Changing the Game: New Rules on Iron Chef America

by in Shows, January 19th, 2013

Iron Chef AmericaFans of Iron Chef America have probably noticed that there have been a couple of significant changes in the way that winners are selected in Kitchen Stadium recently.

No longer do the chefs get the benefit of a full hour of cooking before they are asked to present their first dish to the judges — the first dish is now expected in just 20 minutes. And to add to their discomfort, at some point during the 60-minute contest, the Chairman will also wheel out a small trolley to reveal a “Culinary Curveball” to be incorporated into the final presentation. Both of these new challenges carry with them significant points and how the chef performs can put them at a major advantage or disadvantage for the rest of the battle.

I can tell you that these changes have taken a bit of getting used to, both for the chefs and the judges. Now that I have taken part in a number of competitions under these new regulations, however, I can hold my hand up and say that I am a fan of the new format.

Get to know the new rules

Boost Meals With Smoked Fish

by in Food Network Magazine, January 19th, 2013

Curried Rice With Smoked Trout

Hot Tips for Healthy Cooking From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Smoked fish is an easy way to add flavor, protein and healthy fats to a dish, and you only a little. We used just 1 ounce of fish per serving for the Curried Rice With Smoked Trout from the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine. Keep some smoked salmon or trout on hand (it stays fresh for about a week in the fridge) and try it on a sandwich or salad, or toss it with pasta.

Beyond the Chopped Basket: What to Make With Plantains

by in Shows, January 19th, 2013

Onion-Crusted PlantainsSo often on Chopped we see chef contestants open their mystery baskets to find such odd, uncommon and downright scary ingredients — pre-cooked pig snout, pickled beef tongue or grasshoppers, anyone? — that it can seem nearly impossible for home cooks to put them to work in everyday meals. On other episodes, however, the ingredients are far less intimidating yet not quite familiar. That’s where we come in. Each week during the brand-new season of Chopped Champions, FN Dish will break down the whats, hows and whens of an approachable, family-friendly ingredient and share deliciously simple recipes for using it, so that you can show off your best culinary chops at home. Following last Tuesday’s round-1 competition, the focus is now on plantains, which made an appearance in the dessert round alongside spiral ham, water chestnuts and spiced rum.

A close cousin of the yellow banana, green plantains are similar in look and shape to the classic fruit, but instead of being peeled back and enjoyed raw at the breakfast table, they’re most often cooked so that they lose their signature tough, firm bite. Plantains aren’t quite as sweet as bananas, so they can be featured in savory dishes as well as sweet desserts, like they were on Champions, and they hold their shape well even when exposed to the high heat of the deep-fryer or grill. The key to successfully working with plantains at home is letting them take their time cooking. On Tuesday’s Chopped episode, Chef Sean Scotese explained, “Green plantains need a lot of love. They need to be fried or boiled until they’re soft and crispy.” Try your hand at plantains this weekend with easy recipes from Food Network Magazine below.

Read more

Bobby Flay Fit, Episode 6: Support

by , January 19th, 2013


Bobby Flay Fit Bobby Flay manages to stay fit and healthy even with a busy lifestyle as a chef, and he’s eager to ...

Read more

Game-Day Dips — Football Fare

by in Recipes, January 18th, 2013

Lucky 7 Layer DipWhile the New Year ushers in thoughts of renewed resolutions, changes big and small and promises of fresh starts, it also culminates in a season of something else: football. To celebrate this football-focused month, FN Dish is bringing you weekly roundups of your favorite tailgate-ready munchies like juicy chicken wings, deliciously salty chips and dips, hearty sliders, decadent chocolate brownies and others to help you host the ultimate big game bash every weekend. Check back each Friday in January for a complete menu of must-try recipes, plus simple entertaining tips and more winning ideas that are sure to score touchdowns with your friends and family.

Leave it to simple bowls of chips and dip to bring together crowds of hungry football fans like nothing else. To the host or hostess , dips are the ultimate appetizer since they require no hands-on time to plate or serve after they’re prepped; just set them on the table and the job is done. For game-focused fans, too, chips and dip are a winning snack, as they can be enjoyed effortlessly without averting attention from the television. The secret to offering a winning spread of dips is making a few different kinds so that you know you’ll have something to please everyone.

Keep reading for recipes

Don’t Mess With Triple D! Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

by in Shows, January 18th, 2013

Guy and Rachael
Rachael vs. GuyThis season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off takes the celebrity contestants to different places every challenge. In the first episode, the celebrities had it easy in the theater. The second episode had them far out of their element on a farm. But the third episode finds the contestants in a venue that’s pretty familiar for Guy.

In the above sneak-peek photo it appears Rachael and Guy are discussing the dishes in front of them, when all of a sudden they’re distracted by something. Whatever it is, it’s enough to draw a look from Guy and crack up Rachael. What did someone say to Rachael and Guy? What did Guy say in response? Will the teams be able to handle the challenge or will they give up?

Write your best caption

Dips, Lightened Up

by , January 18th, 2013

hot crab dip
Creamy blue cheese, artichoke and other cheesy dips can sabotage your waistline long before the main course even begins. Lighten up these bad boys with a few quick tricks—they’ll still taste fantastic.

Nutrition Facts
Folks LOVE to take their ve...

Read more

Pork Goulash With Apple and Onion — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, January 18th, 2013

Pork Goulash With Apple and OnionOne of my long-held theories about life is that most people fall into one of two entertaining camps. You are either dinner party people or potluck people. If you’re a dinner party person, the nights when you have friends over are well-orchestrated. You make the entire meal or if you delegate parts of it, you give specific recipe assignments. Wine and beer is planned, purchased in advance and appropriately chilled. Tables are set sometime in the afternoon and there’s always a carefully arranged cheeseboard.

Potluck people are less concerned with the details. They issue an invitation to gather without carefully balancing the numbers of couples and singles. They don’t make the whole meal but instead announce the main dish they’ll be providing and then ask guests to fill in the blanks as they see them. If asked to comment on whether a dish might go well with the planned menu, the answer is always a happy-go-lucky “Sure!”

I have long been a potluck person. I love eating with friends, but rarely can I be bothered with the worry of formal guest lists or long hours of prep time. I am married to someone, however, who is more comfortable when the details are firmly nailed down and so I found myself throwing a very uncharacteristic dinner party last Saturday night.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

The Many Faces of Chopped Judges

by in Shows, January 18th, 2013

Chopped JudgesWhether they’re smiling, cringing, panicked about diminishing time on the clock or just stumped by a use of ingredient or technique, all nine of the Chopped judges have very telling faces.

Browse through a gallery of some of the best Chopped judge face-moments captured throughout the seasons.

Read more

What to Watch: A Weekend of Classic Recipes and Culinary Competition

by in Shows, January 18th, 2013

Guy's Big BiteThis weekend it’s all about cooking classic recipes with a twist, budget-friendly ideas and hard-core competition on Food Network.

On Saturday, both Paula Deen and Trisha Yearwood have a few Southern classics to share with friends and family. On Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s still on vacation in California and she’s meeting up with Tyler Florence for a date, then it’s off to a picnic with Jeffrey. On Giada at Home, Giada’s sharing her budgeting tips for making three meals out of one chicken.

Start Sunday morning off with a Cuban feast on Guy’s Big Bite. In the evening it’s off to the diner on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off followed by an international battle on Iron Chef America.

Read about the shows