5 Comforting Casseroles That Are More Vital Than a Winter Coat

by in Recipes, February 5th, 2015

Broccoli and Orzo CasseroleIf you think winter thus far has been especially punishing and demoralizing, just know that all hope has not been lost. Even though the infamous groundhog left us in disappointment in our moment of need (6 more weeks of winter?!), there is still reason to keep trudging through the snow and slush with your chin up. In fact, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that these times of meteorological despair require more than a quality winter coat to get you through; they call for a casserole leaving the oven in warm, stick-to-your-ribs splendor. If you’re searching for a beacon of hope in this frosty weather, these comforting casserole recipes are it.

Just like snow goes hand in hand with snow boots, broccoli and cheese are connected on a very real level. Combine the two for an ultra-comforting Broccoli and Orzo Casserole. Food Network Kitchen opts for mild, creamy Havarti cheese for its stellar melting tendencies and tops the finished product with buttery panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy finish.

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In the Kitchen With: Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

by in Books, How-to, Recipes, February 5th, 2015

The first thing you notice about Lisa is her cowboy boots. Cherry red, spit polished and worn-in just enough, they tell you everything you need to know about the Houston transplant’s cooking: It’s bright, approachable, comes from the West and will linger in your memory for days afterward. To bring some welcome variety to the winter kitchen, we invited the James Beard Award winner to our Manhattan headquarters in Chelsea Market to make Chicken Spaghetti, one of her favorite dishes from her latest volume, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. Make this simple and comforting recipe in your own kitchen with help from Lisa’s step-by-step how-to.

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A Short Stack of Perfect Pancake Recipes — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 5th, 2015

Pancake Breakfast CasseroleA staple everywhere from diners and bed and breakfasts to your breakfast table, pancakes are a morning win every time you flip them. They’re killer in their purest form, simply smeared with butter and smothered in maple syrup, but there’s something to be said for adding a little more dimension to the average flapjack. Highlighting all kinds of add-ins, this roster of pancake recipes is sure to make you flip.

You’ve savored your fair share of pancakes, but there’s a new griddled beauty in town: the Pancake Breakfast Casserole (pictured above). By baking pancakes in a rich, creamy custard and topping them with bursting blueberries, your pancake intake can embody a whole new level of comfort. Plus, even if you’re a pancake-producing maven, ready-made frozen pancakes can be swapped in for an easy timesaver.

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40 Cloves and a Chicken: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Dinner

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 5th, 2015

40 Cloves of GarlicFrom greeting cards and red roses to candy hearts and chocolate boxes, much is made of Valentine’s Day every year. But if, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing the day devoted to love this Saturday, there’s still a way to celebrate: Swoon over a bold — and, ahem, pungent — meal without fear of recoil from your partner.

Set up an appetizer to remember by crafting an elegant cheese plate with a deliciously funky blue cheese at the center, then dig into Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken (pictured above) for dinner. This 5-star supper is made with only four ingredients, but together they pack a flavorful punch. While dozens of garlic cloves may surely seem over the top, don’t shy away from adding all of them; they turn soft and surprisingly sweet as they roast, and together with the thyme, the garlic complements the chicken.

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Restaurant Revisited: Betting the House at Zoog’s Caveman Cookin

by in Shows, February 4th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s no secret that Robert Irvine has visited his share of far-gone restaurants in the nearly 10 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, but on tonight’s new episode, he was quick to admit that Zoog’s Caveman Cookin may surely be among the worst he’s ever encountered. From the too-dark interior and the filthy kitchen that Robert was forced to shut down to owner Zoog’s lack of commitment to the business, Robert and his team faced two days of daunting challenges before they could reopen the Port Hadlock, Wash., restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Zoog and find out how he and his restaurant are faring today.

Business has increased nearly 20 percent since Robert left, Zoog explains, though he adds that his personal health went downhill. “I’m sorry to say that about four weeks after [the Restaurant: Impossible experience], I had a heart attack,” he says, before adding, “I am taking my medicine now and am feeling better.”

