Champions Return to the Chopping Block

by in Shows, December 19th, 2012

Chef Rob Evans and Ted Allen on Chopped ChampionsFor even the most ambitious chefs, the thought of taking a single turn in the Chopped kitchen is daunting. But for a certain 16 competitors — an elite few who’ve already successfully conquered the chopping block once — the opportunity to do so again just can’t be missed.

This January, 16 previous Chopped winners are returning to battle in Chopped Champions, a five-round tournament that will again test their cooking chops and ability to work under pressure with baskets full of unknown, potentially odd and disparate ingredients. With dwindling time on the clock and a panel of professional-chef judges watching their every move, they’ll need to rely on more than past successes if they want to claim not just bragging rights but also a whopping $50,000 and the title of Chopped Grand Champion.

What can the chefs expect to find in their baskets this time around? Sea snails to be sure, but also haggis — a much-loved-to-hate minced-meat-like specialty featuring animal lungs, heart and liver cooked inside animal stomach — plus a few deliciously sweet and savory surprises.

Tune in to round 1 of Chopped Champions on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 10pm/9c to find out which of the first four chefs will become a two-time victor and earn a spot in the finale.

As Seen on The Next Iron Chef: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Collection of Eyewear

by in Shows, December 18th, 2012

Iron Chef Geoffrey ZakarianWhen it comes to judging The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, boasting a discerning palate, a keen sense of smell and a lifetime of experience in professional cooking and eating isn’t enough; you need to look the part as well. For judge Geoffrey Zakarian, completing his ensemble requires two pieces: an Iron Chef’s jacket and a pair of knockout glasses. Unlike the jacket, which comes in just one classic shade and style, his eyewear can be changed for every episode, and throughout this season, we’ve seen just how much Iron Chef Zakarian takes advantage of that by switching between royal-blue rims, leopard-print specs and fashion-forward see-through frames week after week. He told us in this video that he brought with him more than 12 pairs of glasses to film The Next Iron Chef and after seven episodes, he’s only repeated pairs a few times.

Flip through this photo gallery to see some of the best pieces from Iron Chef Zakarian’s vast collection of eyewear, then tell us in the comments: Which of his pairs of glasses is your favorite?

Don’t miss the finale of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday at 9pm/8c.

Get an extended preview of next week’s final episode

The Christmas Meal: What’s Your Family’s Tradition?

by in Family, Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Holiday Dinner PartyThere’s no doubt about it that turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Maybe this year your family ate something other than turkey, like ham, but the bird really does symbolize the holiday no matter how you look at it. But what about Christmas? Is there a food symbolic of Christmas? Not really. Everyone does something different; maybe that’s what is so special about the holiday.

FN Dish wants to know, what do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Do you repeat the same turkey menu from Thanksgiving? Do you do a British-style prime rib with Yorkshire pudding? Or a Southern glazed ham with biscuits? Or a crown roast of pork or lamb? Every family has its special Christmas meal. What’s yours?

VOTE and tell us what you make on Christmas

Trim Beans in a Flash

by in Food Network Magazine, December 18th, 2012

Green Beans
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Green beans don’t need to be trimmed on both ends — just the stem end. For fast trimming, line up a handful of raw beans on a cutting board with the stem ends facing your knife, then push them into a line against the knife and make one long cut.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

by , December 18th, 2012

yogurt
Want to keep your digestive system healthy and happy? Make sure you’re getting enough of these important tummy pleasers.

What are they?
It may sound icky but it’s a good thing that our digestive tracks are populated with bacteria. Many of these ...

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Set the Scene: Easy Holiday Table Centerpieces

by in Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Rosemary Christmas TreesOften when hosting holiday parties, so much thought goes into ensuring that the food for each and every course is as perfect as it can be that other aspects of entertaining, like home decoration, fall by the wayside, trumped by other, seemingly more-pressing concerns. This year, no matter how casual or elegant your get-together is, set the scene with seasonal centerpieces made from accessible, everyday products, like candles, flowers and fresh fruit. Food Network’s collection of easy holiday centerpieces features 11 must-see designs that aren’t just easy to recreate in your home, but also classic ideas that can be adapted or added upon, depending on your personal taste. Check out a few of our favorite settings below, then browse the entire centerpiece guide to find welcoming scenes to complete your sit-down dinner table, plus kitchen island countertop, buffet and coffee table.

Let seasonal herbs star in more than just your holiday roast by using fragrant varieties as the focal point of your table. The rosemary trees pictured above are light, inexpensive, and add a pop of freshness to the warm indoors. For the containers, use any small pots you have on hand. The metal vessels pictured above are quite elegant, but if you happen to have terra-cotta pots left over from spring and summer planting, put them to work here.

Keep reading for more easy ideas

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for Kids — The Product Puree

by in Family, Holidays, December 17th, 2012

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for KidsComing up with creative holiday gifts for kids can be a real challenge, but to my surprise, several kids I know have been asking their parents for cooking equipment this year. Why not? Half of the tools in my kitchen are better than toys in some respects. Just this morning my son turned my trussing string into rope for his crane to lift my favorite whisk.

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box idea that will keep kids excited about and engaged in cooking, here are a few things I’ll be giving this year:

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Bringing Home the Bacon — Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 17th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Rival ChefsThe four remaining chefs were asked to transform the much-maligned Las Vegas buffet into something worthy of Kitchen Stadium Sunday night.

After legendary magician David Copperfield pronounced that bacon was to be the main ingredient, Chef Freitag paired herself with Chef Appleman to face off against the decidedly odd couple of Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef Vigneron.

The end results brought some real highs and some very definite lows on both sides. I thought that Chefs Freitag and Appleman’s salad lacked any of the announced lime and jalapeno dressing, leaving it bland and tasteless. Their dessert called “The Elvis,” however, still ranks as one of the very best tastes of the whole competition.

Chefs Guarnaschelli and Vigneron produced two triumphant dishes in the form of bacon-wrapped bacon and sublime roast chicken. But they let themselves down by presenting undercooked leeks and a chocolate mousse that was grainy and unpalatable. It was enough to send them both to the Secret Ingredient Showdown to battle it out for a spot in the finale.

Keep reading and get an extended preview of the finale

Enter for a Chance to Win FN Dish’s Collection of Cookbooks

by in Books, Contests, December 17th, 2012

FN Dish's Collection of Cookbooks GiveawayIt has certainly been an amazing year for cookbooks by Food Network chefs, and that also goes for the many talented contributors who write for FN Dish. We have their books piled high on our desks, but FN Dish editors thought it was time to share the love. Whether you keep them for yourself or gift them to a loved one, here’s the ultimate literary holiday treat.

We’re giving away a collection of cookbooks from FN Dish contributors and Food Network chefs that includes:

You can buy them all, including Marisa’s, Hedy’s and Catherine’s books, or enter for a chance to win all of them. To enter: Tell us what your favorite FN Dish post of the year was in the comments. We’re giving away this collection of cookbooks to one lucky, randomly selected commenter.

Read official rules before entering

Pink Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa

by , December 17th, 2012

grapefruit salsa
Hooray for grapefruit season! There’s no question that the pink and red grapefruit varieties add a burst of sunshine during the shorter, darker and colder days of winter. One recent morning, my son Kyle decided he wanted to play “Chopped” for ...

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