For the very first time on Chopped, 16 teens will enter the kitchen in the Chopped Teen Tournament, premiering Tuesday, July 15 at 10|9c. These talented youngsters bring energy and ambition to the table, to compete for $25,000 in prize money and a coveted culinary school scholarship. They’ll face appetizer, entree and dessert basket ingredients that could stump even the most-experienced adult chef. And just because they’re kids doesn’t mean they’ll be judged any differently.
We’ve all grown accustomed to accepting everything from juicy pineapple rings to crunchy romaine with grill marks. But why should you stop there? Push beyond the realm of hot dogs and hamburgers by getting ahold of some veggies that are shockingly good on the grill. Here’s a list of favorites — and then some.
Now that the grill is involved, your beet salad game will never be the same. Just as you do before roasting, wrap beets in foil with a little olive oil before getting ‘em on the grill. Once they’re soft, your reinvented beets will possess an earthy, smoky sweetness that the salad bar just can’t touch.
Art Meets Hot: You could call it the hottest art exhibit in Los Angeles. LA’s Chinese American Museum is currently showing, through July 12, new works by 30 diverse artists inspired by locally produced hot sauces Sriracha and Tapatio. Some of the artwork even incorporates the sauces as a medium. The now-iconic sauces have risen “to rival Heinz Ketchup and French’s mustard as the all-American condiment for the Y-Generation,” the museum contends, adding that they “have become interwoven into the American cultural fabric.” Curator Steven Wong told NPR that, while “a hot sauce show could be superficially kind of pop-y,” he believes it is “very complex if you peel away the layers.” [Chinese American Museum via NPR]
Whiskey A-Going-Going … Gone? Thanks to a global explosion in bourbon and whiskey consumption, with exports more than doubling in the past decade and sales up more than 10 percent in just the past year, we could be looking at a whiskey shortage. American distilleries are struggling to keep up with the rising demand, but sales are outpacing increased production by about two to one, The Tennessean reports. “It’s not like you can ramp up production today and have that whiskey on the market tomorrow,” Clayton Cutler, chief distiller at the TennSouth Distillery in Lynnville, Tenn., tells the paper. “There’s an aging process that requires a wait of at least a couple of years before you can start selling it. Some takes four years or more.” Better down that sour before it’s too late! [The Tennessean]
The need for a roster of packable desserts is real in the summer months, especially when the name of the game is outdoor eating. When the dinner grub is covered at a friend’s backyard barbecue or your picnic menu is missing that last sweet course, you need something that you can move from point A to point B with limited spillage and fuss. That means ice cream sundaes and other temperamental desserts are out, and Food Network’s go-to make-and-take treats are totally in.
Food Network Magazine’s Blackberry Summer Pudding Cake (pictured above) may not look transport-friendly, but fear not. After pouring juice over it, carry this classic British dessert in its container to your final destination and remove it just before serving.
With the new season of the prison drama Orange Is the New Black set to debut this week, it seems like a good time to celebrate all things orange. But that’s not necessarily a nod to neon-orange processed food — like crunchy cheese curls ...
We’ve all heard that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” right? That means there’s a good chance that your dad (or husband or grandfather) likes to be behind the barbecue — or he at least likes eating whatever comes off said grill. We’ve rounded up a few cards for the food-loving father, to go perfectly with that new set of grill tools or that six-pack of beer you got him. Dig in.
“We just got ourselves in way over our heads,” Grace Tutak said of her and her husband, Eddie, both owners of Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli. The financial ambiguity of the restaurant and the significant debt they’re facing had put a strain on their marriage, and they were in dire need of Robert Irvine‘s help. “Ed and Grace are both responsible for the failure of the restaurant,” Robert admitted, and together with his Restaurant: Impossible team, he overhauled Grace’s Place and attempted to repair Grace and Eddie’s relationship in order to give their business a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Grace and find out how her eatery is doing today.
Sales at Grace’s Place have remained steady since the show, and Grace says that “the customers love the new decor.”
Customers were sorry to see some of their beloved dishes had been taken off the menu, so the list of offerings now features some of its original items, plus plates that Robert created. Still being featured are the French Dip, Muffalatta Sub, Fresh-Cut Fries, Cinnamon Bun Sundae and the Minestrone Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, according to Grace.
From picnics and graduation parties to weekend cookouts and the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, summer’s all about leisurely get-togethers, and for those you need simple, tried-and-true dishes you’re sure will feed a crowd. Burgers, hot dogs and barbecue are go-to main dishes, but when the focus is on traditional sides, macaroni salad reigns supreme. This easy-to-fix favorite is a crowd-pleasing classic, and it can be prepared ahead of time and served when guests arrive. Check out Food Network’s top-five macaroni salad recipes below to find next-level renditions from Rachael, Guy, the Neelys and more Food Network chefs, then browse more side dish selections ideal for grilling season.
5. Bacon and Egg Macaroni Salad — Rachael starts with balsamic vinaigrette-topped macaroni and adds crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs and pimentos for welcome texture and added flavor.
4. Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham — Ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, this go-to picnic favorite features a classic ingredient combo — peas and ham — and the flavors are combined with a tangy mustard-sour cream topping.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient lavash. When this pita-like Middle Eastern bread is crisped up in the oven, it makes a great addition to salad, taking the place of croutons. The Italians have panzanella, a bread salad, but in Middle Eastern cuisine there’s fattoush, a salad made with flatbread. But in this Faux-toush Salad with Lavash, there’s a lot less of the bread and more of the lettuce for a modern spin on the recipe. And there’s grilled chicken breast to round everything out. This would make a healthy lunch to take to the office, or even a light dinner. You’ll definitely find exotic flavors in this dish with honey, lemon and sumac.
While on photo shoots, I’ve bumped into a beer can chicken or two. But I’ve never actually cooked one at home. I am, therefore, somewhat of a grill-season fraud. Last summer “beer can chicken” (with and without hyphens for any of you copy gurus who are wondering) was Googled tens of thousands of times. But not at my house. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with having a beer out back. But every time I see the resulting pictures of beer can chicken — chickens standing or sitting awkwardly and ridiculously on domestic cans or even imports — as if waiting for someone to hand them beers, toes pointing, flailing, kicking or squatting — I can’t help but laugh at how odd they look, and I move on to chops, steak or salmon. Their accoutrements, spice rubs, glazes and flurries of herbs, help doll them up. Yet a beer can chicken’s crossed legs, uncrossed legs, stretching arms and stoic stance don’t make me hungry; they make me think, randomly, of yoga. See above for a visual reference, wherein a stately beer can chicken looks to be moving toward seated meditation, a pensive, quieting pose that conjures warm breezes and calm waters — and a generous spice rub.
Still, there’s a smart reason such food images are shot the way they are. If the food stylist platters the meat or carves the bird, then the picture doesn’t sell the “why” of the recipe: the beer. Placing the chicken on a can of beer allows air to circulate around the bird and hence gives it crisp skin all over, a major plus, and devotees of the Cult of Beer Can Chicken claim the results are juicy and more flavorful. You can insert a debate on beer brand here, folks. (And then go ahead and argue, as Mr. “Meathead” did two years ago on Huffington Post, about whether the method is good anyway.) In the meantime, I am not waiting for New Year’s this year for resolutions: I resolve to win summer. And that starts with stretching into Sun Salutation, getting past chicken poses, crossing the road to get to a six-pack and grilling beer can chicken. After all, what could be bad about drinking a little beer and cooking out? Namastasty.
Check out my top 5 favorite beer can chicken poses, after the jump.