Giada’s 5-Ingredient Pesto Pasta — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 13th, 2015

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato PestoLike a traditional pesto sauce, Giada De Laurentiis’ easy-to-make recipe (pictured above) boasts a basil base and comes together with only a handful of ingredients in a matter of minutes, but there’s one key difference: It’s not tinted green, which is a usually a hallmark of classic pesto preparations. This one features a crimson-colored hue on account of the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which Giada incorporates to guarantee over-the-top taste and texture.

To make sure her sauce is packed with flavor, Giada opts for the sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in olive oil, which ensures that they’ve picked up some of the oil’s naturally fruity flavor. She simply whirls the tomatoes with the fragrant fresh herbs and garlic to create a speedy sauce. Perhaps best of all, though, is that like a tried-and-true pesto, this sauce doesn’t need to be cooked; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will be enough to warm the pesto before serving. Follow Giada’s lead and save a bit of the pasta water after cooking the noodles, as you may need it to loosen the sauce.

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“Yeah, It’s Quite Uncomfortable. That’s Why We Do These Things” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, April 12th, 2015

It’s one thing to watch Cutthroat Kitchen competitors endure the hilariously evilicious sabotages that have been dealt them, but it’s another to attempt those challenges for yourself, experiencing the struggles they did firsthand and learning to bear them as best you can. As the judges learn on Alton’s After-Show what diabolical situations have led to chefs’ finished dishes, even they are wowed by the lengths to which sabotages have forced contestants to go just to cook a seemingly simple meal. For Jet Tila tonight, that surprise came when he tried his hand — or, rather, his foot — at wearing a 30-pound rum barrel.

“It’s really heavy,” Jet admitted, strapped into the contraption and feebly making his way around the kitchen. Alton Brown agreed that this was indeed a doozy of a sabotage; as he told Jet, “Of all the things I wouldn’t want, wearing that barrel … that’s physically grueling.” But when Jet told him just how “quite uncomfortable” this challenge was,” Alton was quick to remind him that such is the nature of the Cutthroat beast. “Yeah, it’s quite uncomfortable,” said Alton. “That’s why we do these things.”

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Woman Bites Into Oyster, Finds 51 Pearls

by in News, April 12th, 2015

Woman Bites Into Oyster, Finds 51 PearlsIf you’ve ever bitten into an oyster and discovered a pearl, you probably felt pretty lucky (once you got past the initial tooth-jarring alarm). But a diner at a restaurant in Franklin, Tenn., got lucky 51 times over with a single oyster.

Toni Elliott – a big oyster fan — was enjoying her lunch order of fried oysters a couple of weeks ago at Puckett’s Boat House when she discovered one, then two … and ultimately 51 tiny, shiny pearls in the final oyster on her plate.

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How to Make Blondies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, April 12th, 2015

How to Make BlondiesYou know you love brownies, but have you ever indulged in a blondie, the sandy-colored cousin of the brownie and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week? Like brownies, blondies are bar-shaped and turn out rich and chewy, but they lack a signature brownie ingredient: cocoa powder. When making Food Network Kitchen’s Blondies recipe, it’s up to you if you want to add a touch of chocolate decadence by mixing in a handful of chocolate chips; butterscotch chips would work well too.

For more dessert inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: How to Make Blondies 

The Very First Meal You Should Eat Outside: Springtime Garden Party Menu

by in Recipes, April 12th, 2015

Spring PizzasHey, you wanna take this thing outside?

Before you lose your cool, we’re not picking a fight with you. In fact, we just really, really want to get outside already. As spring begins to set in, think of this time as an excuse to throw a gathering in the great outdoors and plan an alfresco party anywhere from the garden or your backyard to the park or your patio. As for the menu, we’ve got that part covered with fresh, celebratory recipes that are just begging to be taken outside.

To start, graze on veggie-topped Spring Pizzas (pictured above) that couldn’t be easier to make. Stretch store-bought pizza dough into mini rounds for a fresh take on your usual sauce-and-cheese pizza. Topped with ramps, scallions and other in-season treats, Alex Guarnaschelli’s ricotta-and-Parmesan-topped individual pies are invigorated with fresh basil and lemon zest. Cut them into triangles for an easy outdoor appetizer.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Herb to Cook With?

by in Polls, Shows, April 11th, 2015

HerbsMuch like spices, herbs are easy ways to add bold punches of flavor to dishes without much effort. While dried herbs can handle the long cooking times of slow-simmering sauces, like marinara or cacciatore, fresh herbs are delicate, so it’s often best to hold those until just before serving; otherwise they may darken in color. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast took advantage of the warmer springtime weather to shed a light on what it takes to grow fresh herbs at home in a simple-to-maintain kitchen garden. When it comes to fragrant picks like parsley and cilantro, Jeff Mauro puts those beauties to work in a chimichurri, which he uses to dress up a classic hanger steak.

