For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient lavash. When this pita-like Middle Eastern bread is crisped up in the oven, it makes a great addition to salad, taking the place of croutons. The Italians have panzanella, a bread salad, but in Middle Eastern cuisine there’s fattoush, a salad made with flatbread. But in this Faux-toush Salad with Lavash, there’s a lot less of the bread and more of the lettuce for a modern spin on the recipe. And there’s grilled chicken breast to round everything out. This would make a healthy lunch to take to the office, or even a light dinner. You’ll definitely find exotic flavors in this dish with honey, lemon and sumac.
While on photo shoots, I’ve bumped into a beer can chicken or two. But I’ve never actually cooked one at home. I am, therefore, somewhat of a grill-season fraud. Last summer “beer can chicken” (with and without hyphens for any of you copy gurus who are wondering) was Googled tens of thousands of times. But not at my house. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with having a beer out back. But every time I see the resulting pictures of beer can chicken — chickens standing or sitting awkwardly and ridiculously on domestic cans or even imports — as if waiting for someone to hand them beers, toes pointing, flailing, kicking or squatting — I can’t help but laugh at how odd they look, and I move on to chops, steak or salmon. Their accoutrements, spice rubs, glazes and flurries of herbs, help doll them up. Yet a beer can chicken’s crossed legs, uncrossed legs, stretching arms and stoic stance don’t make me hungry; they make me think, randomly, of yoga. See above for a visual reference, wherein a stately beer can chicken looks to be moving toward seated meditation, a pensive, quieting pose that conjures warm breezes and calm waters — and a generous spice rub.
Still, there’s a smart reason such food images are shot the way they are. If the food stylist platters the meat or carves the bird, then the picture doesn’t sell the “why” of the recipe: the beer. Placing the chicken on a can of beer allows air to circulate around the bird and hence gives it crisp skin all over, a major plus, and devotees of the Cult of Beer Can Chicken claim the results are juicy and more flavorful. You can insert a debate on beer brand here, folks. (And then go ahead and argue, as Mr. “Meathead” did two years ago on Huffington Post, about whether the method is good anyway.) In the meantime, I am not waiting for New Year’s this year for resolutions: I resolve to win summer. And that starts with stretching into Sun Salutation, getting past chicken poses, crossing the road to get to a six-pack and grilling beer can chicken. After all, what could be bad about drinking a little beer and cooking out? Namastasty.
Check out my top 5 favorite beer can chicken poses, after the jump.
“Being a chef is strange,” says Suzanne Goin. “Throughout service, I taste a lot of food to make sure it tastes and looks right. So, I’m not really eating for pleasure most of the time. I’m eating what I need to for my ...
Healthy Foods to Help You Heal: Just the thought of hospital food can make a person feel a little sick, but there’s a movement underway to change that. Hospitals are increasingly rethinking their menus, abandoning those salty (but otherwise tasteless) broths, quivering cubes of gelatin and beige foods, and instead they’re embracing healthier fare like fresh fruits and vegetables and sustainable, locally grown foods. “Good food can help speed the healing process, and hospitals can be really good models,” Lucia Sayre, co-executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility, tells U.S. News. What’s more, adds dietitian Susan Levin, who works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, providing healthy foods on those trays is “probably the best opportunity in educating the patient in how not to return.” [U.S. News]
Eat Your Words: Summer reading season is just around the corner. And if you’re looking for a literary snack to sustain yourself as you stretch out with a good novel by the pool or on the beach, you might consider whipping up a batch of book-worthy cookies. The website Book Riot has assembled a collection of literary cookie cutters — in the shapes of open and closed books, favorite literary characters, and beloved writers — that will make you want to reach for your cookie recipes and set to baking. Because the only thing more delicious than devouring a good book is doing it with a plate of fresh-baked cookies at arm’s reach. [Book Riot]
An ousted rival will rejoin the competition after a journey on Star Salvation, an exclusive Web series hosted by Damaris Phillips and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Damaris says it best when she explains, “This season is all about fan favorites.” She and fellow Salvation host Geoffrey welcome past competitors — Season 8’s Martie Duncan and Season 9’s Chad Rosenthal — to battle Donna, the first finalist eliminated from Season 10. For their premiere challenge, they’re tasked with presenting themselves and their culinary points of view on pizzas in only 25 minutes.
