Star Anise — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, September 29th, 2011

cinnamon star anise sugar syrup
Pretty to look at, but what do you do with it?

That about sums up how most of us feel about star anise. And that’s why it’s mostly been relegated to the backwaters of spice cabinets in the U.S.

What most people don’t realize is that star anise actually is a deliciously potent spice that can do amazing things for your cooking, especially for meat.

But first, the basics. Star anise is the fruit — yes, fruit — of an evergreen tree native to southern China (where most of it still is produced).

When dried, that fruit resembles a 1-inch, rust-colored star, usually with six to eight points. Each point contains a small, shiny seed.

Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Star Anise Sugar »

Apricot Glazed Lamb Chops With Pistachio and Sumac — Editor’s Pick

by in Recipes, September 29th, 2011

apricot glazed lamb chops
Food Network’s Senior Culinary Editor, Liz Tarpy, picks her favorite recipe for September.

I’ve never warmed to hot fruit with meat and even though there’s no one meal that ruined it for me. No scarring memory of family holidays made even stickier with glazed ham and pineapple (though my stepmom once made poached fish with prunes, but that’s another story). It’s just a knee-jerk reaction I have to any recipe involving sweet meat.

Intellectually and culinarily, I know that sweet and salty play off each other, so meaty and fruity flavors can also work well together. There are many examples in other cuisines that proudly blend the two: Thai curries with pineapple, Cuban picadillo with ground meat and raisins, German roast pork and apples. And let’s not forget the all-American roast turkey and cranberry sauce.

Get Liz’s September favorite »

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

by in Holidays, September 28th, 2011

pasta with farro
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is a time to celebrate renewal and what better way to celebrate the holiday than with food?

Rosh Hashanah Menu:
Food Network Magazine’s Pasta With Farro (pictured above)
Noodle Kugel
Michael Symon’s Brisket
Spiced Apple Cake

Apples and Honey: 5 New Ways »

Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Anne Burrell’s Cook Like a Rock Star Cookbook

by in Contests, September 28th, 2011

cook like a rock star cookbook
Anne Burrell has shared her tips and style of cooking on Food Network’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Worst Cooks in America. Now she’s sharing her techniques in her new cookbook, Cook Like a Rock Star, which gives readers the confidence and ability to get great meals on the table without breaking a sweat.

In her debut cookbook, Anne presents 125 rustic yet elegant recipes, all based on accessible ingredients, along with encouraging notes and handy professional tricks, as seen in Anne’s show. Delicious first courses include Pumpkin Soup With Allspice Whipped Cream and Garlic Steamed Mussels. If you’re craving pasta, Anne’s Sweet and Spicy Sausage Ragù or Killer Mac and Cheese With Bacon will blow you away.

You can pre-order a copy right now, but we’d like to give you a chance to win one for free. All you have to do is comment on this post by telling us which one of Anne’s recipes is your favorite and why. We’re giving away five copies of her cookbook to randomly selected and very lucky commenters.

Find out how to enter here »

Join Us at the New York City Wine and Food Festival

by in Events, September 28th, 2011

nycwff logo
While the countdown to the first events of the New York City Wine and Food Festival shrinks by the day, our excitement only continues to mount. We’ll be at the festival all weekend long chowing down with Food Network stars Giada De Laurentiis, Sandra Lee, Duff Goldman, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Anne Burrell and Masaharu Morimoto.

Want to join us? You can find our editors covering the following events throughout the four-day festival. If you can’t make it to the festival this year, tune into FN Dish for our coverage all weekend long.

Find out which events we’ll be attending »

Hodge Podge Says Goodbye — The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, September 28th, 2011

hodge podge truck
The second season of The Great Food Truck Race hit the road with eight new food trucks and a grand prize of $100,000. Every Sunday, we saw each truck pull out all the tricks to stay in the game. But, ultimately, one truck said goodbye each week. Sunday night, it was down to the final two: The Lime Truck and Hodge Podge.

Both battled multiple Speed Bumps, but it was the Truck Stop that changed this competition for good for team Hodge Podge.

Find out what Chris had to say about the competition »

One Mom’s Journey From Fussy to Foodie — Simple Scratch Suppers

by in Family, September 27th, 2011

fussy eaters
I wrote a post with this very title for my own blog eight months ago. Not surprisingly, it was pretty popular. Every parent wants to know the secret weapon that’ll get his or her kids to eat a well-balanced meal. I’m not here to share some infinite wisdom, but I do have a story that I think will provide other parents some comfort.

There was once a little girl who rolled her eyes at the thought of eating meat. In fact, she went so far as to hide it in the opening under the table where the leaves were supposed to be tucked away. She also had an issue with any type of sauce on her pasta. She survived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for all of elementary school, and well into middle school.

Read Jennie’s important takeaway »

The Vendy Awards: Street Food With a Flair for the International

by in Events, September 27th, 2011

vendy awards t-shirt
What first began as a cook-off to showcase the best of the best being served on NYC’s sidewalks has become a haven for worldly fare. Sure, there was freshly cooked cracker-thin pizza and hordes of colorful cupcakes, but it was the more exotic and foreign foods that won ticket holders’ hearts and judges’ votes. One thing was clear at this year’s Vendy Awards: New Yorkers covet their international cuisine.

From Jamaican comfort food to Greek souvlaki, Middle Eastern falafel to Korean-inspired tacos, there were foods from all around the globe. While everything was well worthy of our praises, a few dishes in particular caught our eye, and only one came away with the coveted Vendy Cup. Check out a few of the goodies that were on the menu at this past Saturday’s Vendy Awards, plus a rundown of all the winners.

Get a rundown of all the winners [PHOTOS] »

Storing Fruits and Vegetables — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, September 27th, 2011

storing fruits and vegetables
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish or a food item. They can’t re-formulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it. This week’s question will help readers keep their produce longer.

Question: How can I keep fruits and veggies fresh until I use or cook them? I bought corn on the cob on Tuesday and by Friday, it had lost its moisture and taste. How do I extend the life of my produce? — Beth Patterson-Grinavic Kiessling

Find out the answer to Beth’s question »

Oktoberfest 101

by in Holidays, September 26th, 2011

sausage and kraut
Ladies, don your dirndls, and gentlemen, fasten your lederhosen, because Oktoberfest 2011 is officially underway. Though this beer barrel-tapping festival runs from September 17 through October 3 in Munich, Germany, you can bring the party stateside with our comprehensive guide to everything Oktoberfest, which includes clever (and useful) German phrases, a traditional Oktoberfest menu, classic German and beer-centric recipes and a list of local biergartens. So pitch a beer tent, grab a keg and experience this annual tradition like never before.

After the formal tapping of the first barrel during Oktoberfest, festival-goers proclaim, “O’zapft is!” (“It’s been tapped!” in German). Start your celebration by tapping a bottle of authentic Weihenstephan Hefe-Weissbier (a German wheat beer). Prost! (Cheers!) to that.

Read more