Chocolate-Orange Fondue — The Weekender

by in Holidays, February 14th, 2014

Chocolate-Orange Fondue - The WeekenderWhen I was in my mid-20s, some girlfriends and I started a Valentine’s Day tradition. Being that we were all single at the time, we chose to spend the evening of February 14 together instead of pining over ex-boyfriends and lost loves.

My friend Cindy would be on cocktail duty. Ingrid was in charge of selecting the movie. Una always brought the appetizers. And I took care of making our chosen dinner — fondue.

We’d start with a pot of cheese fondue with bread, steamed broccoli and grilled chicken for dipping. Once we’d had our fill of the savory course, I’d bring out a small pot of chocolate fondue with strawberries, orange segments, pound cake cubes and pretzel sticks. It was such a fun way to celebrate our loving friendships on a day most often reserved for romance.

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What to Watch: Triple D in NYC, Olympian Brian Boitano on The Kitchen, and Bacon Baskets on Chopped

by in Shows, February 14th, 2014

The KitchenTonight, Guy Fieri is getting a taste of New York City on an all-new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. On Saturday morning, Ree’s hosting a movie night for her daughter and cooking a Roman feast to match the movie, Julius Caesar. Afterward, stay tuned for a new episode of The Kitchen, where figure skater Brian Boitano stops by to cook a pasta dish. And you won’t want to miss Jeff showing off his Olympic spirit.

On Sunday morning on Sandwich King, Jeff makes a BBQ rib burger followed by a dessert that combines cookies, pretzels, candies and more. On Giada at Home, Giada hosts a poolside cocktail party with appetizers to match. Then on Barefoot Contessa, Ina prepares a portable feast for a birthday party that has guests sailing down the Hudson River. In the evening, watch an all-bacon-basket episode of Chopped followed by a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Trending: Toast? Yes. Plus: 5 Ways to Embrace Its Simplicity

by in News, February 14th, 2014

ToastWhat says good morning like a thick slice of toast with melty butter tucking into each bit, crumb and bite? Food nerds on Facebook and Twitter a couple weeks back spread around an article about fancy toast in and around San Francisco, making mouths water at breakfast tables ever since. Describing a $3, $4 and higher pricetags per slice at chic diners and restos, the article and a few that followed it prompted the question: Is toast worth it? (For some the pricetags are a headscratcher; others, not so much.) Set aside any debate about whether toast is going artisanal on the West Coast or elsewhere and who started it, though, because the best toast you’ve ever had can be made, of course, right at home.

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How to Make a Perfect Chocolate Souffle

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 13th, 2014

A perfect rich-yet-airy chocolate souffle is the ultimate wow-factor Valentine’s Day dessert. But souffles can be intimidating, both for expert bakers and novice cooks. So we asked Pastry Chef Robert Parks, lead instructor of the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, for his no-fail, no-fall recipe, plus five top tips for souffle success.

1. Make a “cream-based” souffle: This is the key to Chef Parks’ no-fail recipe. Cream-based souffles include starch, which makes the souffle more stable and less sensitive to movement.

2. Use the right type of ramekin: deep and straight-sided.

3. Don’t overwhip or underwhip the meringue: It should be stiff but not crumbly or dry.

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Find a Lean Steak

by in Food Network Magazine, February 13th, 2014

Find a Lean SteakGood news for steak lovers: There are 16 cuts that contain fewer than 10 grams of fat per serving. Some of our favorites are top round, blade and flank because you don’t have to marinate them if you’re short on time. The key to keeping lean steak tender: Cook it to medium-rare and thinly slice it against the grain.

(Photograph by Justin Walker)

Cupcakes: Serious Business and a Love Story

by in Recipes, View All Posts, February 13th, 2014

By Allison Robicelli

I was nostalgic for the “great American mom-and-pop-shop pursuit-of-happiness” business model even before I met my husband, Matt Robicelli, a chef. Before we fell in love we knew we’d open a business together. For six years now Robicelli’s Bakery in Brooklyn has turned out millions of brownies, cookies, whoopie pies and what many people flatteringly call the city’s best cupcakes. It’s spawned a cookbook and some notoriety. And yet we are still married, with our ninth Valentine’s Day upon us. Being married to your spouse isn’t all cupid and cupcakes, though. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned so far: Read more

DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine’s Day — Comfort Food Feast

by in Holidays, February 13th, 2014

DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's DayIt’s February 13. Whether you’re a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife — or even a good friend — you have just enough time to plan something special for Valentine’s Day. No, we’re not suggesting a last-minute swing by the convenience store for one of those cardboard, heart-shaped chocolate boxes moments before the big date. Instead, show your love by baking up decadent chocolate desserts in your own kitchen. These heart warmingly homemade chocolate-centric recipes come to you just in the nick of time, working as a romantic treat for two or an irresistible dessert for a troupe of sweet-toothed singles.

A fudgy brownie is a no-brainer, but Ina Garten’s Brownie Tart (pictured above) cuts down on flour so that it’s extra rich and chocolatey. She deepens the flavor of chocolate by adding coffee granules, making the whole house smell like brownies.

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Rachael Ray’s Top 7 Cooking Tips

by in Food Network Chef, How-to, February 13th, 2014

Rachael Ray's Top 7 Cooking TipsShe’s given fans 30-minute meals, killer sammies and, of course, “EVOO.” Now the queen of weeknight cooking is dishing up a few more kitchen essentials. Read on for her best shortcuts.

1. Adding fresh lemon juice to a recipe? Squeeze the lemon cut-side up so the seeds don’t fall into your food.

2. Measure spices into your hand, instead of over your mixing bowl or pan. That way, you’ll never have to fish anything out if you make a mistake.

3. After cooking fish, get that stinky smell out with a bit of booze: While the pan is still hot, douse it with a splash of dry vermouth and swirl it around. (Caution: It may flame.)

4. Cut down soaking time for dry beans by pouring boiling water over them first. Let stand for 1 hour, rinse, then proceed with your recipe.

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