Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.
Cupcake Wars Season 3 opened with an exciting Kentucky Derby-themed challenge that was all about the booze: mint juleps and hurricanes. Three contestants played it safe with mint-julep inspired cupcakes, but Carla concocted a whirl-wind of flavor in her Hurricane Cupcake, which really impressed us. James and Annette went too easy on the booze, while Tara’s cupcake packed so much it sent her packing. We would have loved to enjoy her fun, spunky personality much longer!
Neither am I. In fact, our national obsession with cured pig has only made me all the more eager to explore lesser-known –- but equally delicious -– pork parts.
And there are plenty to choose from. One of the most widely available, yet often overlooked, is pancetta, a close relative of American bacon.
So let’s start there. Bacon usually is made from the belly or side of the pig. It is cured (either dry or wet) with salt, spices and sometimes sugar, then smoked.
Pancetta is the Italian version. Typically made from the belly, the curing process is the same, but the meat usually is not smoked. During curing, it often is seasoned with black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and herbs.
While most American bacon is sliced into thin strips, slabs of pancetta usually are rolled into a log.
You won’t need a panini press to make this grilled sandwich, which showcases some of Giada’s classic pairings: mozzarella, pesto and grilled vegetables. Eggplant, zucchini and red onions are cooked until tender and piled high on baguettes that have been slathered with basil pesto and topped with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes.
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Spring Fling 2011, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Recently, we dove into the world of artichokes and strawberries. Today, we’re exploring peas.
There are many varieties of pea, all members of the legume family. Some, like the English pea (the common garden pea), are grown to be eaten fresh and removed from their pods. Others, like the snow and sugar snap pea are eaten pod and all. When choosing English peas, make sure they’re bright green and the pods are swollen and firm — stay away from discolored pods.
So you’ve done all the work — shucked the pods and now you have your individual peas. While you’ve probably eaten peas as a side dish or slurped split pea soup, have you tried incorporating them into main dishes? This week, try one of these five-star recipes showcasing this sweet and delicate vegetable.
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What secret ingredient adds a layer of flavor to Pat and Gina Neely’s famous barbecue chicken that’s probably in your pantry right now? The chicken is marinated overnight in Italian dressing and then slathered in their signature BBQ sauce made with light brown sugar.
If you don’t have a grill, place the chicken in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
In the hot summer months, it’s hard to spend time in the kitchen over a hot stove. Every Wednesday on Food Network’s Facebook page, we host “Ask the Editor,” where readers can ask a question on a specific topic. Last week, we received numerous inquiries on how to keep kitchens cool in the summer heat.
So how can you put dinner on the table without driving you and your family into a heat coma?
Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.
I always think an oyster is completely submerged in water all of the time. On a recent boat ride through a little inlet outside Charleston, S.C. I learned that isn’t always true. As the boat ripped through the water, I noticed some unusual-looking plants adorning the shoreline. When the boat slowed, I got a closer look at these “plants.” They were actually oysters, one growing virtually on top of the other, like a 50-car pileup on the freeway. They were rooted in the sand, but due to the low tide, some were submerged and others not.
The skipper of our boat, Joe, a South Carolina native, saw me staring and pulled the boat over to the edge of a small beach area. “Put those boots on,” he instructed with a knowing grin. He handed me a pair of electric-green boots and I pulled them on slowly as he passed me an oyster knife. We crouched over the oysters and gently pulled a few loose. They were covered in grit, but they were still beautiful. I pried the top shell open and tasted the oyster (and its ridiculously fresh liquid) as if it were my first. It was so cold! Joe grinned, “Pretty good, eh?”