2012 James Beard Nods Are Out: Congrats to Ina, Ted and Chopped

by in Events, News, March 19th, 2012

2012 james beard nomination
The James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for the 2012 James Beard Awards at an event in Las Vegas today, and Food Network has not one but three reasons to celebrate: Ted Allen and Ina Garten are nominated for Best TV Food Personality/Host and Chopped has been nominated for Best Television Program, In Studio or a Fixed Location.

The winners of each category will be announced on Monday, May 7,  in New York City as Food Network’s own Alton Brown hosts the event.

Alton won’t be the only Food Network chef making an appearance on stage. On Friday, May 4, James Beard Award-winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon, along with four-time James Beard Award-winning correspondent Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner.

Continue reading: The complete list of 2012 James Beard Award nominees

Buttermilk — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, March 19th, 2012

buttermilk pork cutlet sandwiches
The problem with buttermilk is there isn’t a lot of real buttermilk around.

The good news is that the newfangled buttermilk available at most grocers isn’t all that bad. Better yet, it’s easy to make the real stuff yourself.

But first, a buttermilk primer.

As its name suggests, buttermilk is the tangy milk-like liquid left behind when cultured cream is churned to make butter. At least that’s how they made it in the old days. Today, it’s usually commercially produce by adding cultures (think yogurt) to low-fat or fat-free milk. Either way, you end up with an acidic, thick milky liquid. But why is this off the beaten aisle? After all, we’ve all had buttermilk pancakes and waffles.

Because what most people don’t realize is just how versatile an ingredient buttermilk is. And it belongs on the dinner table as much as at breakfast.

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Vegetable Tarte Tatin — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 19th, 2012


Typically made with fruit (apples, pears and peaches work well), a tarte tatin is a French-style dish that boasts seasonal produce baked beneath a light, buttery pastry then inverted to reveal the soft, caramelized fruit on top.

Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable Tarte Tatin (pictured above) is both sweet and savory, featuring alternating layers of gooey caramel and roasted potatoes and parsnips. Garlic, thick-cut onion rounds and sprinklings of fresh herbs and creamy mozzarella cheese are added to the tarte before it is covered with a thin sheet of store-bought puff pastry. The sugary caramel does not overpower the earthiness of the vegetables — it merely brings out their natural sweetness.

Serve this beauty of a dish as a hearty brunch or lunch option or with a Spring Green Salad for a light supper.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Under the Sea — Worst Cooks in America

by in How-to, Shows, March 19th, 2012

seafood tower worst cooks in america
From lobster to mussels to shrimp and whole arctic char, the sixth episode of Worst Cooks in America had the remaining recruits peeling, shucking and filleting several deep-sea treasures. For their first task, each team had to create a seafood tower, one of the most expensive dishes on a restaurant menu, consisting of mussels, lobster, shrimp, oysters and crab. After that, each member grabbed their knives and filleted a whole arctic char to create a dish for their mentor.

Everyone seemed to have issues at one point or another with cooking and/or prepping their seafood dishes. You can overcook shellfish in mere seconds, and choosing fresh fish can be intimidating. Below are Food Network’s simple step-by-step tips to create the ultimate seafood feast.

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Get Ready for Summer

by in Uncategorized, March 19th, 2012
summer

Don't wait till the last minute to get in shape for summer.

By the time the month of May comes around everyone starts buzzing about getting in shape for beach days and summer vacation. Don’t wait till the last minute to get ready for short...

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Best 5 Chicken Cacciatore Recipes

by in Recipes, March 17th, 2012


Spruce up your usual chicken dinners with this “hunter-style” Italian classic that promises bold, flavorful results every time, thanks to a tried-and-true combination of onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. It is a naturally rustic, easy-to-prepare dish that can be made quickly on a hectic weeknight with everyday ingredients. Check out Food Network’s top five chicken cacciatore recipes, and try cook up one for a simple, satisfying dinner tonight.

5. Chicken Cacciatore — A splash of red wine boosts the full-bodied cacciatore sauce, made with fresh vegetables and thyme.

4. Anne’s Chicken Cacciatore — Anne adds a hint of heat to her rich, tender chicken by sweating onions with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Get the top three recipes

A Chocolate Shamrock Cake

by in Holidays, Recipes, March 16th, 2012

chocolate shamrock cake
While St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday geared toward adults, I think it’s fun to make sure that what I make is also kid friendly.

This cake is a perfect compromise for adults and kids alike. Big people get a decadent piece of cake, while little people take part in a scavenger hunt.

What’s the best part about this cake? Wondering who will get the “lucky” piece or the piece with a four-leaf clover on it.

Learn how to make this simple cake

Polenta Vegetable “Lasagna” — The Weekender

by in Recipes, March 16th, 2012

polenta vegetable lasagna
Until just a few years ago, I thought that all polenta came precooked and wrapped firmly in plastic. When I was in college, my roommates and I would occasionally buy it packaged that way. Once we sawed through the wrapper, we’d cut it into thick rounds and cook those slices in butter until they were crisp and warmed through. Topped with some jarred marinara sauce, we thought it was QUITE the sophisticated meal.

There is nothing wrong with that kind of polenta, but once you taste the freshly cooked kind, all creamy and enriched with Parmesan cheese and a dab of butter, well, there’s no going back. It’s one of my pantry staples, because it can help unify a few leftover odds and ends into a really good meal. My favorite thing to do is top polenta with some pan-wilted spinach and a couple poached eggs. It’s an almost-instant dinner.

I’ve also found that polenta dishes are excellent to share with new parents. They reheat well, last for days in the fridge and are edible comfort for the sleep-deprived.

Get the recipe