VOTE: A Next Iron Chef 3-Way Meatball Cook-Off — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, November 17th, 2012

Rival Recipes: Chef Appleman vs. Chef Estes vs. Chef FalknerComfort food was the name of the game on last week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, as the Chairman challenged the rivals to put innovative twists on classic dishes. But instead of focusing on the all-American meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, they embraced the flavors of three global favorites: banh mi, tacos and falafel. While the chefs were busy taking these Vietnamese, Mexican and Mediterranean staples, respectively, to the next innovative level, we noticed that one country famous for its tried-and-true comfort food was left off of their international food tour. Home to hearty, cheesy pastas, warm breads, beefy meats and perhaps the most-decadent pastries, Italy could have offered the rivals a fourth and formidable comfort food: the meatball.

That’s why this week’s Rival Recipes cook-off is picking up where the Chairman’s Challenge left off and introducing meatballs to the competition. We’re pitting three Redemption rivals against each other and asking the question: Who makes a better ball? Chefs Nate Appleman, Duskie Estes and Elizabeth Falkner are bringing their best saucy bites to the showdown, and it’s up to you, Next Iron Chef fans, to pick whose recipe reigns supreme.

Are you all about the beef? Then you may appreciate Chef Appleman’s Pepperoni Meatballs from Food Network Magazine, made with four different kinds of beef, plus red wine and creamy ricotta cheese. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, Chef Estes’ Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with pistachio nuts and cherries may be more your style. Chef Falkner’s Spaghetti and Meatballs with herbs and cheese from her cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes From My Downtime, however, will appeal to traditionalists who just can’t enjoy a meatball without a twirl of pasta alongside.

VOTE NOW

Watch Thanksgiving Live! This Sunday

by in Shows, November 16th, 2012

Thanksgiving LiveThe weekend is finally here: Food Network’s annual Thanksgiving Live! is going live in just one short day. Just in time for the big feast, on Sunday at 12 pm/ET, Rachael, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny, Ree and your host, turkey master Alton Brown, will be on hand to answer your Thanksgiving questions live on-air. What do you want to know? Ask your question here.

The best Thanksgiving appetizer: Watch the Thanksgiving Live pre-show on FoodNetwork.com at 11:30 am/ET Sunday. We’ll have exclusive interviews with Food Network chefs as they head into the kitchen to answer your questions.

Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff Mauro will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way too.

Brisket Bowls — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 16th, 2012

Rachael Ray's Brisket BowlsMy husband and I have been together now for five years and married for three. We’ve hit all manner of speed bumps and road blocks as we’ve negotiated towards peaceful co-habitation, but none have been more difficult than establishing an array of dinnertime meals that are able to make us both happy.

I come from a family with solid hippie tendencies. The dinners of my childhood tended to feature items like brown rice, beans in place of meat and kale (well before it was trendy). We had lots of fresh vegetables and tart yogurt was billed as a treat.

Scott’s family tended towards a more processed diet. There was a lot of meat, string beans only came out of cans and Velveeta was viewed as a viable cheese for sandwiches and after-school snacks.

Finding our middle ground in the midst of these divergent origins has been tough. We’ve each had to surrender some ground in order to share meals. I’ve stopped shoehorning kale into every meal and Scott has added several lines to the list of vegetables he willingly eats.

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Play Time — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Shows, November 16th, 2012

Chefs Nate Appleman and Eric Greenspan
Though it’s true that The Next Iron Chef rivals are known for their unbreakable focus and competitive mindset, they sure know how to let loose and have fun when the clock stops running and the cameras aren’t rolling. Just watch what happened last week when Chefs Estes, Falkner and Freitag completed a 30-minute three-way Secret Ingredient Showdown. Given the stress of what Chef Freitag called a “pressure cooker situation,” they channeled their nervous energy into a no-holds-barred food fight, whipping handfuls of ingredients across the kitchen.

