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VOTE: An Iron Chef Caesar Salad Showdown — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, December 8th, 2012

An Iron Chef Caesar Salad ShowdownBy now you know that Chef Elizabeth Falkner was eliminated on last Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, and whether or not you agree with the judges’ decision to send her home on account of too much saffron, one thing is certain: The spheres of Caesar dressing she concocted during her final Secret Ingredient Showdown were simply beautiful. Instead of merely using from-scratch salad dressing — or, heaven forbid, bottled dressing — to top her salad, Chef Falkner took her pureed mixture one step further by piping it into mini rounds and chilling them over ice until they were semifirm. These dressing bubbles of sorts kept their shape on the plate until they were burst open, their liquid insides revealed.

In honor of this ingenious dish and Chef Falkner’s masterful technique in creating it, this week’s Rival Recipes battle is all about that classic Italian-American salad: the Caesar salad. But instead of Redemption rivals, we’re challenging standing Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Geoffrey Zakarian to bring their best salads to the showdown.

While both Iron Chefs are featuring classic flavors and textures in their Caesar salads, each has added his signature spin to elevate them beyond the everyday. It’s perhaps no surprise that grilling guru Chef Flay has chosen to serve a Grilled Romaine Salad With Spicy Caesar Dressing, a top-rated recipe that’s finished with grilled croutons, while classical chef Zakarian offers a Caesar Salad With Red Romaine, served with fresh lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Like Chef Falkner did in her very last battle, both Chef Flay and Chef Zakarian look to anchovy fillets to add a briny, salty taste to their dressings, but only Chef Flay mixes in a dollop of mayonnaise for a rich, creamy finish — Chef Zakarian relies on an egg yolk to offer the same texture.

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Poll: Applesauce or Sour Cream?

by in Holidays, Polls, December 8th, 2012

Potato Latkes
It’s that time of year again when the usual latke debate occurs at the dinner table: applesauce or sour cream with your potato pancakes? One offering is sweet, the other savory. Each is delicious in its own way, but if you ask anyone, they’ll usually side with just one.

Fill your eight nights of celebration with Food Network’s essential Hanukkah recipes.

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Ina Garten’s Fruitcake Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2012

Fruitcake Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Forget about everything you know – and perhaps dislike – about traditional holiday fruitcakes because this recipe is nothing like those dense, dry loaves. Ina’s cookies, merely inspired by fruitcake, are light and moist, made with four different kinds of dried fruit, chopped pecans, golden honey and a pinch of ground cloves for subtle spice. Perhaps the best part about these cookies is that they can be shaped into logs and kept in the refrigerator for a last-minute party dessert or sweet-tooth-satisfying treat – just slice as many cookies as you need and save the remaining dough for later.

Get Ina’s Fruitcake Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Show us your best cookie creations

How Does Bobby Flay Stay Fit?

by , December 7th, 2012

bobby flay

Chefs are often asked how they stay fit when they work around food all day. Bobby Flay, TV chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, manages to stay trim despite his life being immersed in food, and he’s eager to share his secrets. In seven new, web...

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How to Holiday Shop on a Budget: Clever Gifts for $20 and $50

by in Holidays, December 7th, 2012

It’s no surprise that between shopping for dinner parties, holiday open houses, tree trimmings, decorations and, of course, presents, it can be easy to rack up a hefty spending bill as you celebrate the season of giving. This year, as you shop for close family members, distant relatives and relative strangers alike, let Food Network’s holiday gift guides rescue your wallet from the seasonal pinch. You’ve heard it before: It’s not the amount of money you spend on a gift but the thought you put into it that counts. Food Network’s collection of both quirky and classic items makes it easy to find presents that are both inexpensive and full of heart for everyone on your list. Check out a few of our favorite gifts below, then browse our entire collection of goodies in our gift guides, organized into two price increments: those less than $20 and those less than $50. Tell us in the comments below: What’s the best, most inexpensive gift you’ve ever given?