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WATCH: What Would Be Your One Last Bite?

by in News, February 4th, 2015

There can be only one: your very last bite — ever. Have you ever thought about what it would be? In the all-new Web series One Last Bite, FoodNetwork.com asked chefs, bloggers and actors from around the country that very question, and their answers are simply mouthwatering.

In the series premiere episode, blogger Gaby Dalkin, of What’s Gaby Cooking fame, selected a pair of sweet and savory specialties to enjoy as her last bite: Carne Asada Fries loaded with citrus-marinated beef and creamy, smoky guacamole, plus a hunk of her now-famous Slutty Brownies, three layers of decadence featuring chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies and rich brownies.

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Enter to Win a Duff Goldman Cake and Cookie Baking Kit

by in Contests, February 4th, 2015

Duff Giveaway Baking KitExperience what it’s like to bake and decorate your creations like Duff Goldman. Put your skills to the test along with the wunderkinds of Kids Baking Championship, Mondays at 8|7c.

To buy the Duff Goldman Decorating StencilsTie-Dye Cake Mix, White Frosting and Tie-Dye Swirl Sugar Cookie Mix, you can visit the Food Network Store, or enter a comment below for a chance to win the items. To enter, let us know in the comments: What was your favorite baked treat as a kid? The contest starts at 12 p.m. EST today and ends Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m.

You may comment only once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2015 and 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 11, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the total prize is $36.96. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37932.

Food Fortunes On the Line in All-New Series

by in Shows, February 4th, 2015

Willie DegelSo you have an idea for a potentially profitable product or what you’re sure is a must-have recipe for everyone’s favorite condiment. What do you do with it, and how do you make sure the power players know about it? Enter Food Fortunes.

On this brand-new upcoming series premiering on Monday, March 9 at 10|9c, visionaries from around the country will put their concepts, as well as their pride, on display as they pitch their theories to an expert panel of tastemakers, restaurant professionals and experienced executives, including Pat LaFrieda and Willie Degel, in the hopes that these entrepreneurs will want a piece of their budding company. But before the panel will decide to invest in or pass on a potential food fortune, a crowd of consumers will weigh in on whether they’d buy the product placed before them.

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Top Tips for Handling Chocolate, Plus the Richest Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

by in Books, Holidays, February 4th, 2015

Chocolate SauceIt’s February, which means it’s chocolate’s turn to take center stage. ‘Tis the season to try your hand at being an amateur chocolatier, whether you’re satisfying your craving with melt-in-your-mouth truffles or layering chocolate inside of chocolate with more chocolate with Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes. Add a luxuriously sweet finale to your Valentine’s Day dinner menu with the help of the new cookbook Chocopologie, written by master chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. Check out his expert chocolate-handling tips and get his recipe for droolworthy Double Chocolate Cupcakes below.

1. Ganache is made by pouring hot cream over chopped chocolate. Knipschildt sometimes adds a little honey for a pop of sweetness and to contribute to a smooth, satiny mouthfeel. Butter is also frequently stirred into the warm ganache to boost its lushness.

2. Modern technology has made melting chocolate a lot easier and foolproof. When you use the microwave, there’s less chance of the chocolate scorching or stiffening (also called “seizing”).

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Flyers Agree: Sitting Near Someone Eating Smelly Food Stinks

by in News, February 4th, 2015

Airplane FoodYou know what stinks? Sitting next to someone on a plane who cracks open a container of super-smelly food. Memo to pungent-meal-loving travelers: The people seated near you, especially the unfortunate passenger(s) sharing your armrest(s) and immediate airspace, do not want to spend the duration of the flight smelling your food.

Forty-eight percent of airplane passengers surveyed by the airport shuttle service GO Airport Express said they considered it rude to bring food with strong odors onto planes, Mashable reports. Interestingly, more women (52 percent) than men (43 percent) disapproved of the behavior. Meanwhile, 12 percent of those surveyed thought the practice should be banned by airlines altogether.

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