Plums — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, January 28th, 2013

Iron Chef America Battle PlumThere is rarely a time when the large bowl in my kitchen is not filled with whatever fruity delights are in season. And when I’m worn out by my travels, it’s a delicious piece of fruit that I crave more than anything else to restore my good humor.

Of the many different types of fruit I love, it is the appearance of sweet, juicy plums at my local farmers’ market that excites me the most. This is not only because they are so good when eaten raw, but also because I love to cook with them.

I definitely picked up some new ideas for my kitchen from Iron Chef Symon and his recent challenger, Chef Tio, and I hope they will inspire you too to make even more of the huge variety of plums available today.

What are plums?

Plums, or prunus domestica, are part of the family of drupe fruits. This is a genus of plant where the seed is protected by a hard shell and, just like plums, includes peaches, cherries and almonds.

Simon breaks down the Secret Ingredient

An Interview With the Latest Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Castoff

by in Shows, January 27th, 2013

Johnny and Carnie
Rachael vs. GuyEvery Sunday night, FN Dish gives you the exclusive exit interview with the latest castoff from Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the competition show that features celebrities cooking their way through challenges for a chance to win the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for their chosen charity. This season will have the celebrities facing real-life situations — far from the glamour of the red carpet — and will test more than just their cooking skills.

On tonight’s episode, the remaining five celebrities found themselves in a challenge that would test not only their ability to cater for a crowd, but to please even the pickiest of eaters: kids. Each team had to cater a separate kids’ party and make sure they were cooking foods that their clients actually liked. Each celebrity had to make one savory and one sweet dish with 30 servings each. At the end of the day, the result of the challenge proved to be one of the most surprising yet.

Find out which celebrity was eliminated

Cookies-and-Cream Cake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 27th, 2013

Cookies and Cream CakeFood Network Magazine is kicking off 2013 with a year’s worth of birthday cakes and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week shines a spotlight on the month of May with a Cookies-and-Cream Cake. The crushed cookies on the outside of this cake are a hint at what’s inside: The cake layers are filled with crushed cookies and white chocolate frosting.

For more recipe inspiration for desserts that impress, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake Board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Cookies-and-Cream Cake

Glycemic Index 101

by , January 27th, 2013

cereal
You’ve most likely heard of it, but do you really know what it’s all about? Get some education about what the glycemic index is and if you can use it to help make better dietary choices.

What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is an ...

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Beyond the Chopped Basket: What to Make With Quinoa

by in Shows, January 27th, 2013

Herbed QuinoaSo 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-2 competition, the focus is now on quinoa, which made an appearance in the entree round alongside squab, karela and peanut butter and jelly spread.

Extremely similar in taste and texture to the red quinoa that was featured on Champions, white quinoa boasts a subtle nutty flavor and becomes chewy-tender when cooked. These tiny morsels — a bit smaller than couscous — look and feel like a grain, but they’re actually seeds from a plant closely related to spinach. To become soft, quinoa needs time to simmer in liquid, which is why several of the Chopped competitors struggled to fully cook their variety in such a short amount of time. When it’s ready to eat, quinoa bursts open, shedding fine, slightly crunchy spirals to reveal a light, fluffy superfood that’s packed with protein and good-for-you nutrients. Since quinoa absorbs the liquid in which it’s cooked, try boiling it in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor; if you don’t have broth on hand, just add a few drips of lemon juice to water to take the taste to the next delicious level.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a 16-Piece Bonbon Collection for Valentine’s Day From Chuao Chocolatier

by in Contests, Holidays, January 26th, 2013

Aphrodisiac Collection from Chuao ChocolatierThere are boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate — and then there are boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate. There is such a thing as chocolate that will make your significant other’s heart melt. That starts with wild bonbon combinations like chipotle caramel fudge with popping candy and sea salt, or salt butter caramel infused with fresh rosemary (a favorite) and sweet strawberry caramel with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Chuao Chocolatier has put together an assortment of aphrodisiac-infused bonbons and truffles for the upcoming holiday and now they’re giving FN Dish readers a chance to win one.

