The Bar Approach: Rachael’s Choice for Easy Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, March 11th, 2015

Rachael Ray and Guy CusimanoWhen it comes to hosting a party at home, there are two groups of people: those who panic and those who prepare. If the mere thought of cooking for a crowd sends you into cold sweats, chances are you’re part of the first group, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes to be prepared for your next big bash is having a plan for the meal, and for that, Rachael Ray likes the bar approach.

During a live demo with her husband at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival last month, Rachael dished on what she calls “a cheap and cheerful way to entertain.” She set up a bar of fixings for her chicken fajitas, like lettuce, radishes, cheese and crema, and explained that when re-creating the meal at home, each guest could be responsible for bringing just one portion of the spread. “Everybody can participate,” she said. That means that instead of all the pressures of the party — the shopping, the cooking, the plating (and the panic) — being put on you, the host, your friends can help out by contributing to the meal. And with everyone creating their own versions of their ultimate meal, like fajitas or tacos or pizza, you can be sure that each guest will get exactly what he or she wants.

Read more

Jack Nicklaus Takes a Shot at the Ice Cream Market

by in News, March 10th, 2015

Jack Niklaus Ice CreamFore! Jack Nicklaus is taking a big swing at a new venture: He’s launching his own line of premium ice cream.

The legendary professional golfer, now 75, has teamed up with Minnesota-based frozen food maker The Schwan Food Company to bring pints of Jack Nicklaus-branded ice cream to supermarket chains including Winn Dixie, Bi-Lo and Kroger. The ice cream, which sells for $2 and features the golfer’s smiling visage and a cute little gold bear on the label (a reference to Nicklaus’ nickname), will be available in seven flavors: Warm Spiced Butter Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Salted Caramel Toffee, Strawberry Lemonade, Triple Chocolate, Coffee and Donuts, and Homemade Vanilla.

Read more

8 Kid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Return of Asparagus Season

by in Family, March 10th, 2015

Roasted AsparagusIf asparagus isn’t on your kids’ list of approved foods (it could be!), try a bridge ingredient to help them warm up to those in-season stalks. That means, serve asparagus with another favorite food or flavor, or prepare it using a technique you know they like. Find out how to pair asparagus with bacon, lemon, Parmesan cheese and more.

Ina Garten’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above): Roasted vegetables are always a hit with my four kids, so it’s a no-brainer that we’d try Ina’s fan-favorite recipe for asparagus.

Read more

QUIZ: Which Chopped Judge Are You?

by in Shows, March 10th, 2015

Chopped judgesWhen it comes to the judges of Chopped, Tuesdays 10|9c, they definitely have their own distinctive personalities, and it’s most evident just by the way they deliver the bad news to unsuspecting chefs at the chopping block. If you’ve ever found yourself siding with one judge over the other — especially when there’s a heated disagreement pertaining to the correct use of a mystery basket ingredient — you’re not alone. You’ve probably thought to yourself you could easily hang with one of them. Well, now’s your chance to find out with whom you share the most in common.

Take the Quiz Now

When All Else Fails, Make Pasta

by in Recipes, March 10th, 2015

Marinara SauceConsider making that phrase — “when all else fails, make pasta” — your new life mantra. Easy to prepare, inexpensive and a staple in most people’s pantries, pasta is the ultimate oh-man-I-need-dinner-on-the-table-like-right-now meal, and it’s equally adored by kids and adults alike. Perhaps best of all, some of the most-classic sauces require only two or three ingredients, and many don’t even need to be cooked — only warmed with the heat of the pasta — so dinner can be on the table in as little time as it takes to boil a pot of water. Read on below for six pasta staples you’ll want to make again and again.

Make Ina Garten’s Marinara Sauce once, then commit the recipe to memory, because this workhorse of a sauce will save dinnertime over and over again. Simply prepared in one pan but boasting a rich, full flavor, thanks to a splash of red wine and fresh chopped herbs, this sauce will shine atop your family’s favorite noodle, ravioli or tortellini.

