Robert to the Rescue at Hands-On Dinner in Florida

by in Events, February 24th, 2013

Robert Irvine at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalWhat do you get when you gather tables full of amateur cooks and ask them to prepare their own dinners with no advance notice of the menu? If you answered chaos, scorched ingredients and plenty of laughs, then you are correct.

That’s precisely what happened last night at the Barilla Interactive Dinner during the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. 200 party-goers at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla., turned into honorary chefs as they attempted to prepare multi-course meals for one another with little more than a saute pan and wooden spoon. Lucky for them, however, soon they received a wanted dose of culinary guidance in the form of Robert Irvine, who, together with Chef Lorenzo Boni of Barilla, guided guests through each step of the cooking process in the hopes of eliminating major flare-ups and meltdowns.

Chef Boni shared step-by-step tips for making an indulgent pasta with prosecco and caviar, while Robert — in true Restaurant: Impossible form — arrived just when guests needed him most: the tricky entree course. He balanced his no-nonsense commitment to top-quality food with lighthearted how-tos and willing patience to help each table tackle seared swordfish with apple-horseradish sauce and creamy parsnip potatoes.

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Linguine With Shrimp Scampi — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 24th, 2013

Linguine With Shrimp Scampi - Most Popular Pin of the WeekAn easy dish to cook for a table of two or three, Ina’s Linguine With Shrimp Scampi is ideal for weeknight entertaining because of its quick preparation time (done in less than 30 minutes). It is also this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. This recipe is light but filling, made with tender shrimp, fresh lemon juice and just a pinch of red pepper flakes.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Ina’s Linguine With Shrimp Scampi

Kitchen Safety: How to Cook Responsibly With Kids

by in Family, Recipes, February 23rd, 2013

Guy and Hunter FieriIt’s no secret that if you want your little ones to enjoy a well-rounded diet and to look forward to mealtime, the key is to let them have a hand in cooking, even just once in a while. When they have a chance to impact — ever so slightly — what they’re making and how it’s prepared, they’ll feel ownership over the meal and be more likely to dig into the final dish. Plus, kids are more apt to take interest in and try a new, healthy ingredient if they’re able to warm up to it before it’s simply scooped onto a plate in front of them.

But at what age is it appropriate to let kids start cooking, and what tasks are most fitting for little chefs to take on? We have the answers below, plus kid-friendly recipes that are easy to make with youngsters and sure to please the whole family.

Julie Negrin, M.S., a nutritionist and speaker dedicated to teaching both children and grownups how to cook, says that there’s no such thing as an incorrect age to start cooking with your kids and letting them have a place in the kitchen. Even toddlers as young as two years old can pitch in during meal prep, but it’s important to give them very specific jobs and of course monitor them at all times. “This age group … needs very close adult supervision, a lot of space and large bowls,” Julie notes, “since their dexterity and motor skills are still developing.” So while your 3-year-old may not be ready to slice broccoli florets off of the stalk, he can surely rinse the entire head under the sink or put the produce into a bowl once you’ve chopped it.

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Giada Brings Italy to Paradise

by in Events, February 23rd, 2013

Giada's Italian in Paradise - South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2013South Beach may be famous for its sparkling blue waters, white sandy beaches and diverse culture, but when Giada De Laurentiis is in town, the focus here inevitably turns to food. For her first solo event at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, she joined forces with the team at Casa Tua Hotel and Restaurant — a longtime favorite of hers in the area — to offer an Italian in Paradise Dinner to an intimate crowd of just 100 people. She promised an authentic Italian feast designed by herself in conjunction with Paolo del Papa, the chef at Casa Tua, and together they delivered an elegant yet comforting spread complete with five signature courses and paired wines.

Before Giada took to the kitchen to help with meal prep, she mingled with guests at a walk-around cocktail hour in the upstairs lounge of the restaurant, posed for photos and signed cookbooks galore, providing fans a seemingly one-time-only opportunity to get to know their Food Network favorite. Party-goers munched on an array of passed spuntini — snacks — like rolled zucchini stuffed with creamy goat cheese, plus bite-size eggplant parmesan and chunks of deliciously salty parmesan cheese straight from the wheel of grana padano as they chatted with the hostess. Looking ahead to dinner, Giada told us, “We’ve been prepping for three days. It’s been awesome … Hopefully everybody will enjoy it.”

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Hamantaschen Cookies for Purim: Pick Your Favorite Filling

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 23rd, 2013

HamantaschenThese triangle-shaped treats may look like your average jam-filled cookies, almost like thumbprints, but they’re actually very special and have a significant meaning in Judaism.