You can buy your own aphrodisiac box of Chuao Chocolate here or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us the most unique chocolate combination you’ve ever had. If you haven’t had one, tell us which combination from Chuao you’d want to try the most. We’re giving away aphrodisiac bonbon collections to five lucky, randomly selected commenters.

Read official rules before entering

10 Fun Facts About Chef Wanted’s Host and Mentor Anne Burrell

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 26th, 2013

Anne BurrellAnne Burrell may be known to most Food Network fans as the force behind her show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, or the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Cook Like a Rock Star. But did you know that Anne Burrell was once a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education? After cooking at a Michelin one-star restaurant in Italy and New York hot spots Felidia, Savoy and Centro Vinoteca, she took the opportunity to spread her culinary knowledge and passion as a teacher and mentor to students.

On January 31 (10pm/9c), Anne Burrell will be putting her mentor hat back on as she helps top restaurants find an executive chef — the critical employee who can make or break a restaurant — on Chef Wanted. Each week, Anne Burrell will put four candidates through the toughest job interview of their lives, testing everything from their culinary mettle to business acumen. It all ends with the biggest test of all: running the restaurant.

Before it all starts, get to know Chef Anne Burrell better with these fun facts:

1. She’s helped Mario Batali (one of her own most influential mentors) compete in more than 20 Iron Chef America battles as his sous chef.

2. Chef Anne Burrell first met Mario Batali in a wine shop.

3. You’ll never catch Anne eating calf’s liver.

4. She can’t live without a food mill.

5. She would go crazy if she had to work in an office.

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4th-Quarter Desserts — Football Fare

by in Recipes, January 26th, 2013

Pull Apart Touchdown CupcakesCome the fourth quarter of the big game, when the last bit of meat has been chewed off the chicken wings, the bowl of chips is dotted with just measly crumbs and nothing is left of the tray of sliders, only one thing remains: your sweet tooth. After a long afternoon of deliciously salty, savory snacking, it’s about time you dig into a game-day dessert to take off the sweet edge, right? Curb that craving at last by shifting the focus from hearty meats and cool dips to must-try baked treats and chilly ice cream sundaes with these must-try recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Alton, Paula and Giada.

Perhaps the ultimate game-day dessert, Food Network Kitchens’ Pull Apart Touchdown Cupcakes (pictured above) bring the football field to life with an edible landscape complete with end zones, a 50-yard line, a miniature football and rival players that is impressively realistic. To create, start with a batch of two dozen chocolate chip-studded cupcakes, then when they’ve cooled, get to work on setting the scene. If you’re baking with little ones, let them help you decorate these light, fluffy cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting, a blanket of grass-colored sprinkles, white-icing yard lines and colorful gummy “players.” You can get as creative as you’d like with the assembly, but remember, even if your final product looks more like an oblong hockey rink than a rectangular football field, this easy-to-eat dessert will still be satisfyingly sweet and a sure-fire win with your party guests.

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You Won’t Catch Jeff Mauro Eating This Food

by in Food Network Chef, January 25th, 2013

Jeff MauroWe recently caught up with Jeff and asked him about the recent baskets featured on the second episode of Chopped Champions. Just like with Justin, Melissa and Sunny, everyone has ideas about what they would do if they were given the baskets themselves. But what if you were faced with an ingredient that you detested in one of the baskets? That’s what Jeff would have encountered in the dessert round when the basket consisted of Mitmita, Sauternes, cottage cheese and cream-filled snack cakes. So which ingredient keeps Jeff 10 feet away?

“Cottage cheese holds the number one place on my personal no-no list. I’ve never consumed it and never will. My brother Frank loves the stuff and he used to chase me around the house with a near-empty bowl of it. Just the sight of those few remaining curds in the bowl would send me screaming into the bathroom, where I would frantically lock myself in.”

So what would Jeff do if he were given this specific Chopped basket? “Needless to say, I would throw in the towel on this one!”

Now it’s your turn: What’s the one food you won’t touch? Do you share Jeff’s feelings about cottage cheese? Share your answer in the comment section below.