Life Advice from a Chef: Don’t Follow a Recipe

by in News, May 20th, 2014

Life Advice from a Chef: Don't Follow a RecipeWhen Chef José Andrés took the stage to address the graduates of George Washington University at their commencement May 18, even he seemed surprised to have been the one chosen for the honor. “Wow,” Chef José said after the crowd had offered its perfunctory applause. But after humbly introducing himself — “My name is José Andrés and I am a cook” — the Spanish-born chef, who made his name and popularized small plates at restaurants like Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., gave a speech that built an instant buzz in the food world and beyond.

José’s speech, which began with a funny video showing some of his more famous pals (Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Al Roker, Eric Holder and others) turning down the gig, was as inspiring as it was amusing.

It included advice like: “There will always be critics and naysayers telling you what you cannot do, that it is impossible. There will always be more people bringing you down than lifting you up. It seems that way sometimes. But let me tell you: Get a cocktail shaker (if you are over 21). Add your heart, your soul, your brain, your instinct and shake it hard. Serve it straight up, but let me give you a secret ingredient. Add a dash of the criticism on top because those naysayers play an important role too. They motivate you to rise above, to challenge yourself, to prove them wrong.”

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Best 5 Broccoli Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, May 20th, 2014

Broccoli and Cauliflower SaladWith Memorial Day just a few days away, the time is now to start planning your holiday weekend menu. No matter if you’ll be hosting a neighborhood celebration or simply enjoying a cookout with your family, you’ll likely be firing up the barbecue for the first time this season and breaking it in with smoky grilled chicken, cheesy hamburgers and all-American hot dogs. When it comes to side dishes, however, think beyond such classics as pasta and potato salads, and try a vegetable-based option instead. Broccoli salad is easy to make in a hurry, and it’s a crowd-pleasing addition to potluck picnics; the secret to most recipes is letting the fresh flavor of broccoli shine and only enhancing it with complementary ingredients. Check out Food Network’s top-five broccoli salad recipes below to find traditional and dressed-up takes on this go-to favorite.

5. Broccoli and Mozzarella Salad — Made with just a handful of ingredients, Sandra’s five-minute dish is a next-level take on the caprese salad. Her version calls for frozen broccoli florets, mini mozzarella balls and juicy cherry tomatoes.

4. The Neelys’ Broccoli Salad — “This is a way of getting away from just the traditional salads,” Pat says of his five-star creation, mixed with decadent bacon and crisp red onions.

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Shortcut Dessert Ideas Straight from the Supermarket

by in Recipes, May 19th, 2014

Shortcut Dessert Ideas Straight from the SupermarketThese quick and easy treats use a few store-bought ingredients to save you time in the kitchen. From frozen pie crusts to instant pudding and more helpful shortcuts, supermarket staples mean you can have a gourmet dessert any night of the week.

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Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, May 19th, 2014

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and WalnutsCome lunchtime, when all else fails you can nearly always count on a simple salad to save your midday meal. All it takes to pull off a winning recipe is bunch of fresh greens and a light dressing; anything beyond that is a bonus, but it surely helps to bulk up a salad with seasonal produce, hearty protein, and cheese for added sustenance and decadence. Make Rachael’s five-minute green salad with strawberries for a healthy recipe in a hurry; dig into Food Network Kitchen’s classic Greek Salad, packed with Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese and juicy cherry tomatoes; or try a top-rated spinach salad.

In just 15 quick minutes, Food Network Kitchen turns out a Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts (pictured above) that’s both good for you and deliciously satisfying. The star of this recipe is the flavor-packed vinaigrette, whisked together with sweet shallots and tangy Dijon mustard. Dress the greens with this simple mixture, and add crunchy walnuts and creamy goat cheese for texture and taste.

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“This Really Is Awesome.” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, May 18th, 2014


“This is awesome. I say that all the time, but I really mean it,” judge Jet Tila told Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown on tonight’s brand-new After-Show. “I know I keep saying that. This really is awesome,” he added. Jet has judged multiple episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen and is no stranger to the kind of evilicious Alton is capable of bestowing upon the competitors. So when Jet showed such a wowed reaction to one particular sabotage featured on tonight’s episode, fans knew this challenge must have been especially diabolical.

The sabotage in question was none other than the paper cutter auctioned off during Round 3′s steak Diane test, which allowed Chef Frances to slice or dice Chef Jaron’s piece of meat for a whopping 30 seconds. Because a singular round of meat — usually a fillet — is a signature element of steak Diane, shredded meat could mean disaster, and it ultimately did for Chef Jaron, who failed to take advantage of his newly cut-up beef. Alton told Jet of how he would have approached the obstacle, explaining: “I’m going to chop it down to even smaller pieces, and I’m going to either do it like it started to be a tartare, or I’m going to make a fricken burger kind of thing out of it.” He added of Chef Jaron’s obvious demise, “The second that he didn’t do that, I thought, ‘This is over.’” And sure enough, Chef Jaron walked away empty-handed.

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Announcing the Winner of America’s Best Cook — Exclusive Interview

by in Shows, May 18th, 2014

Team North and SouthAfter six weeks of competition, one home cook has separated herself from the rest and proven worthy of the title America’s Best Cook. Being mentored by a Food Network chef has helped her become a better home cook and a better competitor. The rigors of the competition strengthened her resolve to win, and helped her get to the finale, where she excelled in defeating three other finalists. She has made her region proud. America, meet your best cook.

FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner