Earlier this week, FN Dish caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli for a Facebook chat about Season 3 of Chopped All-Stars. Alex answered questions about what it’s like to compete and what it’s like to be a judge. She also chatted about her cooking and shared a favorite recipe from her recently released debut cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food.
Some of the mystery basket ingredients that get used on Chopped are pretty unusual, to say the least. But the culinary producers who come up with them don’t just draw them out of a hat — though sometimes it does seem that way! They take their time to decide on the ingredients, making sure the basket components are just right and actually manageable. FN Dish queried the culinary producers to find out the top 16 weirdest basket ingredients they’ve had on the show. The list of ingredients ranged from goat brains to gummy eggs over easy — almost no ingredient is off-limits.
Now it’s up to you, Chopped fans, to vote on the ingredient you think is the weirdest of them all in this four-round bracket tournament, which coincides with the new season of Chopped All-Stars.
May Madness hits Food Network this spring as Iron Chefs battle it out — one-on-one — in the first-ever Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions. With five episodes and a panel of revolving judges, the tournament features high-stakes, bracket-style battles between the best of the best in the culinary world. The tournament begins Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c with a face-off between the two newest Iron Chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Fixing a bowl of raisin-laced quinoa and calling it dinner just won’t do. Yes, many wholesome grains are packed with protein and all that good stuff, but they’re that much better when things are kept balanced. With this fleet of recipe combinations, your grain-based sides are not just an afterthought; they’re a fluid and integral part of your meal.
A Tupperware of some-sort-of-quinoa-salad may be all the rage at lunchtime these days, but quinoa is much more exciting when it’s transitioned to the dinner table. Food Network Magazine‘s Spice-Rubbed Pork With Quinoa and its Scallops With Citrus and Quinoa are both sophisticated and relatively light, and the grain itself is prepared very simply.
Couscous works wonders when combined with shellfish. Sandra Lee whips up a homemade basil-walnut pesto for her Shrimp Scampi Over Pesto Couscous, and Food Network Magazine’s Greek Shrimp and Couscous integrates the grain with a sauce brimming in tomatoes, fennel and feta. The chefs in Food Network Kitchens aren’t kidding with this 20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce (pictured above) — this dish comes out quick. Store-bought Greek yogurt and hummus make for an easy dipping sauce when blended, while the whole-wheat couscous is studded with dried apricots.
Combine a soft cheese, like goat cheese or ricotta, with chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grated garlic or a favorite condiment to make a quick sandwich spread. (Food Network Magazine mixed goat cheese with hot sauce and pepitas for the Ham and Goat Cheese Sandwich pictured above.) You can also use the spread on crostini, or dollop it onto hot pasta for a fun, fast dinner.
You don’t need to prepare a three-course meal to be a good host(ess). You don’t even need to plan far in advance. When gathering friends for a last-minute soiree, snacks are the way to go. So skip the forks and knives, and stick to simple appetizers you can eat with your hands. It’s more fun that way, anyway.
Trisha Yearwood’s Charleston Cheese Dip is a new go-to party snack. Topped with crispy bacon and buttery crackers, it’s an obvious crowd-pleaser. It’s also wallet friendly, so if you don’t already have the ingredients on hand, you won’t break the bank running to the store. Served warm and loaded with three types of cheese, this no-fuss recipe will please even the pickiest of palates.
The next time your place becomes the destination to watch the big game or the newest episode of your favorite show, don’t hide yourself in the kitchen. With Trisha’s decadent cheese dip, you’ll earn yourself the best spot on the couch.
Every Tuesday, Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star Season 8, is back remixing the Chopped All-Stars baskets as seen in the episode Sunday night in pure Justin Warner style: edgy, intense, passionate and full of wit. If you’ve ever watched an episode and found yourself yelling at the TV, “I would have made this and that instead!” then these are the posts for you.
by Justin Warner
Welcome back to the Rebel Remix, where yours truly will attempt to simulate via text what I would do in the chef shoes of this week’s contestants.
Appetizer basket: Veggie terrine, galangal, banana bread and mango juice
Oh, veggie terrine, you hideous mess. Flavor-wise you aren’t a danger, but what can we possibly do to divert the judge’s attention from your repulsive pigmentation? The answer: Put a banana-bread bag over your head. This basket has a definitive tropical feel to it, aside from the veggie terrine, but the terrine’s carrot flavors will work very nicely with the galangal (kinda like a wicked stepmother of ginger), and banana bread will fit in with mango juice like the Chiquita banana lady would fit in at Carnival. Start by freezing the terrine so we can cut it into batons more easily. Next we’ll make a sauce by chopping up the galangal and adding it to the mango juice. Put this mix on the stove and get it reducing ASAP.