FN Dish wants to know — whether you prefer fresh herbs grown at home or just pick up jars of the dried stuff from the supermarket — which variety of herb is your all-time favorite. Do you prefer the citrus-based scent of thyme or the woodsy smell of rosemary? Are you a fan of the floral flavors of fresh lavender, or is basil your best bet? Cast your vote in the poll below.

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How to Dine Out: Eat Sushi Like a Pro

by in Restaurants, April 11th, 2015

Our all-new Web series, How to Dine Out, is full of tips and tricks that’ll help you dine like a regular, wherever you eat. First up, grab a seat at the sushi bar for a three-minute lowdown on the basics of sushi vs. sashimi, maki vs. nigiri and the all-important chopstick etiquette.

Check out more episodes of How to Dine Out. You might get inspired to try a new restaurant, or learn something new about your favorite cuisine. But you’ll definitely leave hungry.

Plus, find out about the New York City restaurants where we shot the series.

Our Faves of Your #FoodNetworkFaves: Sticky-Sweet Treats Edition

by in Community, April 10th, 2015

Sticky CollageNo matter your Instagram following, your filtering prowess or your like-to-minute ratio, nothing truly proves #deliciousness like an old-fashioned, ready-set-go contest. Every other week, we’re coming your way in search of the greatest creations made in your very own kitchen. When we call out the theme on Instagram, put your cooking skills to the test by whipping up your go-to Food Network recipe, snapping a photo and tagging #FoodNetworkFaves for your chance to be featured on FN Dish!

This time around, we were on the search for the stickiest, gooiest baked treats you could muster. We’re talkin’ glossy cinnamon rolls laced with vanilla, caramel-cloaked confections so sticky they cling to your fork — anything that’ll have us lickin’ our fingers in sweet, sweet glee. When we took a scroll through our feed, visions of buns, rolls and cakes galore popped up, looking so good we wished we were downing them ourselves.

Without further ado, we present this week’s #FoodNetworkFaves winners!

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Why Toast Is On-Trend

by in Food Network Magazine, April 10th, 2015

toast recipesWhy is toast so trendy? The simple combination of mashed avocado on toast has become somewhat of a social media phenomenon (just search #avocadotoast on Instagram). And these days it’s not unheard of to pay upward of $4 for a slice. Is it worth the hype? The verdict of Food Network Kitchen staffers: Yes.

Each issue of Food Network Magazine includes a booklet of 50 themed recipes (March was all about meatballs). This month’s 50 Toasts one of the test kitchen staff’s favorite booklets — ever. “We really enjoyed developing and tasting both savory and sweet recipes. When brainstorming, we had over 100 ideas. Who knows — maybe [there will be] 50 Toasts 2.0? We certainly wouldn’t mind!” says recipe tester Vivian Chang.

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What to Watch: Entertaining Tips and Family Fun, Plus an Elimination Cook-Off on All-Star Academy

by in Shows, April 10th, 2015

All-Star AcademyStart your weekend off with new episodes of The Kitchen and Giada at Home this Saturday on Food Network. First, the cast of The Kitchen shares ideas for easy on-the-go snacks and tricks for adding healthy foods to your favorite desserts, and get entertaining tips from Cooking Channel’s Tiffani Thiessen. Next up, Giada De Laurentiis is hosting a star-themed party on Giada at Home with great appetizers, Chocolate Amaretti Cookies and an astrologist to amuse her guests.

On Sunday, watch as Damaris Phillips preps a Southern meal for an at-home spa day with the family on Southern at Heart. It’s a family bonding day on Farmhouse Rules also as Nancy Fuller cooks up a meal for her daughter and grandchildren. At night, tune in for three hours of back-to-back competition. Watch contestants try to make a meal using only one ingredient from each store aisle on Guy’s Grocery Games, four home chefs battle for a spot in the final three for next week’s finale of All-Star Academy, and chefs work the diner counter on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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