Hamantaschen cookies are eaten traditionally every year on the holiday of Purim, which begins today, February 23 at sundown. The tender shortbread-like dough is the perfect vehicle for fruit, seed and nut fillings. A poppy seed filling is traditional, but you’ll also find recipes that call for raspberry jam, apricot preserves, prune lekvar or even chocolate-hazelnut spread. Sometimes you may even see nuts ground into to the dough.

Find out how the cookies are made and vote on your favorite filling

Burger Bash 2013 Winners: Bobby Flay and Jeff Mauro

by in Events, February 22nd, 2013

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It was a just a matter of time until Michael Symon’s three-time People’s Choice-winning streak was broken. And no one wanted to claim that victory more than Bobby Flay. For years, Rachael Ray has said that Michael has taken the win, but with Bobby just a few short votes shy (sometimes just one or two).

Last year Bobby told FN Dish that he’d rather come in tenth place, than be second to Michael once more. “He only wins because of his laugh,” Bobby jokingly told FN Dish last night. He continued to say that if he didn’t win this year, he might just hang his hat up. No need for that. Even though Bobby was up against 33 other burgers, his Green Chile Burger, crunchified of course, was the ultimate combination of savory, salty and fatty.

What’s the secret to this winning burger? “We let Michael Symon win three years in a row. This year we broke out the roasted poblano chiles. Game over everybody,” proclaimed Bobby.

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Bump, Set, Spike: The First Annual Let’s Get Spiked Volleyball Tournament

by in Events, February 22nd, 2013

Let's Get Spike Volleyball Tournament - South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2013Before the pressure of Burger Bash and Best of the Best really set in Friday night, Spike Mendelsohn gathered some of the best chefs for some friendly competition in his first-ever Let’s Get Spiked Volleyball Tournament on the beach. Comprised of four teams, there was no shortage of smack-talking, interesting uniforms and creative team names:

Team Dolphins: Josh Capon, Andrew Zimmern, Chuck Hughes and Kris Wessel
Team Love Machine: Justin Warner, Pat LaFrieda, Jr., Tim Love and Adrianne Calvo
Team Goose Dies in the End: Jeff Mauro, Stephanie Izard and Curtis Stone
Team Beach Cutlets: Johnny Iuzzini, Todd Erickson, Spike Mendelsohn and Edward Lee

Rumor had it that the chef to watch out for was Curtis Stone, but after the tournament got underway, my eye was on Tim Love, who would dive for the ball just about every set.

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Paula Deen Kicks Off the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 22nd, 2013

Paula Deen at The Q - South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2013When it comes to kicking off a weekend-long celebration of all things cocktails and culinary at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Paula Deen knows just how to do it. She and her son, Bobby, were on hand last night to host The Q, a seaside bash featuring a feast of barbecue-inspired fare with dozens of top-notch chefs from across the country and crowds of hungry food fans. The Deens and other Food Network stars like Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Robert Irvine, plus past The Next Iron Chef: Redemption rivals Tim Love and Duskie Estes, mingled with guests and dished out a seemingly never-ending supply of their best smoky bites.

While the atmosphere at The Q among chefs and guests alike was relaxed and tropical, the food scene was serious. To start, Robert Irvine put the focus on pig, offering tender braised pork cheeks with fried pickles on a soft brioche bun.

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Friendly Fish Kisses — Worst Cooks in America Caption It

by in Recipes, February 22nd, 2013

Alext Stein on Worst Cooks in AmericaWe’re just one week into the fourth season of Worst Cooks in America, and if the first day of Boot Camp was any indication, Chef Anne was correct when she promised the recruits, “This is going to be a brutal seven weeks.” In the premiere episode, the contestants reluctantly said goodbye to their most prized kitchen possession — the microwave — and attempted to embrace from-scratch cooking by tackling a familiar favorite: meat and potatoes. Some finalists rose to the challenge, turning out dishes that were shockingly impressive for their first tries, while others offered plates that proved barely palatable to mentors Bobby and Anne.

For at least a short time on Sunday’s brand-new episode, it seems from the sneak-peek photo above that the recruits are leaving their cares over the kitchen behind and embarking on a hands-on fishing trip. Here, “Primetime 99″ Alex Stein not only poses with his prized catch of the day but lays a few fish kisses on it as well, proving that at least one of the recruits finds success on the high seas. Do you think the other contestants will get as up close and personal with their scaly friends as Alex did, or will some shy away from these underwater creatures?

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