In the above sneak-peek shot from this Sunday’s episode, it looks as if Chefs Appleman and Greenspan aren’t letting the stress of the competition get them down either. They’re proving that it’s not all work and no play on The Next Iron Chef as Chef Greenspan poses with a dish, making a funny face while lightheartedly teasing his fellow rival. Will the chefs let their lively personalities shine as they’re photographed by a special guest on Sunday, or will they come across as subdued and serious?

Write your best caption

Behind the Booklet: 50 Things to Make With Apples

by in Food Network Magazine, November 16th, 2012

50 Things to Make With ApplesWhen the Food Network test kitchens first conceived of the “50 Things to Make With Apples” booklet from the October issue of Food Network Magazine (page 160), we thought we would use apple in all its forms, including applesauce and cider.

Ultimately, we decided to only include recipes with fresh apples — but I had already developed this easy recipe for cider-glazed bacon. You’ll be amazed by how much of the cider flavor actually comes through. And if you want to take it over the top, use the bacon to make a BLA — a BLT with sliced apples instead of tomatoes.

Simmer 1 cup apple cider down to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Lay 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon on a rack on sheet tray; brush with half the cider; bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping and brushing again halfway through.

VOTE: The Next Iron Chef Secret Ingredient Bracket Challenge Round 1

by in Shows, November 15th, 2012

NIC's Hardest Secret Ingredient of All Time ChallengeThere are some pretty strange and unusual ingredients that get used on The Next Iron Chef challenges. But what secret ingredients have been the hardest for the competitors to work with? The culinary team in Food Network Kitchens weighed in on this question and came up with eight of the most difficult secret ingredients from the previous four seasons.

But what’s the absolute hardest ingredient used on The Next Iron Chef? You get to decide in this bracket challenge.

How It Works

Round 1 begins today, November 15. The top eight secret ingredients will get narrowed down to four. Vote below now.

Round 2 is next week. The remaining four ingredients will get narrowed down to two. Vote starting November 22 at noon.

Round 3 is the last week of November. The winner will be chosen from the two finalists. Vote starting November 29 at noon.

On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.

VOTE HERE

Go Nuts With Bark

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 15th, 2012

Hedy Goldsmith's BarkBark (noun): Tough protective covering of the woody stems of trees

Popcorn + Peanut Bark (noun): Delicious dark chocolate covering that protects buttery, salty, freshly popped popcorn and peanuts

Bark (verb): to speak in an unfriendly tone when it’s all gone

Now that Halloween is over and the holidays are right around the corner, are you starting to panic? Is your heart racing and blood pressure sky-rocketing? This disorder may have everything to do with the fact that you haven’t a clue which direction to go as far as holiday gifts are concerned. Relax and take a deep breath — I am going to make your gift-giving very easy this year.

Gifts of food, especially sweet ones, speak volumes to your friends and family. Everyone on your list will feel special.

Keep reading

Join the Sweet Potato Craze

by in Food Network Magazine, November 15th, 2012

Sweet Potatoes

America’s obsession with sweets isn’t always a bad thing. We’re eating more vitamin-packed sweet potatoes than ever: about seven pounds a year per person, up from only 3.8 pounds in 2002. It helps that fast-food restaurants, including Wendy’s and Burger King, have put them on the menu. And celebrities are touting them, too: Oprah Winfrey says they’re one of her favorite foods, and Glee‘s Matthew Morrison follows a sweet potato-only diet before photo shoots. Get your fill with Guy Fieri’s Whiskey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Ree Drummond’s Soul Sweet ‘Taters, then vote for your favorite.

On The Blogs: Latte Art, Flakey Pastry and Oprah’s New Organic Food Line

by in Community, November 15th, 2012

Coffee ArtDVice:  Going far beyond the pretty heart-shape topped lattes in coffee shops, Japanese latte artist Kazuki transforms coffee and steamed milk into famous cartoon and video game characters. You can follow is daily creations on Twitter.

Forbes: Oprah Winfrey’s next venture includes organic food and health products.

The Kitchn: Cardamom is delicious in baked goods, but have you tried it in your coffee, too?

Food52: Does homemade pastry intimidate you? Grating frozen butter is an easy trick that yields flaky results.