Taking Orders — Worst Cooks in America Caption It

by in Shows, March 22nd, 2013

Chef Anne BurrellFor the first time in Worst Cooks in America Boot Camp, the chefs and recruits will be swapping roles in the kitchen this Sunday. Anne and Bobby will take their contestants’ places for a challenge that has them cooking against the clock, but of course the recruits are the ones who are in for the true test of the Skill Drill. With their mentors out of sight, they must communicate with the chefs via headset as they work in teams to describe the visual and flavor profiles of a dish only they can see and taste. While it’s the hope that the competitors’ abilities to discern cooking techniques and ingredients are strong enough for their mentors to re-create the dish successfully, the contestants were learning new practices just one week ago, so some of their directions may indeed get lost in translation.

In the sneak-peek shot from Sunday’s brand-new episode, Chef Anne is prepping ingredients as she’s being fed culinary intelligence from Rasheeda and Sue. It’s up to her to trust in what they’re saying about the dish and attempt to prepare the same meal with only her team’s descriptions in mind. How do you think Chefs Anne and Bobby will react to taking requests from their recruits? Are the contestants able to work effectively as teams, or will this challenge backfire on the chefs? Which team, the Red or Blue, will ultimately score a win just one week before the finale?

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Cracked Earth Cake — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Holidays, March 22nd, 2013

Cracked Chocolate Earth CakeMy cousin Amy starts planning for Passover in January. The save-the-date email comes first, with the time and location in bold (though they’re the same every year). A few weeks later, dinner assignments follow. Later there are email reminders and carpool arrangements.

It used to be that I willingly accepted whatever meal assignment was handed to me. In recent years, however, I’ve gotten more strategic. As soon as the first Seder planning email goes out, I reply with an offer of what I’d like to bring. This way, I can ensure there will be something on the table that my picky husband will eat, and I get to play to my strengths as a cook.

On Monday (and for the second year running), I’m bringing brisket and a flourless chocolate cake. I bring the brisket because I make a good one, and I do the cake, well, because nothing finishes a meal like a good chocolate cake.

Before you start baking, read these tips

What to Watch: Spring Celebrations and An Identity Crisis on Restaurant: Impossible

by in Shows, March 22nd, 2013

Giada De LaurentiisSpring has sprung and with that in mind, Food Network has some new episodes this weekend celebrating the season. On Saturday morning, watch Paula and Cheech Marin cook a spring-inspired feast. Afterward, Ree is having three generations of the family over for a Sunday brunch filled with comforting recipes. Giada’s putting together a spring luncheon that is sure to please everyone, even the kids. And Ina is sharing her secrets to entertaining along with a few easy recipes to add to your repertoire.

On Sunday evening, it’s competition time on a soap opera-themed Cupcake Wars. And on a new episode of Worst Cooks in America, the recruits are tested on what they’ve learned so far, and they must also cook for their families. Finally, tune in for Restaurant: Impossible, where Robert will transform an unnoticed restaurant into one worthy of everyone’s attention.

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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Gabriele Corcos — Chopped All-Stars

by in Shows, March 21st, 2013

Gabriele CorcosFN Dish is counting down to the Season 3 premiere of Chopped All-Stars by introducing a competitor every day. Sixteen competitors including Food Network and Cooking Channel talent, renowned chefs, Chopped judges and celebrities are competing for a chance to win the title of All-Stars Champion and a $50,000 donation to charity. Watch the premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.

Gabriele Corcos stars with his wife, Debi Mazar, in Extra Virgin on Cooking Channel. Born in Florence, Italy, Gabriele has a passion for Tuscan cuisine that runs through his veins. He loves cooking for his family and will soon be serving up his delicious food to the public — a new restaurant in Brooklyn is in the works. But you may not know that Gabriele hates cooking with a classic Italian herb. Find out what it is and more about him in his Q&A below.

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Move Over Ham: Alternative Main Dishes for the Easter Holiday

by in Recipes, March 21st, 2013

rack of lamb crown roastIn most households a glistening baked ham takes focus at the table on Easter Sunday. For many it’s a tradition that isn’t often broken for fear of a family riot. But Easter doesn’t have to be all about ham. If you’re willing to stray from tradition and try a new and different main dish, Food Network has some great ideas for your holiday meal.

How about a rack of lamb or a roast pork loin or maybe even turkey? Lamb is actually a very popular Easter main dish in other parts of the world and pork comes in at a pretty close second. The following recipes are perfect for any Easter gathering, with flavors that bridge the changing seasons. Who knows — your family might just surprise you and love the new dish even more than the ham.

Get the Easter main dish recipes

Secrets to Flourless Cakes, Starches and Desserts for Passover

by in Holidays, March 21st, 2013

Flourless Red Velvet CakeIt’s no surprise to see an abundance of flourless chocolate cakes and incredible matzo bark covered in chocolate and butter during Passover — leavened products are forbidden during the holiday, so decadent substitutions are available. In the most-recent issue of Food Network Magazine, the Test Kitchens prepared five cakes without using all-purpose flour (pictured above is Flourless Red Velvet Cake, get more recipes below) to try at home and the results were tremendous. That led us to picking baker and co-owner of Breads Bakery in New York City Uri Scheft’s brain, to dive a little deeper into the subject. The world of starches, flours and desserts is so vast and can be overwhelming — so we turned to an expert.

What would kosher potato starch do to a cake? What type of cakes would you use this substitution in?

Uri Scheft: Potato starch sucks all of the liquid out, but because of the lack of gluten, it doesn’t really bind the ingredients. It leads to a more crumby, more dense cake that hasn’t risen as much. It is good for brownies because they don’t need to rise a lot. Additionally, they are better when not cooked completely through.

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Geoffrey Zakarian’s Top 10 Tips for Making a Better Burger

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, March 21st, 2013

Geoffrey ZakarianWhen it comes to building the ultimate hamburger, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is doing things a little differently. Forget about everything you know to be true about barbecuing, seasoning and flipping the meat. Chef Zakarian is introducing an all-new method that will wow you with its simplicity and tried-and-true results, so much so that you won’t be tempted to return to the dry, flavorless patties of burgers past. Chatting with fans at a recent event at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he demonstrated his flawless technique and shared can’t-miss tips that are easy enough for the home cook to master — and you don’t even have to wait until grilling season to try them.

10. Cook hamburgers on a cast-iron skillet indoors, instead of on an outdoor grill.

9. Opt for corn-fed ground meat that features about 25 percent to 30 percent fat.

8. The ideal blend of freshly ground meat includes equal parts chuck, rib eye and either flank steak or brisket.

7. Let meat come to room temperature before you cook with it.

6. Preheat the skillet until it’s screaming hot — only then should the meat be added.

Get Chef Zakarian’s top 5 tips