In this week’s news: Michelle Obama hits a spork in the road to school lunch reform; researchers give a quick lesson on food costs and weight gain; and a former restaurant critic says it’s time to give up on the miracle diet pills alrea...
This weekend, grilling season is in full swing on Food Network. Start your Saturday with new episodes of The Pioneer Woman, Farmhouse Rules and The Kitchen. Ree grills up a meal for her family. Afterward, Nancy and David are hosting a cookout. And on The Kitchen, the co-hosts offer up their top grilling tips.
The grilling theme continues on Sunday morning as Damaris grills a week’s worth of ingredients on Southern at Heart. Afterward, Giada is making a California-inspired backyard feast on Giada at Home. And Guy gets grilling some of his favorite dishes on Guy’s Big Bite.
On Sunday night, tune in for an epic night of competition. First, Food Network Star alumni enter the competition on Guy’s Grocery Games. Right after, it’s the Season 10 premiere of Food Network Star as 12 budding hopefuls vie for their own show on the network. Then the tables get turned on the Cutthroat Kitchen judges, who now face off against one another. And finally, watch a new episode of Kitchen Casino.
Fowl Brew: Polly can keep her cracker. Kyara, a parrot owned by Portland, Ore., resident Charlene Fugel, wants a grande two-pump mocha, diluted and poured from a venti cup. The caffeine-craving bird has been drinking coffee — about a tablespoonful about twice a month — for the past seven years. (Her vet apparently said it was OK.) “She’s crazy about coffee, and she’ll drink it any way you give it to her,” Charlene told KATU News. “Cold, hot — she doesn’t care. Sugar, none …” Watch a video of Kyara downing her unusual beverage of choice here. [KATU.com]
Cold Brewskies: Wondering how to keep your beer cold during all those backyard barbecues? Forget the schlep to the kitchen fridge. Never mind the ice-filled cooler. Four thirsty Danish inventors have come up with a convenient, environmentally friendly, electricity-free way to cool your beer year-round — underground. The eCool earth cooler is a patented contraption you embed in the earth below your yard or terrace that uses the naturally lower temperatures below ground to chill your beer (or, one imagines, sodas and juices). Stock it with up to 24 cans and retrieve them, one by one, using a simple hand crank, as your thirst dictates. Ingenious! [eCool via Gizmodo]
That all changed once I took them a step further, beyond the reheat-and-eat approach. I cooked more white rice than expected one night, and discovered a few days later that cold, cooked rice is the best kind to use for making a tastier homemade version of Chinese takeout.
For the first time on Sunday night (at 10|9c), the contestants taking their turns on Cutthroat Kitchen won’t be everyday chef-competitors; instead the judges, Antonia Lofaso, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jet Tila and Simon Majumdar, will enter the throes of sabotage and battle against each other for Cutthroat glory. Although the group is most familiar with simply tasting the aftermath of a challenge, they’re keenly aware of the kinds of evilicious obstacles Alton‘s been known to auction off. Just ahead of this weekend’s special episode, FN Dish checked in with Alton to find out what he has planned. Read on below to hear from Alton in an exclusive interview and learn his thoughts on the competition plus his advice for the judges.
Regardless of who’s competing — contestants or judges — what is one key piece of advice you think everyone should know before beginning a Cutthroat battle?
Alton Brown: Shop for the unexpected. It’s easy to grab ingredients for a specific dish, but remember … in Cutthroat Kitchen you never know what sabotages might be coming your way. Don’t just load for bear; load for monsters.
It’s about that time that we switch gears from spring eating to something more suited for the warm weather. When you think summer eating, visions of ketchup-laced hot dogs, smothered-in-sauce ribs and other staples are likely to come to mind. Casseroles, on the other hand, likely aren’t at the top of your brain. But maybe they should be. When you incorporate seasonal ingredients, this potluck power player can go well beyond the tired tuna casserole. Take your pick of Food Network’s best casseroles, from creamy sides to complete dinners.
Like tacos, loaded Beef and Cheddar Casserole (pictured above) is a dish with major staying power on your family’s weeknight dinner roster, especially since it’s ready in just under an hour. Simply pour beefy tomato sauce over wide egg noodles and bring on the cheese.
Last week I shared tips on stocking the fridge with some of my favorite waistline-friendly foods. Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for my secret weapon: a fast, healthy and flavorful meal in just about no time. I call it All-Purpose Broth. The star ingredient? Miso paste.
Before I dive into the greatness that is the All-Purpose Broth, let me start by giving you a very basic miso primer: Miso is fermented soybean paste used in Japanese cuisine and it has a salty, savory, slightly nutty flavor and is full of glutamates, which imparts umami (savory flavor). The lighter the color in miso paste, the milder the flavor. White miso paste is milder than yellow, red or intense brown varieties. I usually buy white or yellow, which are both mellow and delicious — and readily available at most neighborhood supermarkets. (But try other versions, too, for a deeper, more intense flavor, and try out the miso soup at high-end Japanese restaurants to explore artisan miso pastes that you won’t find on your average grocery store shelf.) The exact health benefits of miso paste are somewhat debated, but proponents tout its levels of vitamin B12 and antioxidants, as well as its positive impact on the immune system. Others swear by its ability to alleviate common cold symptoms. In any case, I love it as an easy go-to pantry item for lean and tasty meals on the fly, which brings me back to my All-Purpose Broth.
Here’s how it works: Basically I load up each individual serving bowl with whatever I have on hand (leftover chicken breast, a spoonful of quinoa, shredded veggies, a piece of grilled fish or maybe I’ll cube up some tofu). I make a quick broth and then pour it over the contents of the bowl. And then I eat it, with a smile, patting myself on the back for making a meal that is thrifty, fast, delicious, healthy and versatile.