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VOTE: The Next Iron Chef Secret Ingredient Bracket Challenge Round 1

by in Shows, November 15th, 2012

NIC's Hardest Secret Ingredient of All Time ChallengeThere are some pretty strange and unusual ingredients that get used on The Next Iron Chef challenges. But what secret ingredients have been the hardest for the competitors to work with? The culinary team in Food Network Kitchens weighed in on this question and came up with eight of the most difficult secret ingredients from the previous four seasons.

But what’s the absolute hardest ingredient used on The Next Iron Chef? You get to decide in this bracket challenge.

How It Works

Round 1 begins today, November 15. The top eight secret ingredients will get narrowed down to four. Vote below now.

Round 2 is next week. The remaining four ingredients will get narrowed down to two. Vote starting November 22 at noon.

Round 3 is the last week of November. The winner will be chosen from the two finalists. Vote starting November 29 at noon.

On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.

VOTE HERE

Go Nuts With Bark

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 15th, 2012

Hedy Goldsmith's BarkBark (noun): Tough protective covering of the woody stems of trees

Popcorn + Peanut Bark (noun): Delicious dark chocolate covering that protects buttery, salty, freshly popped popcorn and peanuts

Bark (verb): to speak in an unfriendly tone when it’s all gone

Now that Halloween is over and the holidays are right around the corner, are you starting to panic? Is your heart racing and blood pressure sky-rocketing? This disorder may have everything to do with the fact that you haven’t a clue which direction to go as far as holiday gifts are concerned. Relax and take a deep breath — I am going to make your gift-giving very easy this year.

Gifts of food, especially sweet ones, speak volumes to your friends and family. Everyone on your list will feel special.

Keep reading

Join the Sweet Potato Craze

by in Food Network Magazine, November 15th, 2012

Sweet Potatoes

America’s obsession with sweets isn’t always a bad thing. We’re eating more vitamin-packed sweet potatoes than ever: about seven pounds a year per person, up from only 3.8 pounds in 2002. It helps that fast-food restaurants, including Wendy’s and Burger King, have put them on the menu. And celebrities are touting them, too: Oprah Winfrey says they’re one of her favorite foods, and Glee‘s Matthew Morrison follows a sweet potato-only diet before photo shoots. Get your fill with Guy Fieri’s Whiskey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Ree Drummond’s Soul Sweet ‘Taters, then vote for your favorite.

On The Blogs: Latte Art, Flakey Pastry and Oprah’s New Organic Food Line

by in Community, November 15th, 2012

Coffee ArtDVice:  Going far beyond the pretty heart-shape topped lattes in coffee shops, Japanese latte artist Kazuki transforms coffee and steamed milk into famous cartoon and video game characters. You can follow is daily creations on Twitter.

Forbes: Oprah Winfrey’s next venture includes organic food and health products.

The Kitchn: Cardamom is delicious in baked goods, but have you tried it in your coffee, too?

Food52: Does homemade pastry intimidate you? Grating frozen butter is an easy trick that yields flaky results.

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Quiz: Do You Know What’s in The Next Iron Chef Contestants’ Knife Kits

by in Shows, November 14th, 2012

Next Iron Chef: Redemption Knife Kits

Test Your Knowledge: Next Iron Chef Knife Kits Quiz

Have you ever wondered what chefs actually have in their knife kits? There's more to it than knives. A look inside The Next Iron Chef contestants’ knife kits reveals that they contain lots of kitchen tools beyond the average chef’s knife — and every item inside has a story behind it. Take this quiz and test your knowledge to see how well you know the chefs.
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Need some help answering the questions? Check out their Knife Kit videos here.

The Fall Fest Community Joins The Thanksgiving Communal Table

by in Community, Holidays, November 14th, 2012

What's Gaby Cooking Sweet Potato Gratin

See what Fall Fest contributors are bringing to the table and tell us what you would bring to the table on Twitter by using the hashtag: #pullupachair.

Cocktails, Appetizers, Salads and Breads:
Haute Apple Pie: Apple Jack
Cooking With Books: Spiced Couscous and Walnut Salad
Mooshu Jenne: Honey Bacon Potato Pops
Food For My Family: Roasted Beet and Lacinato Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Super Seeded Cornbread

Keep reading for side and dessert recipes

Headliner Thanksgiving Turkey — The Communal Table

by in Community, Holidays, November 14th, 2012

Bobby Flay's Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed TurkeyIn honor of Thanksgiving, we’re kicking off our second annual Communal Table on Food Network, an event that we opened up to the entire food community. Experts from the industry are “pulling up a chair” to our table and offering readers their favorite recipes for appetizers, sides, salads, breads, mains, desserts and cocktails.

As we near a certain Thursday, we’ve all got the same thing on the brain: turkey. It’s that one dish per year that you simply cannot fail, and the one dish on your table that requires the most TLC.

This year, as you start dog-earing recipes and staking out techniques, rest assured that we’ve got your back when it comes to the bird. You see, while we’re all for the classic roasted turkey, a la Alton Brown’s Good Eats Roast Turkey, we’ll also welcome a new take with open arms.

Enter: Bobby Flay’s Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey. For added flavor, it’s rubbed with fresh sage and roasted garlic before being glazed with zesty Dijon mustard, horseradish and all that pomegranate goodness.

See what our friends are bringing to the table

Getting Creative With Cookie-Cutters, 5 Fun Uses — The Product Puree

by in Family, November 13th, 2012

New Uses for Cookie CuttersYou know all those cookie-cutters that are a jumble at the bottom of your kitchen drawer? Well, reach way down and grab a handful because we’re going to put them to good use.

Cookie-cutters are great for transforming ordinary rolled-out cookies into fun shapes, but their usefulness goes way beyond the obvious. I use cookie-cutters for a wide variety of kitchen duties and whenever I let my kids cut their food into fun shapes, they’ll eat just about anything.

Here are five ways you can use cookie-cutters to make cooking and eating a whole lot more fun:

1. Hole Foods — Use a heart, star or any shape you prefer to cut the center out of sliced bread and make an egg in the hole (try Ree Drummond’s recipe). Last week my daughter had Egg in the Dog!

2. Pancake Zoo — Place a greased cookie-cutter in a saute pan over low heat and fill it with pancake batter. Use tongs to remove the hot cookie-cutter and gently flip the pancake until it’s cooked through. I like making a pancake zoo, using a variety of animal shapes.

Three more ways you can use cookie-cutters

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VIDEO: Next Iron Chef’s First Food Fight

by in Shows, November 13th, 2012

If you’ve ever thought that the Next Iron Chef kitchen is home only to neat, orderly, proper chefs, it’s time to think again. When the cameras stopped rolling after last Sunday’s Secret Ingredient Showdown, Chefs Elizabeth Falkner, Duskie Estes and Amanda Freitag indulged in a second battle, this time a physical one. Within minutes of Alton saying “The challenge is over,” the first handfuls of food were flung and a full-fledged food fight was underway. Each of the chefs aimed for her fellow rivals and doled out the leftovers of her dish’s components, and each took the ingredient inundation in stride, becoming covered with marshmallow fluff, flour and more in a flash.

Want to see how it all went down? Click the play button on the video above to watch Chefs Falkner, Estes and Freitag go head-to-head-to-head in the ultimate Kitchen Stadium food fight, then tell us: Who do you think started the fight and which chef became the messiest?

Get behind-the-scenes food fight photos