I don’t clearly remember the first time I had macaroni and cheese. It’s just always been there. The first time I made mac ‘n’ cheese, my friends and I made it out of a box and we added Bac-O’s for flavor. It wasn’t very good, but it wasn’t bad either. Lesson learned: even bad mac ‘n’ cheese can be delicious.
It wasn’t until I was an adult and eating in restaurants that I realized how good a real baked shells and cheese could be. I became obsessed with finding down-home cheesy perfection.
Chat ‘N’ Chew, a downtown NYC staple, has one of my favorite basic baked versions. It’s not fancy, but you get a lot of it, and it hits that perfect blend of crispy topping, warm cheese and noodle-y goodness.
When I’m craving a taste of my Bac-O’s disaster, I indulge in Tipsy Parson‘s Mac ‘N’ Cheese with slab bacon. The smoky flavor perfectly slices through the sharp Vermont cheddar and delivers an extra protein punch.
More recently, the newly opened Little Cheese Pub has set my obsession on its head with rotating versions of the comfort classic. The Dutch Kas Mac has all the traditional elements, but the cheese is Gouda and it’s topped with beer pretzels. It’s exactly what mac ‘n’ cheese should taste like, but somehow better. They also have versions with Manchego and mozzarella cheese. It’s practically criminal.
Hungry yet? Try one of our chefs’ versions at home or tell us where the best mac ‘n’ cheese is in your town.
- Dr. Suess Cupcakes From Cupcakes Take the Cake
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, would be 107 today. We’re celebrating this beloved author with recipes that match up with some of his best-known books. Oh, the dishes we’ll cook!
Sweet and savory Seussical fare »
- Consider Yourself Fueled - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine
Tacos With a Side of Gasoline: The Wall Street Journal highlights a new trend: the gas station taqueria. From California to Maine, you can fuel up on both tacos and gas at these five spots – so chose your route accordingly. [wsj.com]
New Mexico Chilly On Other Chiles: The state’s chile industry has taken a financial hit from foreign produce exporters to its south. Thus the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act has been proposed, which would make it illegal to advertise any of this heated product as local when it’s not. “This is not so much an issue of policing,” Jaye Hawkins, executive director of the New Mexico Chile Association told the Times. “[It’s about] making sure consumers can be sure they are getting New Mexico chile when that’s what they think they’re buying.” [nytimes.com]
Ben & Jerry’s Newest Flavor: The newest ice cream to be produced by Vermont’s finest is called Late Night Snack, and it’s inspired by comedian Jimmy Fallon. If you’ve ever considered removing your couch cushions and dropping their underlying crumbs into ice cream, then this might be your new favorite flavor. It boasts a creamy vanilla base which is swirled with salted caramel, but the real selling point is the fudge-covered potato chip clusters. [newyork.grubstreet.com]
How to Pose Like a Chef: In more Saturday Night Live-alum news, Portlandia’s Fred Armisen’s stars in this hysterical attempt to pose like a chef for a photo shoot. See what happens when a gallon of milk gets involved. [eater.com]
Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments
- Happy National Peanut Butter Day! Follow Sunny's lead and add a fun strawberry jam center to your peanut butter cookies.
When you think of the perfect peanut butter cookie what do you see, taste and smell? Sugary criss-crosses, the crunch of peanuts, warm baked goodness, grandma’s kitchen, City Bakery in New York City (where the most intensely peanut butter-y cookie in the world is baked)? These nostalgic, everyday cookies are true favorites appropriate for any occasion, any season, anytime whatsoever. But today they’re especially appropriate — celebrate March 1st, National Peanut Butter Day, by baking a batch of perfect peanut butter cookies.
Start by picking out a new favorite peanut butter cookie recipe from Food Network Chefs.
Read more »
- The Ace of Cakes himself, Duff Goldman, hosted The Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach party at SOBE.
Saturday night at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival food celebs and fans attended a party inspired by the popular FN show Best Thing I Ever Ate, with a little South Beach twist — “Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach” hosted by Duff Goldman. Food Network and Cooking Channel chefs didn’t cook but instead picked their favorite beach foods to be served up at the event and then mixed and mingled with hungry fans.
Read more »
On Chopped All-Stars, 16 chefs you know and love are competing to win $50,000 for their favorite charity. Check out which organization each chef is playing for.
Read about the chefs’ charities
- Host Bobby Flay and Iron Chef Michael Symon Sample Barbecue
What’s better than a beachside barbecue? One sparkling with celebrity chefs and lots and lots of champagne. The stars came out last night for South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Bubble Q to meet up with host Bobby Flay and sample smoky wares from Giada De Laurentiis, Todd English, Al Roker, Chris Lilly, Iron Chef Cat Cora and more. We also spied Guy Fieri and Michael Symon at the event — take a peek at the action!
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We’re celebrating the Oscars Food Network-style, with menus inspired by each best picture nominee (see all the posts here). Today, last but not least, two films starring young, strong-willed females: True Grit and Winter’s Bone. Both are set in the wild countryside and call for down-home country cooking (plus a few great puns).
Read more »
- Iron Chef Michael Symon scored his second win in a row at SOBE's Burger Bash.
Last night Iron Chef Michael Symon reigned supreme at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash. The field was tight and the competition tough, but Symon scored the People’s Choice award with his Yo! Burger, a towering artform of provolone cheese, fried salami, onions and a hot Hungarian mustard sauce. Symon stood front and center at the B Spot table to greet fans as they stepped up to get their hands on the juiciest burger at the bash. One bite of the burger left them searching for napkins while simultaneously going in for bite number two.
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- Oscar night picks for the young at heart: Dishes to "Like" or "Share" and recipes that are child's play.
Young at heart, or just too cool for school? The cool kids will be on the small screen at the Oscars this weekend. In a Best Picture field crowded with serious films and old-school subjects, two movies stand out for their youthful appeal: The Social Network and Toy Story 3.
All week The Dish is offering winning menus and recipes tailored to the nominees for Best Picture. Today, the tale of a brainy techno-whizkid’s creation of Facebook is food-fighting with the classic toys adventuring as their kid heads off to college.
So, WWMZE? What might Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg eat to celebrate (or not) if The Social Network wins best picture at this weekend’s awards? WWBLE? What might Buzz Lightyear sit down and enjoy if Toy Story 3 rockets to the winner’s podium (and if he weren’t an animated character)? Consider this a friendly foodie faceoff–which of their food picks wins?
Read more »