Pan-Fried Sweet Plantains

by in Food Network Magazine, November 10th, 2012

Sweet Plantains with Cilantro Rice
In the Mexican Fish Supper weekend dinner from Food Network Magazine’s October issue (page 132), I created a recipe for a quick Cilantro Rice with Sweet Plantains (pictured above). To make things even easier, I call for frozen fried sweet plantains. They aren’t quite as good as homemade, but they’re pretty good and very easy to prepare.

If you have a little more time and a few plantains on hand, make your own. Make sure your plantains are extremely ripe — even bordering on mushy. If they’re not, the results will not be as yummy or gooey as you really want them to be because the natural sugars inside the plantain haven’t fully developed.

Keep reading for the recipe

What to Watch: Guy’s Family Reunion and an ICA Thanksgiving Showdown This Sunday

by in Shows, November 10th, 2012

Iron Chef America: Thanksgiving ShowdownWith the upcoming holiday, it’s all about getting the family gathered around a Thanksgiving table full of food. With that in mind, there are two new shows to watch this Sunday that check off both those boxes.

Guy’s Big Bite: Guy’s Family Reunion

What happens when Guy Fieri and his extended family get together for a reunion in Nag’s Head, N.C.? A week-long, no-holds-barred gathering that’s filled with food cooked up by Guy himself. Beyond the food, there are games on the beach, deep sea fishing and crabbing. Get to know Guy on a personal level from his family’s perspective.

Tune in: Sunday, November 11 at 12pm/11am c

Iron Chef America: Thanksgiving Showdown

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if the Chopped judges battled it out in Kitchen Stadium, here’s your chance. Three Iron Chefs (Michael Symon, Marc Forgione and Geoffrey Zakarian) will join sides for the first time to battle it out against Chopped judges Aarón Sanchez, Scott Conant and Marc Murphy in a Thanksgiving showdown to determine which team’s Thanksgiving dishes will reign supreme.

Tune in: Sunday, November 11 at 10pm/9c

Jeff Mauro Joins Thanksgiving Live! As the Digital Host — Ask Him Your Questions

by in Events, Holidays, November 9th, 2012

Jeff MauroThe countdown is official: Thanksgiving Live! is just nine short days away. Before the live show starts at noon, Food Network will serve up a three-hour Thanksgiving Live! webcast at FoodNetwork.com with the one-and-only Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, serving as the digital correspondent. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET, the site will stream a pre-show featuring Jeff taking viewers behind the scenes in Food Network Kitchens, catching Alton, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny and Ree getting ready for the live broadcast.

Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way, too.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask Jeff? Whether it’s about the way the way he celebrates Turkey Day or tips for the ultimate turkey sandwich, we’ll handpick a selection of your questions and ask him live during the show. Leave your question in the comment section below, or submit it via Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ThanksgivingLive.

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Welcome to The Next Iron Chef: Redemption Kitchen Set

by in Shows, November 9th, 2012

The Next Iron Chef Kitchen SetMore like a culinary amphitheater than an everyday cook space, the Next Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium is, of course, not just a kitchen. Featuring multiple stovetops, a slew of ovens, an ice cream maker and more, the set can accommodate several chefs at a time and is stocked with oddball and classic ingredients alike that allow the rivals to cook up Iron Chef-worthy dishes.

You’ve seen Next Iron Chef finalists sprint from stove to pantry to freezer in a flash and grab exactly what they need, but have you ever wondered what’s on and in those wall-to-wall shelves, deep refrigerators and freezers? We were curious about what it takes to outfit the Next Iron Chef kitchen, so we checked in with Food Network’s culinary team, the group responsible for stocking it with its tricked-out appliances, top-notch cooking gadgets and Secret Ingredients. Read on below to get a behind-the-scenes look at Kitchen Stadium and find out how the culinary department prepared for the fifth season of The Next Iron Chef.

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Sunny’s Spicy Spinach Panzanella — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Recipes, November 9th, 2012

Sunny's Spicy Spinach PanzanellaMy Grandma Bunny was known for her spinach salad. It was one of her most regularly requested recipes by friends and made an appearance on her table at nearly every family gathering. She would search out adolescent leaves, wanting greens that would relax upon dressing and tossing, but not wilt immediately. Palm-sized leaves were avoided, as they were too old to be eaten without the application of heat.

