Celebrated chefs from around the country have entered Season 4 of the Chopped All-Stars tournament for a chance to walk away victorious. For many it’s not their first time setting foot in the hallowed kitchen, but for others it’s their first attempt at cooking with and transforming mystery basket ingredients. On the line is the largest prize yet, $75,000 for charity. In Part 2 Anne Burrell, Dale Talde, Hung Huynh and Mary Sue Milliken brought their best game to the competition, but in the end it all came down to the one who best dealt with the baskets. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Part 2 winner.
Just like the macaroni necklace and the finger-painted masterpieces you gave her years ago, something homemade is always the key to Mom’s heart, especially on Mother’s Day. Before you place that order for another wilted, mass-produced delivery bouquet, stake out your kitchen to make an opulent homemade gift that will make Mom weep with joy: a cake. Frosted or naked, tiered or single-story, boxed-up or sliced on the spot, each of these decadent cakes is a thing of beauty that shows Mom how you feel with every slice.
Ree Drummond’s Strawberry Shortcake Cake (pictured above) oozes with sweet strawberries, and we can’t cut into this cream cheese-frosted beauty soon enough. Instead of plunging candles in it like it’s her birthday, present it to Mom with plump strawberries nestled in the icing for a most-beautiful celebratory cake. Plus, with a bit of help, even Mom’s little ones can get involved in the creation of this cake. Ree’s girls helped with each of the steps.
Some news that may leave you unsure whether to applaud or duck, to feel hungry or terrified: The University of Nebraska-Omaha has announced that the new $80 million sports arena it is building with many fancy features (cushioned seats, state-of-the-art scoreboards and HD video screens) will also boast … a taco cannon.
Yup, we’re talking about a cannon that shoots tacos, sending them careening through the air in all their messy glory and straight into the hands and mouths of the hungry game-attending crowd.
Chicago pride was on display last night at the 25th James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, which have temporarily migrated from New York for a three-year run at the Windy City’s Lyric Opera. The ceremony’s host, Food Network’s own Alton Brown, may be a Southerner, but he was joined on stage by gala co-chairs Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan, three of Chicago’s greatest chefs. Rich Melman, founder of prolific Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award with a speech packed with pride for his hometown. Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the city’s food scene on the red carpet and in remarks on stage. When Food Network asked the mayor if he had any favorite places to travel outside of Chicago for great food, he didn’t miss a beat in retorting, “Yeah, Chicago!” And every time Chicago took home an award, the opera house boomed with cheers. Read more
Along with blueberries, broccoli and salmon, quinoa is a known superfood that’s chock-full of good-for-you protein and vitamins, and like kale, it’s having a bit of an “in” moment. From soups and salads to next-level side dishes, quinoa is showing up on restaurant menus everywhere, and you’ve surely seen it in go-to recipes from some of your favorite chefs. On its own, quinoa has a mild, nutty flavor, which makes it a natural pairing with many different flavors and ingredients. Spicy, sweet, crunchy and cheesy — they all complement classic quinoa dishes, most of which come together quickly and simply.
Ina Garten takes a Mediterranean staple — the tabbouleh salad — with fresh mint and parsley, and bulks it up in the form of filling quinoa. Her big-batch recipe can be made days ahead, then mixed with tangy feta just before serving.
For me, frozen spinach is like the little black dress that goes with everything. It makes my scrambled eggs even heartier, brings a little green to my pastas dishes and adds a veggie punch to my main dishes in no time. Unless I plan to eat it raw in a salad, I never buy the fresh stuff because, if you ask me, frozen spinach is the perfect vegetable. There, I said it. It’s always on hand, it works in nearly any dish and it doesn’t shrink into nothing like the fresh stuff does when it’s cooked. Instead of going for the brick, I can’t resist adding one of the plastic, resealable bags of chopped frozen spinach to my shopping cart whenever I make a trip to the supermarket. Thanks to frozen spinach’s versatility and convenience, it is definitely a supermarket staple you need to reconsider.
1. It can take you from morning to noon to night.
Spinach can add a dose of green to anything it touches, and it’s versatile enough for breakfast, lunch or dinner. No matter the hour, get your spinach fix with a homemade frittata, a classic eggy dish that can be devoured whenever. Though Trisha Yearwood’s Spinach Frittata (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine calls for the fresh stuff, thawed frozen spinach will do just fine.
We’re big on birthdays here in the Food Network offices. It’s a time when we all preheat our ovens, pull out our mixers and bake something special for our co-workers. But that whole birthday cake thing? It’s been done. We’re here to prove that there’s more to birthdays than birthday cake — and our treats don’t need to be sweet either. Instead of agonizing over the perfect gift, remember that all a birthday boy or girl needs is a little something homemade to know how much you care.
This month we’re celebrating May birthdays with pie — a whole lot of pie. Maybe it’s because we’re creeping closer to summer (or we’re just a little pie-obsessed), but we can think of no better way to celebrate the May baby in your life than with one of these beauties. These freshly baked recipes still work as the perfect foundation for a lit candle, meaning you can keep that tradition alive with these unconventional birthday treats.
Spicy honey — honey that has been infused with chili peppers — has increasingly become a hot commodity on the condiment scene. There’s Mike’s Hot Honey, launched in 2011, and MixedMade’s Bees Knees Spicy Honey, which made its debut in 2014. Both are made in Brooklyn (natch) and can be used to liven up foods like pizza, chicken, cheeses, fruits, veggies or baked goods (“even ice cream,” Mike’s suggests) — or crank up the flavor in your cocktail. Now, a saucy new hot-sweet syrup is set to share hot honey’s spotlight: spicy maple syrup.
The bright colors and seasonal produce packed into this quick-fix dish are a sure sign that it’s practically singing with springtime flavor — and the fact that the word “spring” is baked into the recipe title doesn’t hurt either. Food Network Magazine’s Pasta Primavera with Beets, Radishes and Radicchio (primavera means “spring” in Italian) comes together simply and in a hurry thanks to one key timesaving shortcut: precooked beets. When you’re shopping the grocery store, look for vacuum-packed cooked beets; using these instead of buying raw beets (then roasting and peeling them at home), will shave at least an hour off of dinnertime prep.
When it comes to the sauce for this satisfying pasta, simple is best. Sweet red onions and garlic form the flavor base, while the vinegar-laced beets, peppery radishes and crunchy radicchio combine to create an over-the-top mash-up of tastes and textures. For a welcome pop of green as well as a fragrant finish, toss the pasta with chopped basil, plus ricotta salata for an indulgent bite.
Spring is definitely here, and while most of us are settling into baseball season, going on picnics or starting that gauntlet that exists between spring break and summer vacation, the remaining seven bakers on Spring Baking Championship are back in the kitchen and getting ready to bake some honey sweetness. It’s always interesting to see how the bakers react in week 2. One of their fellow bakers has been eliminated and now it is very real. You can be asked to walk the plank at any moment, but that $50,000 is that much closer to being yours. The level of competition just got steeper.