Trailblazing Chefs and Blazing-Hot Flavors — 2013 Predictions From Food Network Kitchens

by in News, December 23rd, 2012

Blazing Hot Flavors - 2013 Food Trend PredictionsFood Network Kitchens have come up with their annual list of the top food trends that will define 2013. Check out some of the trends here.

1. Pop “Culture” — Is fermentation poised to be the new yoga? Beer, miso, yogurt, kombucha and their kin will multiply in 2013. Chefs love fermentation because it’s the ultimate source of complex flavors (it’s what makes grapes into a glass of wine), marketers love selling “live active cultures,” health nuts appreciate probiotics, and DIY-ers are learning that it’s easy to get into.

2. Heat Seekers — With jalapenos and chipotles now as common as meat and potatoes, the search for spicy satisfaction will lead us to seek heat in new places. The mass market is getting on board with Doritos taco shells, Sriracha popcorn and Spicy Pizzeria Cracker Jacks, while chefs are exploring warming Aleppo pepper and numbing Sichuan pepper.

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Sweet Cranberry-Glazed Carrots

by , December 23rd, 2012

carrot salad
A Christmas meal isn’t complete without a “sweet” element — but who says the sweet stuff is just for dessert? This year, add some sweetness to your dinner table and have a not-so-traditional side dish: cranberry-glazed carrots. It’...

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Simon Says: Judge Simon Majumdar’s Best One-Liners From The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, December 23rd, 2012

Simon Majumdar

There’s no question that this season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption has been one of Food Network’s most-intense culinary competitions to date. After all, 10 superstar chefs have put their personal and professional reputations on the line — for a second time — in the hopes of making gastronomical history by claiming the only title that matters: that of The Next Iron Chef. Week after week rivals fall and their hopes at achieving redemption become crushed in an instant.

Despite the anxious, pressure cooker-like challenges and Showdowns in which the chefs inevitably find themselves, judge Simon Majumdar has managed to interject a host of witty, well-timed reactions and one-liners that delivered some of the smartest and flat-out funniest moments of the show. Among his best instances of constructive and comedic criticism have been his reaction to Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s use of an apparently juvenile melon baller — he quipped that “We are talking about becoming The Next Iron Chef, not The Next Home Dinner Party Cook” — and his judgment of Alex Guarnaschelli’s too-green spiced ham ravioli, which he deemed reminiscent of “Kermit in a blender.” These sharp, entertaining remarks have provided some of the most LOL-worthy moments of the season to date, and what makes them perhaps even more hilarious is that they’re coming from Simon, a notoriously no-nonsense judge with little tolerance for less than perfection.

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5 Reasons to Donate to Share Our Strength During the Holidays

by in Community, December 22nd, 2012


The holiday season may be jolly for many of us, but let’s not forget that in the United States, 16 million kids are at risk of going hungry, especially at this time of year. If you’re still looking for that perfect gift, give one that will really make a difference. Share the spirit of the season by donating to No Kid Hungry to help hungry children in America.

Five reasons to donate this holiday season:

1. There are 16 million kids in the United States who will face hunger this year, but they don’t have to. As a nation, we have plenty of food and we also have programs in place that are designed to feed kids. No Kid Hungry is making sure these kids are getting connected with these programs. Childhood hunger is a solvable problem.

2. The No Kid Hungry campaign is making sure more kids start the school day with a healthy breakfast so that they’re ready to learn.

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Christmas Eve Feast: Seven Fishes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 22nd, 2012

Roasted Shrimp CocktailWhile some families are slicing the holiday ham or carving the crown roast of pork on Christmas Eve, many Italians and Italian-Americans are preparing a meal with not just one star ingredient, but seven. It’s an Italian tradition to celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and with that comes a long, relaxing meal of fish-forward dishes. The strictest adherents to the seven-fishes tradition will tell you that indeed there should be seven fish on the dinner table, but for the sake of simplicity, consider any and all seafood, including shellfish, to count toward your final fish tally. The key to committing to cook seven different kinds of seafood is spreading out the dishes throughout the meal; instead of preparing seven whole fish for what would be an excessively large main dish spread, offer perhaps three small appetizers, a soup, pasta, then entrée plus a side salad, each with seafood as the focus. Check out Food Network’s favorite Feast of the Seven Fishes menu below, then tell us in the comments: What’s your favorite kind of fish?

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VOTE: A Next Iron Chef Three-Way Bacon Cook-Off — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, December 22nd, 2012

A Next Iron Chef Three-Way Bacon Cook-Off - Rival RecipesBacon was the name of the game on last Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, as the final four rivals were challenged to transcend the everyday Las Vegas buffet by creating a five-course buffet offering with bacon at the forefront. Teammates Nate Appleman and Amanda Freitag embraced the test wholeheartedly, featuring an easy-to-eat spread complete with bite-sized dishes and Sin City-inspired plates alike. Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Marcel Vigneron had buffets on the brain when they imagined their French-style feast, but a few technical flaws forced them into a Secret Ingredient Showdown. In the end, it was Chef Guarnaschelli who survived to cook in the upcoming finale episode alongside Chefs Appleman and Freitag, after a raw rack of lamb proved to be Chef Vigneron’s undoing.

In this week’s installment of Rival Recipes, we’re putting the focus back on everyone’s favorite pork product and asking the top three finale-bound chefs to bring their best bacon-centered bites to battle. Chef Appleman has chosen to use pancetta (Italian cured bacon) in his big-batch side dish of Roasted Green Beans With Pancetta and Yogurt, while Chefs Guarnaschelli and Freitag are letting bacon shine in an appetizer and main dish, respectively. Chef Guarnaschelli’s recipe for Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto uses thin slices of thick-cut bacon to finish a lemon zest-topped dough, while Chef Freitag’s Bacon-Wrapped New York Trout With Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce features a bacon blanket and classic Italian seasonings.

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Raise the Bar — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Shows, December 21st, 2012

Donatella ArpaiaAfter eight weeks on the road to redemption, just one battle stands between the final three rivals, Chefs Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag and Alex Guarnaschelli, and the culinary kingdom that is Kitchen Stadium. Of course the stakes have been high throughout the competition, as it’s the nature of the Redemption beast for chefs to be eliminated each week, but come Sunday, the rivals are put to the ultimate test in a last-supper challenge, one that will require them to bring their A games if they want to make their dreams of total redemption reality.

The judges’ panel on The Next Iron Chef has made known what they want to see from the chefs’ challenge offerings: elegant, sophisticated plating techniques, unparalleled creativity, expert use of the Secret Ingredient and, of course, ingenious flavor profiles. But looking at the sneak-peek image above from Sunday’s finale episode, it seems as though judge Donatella Arpaia is suggesting that these elements are not enough anymore — that in this all-important finale, the remaining rivals must raise the bar to new levels of Iron Chef-worthy greatness if they want to cook in Kitchen Stadium. Do you think Donatella is referring to one chef’s approach to challenges in particular? Which rival do you think is most in jeopardy of not earning a place among the final two?

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