Once the right spinach was chosen, it was washed carefully (I think this was in part to give an eager grandchild an opportunity to help). I’d climb up on a stool next to the kitchen sink and swish the leaves around until Bunny was certain they’d released all their grit. Once they were clean, she’d shake off the big droplets and heap them into a large pillowcase that was fitted with a drawstring. She’d take the pillowcase outside and twirl it around over her head. More efficient than a salad spinner and far more entertaining for small children.

Then it was time to make the dressing. It started with a few slices of minced bacon and ended with slices of mushrooms, cooked until tender but not rubbery. That, along with slivered red onions, a little red wine vinegar, salt and pepper finished the salad. It was warm, savory and still wonderfully crisp.

Before you start toasting bread cubes, read these tips

10 Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts

by in Uncategorized, November 9th, 2012

pumpkin cheesecake
Planning your turkey day menu? We’ve got something for every kind of sweet tooth, all filled with fall flavors.

Cheesecake
A lower-fat cheesecake that’s not low on flavor. If you’ve never tried this combination before, now’s the ...

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Learn to Love It: Cauliflower

by in Food Network Magazine, November 9th, 2012

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Cauliflower
We’re big cauliflower lovers in the Food Network test kitchen, but we understand not everyone shares our enthusiasm. To recruit more fans for our cruciferous friend, we steamed and pureed it for the Super-Stuffed Baked Potatoes on page 70 of Food Network Magazine’s October issue. We didn’t have to use sour cream because of the creaminess of the cauliflower. Plus, it added fiber, calcium and vitamin C. We also turned to cauliflower to replace the meat in the Spicy Vegetarian Chili from the magazine’s January/February 2012 issue, page 106: We coarsely grated it raw and stirred it in at the end. Use pureed cauliflower to thicken soups, or add it to a dip to replace some of the fat.

Enter for a Chance to Win Tupperware FridgeSmart Containers

by in Contests, November 8th, 2012

Tupperware FridgeSmart ContainersWith Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, you’re probably already starting to plan your all-star menu. What you may not be planning for, however, is how you’re going to store and preserve all those leftovers. With FridgeSmart containers by Tupperware, you can keep your Thanksgiving dishes fresh and flavorful long after the big day. They are equipped with a simple venting system that allows you to control how much air flows into the containers, and they are easily stackable so you can finally fit everything in the fridge.

You can buy your own FridgeSmart containers here, which come in five different sizes, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite Food Network dish to make with Thanksgiving leftovers in the comments (must include recipe URL in the comments). We’re giving away a four-piece set that includes one each of the small, medium, medium-long and large containers to one grand prize winner and one medium-sized container to four other winners.

Read official rules before entering

Top 10 Genius Ingredient Inventions From Seasons 1 and 2

by in Shows, November 8th, 2012

Sweet Genius Season 1By Ron Ben-Israel, contributions by Kate Kenny and Nikki Junda

Ron Ben-Israel has raised the bar on the newest season of Sweet Genius with more unusual techniques and inspired flavor combinations. That made the Sweet Genius team think back to the previous seasons. After revisiting the best moments from the episodes, they narrowed down the 10 best ingredient inventions from Seasons 1 and 2 — the creations that truly impressed them.

1. Jessica Mogardo
Dessert: A Formaggio di Fossa and Lime Gelée
Episode: 210/Serpentine Genius
Mandatory Ingredient: Formaggio di Fossa

When I gave the chefs formaggio di fossa — a soft, pungent Italian cheese with a strong flavor — I wanted to taste something absolutely new. Chef Jessica Mogardo more than accepted this challenge when she created Formaggio di Fossa and Lime Gelée. The tartness of the lime toned down the pungency of the cheese and Chef Jessica managed to transform a creamy, heavy dairy product into a perfectly blended, luscious and light-as-air gelée. A remarkable bite and a genius idea.

Get the top nine moments