Read more

Some Things Get Better with Age: 10 Foods to Eat As Leftovers

by in Recipes, March 9th, 2015

Turkey MeatloafAs the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. Though fresh, hot meals are put on a pedestal, full-fledged meals beyond wine and cheese get better with age too. In fact, when braised meats, sumptuous stews and hearty casseroles are left to sit in the fridge and cool down for hours or even days, a little magic happens. Flavors meld together as individual ingredients mingle and achieve a more well-rounded flavor.

Before you scarf down an entire dish, slow your roll. These hearty recipes prove that some things are best taken as leftovers, whether you zap them in the microwave or sneak a bite out of the fridge cold.

Read more

Chat with All-Star Academy Mentor Curtis Stone on Facebook

by in Shows, March 9th, 2015

Curtis StoneChef Curtis Stone will be chatting with fans on Facebook this Tuesday, March 10 at 4 p.m. EST. Here’s your chance to ask him your burning questions about the new show All-Star Academy. Go to Food Network’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning to submit your questions, and come back in the afternoon to connect with Curtis.

For more about Curtis and his team, visit the All-Star Academy page. Plus, go behind the scenes of the competition by browsing photos from recently aired episodes and watching clips of the top battles. Watch All-Star Academy on Sundays 9|8c.

Cheese-and-Chile-Stuffed Mushrooms — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 9th, 2015

Cheese and Chile-Stuffed MushroomsWhile stuffed mushrooms are surely a fan favorite on the appetizer table, there’s no reason these earthy bites can’t transition into a main dish, especially when you swap out the creminis or baby bellas and opt for full-size portobello mushrooms. The beauty of serving mushrooms in a vegetarian dish is that they’re naturally meaty and filling, so you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry right after dinner. Plus, portobellos can stand up to hearty cooking techniques, like high-heat roasting and grilling, which is why they often shine as burger patties.

In Food Network Magazine’s good-for-you recipe for Cheese-and-Chile-Stuffed Mushrooms (pictured above), these tender, satisfying rounds are layered with a mix of textures and flavors, like gooey mozzarella and a bold mixture of garlicky poblano peppers, green onions and fresh parsley. The secret to ensuring this go-to dinner is especially satisfying is adding a bit of protein-packed wheat germ to the sauteed poblanos, promising a welcome subtle crunch to the overall plate. After they finish baking, top each tender stuffed mushroom with cool sour cream for tang and bright red jalapeno peppers.

Read more

Vote Now in Round 1 of the Chopped at Home Challenge

by in Shows, March 9th, 2015

Round 1 Chopped at HomeChopped fans, starting today (through March 23) you have the chance to vote for the finalist’s dish you’d like to win Round 1 of the Chopped at Home Challenge. The winner will earn the opportunity to compete in the Chopped kitchen at Food Network headquarters for a chance to win $10,000, just like a real Chopped champion.

Get the details on how to vote, how the challenge works and how you can enter upcoming rounds.

Read more

Alton and Antonia at the Stove for Omelets 101 — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, March 8th, 2015

Omelets may seem easy enough to make — after all, it takes just one, maybe two, ingredients to prepare them. But as judge Antonia Lofaso explained to Alton Brown on the host’s all-new Alton’s After-Show tonight, “maybe people don’t actually know what an actual omelet is,” as several Cutthroat Kitchen competitors presented her with scrambles instead. Ever the master of Good Eats, Alton took this opportunity to demonstrate the ins and outs of proper omelet technique, and along with Antonia, he dished out a quality omelet offering. Read on below for their top 10 tips to mastering winning omelets every time, then click the play button on the video above to watch their culinary lesson unfold.

1. “I like three eggs for an 8-inch pan,” Alton told Antonia, who agreed that’s an ideal amount.

2. It’s best to start with room-temperature eggs so it doesn’t take them as long to warm up, noted Alton.

3. “I don’t want to add my salt too early,” Antonia explained as she whisked her eggs. “I want to get a fluff first.” She told Alton that salt could actually start the cooking process of the egg and thus change its color, so it’s best to wait until just before cooking to stir in salt.

Read more