With the arrival of 2013 came the usual self-promises and aspirations: Eat healthy, exercise every day, etc. While these intentions are lovely in themselves, inspiration tends to wane once February comes around. Although I’ve tried, I’m not a ...
So often on Chopped we see chef contestants open their mystery baskets to find such odd, uncommon and downright scary ingredients — pre-cooked pig snout, pickled beef tongue or grasshoppers, anyone? — that it can seem nearly impossible for home cooks to put them to work in everyday meals. On other episodes, however, the ingredients are far less intimidating yet not quite familiar. That’s where we come in. Each week during the brand-new season of Chopped Champions, FN Dish will break down the whats, hows and whens of an approachable, family-friendly ingredient and share deliciously simple recipes for using it, so that you can show off your best culinary chops at home. Following last Tuesday’s round-three competition, the focus is now on haricot verts, which made an appearance in the appetizer basket alongside smoked eel, cream cheese spread and quince paste.
While haricot verts sounds fancy, it actually translates to something we all know and enjoy: green beans. These French string beans are similar in color and shape to their American cousins, but they’re longer and slimmer, are slightly more tender and boast a more robust flavor than the standard variety. They stand up well to a host of cooking techniques including boiling, roasting and grilling, and because they’re so thin, haricot verts can be cooked in mere minutes. Just as the Chopped Champions chefs demonstrated in dressing their haricot verts with the cream cheese spread or a light vinaigrette, these green beans pair well with a mix of tastes and textures, though they can surely be enjoyed with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of seasonings. If you’ve never cooked with haricot verts before, pick up some at the grocery store (they’re found in the produce aisle near the standard green beans), then try them out in the easy recipes below, each ready in just 30 minutes or fewer.
Game Day is just hours away, and whether you’ve been planning your tailgate-ready menu for days or have just started thinking about what you’ll serve, rest assured that Food Network has easy recipe ideas to see you through your big game bash. Perhaps more than anything else on Sunday, it will be important that you have enough food to feed the mass of hungry football fans gathering in your living room. But while you want to offer a super-large spread of eats and drinks, you surely don’t want to spend your evening in the kitchen cooking it while your friends are cheering about the latest touchdown. To make sure that you enjoy game day too, stick with fuss-free recipes for slow-cooked classics and easy-to-make sandwiches to feed the whole group without a lot of time or effort. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite crowd-pleasing recipes below, then find a complete game-day menu with Alton’s meatballs, maple blondies and Bobby’s margaritas.
While most macaroni and cheese recipes require plenty of hands-on time for cooking and draining the pasta, whisking in handfuls of cheese and milk and then transfering everything from stove to oven, Trisha Yearwood’s Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate in do-ahead cooking. She starts with precooked macaroni (what you have left over from last night’s dinner is a-ok to use), then mixes it with milk, butter and more than a pound of cheddar cheese in the base of a slow cooker and lets the machine do the work for her. Prep this meal in the late afternoon, and by the time you’re ready for dinner during the first half, all you’ll have left to do is quickly stir the macaroni before serving.
This season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off puts the celebrity contestants in different situations every episode with challenges that test a certain aspect of their culinary know-how. This past episode tested their skills at a party they catered for kids. But the next challenge will test their ability to serve a hungry lunch crowd in a limited amount of time, which may be more challenging for some than for others. Their dishes must meet the lunchtime standard and be served promptly and with care to customers.
In the above sneak-peek photo, Kathy from Team Rachael and Dean from Team Guy are taking a break and chatting with Rachael. It appears Dean took a camera photo of the three of them and is now showing the result to the ladies. But what is he saying? What is Kathy saying? Why is Rachael pointing at Kathy? Did someone forget to smile or make a funny face in the photo?
Hot Tips for Healthy Cooking From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
Sneak a little more fiber into your favorite soups: Use whole grains instead of white rice or noodles. We chose quinoa for the Chicken and Quinoa Soup in the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine because it cooks in just 15 minutes and adds a nice nutty flavor to the dish. You can also try quick-cooking barley, short-grain brown rice or whole-grain pasta in other brothy soups.
When it comes to sporting events, I’m really only in it for the food. As a kid, when I went to baseball games with my dad, my mind was on killing time until the seventh-inning stretch, when I’d be allowed to have ice cream. In high school, football games were all about the soft pretzels (and flirting, of course). And to my mind, Super Bowl Sunday is about snacks, dips and wacky commercials.
While there’s nothing wrong with classics like queso dip (made from only the very best processed cheeses) and blender salsas, I do get a kick out of making fancied-up versions of traditional dippy dishes. I’ve entertained a number in recent days and two that have bubbled to the top of my big game hit parade are Trisha Yearwood’s Hot Corn Dip and Alton Brown’s Onion Dip From Scratch.
The Hot Corn Dip is one of those addictive creations where you mix up a few ingredients, scrape the whole mess into an ovenproof bowl and bake it until bubbly (I’m drooling a little just thinking about it). It can be prepped ahead of time and baked off just before the game starts. Served with tortilla chips, it’s a good snacking time.
You’ve got a hoard of people coming over to watch the big game and boy, are they going to be hungry! These nachos are gluten free and loaded with veggies: spinach, avocado, cilantro and salsa. Sesame seeds give them some crunch. If you’v...
If you’re looking for comforting meals, quick family dinners, restaurant-inspired recipes and some celebrity competition, then tune in to Food Network this weekend.
Start off Saturday morning with Paula and a special episode of Italian comfort food. Then let Ree show you how to accomplish a family dinner in 16 minutes flat. Later, on Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s in Napa having dinner with her husband, Jeffrey, and Chef Michael Chiarello. In the afternoon, there’s a new episode of Sugar Dome inspired by cops and robbers.
On Sunday, catch up on all the drama and action on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off with a marathon starting at 6pm/5c; then watch an all-new episode at a special time of 10pm/9c. The celebrities will take on food trucks in their next challenge.
At Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, N.H., a recent expansion had owner Joe Faro looking for a new chef. His specific requirement: a passion for artisanal Italian cuisine. Anne and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help. Anne found four candidates, and after some grueling tests, an offer was extended to Chef Anthony De Palma.
Chef DePalma is a veteran when it comes to running a restaurant. He owned his own highly successful restaurant in West Palm Beach, Fla., but lost it after the economy collapsed in 2008. This job interview was the perfect opportunity to turn his luck around. He impressed Anne and Joe with his incredible skills of making pasta, sauce and cheese all from scratch. He breezed through all the challenges until it came to dinner, when a few problems in the kitchen delayed service. But in the end, Chef De Palma won the admiration of Joe and his family and was offered the position of executive chef.
Owner Joe Faro is pleased to have Chef De Palma on board: “He is passionate about the concept, the food and the people. He fits in well.”
FN Dish caught up with Chef De Palma on his first day on the job. Watch the video above to find out what the experience has meant for him, the challenges that lie ahead and all that he’s looking forward to as the new executive chef of Tuscan Kitchen.