Jumbo Gumbo

by in Food Network Magazine, October 11th, 2012

Gumbo
When fall arrives in Louisiana, the gumbo pots come out. We asked the champs of New Iberia’s annual cook-off for their recipes.

Louisiana natives are quick to tell you that no two gumbos are alike. Tweak a roux here and a spice there and you end up with a completely different pot of stew — which is why every October gumbo fanatics meet in New Iberia to see who’s making it the best. The three-day World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off (October 12 to 14; worldchampionshipgumbocookoff.blogspot.com) starts with live music on Friday night and a Cajun and Creole food festival on Saturday before the main event on Sunday. About 90 teams gather before 5 a.m. to compete in one of three categories: chicken and sausage, seafood and mélange (the wild-card division). For the next few hours, all of downtown smells like gumbo as 40,000 people wait to get their first taste. It’s worth a trip for a sample, but in case you can’t get there, we asked last year’s amateur winners for their prized recipes.

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Restaurant Revisited: Valley Inn

by in Shows, October 10th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible
Valley Inn restaurant in Palos Hills, Ill., is a 40-year-old eatery with a history of success. Recently, however, the restaurant had fallen on hard times, and owner Dennis Ristucci needed Robert Irvine’s help to restore Valley Inn to its former glory. In only two days, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team tackled a dark, dirty dining space and low-quality food before reopening to a line of hungry customers. We checked in with Dennis to see how his business is doing a few months after its renovation.

Since Robert left, sales at Valley Inn have increased nearly 85 percent. Dennis tells us that the revised menu and updated decor “have drawn new interest from the neighborhood.” Among his favorite aspects of the remodel are the more inviting entry space and improved flooring.

Today, Valley Inn’s menu is a mix of the restaurant’s original dishes and those that Robert created, and Dennis says that “customers like the combination.” Additionally, he notes that the restaurant is no longer using any frozen food. Dennis tells us his staff are “more attentive to customers” and welcome diners “with big smiles and stories about the show.” He adds that “everyone has been doing their part and cleaning, too.”

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Fall Into Turnips — Fall Fest

by in In Season, October 10th, 2012

herbed leg of lamb with roasted turnips
fall festThough potatoes prove a year-round hit, their starchy cousin gets special attention once fall draws near and the sweaters are pulled on. As a member of the root veggie clan, turnips are a comforting alternative when whipped with butter, roasted in the oven or glazed stovetop.

If you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of person, it’s about time you give meat and turnips a chance, too. Consider it the perfect side for a casual weeknight meal or a traditional Sunday dinner. No matter how you prepare this root vegetable, it’s sure to comfort you to your core.

As far as a meaty meal goes, any hearty cut will do alongside a heap of turnips. Try Food Network Magazine’s Slow-Cooker Ham With Turnips or Herbed Leg of Lamb With Roasted Turnips (pictured above) for a star-crossed combination. Whip up Bobby Flay’s Turkey Pot Pie With Sage Crust or Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie for one-pot wonders brimming with turnip goodness. In that same way, Michael Symon’s Chicken-and-Dumpling Soup recipe for Food Network Magazine ladles bits of turnip, rutabaga, fennel, celery, carrot and, of course, chicken and dumplings into each rejuvenating spoonful.

Get more turnip recipes from family and friends

Thanksgiving Live 2012: Ask Your Question

by in Events, Holidays, October 10th, 2012

Thanksgiving Live 2012YouTube Preview Image
Home cooks and Thanksgiving dinner guests have another reason to be thankful this year: Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Aarón Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson and Ree Drummond are back for a second helping to answer some of the toughest questions about holiday meal-making on our annual Thanksgiving Live! program, a two-hour call-in show hosted by turkey master Alton Brown on Nov. 18 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

From solutions to dry turkey and lumpy gravy to Food Network stars demonstrating helpful tips and delicious recipes, experts will be on hand to address perennial problems.

Do you have a question you need answered? Viewers have the opportunity to submit questions in advance via Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag: #ThanksgivingLive. You can also ask your question here. Leave your question in the comment section below, and then tune in to Food Network on Nov. 18 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. to see if your question has been answered.

Dine Like Your Favorite Food Network Star at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 9th, 2012

on the road nyc restaurants
If you’re in town for the New York City Wine & Food Festival this week, chances are you’re prepping your stomach for some of the best food you can eat over the course of four days. If you happen to find yourself hungry, however, then you’ve hit the jackpot. We’ve compiled the ultimate Food Network fan restaurant guide with the help of the On the Road app and website.

Eat like an Iron Chef by visiting one of Bobby’s, Marc’s, Morimoto’s or Geoffrey’s restaurants. Dare to get Chopped? You’ve got three restaurants from Chopped judges to pick from. No matter where you are in the city, you’ll be able to smell the smoky scents of the Neelys’ acclaimed barbecue and, last but not least, Guy’s new restaurant in Times Square is sure to leave you full with his signature dishes.

Tell us: If you’ve made reservations for dinner or stop by for a quick snack at any of these restaurants, snap a photo and share it with us on Facebook or Twitter using this hashtag: #FNEats.

Dine like a Food Network Star

Recipe Review Filters — Reading Reviews Just Got Easier

by in Recipes, October 9th, 2012

recipe review filters
Food Network has close to 5,000 recipes that have more than 40 reviews each. But how do you find reviews that may be helpful to you? Enter the new Recipe Review Filter. Take Alton’s Good Eats Meatloaf recipe as an example. If you’re browsing the ingredients and notice Alton uses cayenne pepper and chili powder in his version and want to know if it’ll be too spicy for your family, instead of browsing all 831 comments, you can filter by tags: “cayenne pepper”, “chili” and even “family,” to see what others have said about the spice level.

This new feature only displays when a recipe has more than 40 user reviews for easier browsing. It displays above the Ratings and Reviews. It’s also available on the Recipe Review page.

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Reinvented: Soup 4 Ways

by in Recipes, October 9th, 2012

soup recipes 4 ways
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

You can make a million soups by just sautéing and pureeing whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand with a little chicken stock and aromatics. Here are some of my favorite variations using chicken stock as the base.

First, start with the classic version

Cooking With Honey

by in Uncategorized, October 9th, 2012

honey chicken
I keep a squeeze bottle of honey on my counter right next to the olive oil, salt and pepper because I reach for it so often. Explore the countless ways to use this natural sweetener in your kitchen.

So Many Ways to Love
A light drizzle on toast can ...

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Behind the Scenes of Food Network’s Fall Entertaining Guides

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, October 8th, 2012


One of the most recent additions to the Food Network website is the addition of product guides, guides in which readers are offered insight into some of the products that editors believe are among the best in helpful cooking tools, tabletop items and edibles available online. A lot of these product guides are tied to the season, like Food Network’s Summer Cookbook Guide. In August the editors began working on our fall product guide. Thanksgiving may be several weeks away, but we have to start working on these guides as early as the summer months to make sure that every edible product that gets selected for the guide has been tested (i.e. eaten) and approved by our staff.

For about two weeks, our office was flooded with an array of samples — from gourmet marshmallows to specialty cocktail mixes and Thanksgiving gumballs (turkey-flavored included!). After organizing a formal tasting within Food Network’s digital department and consuming probably 20 times more than our daily allowance of sugar, the most-popular products were chosen.

Keep reading for our final picks