Summer Cooking (and Eating), Alex Guarnaschelli Style

by in Food Network Chef, In Season, July 1st, 2015

Alex GuarnaschelliThe beauty of summertime eats and drinks is that it all comes down to simple, fresh fare, which just so happens to pair well with long days outside and the warm temperatures of the season. Recently FN Dish caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli at one such alfresco feast, where she was celebrating the launch of her partnership with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi to create a line of cookout-ready wine-infused barbecue sauces (you can buy them here). From her picks for seasonal entertaining to the secret to make-ahead appetizers, she shared her top ideas for summertime cooking, plus dished on what she piles on top of her ultimate burger. Read on below to hear what she had to say in an exclusive interview.

What’s your favorite way to entertain during the summer?
Alex Guarnaschelli: For a barbecue or a cookout — from Memorial Day through Labor Day and maybe even into October — I’m really big into the outdoor stuff. Because chefs are always locked indoors, we really appreciate those spring and summer months. I like to go nuts, and I think the best way to do that is to prepare a lot of stuff in advance. I definitely load my fridge door with a few salad dressings, vinaigrettes, sauces, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce. I might take that Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce and take it in a direction — I’ll add a big dose of fresh ginger, put it on shrimp. I’ll take that barbecue sauce and I’ll add a huge hit of chili powder and I’ll put it on a pork shoulder. You know, I might just take the personality of it and pull it. Because it’s got that wine flavor, those tannins. It’s almost like a dry barbecue sauce, like in the good sense, like a dry wine. I think that having all that stuff done in advance, for me, is huge. So when you talk about how charming it is, the butterflies and the unicorns and the rainbows, for me, it’s great when I have company over and I’m outdoors and I’ve lit the little tiki lamps and the food is out and people are drinking and we’re laughing and I’m not going back in the kitchen.

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Michael Symon’s Meaty Secret: Everything in Moderation

by in Shows, July 1st, 2015

Michael SymonOn Food Network’s new series Burgers, Brew & ‘Que (Fridays at 10:30|9:30c), Iron Chef and All-Star Academy mentor Michael Symon takes viewers through his favorite cities, introducing us to his ultimate foodstuffs, i.e., burgers, barbecue and beer, among other meaty and nonmeaty things. However, it’s his love for meat that Michael is well known for — that’s no secret. But Michael reveals what he really eats seven days a week, which many people might find shocking.

FN Dish recently caught up with Michael at Hill Country Barbecue in New York City to chat about his show and his favorite topics — which, of course, center around barbecue. We also got into some possible cook-off smack talk regarding his friend Bobby Flay. Can Michael Symon Beat Bobby Flay?

Michael Reveals His Favorite Meat

Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About Nachos

by in Community, Shows, July 1st, 2015

Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About NachosThe beauty of nachos is that, unlike dishes that require a certain set of ingredients, there are no rules for creating the ultimate plate. Chips, cheese, maybe a meat and something creamy — that’s all that’s expected, and beyond that, it’s up to you to customize the platter however you see fit with whatever you happen to have on hand. On yesterday’s brand-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, Katie Lee showed off a wow-worthy platter of chorizo nachos, one so impressive that it’s sure to incite “table envy” from those dining near you.

Recently Food Network asked you to tell us about your best-ever nacho eats, and in true superfan fashion, you delivered in droves, with comments and photos of piled-high plates. Keep scrolling below to see FN Dish’s favorite selections.

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Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

by in News, June 30th, 2015

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What's the Difference?Gelato, that Italian dessert staple, is gaining U.S. fans, with sales hitting an estimated $214 million in 2014, an $11 million increase from 2009, and driving growth in the frozen dairy dessert market. But did you ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato — or if it’s just a matter of semantics and a higher price point?

In fact, gelato is really quite distinct from ice cream, NPR’s The Salt blog notes. Citing gelato expert and author Morgan Morano, writer Linda Poon sketches out a few key differences:

Creaminess: Gelato is creamier, smoother and silkier, as well as denser and more elastic and fluid, than American ice cream.

Ingredients: While both gelato and ice cream contain cream, milk and sugar, authentic gelato uses more milk and less cream than ice cream and generally doesn’t use egg yolks, which are a common ingredient in ice cream. Read more

How to Make Desserts Sparkle Like It’s the 4th of July

by in Holidays, June 30th, 2015

Sprinkles elevate an everyday dessert like this simple chocolate mousse into something special. Glittery red cinnamon sugar and vanilla mini marshmallow bits add a kick of flavor, while the subtle color of these pretty blue jimmies comes from natural dyes. So sprinkle without abandon and make even everyday celebrations sparkle like it’s the 4th of July.

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6 Kid-Tested Zucchini Dishes for Summer

by in Family, Recipes, June 30th, 2015

Zucchini Ribbon PastaIf you’re a gardener, or you’ve been to the grocery store and seen it on sale, you know the zucchini has officially arrived. We have a ton of the stuff popping up in our small garden beds every day, which means we’re eating a ton of the stuff every day. These are my favorite kid-tested zucchini recipes, offering enough variety to keep everyone eating the good stuff all summer long.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta: Long tendrils of zucchini combined with tender fettuccine noodles are the base of Ellie Krieger’s lightened-up Italian meal (pictured above). But it’s the garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top that make it truly mouthwatering.

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Cheesy, Saucy and Downright Delicious Pizza on Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, June 30th, 2015

Top PizzaIn last night’s episode of Top 5 Restaurants, hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian revealed the eateries around the country that are slicing up the best pizza. Food Network has you covered when it comes to pizza, from deep dish and meat lover’s to seafood topped and cheesy, caramelized crusts. Take a look below to find out why these pies are a slice above the rest.

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10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should Follow

by in Community, News, June 29th, 2015

10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should FollowAs a social-media-savvy Food Network fan, you probably follow the Instagram feeds of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis — not to mention Guy Fieri, Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, Trisha Yearwood and Food Network — living vicariously through engagingly captioned pictures of their delicious meals, beautiful families and peripatetic travels. But who else should food lovers be following on Instagram?

April Bloomfield
British-born Bloomfield, chef and co-owner of two Michelin-star-awarded New York restaurants, The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, shares images of proud animals (pigs, cows, roosters) and fresh produce straight from the farm, along with delicious-looking dishes both in progress and beautifully plated.

Ashley Rodriguez
The name behind the popular blog Not Without Salt, Ashley takes her bright, crisp food photos to Instagram @ashrod. Look for fresh, simple fare like roasted artichokes and green salads, as well as indulgent treats and scenes from her day-to-day finds.

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