The Good Cook (Part One) — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in How-to, Recipes, April 25th, 2013

Meyer Lemon Compound ButterYou learn so much about people when you step out from behind the computer screen. I’ve been on tour for my debut cookbook, Homemade with Love, and it’s given me a chance to connect with readers in a way I never imagined. One person at my Chicago book signing inspired me to start a miniseries of sorts here, called The Good Cook.

Too often I hear people say they’re not good cooks. A little digging, though, and it turns out the way we see ourselves isn’t always in line with the way the people we love view us. Being a good cook shouldn’t be defined by how many recipes we know. The real determining factor in being a good cook is a rather simple litmus test: 1) do you like what you cook? and 2) do the people you prepare meals for enjoy what you cook? When I asked these questions at a few separate events, it turns out most people answer yes to both.

The real root for many people judging themselves so unfairly in the kitchen is they feel like they’re always cooking the same few favorite recipes. It’s really about expanding your comfort zone and, in some cases, learning a few new techniques. That’s where I come in. Over the next few posts, I’m going to explore techniques and tips to help get you out of your cooking rut. Please leave a note in the comments, letting me know which recipes or ingredients are on your “must-learn” wish list. Today, I’m going to start with an easy upgrade, a simple way in which you can add some oomph to your everyday meals.

Learn how to make a compound butter

Best 5 Halibut Recipes

by in Recipes, April 25th, 2013

Thai-Style Halibut With Coconut-Curry BrothEasy to make and widely available, salmon, tilapia and cod are often touted as go-to picks for family-friendly fish dinners, but if you’re looking to dress up your usual seafood selection, try a new favorite: halibut. A mild white fish that’s firm and meaty in texture, halibut stands up well to bold flavors and ingredients, plus it can be cooked in a number of ways and is quick enough to prepare on busy weeknights. Whether you opt for a simple, light marinade of olive oil and lemon juice or prefer a more adventurous fillet with spices, herbs and sauces, there’s a halibut preparation to please every taste. Check out Food Network’s top-five halibut recipes below for easy dinner inspiration and a mix of can-do dishes that will impress your family and party guests alike.

5. Broiled Halibut With Ricotta-Pea Puree — An all-in-one dinner that’s ready to eat in only 25 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s halibut is brushed with paprika, then quickly broiled and served with tender carrots and onions, plus a bright, cheesy puree.

4. Grilled Halibut Fish Sandwiches With Tartar Sauce — You don’t have to wait until the start of grilling season to master Rachael’s next-level fish sandwich. She sears the fillets on a stovetop grill pan, then serves them with juicy tomatoes, cool lettuce and creamy tartar sauce on hearty rolls.

Get the top three recipes

7 Foods to Fight PMS

by , April 25th, 2013

pineapple
Mood swings, irritability, bloating . . . who needs it? Premenstrual syndrome affects an estimated 40% of American women. Studies have found that eating certain foods may help decrease those pesky symptoms.

#1: Yogurt
A study conducted at the Univer...

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Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli Off the Clock

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 25th, 2013

Iron Chef Alex GuarnaschelliIf sheer determination was the only deciding factor in who became the next Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli would have been taking on all comers in Kitchen Stadium years ago.

Unfortunately for her, in Season 4 of the show, a poorly prepared piece of lobster led to her elimination and possibly the end of her dream to join the Chairman’s elite crew.

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Chopped Mystery Basket Weirdest Ingredient Bracket Tournament — Vote in Round 3

by in Shows, April 24th, 2013

Chopped Bracket Round 3Some of the mystery basket ingredients that get used on Chopped are pretty unusual, to say the least. But the culinary producers who come up with them don’t just draw them out of a hat — though sometimes it does seem that way! They take their time to decide on the ingredients, making sure the basket components are just right and actually manageable. FN Dish queried the culinary producers to find out the top 16 weirdest basket ingredients they’ve had on the show. The list of ingredients ranged from goat brains to gummy eggs over easy — almost no ingredient is off-limits.

Now it’s up to you, Chopped fans, to vote on the ingredient you think is the weirdest of them all in this four-round bracket tournament, which coincides with the new season of Chopped All-Stars.

VOTE now!

Lose Weight by Eating Mindfully

by , April 24th, 2013

man eating rice
More and more studies have been supporting the concept of mindful eating when it comes to weight loss, weight control, and overall health. Here’s the 101 on this popular method that can help you develop healthier eating habits.

What’s Mindfu...

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Mashed Spring Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 24th, 2013

Chive and Garlic Mashed PotatoesA lot of our favorite spring sides come mashed — or smashed, depending on your word-choice preference. This week we’re zeroing in on a texture for side dishes that makes for good eating — and easy chewing. Some mashed dishes entail a ricer or the back of your fork. Others are mashed in a more casual sense. All of these dishes, however, involve a certain level of deconstruction.

When it comes to smashed spring peas, the British know what’s up. Go for Jamie Oliver’s Minty Mushy Peas, which will work as a hearty, vegetarian side. Though he opts for frozen peas, we all know the fresh ones are ripe for the mushing. Rachael Ray adds creamy, slightly sweet cheese to her Smashed Peas and Ricotta Cheese recipe.

This last recipe is not mashed in its entirety, but it shows how mashed ingredients fit into bigger pictures. Tagliatelle With Smashed Peas, Sausage and Ricotta Cheese by Giada De Laurentiis uses the pulverized pea for its creamy, filling and subtly sweet attributes. The spicy sausage counteracts the mild peas and cheese, creating a pasta side ready for any night of the week.

Get more mashed sides from friends and family

Try a New Tomato

by in Food Network Magazine, April 24th, 2013

Greek Meatball StewThere are so many good choices in the canned tomato aisle now. We used fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles to spice up the Greek Meatball Stew in the May issue of Food Network Magazine. Fire-roasted tomatoes also add a great smoky flavor to marinara sauce. Or buy canned cherry tomatoes and crush them in a saucepan for a slightly sweet, chunky pasta sauce.

Quiz: Are You the Ultimate Iron Chef America Fan?

by in Shows, April 23rd, 2013

Iron Chef AmericaDuring more than 10 seasons of Iron Chef America competition, five new Iron Chefs have been welcomed to the Chairman’s elite team of culinary superstars, an ever-changing judges panel has filled the seats at the table, new rules and altered expectations have changed the way battles are done, and hundreds of Secret Ingredients have been unveiled beneath a single altar. Throughout the years of transformation and growth, have you, Iron Chef fans, kept up with what’s gone down inside Kitchen Stadium?

As you prepare for the upcoming tournament of champions (premiering Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c) in which the Chairman’s standing Iron Chefs will compete against one another in an unprecedented series of battles to become the Grand Champion, brush up on the ins and outs of this ultimate culinary contest. Test your memory of past battles and Iron Chefs’ winning records, plus your understanding of judging criteria and the significance of Secret Ingredients to find out if your knowledge of Iron Chef America reigns supreme.

Take the quiz now