More clever gifts

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Fans React to a Fallen Favorite

by in Shows, December 7th, 2012

Chef Elizabeth FalknerThe Next Iron Chef Fan Post of the WeekShocking to say the least, Chef Elizabeth Falkner’s elimination last Sunday night was downright powerful and emotional, not only for Chef Falkner, her fellow chefs and the judges, but also you, Next Iron Chef fans. After all, given her string of successful Showdown wins and a first-place finish in the Chairman’s Challenge of Transformation, Chef Falkner seemed to be on the fast track to Redemption glory, and fans were just waiting for her to finally claim the title of The Next Iron Chef. On Sunday, however, things took a troublesome turn and, in a moment of striking déjà vu, she crumbled in the Chairman’s ingredient auction and a head-to-head Showdown against the rival she had chosen, just like Chef Anne Burrell did in this challenge last season. Despite a smart Caesar salad and fried anchovies, Chef Falkner was told that she would not become The Next Iron Chef, and within minutes, fans Tweeted @FoodNetwork and took to our Facebook timeline and blog to express their disappointment, confusion and sadness over her early exit.

Questioning Chef Falkner’s quick decline on the road to redemption, K. Patrice Williams posted a comment on Facebook (pictured above) that speaks to both Chef Falkner’s highest and lowest moments of the competition. “I can believe I cried when they eliminated her. I’m still shocked. I was convinced she was going to be The Next Iron Chef. How does someone [go from making] the best dessert any of the judges have ever tasted to getting eliminated the next week?” she wondered, echoing the sentiments of fellow Falkner fans.

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What to Watch: Holiday Episodes From Ree, Trisha, Giada, Rachael and More

by in Shows, December 7th, 2012

The Pioneer Woman: Christmas is ComingAll month long, Food Network has a bunch of holiday episodes and specials that are sure to give you some great ideas for celebrating the holidays. This weekend it’s all about entertaining family members and dear friends. Visit with Ree, Trisha and Giada as they show you how they celebrate with their loved ones. From Rachael you’ll get five great dinner recipes that you can rely on when entertaining this season. And finally, if you’re looking for the best cookie and cake recipes to serve for dessert, the chefs from All-Star Cookies and The Best Thing I Ever Made have you covered.

If you missed any of last week’s holiday episodes, be sure to check out our Program Guide to see when they air again.

The Pioneer Woman: “Christmas Is Coming

Join the Drummond family on their ranch to see how they celebrate Christmas over three days. Ree makes Rigatoni and Meatballs, which is the perfect meal to enjoy after the work of trimming the tree. On Christmas Eve, Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites are put out for Santa in case he gets tired of all those cookies. And for a traditional ranch-style Christmas Day brunch, it’s Drop Biscuits and Sausage Gravy.

Tune in: Saturday, December 8 at 10:30am/9:30c

More holiday episodes from Trisha, Giada and Rachael

Lola Granola Bars — The Weekender

by in Recipes, December 7th, 2012

Lola Granola Bars - The WeekenderWhen I worked full-time in an office, I both looked forward to and dreaded the weeks leading up to the holidays. The excitement came from knowing that soon I’d be on vacation, spending time with my family, far away from the office. The dread came from the fact that, soon, the break room would feature an ever-replenishing array of candies, cookies and treats from co-workers and vendors.

As a girl with an insatiable sweet tooth, this end-of-year extravaganza of sugary morsels was deadly for my long-standing goal to eat reasonably. Every time I walked into the room to fill my water bottle or make a cup of tea, I’d take a cookie or two back to my desk with me. While I never obeyed this solution unfalteringly, I did find that if I kept some better snacking options in my desk drawer, I’d have more success at avoiding the minefield of treats in the kitchen.

If you’re faced with regular access to an equally tempting holiday treat table, here’s my advice: make granola bars. Homemade granola bars are far better than the ones you buy at the store because you know exactly what’s in them, you can customize them to your liking, and you get a heck of a lot more bang for your buck.

Before you start toasting your oats, read these tips