitors take their places in the kitchen for a chance to outcook the chopping block and score the coveted title of Chopped Champion. Not only facing off against each other, the contestants battle baskets full of mystery ingredients like shad roe sacks, black garlic, pig ears and duck hearts — products and produce that are so unusual that some chefs have neither seen nor tasted them before in their career.

Working with such oddball selects surely invites a host of unique problems, including overcooked proteins and underdone grains, but the most-common mistake made among chefs isn’t one resulting from obscure ingredients. Instead, it’s something that trips up even home cooks as they prepare everyday meals for their families.

Speaking to a crowd at the Borgata Hotel Spa & Casino in Atlantic City, longtime Chopped judge Geoffrey Zakarian said that the most-prominent error in competitors’ dishes is seasoning. No stranger to the highs and lows in the Chopped kitchen, he’s tasted his share of meals that have proved to be near disasters simply because chefs used too little of two of the most-basic ingredients found in restaurant and home kitchens alike: salt and pepper. “Nobody puts salt and pepper in their food,” he said. “Amazing. Shocking.”

What cooking conundrums do you struggle with in the kitchen? Tell FN Dish in the comments below.

Help Food Network Win a Webby!

by in News, April 12th, 2013

Food Network's On the Road appFood Network is proud to announce that two digital apps, Food Network’s On the Road and In the Kitchen, have been nominated for Webby awards, one of the top awards honoring websites, interactive experiences and digital film and video.

You can help Food Network win the People’s Voice Award by voting on the Webby site.

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We’re also thrilled to share that Food Network’s Thanksgiving Live! was named a Webby honoree, which is awarded to the top 15 percent of entries exhibiting remarkable achievement.

Eggplant Parmesan Meatloaf — The Weekender

by in Recipes, April 12th, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan MeatloafThe first time I made meatloaf for the man who is now my husband, he took one look at the slice on his plate and asked, “You call this meatloaf?” And while it was certainly meatloaf to me, it was many moons away from the version he grew up eating.

Mine, which was closely related to the one my mom had always made, featured strands of grated carrots and potatoes running through the ground meat, and it was seasoned with plenty of minced garlic.

His meatloaf of memory was more closely related to the classic version, complete with moistened white bread kneaded in and a baked-on glaze of ketchup and brown sugar. I’m still trying to find an approach that marries our two ideal versions into one harmonious loaf. (I think there might just be deep lessons about life and marriage embedded in this search.)

I’ve actually found that we’re both most-happy when I don’t try to replicate either of our traditional meatloaves but, instead, opt for recipes that do entirely different things with ground meat, binders and seasonings. These days, we’re digging Eggplant Parmesan Meatloaf from Giada De Laurentiis.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

Trail Mix-Wild Rice Salad

by , April 12th, 2013

rice salad
With so many hip grains like quinoa and millet on the market it is easy to forget about options like wild rice.  This nutty, fiber and nutrient-rich grain is not only good for you but when mixed with long grain brown rice it’s an inexpensive,...

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What to Watch: Laila Ali Cooks With Paula, Jeff’s Italian Sandwiches and Lance Bass Judges on Cupcake Wars

by in Shows, April 12th, 2013

Lance Bass on Cupcake WarsThis weekend there is a bunch of new episodes on Food Network that are sure to give you some great entertaining ideas and glue you to your seat with exciting action.

On Saturday, watch all-new episodes from Paula, Ree and Giada. First, boxer Laila Ali joins Paula in the kitchen to make some hearty favorites. Then Ree is cooking fun finger foods for a cousin sleepover party at the lodge. Later, Giada is hosting a luncheon for a group of special ladies.

Start Sunday morning with Jeff and his Italian-inspired sandwiches. Follow it up with some competition in the evening, beginning with a “Fan Favorites” episode of Cupcake Wars judged by special guest Lance Bass. Afterward, it’s Round 2 of Chopped All-Stars, where mega-chefs battle it out in the kitchen for a chance at competing in the grand finale. And finally, on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert helps a couple save their seafood restaurant and, in turn, save their family.

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Chef Wanted: Blaue Gans Update

by in Shows, April 11th, 2013


Chef WantedBlaue Gans, German for “blue goose,” is a Wirtshaus-style restaurant in New York City serving modern Austro-German cuisine. It is one of five establishments owned by esteemed chef and published cookbook author Kurt Gutenbrunner. After promoting the restaurant’s current chef to oversee all operations, Kurt needed a new chef for Blaue Gans, so he turned to Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team for help. Four candidates were brought in, and after two rigorous cooking tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Carsten Vollrath.

Originally from Germany, Chef Vollrath has been living and working in the United States for the past 10 years. He has wanted to become a chef since the age of 17, and he’s always dreamed of coming to New York City. He thinks Blaue Gans will become his new home away from home.

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What Kind of Restaurants Do You Want to See in Food Network On the Road?

by in Community, April 11th, 2013

Food Network On the RoadWhen it comes to summer road trips, the only thing more frustrating than unexpected construction detours is finding yourself in an unknown city with no ideas for where to eat. Instead of resorting to drive-through fast food, stop by a local hot spot favorited by Food Network stars with the help of the On the Road app.

Packed with detailed city guides, must-try dish recommendations and cuisine-specific road trip suggestions, this travel-friendly app makes it easy to find chef-approved eateries highlighted on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, The Great Food Truck Race and more. Say you’re passing through the Oklahoma countryside. With just a few swipes and taps, you soon could be enjoying saucy barbecue ribs at one of Guy’s Triple D hangouts.

One of the most-prominent features of On the Road is its custom-designed Best-Of lists. Food Network sifted through its vast restaurant listings to create the ultimate go-to guides to comfort food, all-American pie, sandwiches and breakfast classics, so not matter what part of the country you’re in, you’re sure to find top-notch eats and drinks nearby.

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