One-on-One With the Latest Blue Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, February 17th, 2013

Chef Bobby Flay and the Blue TeamFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

One-on-One With the Latest Red Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, February 17th, 2013

Chef Anne Burrell and the Red TeamFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

Beyond the Chopped Basket: What to Make With Pine Nuts

by in Shows, February 17th, 2013

Roasted AsparagusSo often on Chopped we see chef contestants open their mystery baskets to find such odd, uncommon and downright scary ingredients — precooked 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 Grand Finale competition, the focus is now on pine nuts, which made an appearance in the appetizer basket alongside pig ears, ramps and apple strudel.

As you may have guessed, pine nuts do in fact come from pine trees, as they’re the tiny (think pinky-nail size) seeds that grow inside pinecones. Untoasted pine nuts are a light yellow-cream color and boast a buttery, slightly chewy texture. After warming in a pan, however, pine nuts become a golden hue and offer a crunchy bite to greens, grains, pasta and more. Given their small size, pine nuts are often left whole when mixed in salads or served atop vegetables, but they can also be ground into sauces or vinaigrettes. Read on below to find traditional and creative ways to cook with this must-try ingredient, then browse these insider photos from the Champions finale to relive each course of the battle.

Food Network Magazine‘s simple Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) turns out deliciously tender every time, but thanks to a topping of pine nuts, parsley and lemon juice, this top-rated recipe features a crunchy texture and fresh, vibrant taste as well. Serve this in-season vegetable with light fish, hearty meat and more to complete your meal in only 20 quick minutes.

Keep reading for more recipes

Cheesy Broccoli Soup — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 17th, 2013

The Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Broccoli SoupIf you’re looking to switch up your soup routine, but still need to get dinner on the table fast, try this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Cheesy Broccoli Soup. With just a handful of everyday ingredients, Ree Drummond creates a hearty, comforting soup filled with fresh broccoli and creamy cheese that will be ready to serve in just 45 minutes.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Munching Made Simple: Easy Snacks for Kids to Savor

by in Family, Recipes, February 16th, 2013

Homemade Granola BarsNo matter how hearty a lunch they may have had, when the clock strikes 4 pm, it’s hard for kids — and kids at heart — not to want an afternoon snack. Instead of settling for everyday chips or candy on account of convenience, give them homemade versions of traditional munchies like granola bars and crackers or creative takes on classic picks that include fruit and milk and are a cinch to prepare. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite snack recipes below, then browse Food Network for more ideas on cooking for kids.

While some boxed granola bars are so chock-full of chocolate and cookies that they seem more like desserts than snacks, Ina’s Homemade Granola Bars (pictured above) boast a subtle sweetness without disappointing on flavor. She combines old-fashioned oats, crunchy almonds and coconut with a trio of dried fruits to create a five-star pick that’s deliciously easy to eat with little hands. The key to making Ina’s recipe is prepping the buttery vanilla honey; this simple mixture will help the ingredients stick together and allow the bars to hold their shape.

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Melissa’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Grand Finale

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 16th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabianby Melissa d’Arabian

It’s the finale, so I’m tempted to give myself longer than 30 seconds to pick my menu. But I won’t. So here go the final Chopped Champions baskets:

Appetizer basket: pig ears, ramps, pine nuts and apple strudel

Two tricky ingredients in this one – pig ears and ramps. Just kidding. Apple strudel? Yikes. My mind races first to April Bloomfield’s gorgeous cookbook A Girl and Her Pig, and I am inspired to fry up the pig ears. How will they get tender so quickly? By boiling, slicing very thinly, dipping in batter and frying. I get the ears into the boiling water, which I salt. And then I turn my attention to the strudel. I make a quick decision to separate the phyllo from the apple filling and turn it into two ingredients. I crisp up the phyllo in the oven and make strips for a panzanella (bread salad). I caramelize the ramps, toast the pine nuts and blend up the apple filling with apple cider vinegar and olive oil for a vinaigrette. Chop up bitter greens, toss with the pine nuts, ramps, dressing and maybe some sweet yellow tomato if available. Top with my strudel strips and fried ear “cracklings.” Simple.

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And Now, a Toast…

by in Entertaining, Food Network Magazine, February 16th, 2013

toasts

Have some fun at your next dinner party and serve a cheese course with toast shaped like goats, cows and sheep to match the milk each cheese was made from. Just butter slices of dense bread like rye, raisin walnut or pumpernickel, then cut out the animals (we found cutters at cookiecutter.com) and toast them in the oven. Spread the goat toast with Humboldt Fog, Bucheron or chevre, top the cows with Gruyere, Gouda or aged cheddar and top the sheep with manchego, Roquefort or pecorino toscano.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

Culinary Quiz: How Well Would You Fare at Worst Cooks Boot Camp?

by in Shows, February 16th, 2013

Worst Cooks in AmericaIn this all-new fifth season of Worst Cooks in America, 14 culinary recruits are in for the kitchen Boot Camp of their lives, as Chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay work to transform them into capable, confident cooks who can turn out winning meals with ease. But before one can be crowned the best of the worst of the kitchen, they’ll have to endure seven weeks of hands-on training covering even the most elementary culinary know-how.

For many watching the competition unfold at home, it’s easy to think that you’d fare far better than the recruits if tested with the same challenges of Boot Camp. But would you really succeed where others have fallen? FN Dish is giving you the opportunity to assess your critical culinary thinking and the extent of your cooking chops. Take the quiz below to find out how well you’d manage in the kitchen with Chefs Anne and Bobby, then watch this exclusive video to see how the Worst Cooks recruits answered when they were asked quiz questions.

Take the quiz now