This year’s South by Southwest festival is more food-centric than ever. The SouthBites lineup is back for its second year, now encompassing dozens of programs on the growing intersection of food and tech. There’s a pop-up food trailer park of the same name where you can refuel with kimchi fries and fish tacos between panels. But Austin is always good to food lovers, no matter when you visit. The Texas town is home to epic barbecue, world-class Tex-Mex (breakfast tacos galore!) and pioneering chefs. If you’re heading to SXSW, here are some must-try spots. And if you’re not lucky enough to attend this year, consider these just a few tasty reasons to book a trip. Read more
This St. Patrick’s Day, honor the Emerald Isle by indulging in any one of these minty-green milkshakes. They’re refreshing and festive, and best of all, your blender will bear the brunt of the prep work. There’s never been a sweeter way to show off your Irish pride.
St. Patrick’s Day Mint Shakes (pictured at top)
A milkshake is only as good as its ingredients, which is why it’s worth splurging on high-quality ice cream for this indulgent treat. Combining peppermint extract with the vanilla ice cream gives the drink an extra-refreshing minty flavor that you wouldn’t get from using regular mint chip ice cream.
Mashed, baked, fried and roasted potatoes get a whole lot of love, but, in our eyes, the unsung hero of the spud side genre is a bubbling casserole dish of decadent scalloped potatoes, hot and fresh out of the oven. Load up on the cheesiest and creamiest scalloped potato recipes, from classic to unconventional.
Look, it doesn’t take rocket science to get why Tyler Florence’s top-rated Scalloped Potato Gratin (pictured above) hits the ground running with over 500 reviews. It’s all about his technique, as the thin-sliced potatoes go from raw to soft and delicious when baked in a casserole dish with thyme- and nutmeg-infused heavy cream. In the end, the inside of the dish is tender while the top gets that perfectly crispy effect that’ll have you reaching for seconds.
On Guy’s Grocery Games, “Five Ingredients or Less” is inarguably the most well-known, difficult and popular game. And why is that? Because “everybody plays the game at home and goes, ‘Here’s my five,'” says the show’s host, Guy Fieri. It’s hard to resist even if it’s just left up to the imagination. “It’s awesome to see what the chefs come up with here [on the show],” continues Guy, especially when there are those who make it even more challenging for themselves by creating a dish with just four ingredients! That’s what makes the game so fun — it can go any which way.
We asked Guy to play along and come up with his favorite five-ingredient dish, but he doesn’t stop at just one combination. He says, “It depends on what day it is, what time it is, what you just had for lunch, what you’re going to have for dinner, what you are emotionally, how you’re feeling physically, what temperature is it outside.” But Guy’s first combination surprised us.
Don’t limit beer to drinking — especially on St. Patrick’s Day. A splash here and there adds complex flavor to stews and braises, and it tastes especially delicious in cheesy foods. You may have heard about adding vodka or vinegar to your pie dough, but what about beer? Just a touch helps yield flaky results in Food Network Magazine’s recipe for beef pot pies with cheddar crust (pictured above). Beer is also a valuable ingredient in desserts. Stout and chocolate are a popular pairing: The dark brew’s rich coffee notes taste heavenly with cocoa-heavy treats. And darker ales tend to have a toasted caramel taste.
Not a beer drinker? No problem. Cooking with beer doesn’t mean your meal will taste like a hoppy pint. Think of beer as a flavor enhancer. It adds a “wow” factor that most people won’t be able to identify — they’ll just be begging you for the recipe. So crack open a bottle and get cooking! These recipes are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, or for any night when the craving for comfort food strikes.
What Food Network’s new show All-Star Academy, Sundays 9|8c, does is transform eager home cooks into competitive machines. But all of these cooks had to start somewhere — in their home kitchens, where they honed their culinary skills on their friends and family before they were ready for the competition show. Seeing these competitors made us wonder: What makes a good home cook? What makes him or her ripe for competition? So we went straight to the mentors to find out.
Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon reveal the traits a great home cook must have to put out impressive dishes. And these are skills that can easily translate to the competitive arena once learned and perfected through practice. The 10 individuals who came into the competition were ready to take on the challenge of All-Star Academy. Are you ready?
With the largest prize ever in Chopped history on the line, 16 culinary stars enter the hallowed kitchen for a fourth season of Chopped All-Stars, premiering Tuesday, April 28 at 10|9c. In each episode of the five-part series, four chefs go head to head in competition. Each one hopes to cook his or her way through to the end without getting chopped. The four winners then advance to the finale, where big bucks are at stake. One will walk away the All-Stars champion with $75,000 for his or her charity.
The caliber of chefs this season includes those who are very familiar to competition, having appeared in previous Chopped and Iron Chef America battles. Many are stepping into the Chopped kitchen for the first time. Find out who’ll be competing.
As winter lingers — and lingers — way past the moment when many of us are ready for spring, you may find yourself turning to your favorite comfort foods for consolation. But you may not have tried turning to them all at once.
That’s where The Meatloaf Bakery, a Chicago purveyor of savory cupcake-shaped meatloaves, comes in. Among its many curious meatloaf offerings (a spicy-chicken-wing-inspired meatloaf and a salmon-based loaf topped with wasabi mashed potatoes and lemon-dill yogurt sauce, just to name two), you’ll find a genius pasta-meatloaf mash-up appropriately called the Loaf-a-Roma. The base combines beef and Italian sausage meatloaf with melted mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and a touch of red wine, and it’s topped with a tangle of angel hair pasta and marinara sauce.
When 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.
Fore! 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.