Click play on the video above to watch Part 1 of Star Salvation now (watch Part 2 here), and see how Donna fares.
No matter Bobby Flay‘s urban roots, no one knows outdoor cooking quite like this Iron Chef. A famed master of meat with decades’ experience of smoking, charring and searing everything from thick-cut chops to true barbecue, Bobby’s the ultimate resource for all things grilled. Now, just in time for summer, Bobby’s sharing a one-stop guide to grilling on his all-new show, Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics.
Tune in Sundays at 11a|10c beginning June 22 to get classic how-tos for conquering the grill, and learn step-by-step tips for making his essential dishes at home. What can fans expect from Bobby on his upcoming episodes? Easy, approachable recipes indicative of Bobby’s signature flavors, plus his must-know secrets to authentic barbecue that you’ll be referring to for summers to come.
Summer is just beginning, but the editors of Food Network Magazine are deep into Halloween. Help them with their trick-or-treat research and tell FN Dish which candies you look forward to most on the big night.
Major Moxie: She’s only 8, but already Taylor Moxey is making a name for herself in the baking world. After she won a local cornbread competition, in which she faced off against adult chefs, the Miami grade-schooler found herself awash in orders for her cupcakes and cookies, so, with the help of her parents and a pink stand mixer, she set to baking. Moxey, a Food Network fan who dreams of opening her own bakery and personally decorates the boxes in which she packs her treats, has now earned thousands of dollars selling her homemade confections. She’s donating part of her proceeds to raise awareness of dyslexia, making the story of her success even sweeter. [Local 10]
Not a Cheap Date: Lunch at Smith & Wollensky in New York City shouldn’t run you more than $100 per person, even when you factor in sides and salads along with your thick, juicy steak, but if you want to eat it up-close and personal with Warren Buffett, it’ll cost you a pretty penny more than that. The billionaire investment guru has just — for the 15th straight year — offered himself up as a luncheon companion in an online auction to raise money for San Francisco antipoverty organization Glide. The bidding on eBay was up to $350,300 as of this writing, but it’s apt to go much higher before closing on Friday. Last year’s winning bid was just over $1 million, and in 2012 some deep-pocketed soul splashed out nearly $3.5 million to break bread with Warren. Who knows what financial pearls Buffett will drop over his midday meal, but he might suggest that, in general, the winner spend a little less on lunch. [eBay via Slate]
Refreshing, ice-cold and perfectly sweet, this drink is actually more like a shake than a smoothie. Made with nut milk and coconut ice cream, it has all of the components of a classic shake but without the dairy — although the coconut ice crea...
Lee Brian Schrager, founder of the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine and Food Festivals, knows a thing or two about fried chicken. Along with co-author Adeena Sussman, a chef and food writer, he has left no stone unturned while traveling around America to unearth the most decadently delicious fried chicken recipes for his new book – ‘Fried & True: More Than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides’.
From classic dishes like Tyler Florence’s Fried Chicken and Velvety Mashed Potatoes to Asian-inspired twists like Dale Talde’s Kung Pao Chicken Wings, this book has a variation for every taste bud. And, of course, you can’t forget the sides. With more than 25 side dishes, recipes include melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits, cheesy garlic grits and cardamom waffles. Finally, to make sure you have your basics right, the cookbook begins with a lesson on kitchen chopping, cooking time, and fats and oils.
The book also includes a foreword by none other than Whoopi Goldberg, who will once again host Schrager’s Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Chicken Coupe event this fall.
You can buy a copy of Fried & True here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Fried & True, and all you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Food Network fried chicken recipe. You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win (find fried chicken recipes here).