What do you get when you put a dozen rivals in a pressure-packed environment, surround them with famed faces from the food world and ask them to compete in three months of challenges — all in the name of scoring their ultimate job? A summer of heat...
Among the many things that define the United States, foods are at the top of that list. And every region has its specialty, whether it is lobster rolls from the East, chili from the North, shrimp and grits from the South or tacos from the West. On the new series America’s Best Cook, Sundays at 9|8c, home cooks from the four corners of the country have come to Food Network headquarters to be mentored by FN chefs and battle it out for a chance at winning the title of America’s Best Cook.
To coincide with the show, FN Dish has launched the Regional Foods Face-Off, a bracket challenge in which you, the fans, can vote for your favorite regional food. The editors have narrowed it down to four famous dishes from each of the regions, but after four rounds of voting, only one dish will come out on top. Round 3 is now closed. Vote in Round 4.
The babies in your life may be all about mashed veggies, but big kids (including adults) find just as much down-home comfort in them. This week, FN Dish is zeroing in on this fool-proof technique that works for potatoes and beyond. Feast your eyes on these favorite mashed recipes, each perfect for weeknight eating.
Potatoes are eaten in abundance year-round for a reason. To get in the spring spirit, add market-fresh produce into your mashed potatoes for a different kind of side. Giada’s Baked Mashed Potatoes with Peas, Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs, for instance, go in the oven until crispy and golden brown on top. For a different dose of greens, try Giada’s Mashed Potatoes with Kale, which have mascarpone cheese folded in for added creaminess.
Chives, a mellow onion-esque herb now starring in a leading role at your local farmers market, add more than vibrant color. Chop them up and fold into Tyler’s Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
For a loaded appetizer gone side dish, leave the skins on — and fold in some crispy turkey bacon — get Rachael’s Mashed Potato Skins (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.
Doughnuts. We love ‘em all, don’t we? The frosted, the sprinkle-dipped, the jelly-filled and the good old-fashioned glazed. But how about indulging without the calories? For those fellow doughnut lovers out there, we have some stationery to send, art prints to hang (like the one pictured above from Donut Galleria) and tea towels to use, all dedicated to that perfectly round excuse for devouring dessert for breakfast.
“On a scale of one to 10 of disgusting, this is a 12,” Robert Irvine said not long after arriving at Bryant’s Seafood World in Hueytown, Ala. The decades-old fish house is known for its deliciously authentic hushpuppies, but what Robert found was underseasoned food, a grimy interior and a kitchen with off-the-chart levels of bacteria — not to mention Gail Cox, the owner who had little will to continue in the business. With just two days to work and a budget of only $10,000, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible staff overhauled the menu and design at Bryant’s, and taught both Gail and her employees the importance of dedication to the eatery. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Gail to find out how her restaurant is doing today.
“Comparing January 2014 versus February 2014, business increased 32.3 percent,” Gail said, adding that she and diners have been wowed by the updated interior at Bryant’s. “The top-three things working well for us include cutting down the cashier counter to give additional access to that area (which really helps the flow of the servers), adding a hostess stand (which gives us order to the customers waiting to be seated on those weekend busy dinner hours) and removing the carpet.”
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient Camembert. Inspired by a cheese plate of ham, cheese and fruit, the chefs came up with this savory bread pudding. With the characteristic texture of a quiche, this recipe for Camembert and Ham Bread Pudding makes an ideal brunch, lunch or dinner dish when paired with a simple green salad. It’s also a good use for leftovers — think bread and ham remnants from this past holiday. With the familiar flavors of ham and cheese, it’ll be a sure-fire hit with your family any day of the week.
On America’s Best Cook, Sunday at 9|8c, home cooks battle it out for the chance to win the title of America’s best cook, all while representing their specific region of the United States. The cooks are split into teams from the North, South, West and East. Each of these regions has its characteristic foods that make up an integral part of its identity. To celebrate the new competition show, each week during the season, FN Dish has the top 10 reader-recommended eats from one of the regions. This week it’s all about the East.
The East is well known for having popularized foods including pizza, burgers, cheese steaks and lobster rolls, all of which were famously invented and first served in the East. Now it’s hard to imagine American cuisine without these dishes. But the East also offers a wide array of international cuisines that have become ingrained in American culture, like Italian and Mexican dishes and so much more. Through the years, some city neighborhoods have come to specialize in certain cuisine, like Boston’s North End, whereas others have become a melting pot, like Queens in New York.
“As far as I’m concerned, vegetables — plant foods in general — are good things to eat and we should eat more of them. That’s as far as we need to go,” says Deborah Madison, the founding chef of Greens, the trailb...
The Pitfalls of Family Food Rules: Most of the time, a graham cracker is just a graham cracker, but when children are asked to click a computer mouse like mad to get one, as in a recent series of experiments, or decide how many of them to eat when they are given restricted access to them, it becomes the marker of a “reactive eater” and a clue that, while genetics and biology may play a role in children who are strongly motivated by food, food rules imposed at home may also factor in. “The message is that restriction is counterproductive — it just doesn’t work very well,” Brandi Rollins, the Penn State postdoctoral researcher who led the studies, told the New York Times. “Restriction just increases a child’s focus and intake of the food that the parent is trying to restrict.” Bottom line: It’s better not to put junk food out of reach on a high shelf, but rather not have it in the house at all. [The New York Times]
The Planet’s Priciest Eatery? Considering all the things you could do with $2,078, even hard-core foodies might pause before paying that much per person for a meal. Even for a 20-course tasting menu that promises to combine food, art and technology to create a “complete and unprecedented emotional experience.” Regardless, that’s apparently what Sublimotion, a restaurant opening on May 18 at the new five-star Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa, on Ibiza, under the supervision of Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero, is charging, making it what the Daily Mail is calling “the most expensive restaurant on the planet.” Enjoyed by only 12 guests each night, the meal “will cause a stir among the most-neglected senses,” a spokesman told the tabloid. “From moments of humor, pleasure, fear, reflection and nostalgia, diners will be wandering through a world of sensations from the North Pole where they will enjoy a cold snack that they carve on their own iceberg or to the baroque Versailles where the elegance of a rose is sure to melt in their palate.” At those prices, you’d think they’d get someone to carve your cold snack for you. [Daily Mail]