Octopus — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, July 30th, 2012

battle octopus
One of the greatest food memories of my travels around the globe has to be an early-morning visit to the legendary Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. While dodging the porters and fishermen, I saw hundreds of varieties of fish and seafood being auctioned off for sale all over Japan.

Amongst all the amazing noises, sights and smells of the market, my eyes were drawn to a number of huge glass tanks containing live octopi, many of whom were attempting to escape by climbing over the sides using the suckers on their tentacles. Unfortunately for them they were soon recaptured and dispatched off to feed hungry locals and tourists including myself.

Watching the Iron Chef and his challenger battle with this eight-legged beast this week really reminded me of my experiences in Japan and I hope it inspires you to try preparing octopus in your own kitchen.

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Holiday Cookies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, July 29th, 2012

holiday cookies
And to think that we were cursing away the snow and the sleet just months ago — now, it’s hot. It’s so hot that untimely images of snow boots, defrost buttons and holiday cookies are wafting into our minds — on Pinterest, at least. In fact, this week’s most popular pins were all about holiday cookies, with Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars, Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butter Scotch Bars and Lemon Ricotta Cookies With Lemon Glaze leading the pack. Hey, they may be holiday cookies, but who’s stopping you from whipping up a batch right now?

Save for the wishes for winter weather, why all of the holiday cookie buzz? This year, Food Network is leaving it to the pinners to choose one of the featured cookies for the 12 Days of Cookies celebration. Whether you love a good snickerdoodle or crave ginger snaps, it just takes a re-pin to place your vote.

For more recipes like this — and to vote for your favorite — visit Food Network’s Let’s Vote: Holiday Cookies board on Pinterest.

Kebabs Your Way — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, July 28th, 2012


This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread features easy DIY kebabs.

Quick-cooking and a downright cinch to prepare, kebabs are one of the most versatile meals you can make on the grill. Most recipes consist of little more than meat or seafood, a variety of vegetables and a multipurpose marinade to flavor them. Beyond that, you can get as fancy as you like, customizing your kebabs to reflect your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand.

If you’re cooking for kids, you may want to stick with simple Beef Kebabs With Couscous, coated in a mild Dijon mustard-rosemary mixture. Entertaining seafood lovers? Cook up Mackerel a la Plancha, layered with zesty lemon slices. Meat meat eaters will enjoy hearty Bacon-Beef skewers, while heat seekers will want to taste these Chili Molasses Chicken Skewers, marinated in a combination of Worcestershire sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo.

Get the menu

Cooking With Wood Planks

by , July 28th, 2012

cedar planked salmon
Cedar and other wood-plank cooking is probably one of the oldest “new” food trends around. It’s a technique that was used by the Northwest Native Americans to roast fish, meats and fowl. Nowadays, adventurous chefs can choose between baking an...

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3 Days to Open: Licari’s

by in Shows, July 27th, 2012

licari's 3 days to open with bobby flay
When Bobby Flay arrived at Gionni’s dream restaurant, Licari’s in Grand Rapids, Mich.,  just three days before the opening, he was almost positive they weren’t going to make it. Along with his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the restaurant, they invested everything — their house, sanity and marriage — but they were in the red, owing money to contractors and vendors, all while emptying their retirement fund and borrowing money from their parents.

Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the husband and wife team fix these four crucial issues: Lisa’s unestablished role, poor food quality, a disorganized kitchen and unleashing the secret recipes from Gionni’s mom.

On opening day, Gionni said “he closed a chapter, but opened a new one.” Are things still running smoothly? How are Gionni and Lisa handling their new venture together as a couple? We checked in with Licari’s six weeks later to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

Click here to watch the video

Coconut Lime Cake — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Recipes, July 27th, 2012

coconut lime cake
For the last 10 years of their life, my grandparents ate at the same restaurant nearly every night. It was located across the street from their apartment building and served as the de facto dining room for many of their neighbors as well. My grandmother liked it because the waitresses all knew her by name and would bring her a glass of iced tea the moment she sat down. My grandfather kept going back because it appealed to his frugal side.

When you ordered off the dinner menu, in addition to being served your entrée, you also got bread, a cup of soup, a salad, two sides, dessert and coffee. All told, it was enough food for two or even three meals and Grandpa Sid saw that as a great bargain.

Each night, they’d eat their soups and salads, poke at the entrée and sides a bit and then move on to the real showpiece of the meal: dessert. Little Pete’s always had at least a dozen pies, cakes, custards and pastries on offer, along with four flavors of ice cream. When I was young, I thought it was paradise.

Before you start sifting flour, read these tips

Plan Your Party, Serve the Right Amount of Food

by in Entertaining, July 27th, 2012

summer party table
One of the most stressful parts of planning a party is deciding how much food to buy and make. You don’t want the food to run out too quickly and have lingering hungry guests, but you also don’t want your fridge to be teeming with leftovers. We took popular summer parties — like a barbecue or a cocktail hour — and broke them down into every element to help you determine, from drinks to condiments, exactly how much of everything you need to buy for the perfect shindig.

Rules to Plan By
Each adult will consume 1 pound of food total; children, about 1/2 pound. The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet.

Guests will always eat — and drink — more at night than during the day.

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