Just the Facts: Cherries

by in Food Network Magazine, In Season, August 9th, 2012

Cherries
Bing CherriesBing Cherries

Most of the sweet cherries grown in the United States are this large wine-colored variety. Their intense flavor and firm, crisp texture make them the ultimate all-purpose cherry, great for snacking or baking. They’re usually available from May to August.

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Restaurant Revisited: Stella’s

by in Shows, August 8th, 2012

Restaurant Revisited: Stella's

In Stratford, Conn., Michael Savoie and his mother Cami needed Robert’s help to keep their 15-year-old Italian restaurant, Stella’s, alive. Despite working exhausting 90-hour weeks, Michael was clueless about food costs and lacked the leadership skills to effectively manage his staff. From management to decor, Robert and his team gave Stella’s a complete overhaul. We checked in with the Savoies a few months later to see how business is going.

In the months following their Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Stella’s are up 20 percent.

Michael is letting his mother have access to the business financials. He now has a better grip on how to manage food costs. As the new general manager of Stella’s, Cami is also handling the catering side of the business and helping to keep costs down.

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The Top 5 Trends in Cocktails Right Now

by in Drinks, August 8th, 2012

raspberry lime punch
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend some time in New Orleans. It has long been one of my favorite cities in the United States, both for its food and its people, and I always leap at any opportunity I get to visit.

I was even more excited on this occasion, however, as the particular reason for this visit was to attend the Tales of the Cocktail convention, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary. From an event which began in 2002 with just a handful of attendees, this celebration of the mixed drink now attracts well over 20,000 people, including representatives of all the major spirit brands as well as the best bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from around the globe.

I will admit that it is, at its heart, an excuse for the cocktail community to have a really good time. There are also plenty of fascinating seminars, presentations by brands large and small, as well as enough tasting sessions to give you a good snapshot of what the latest developments are in the drinks business.

Here are the top five trends I saw emerging from 2012 Tales of the Cocktail:

1. Shrubs and Cobblers

If you thought that “shrubs” and “cobblers” had more to do with gardening and baking than with booze, think again. They are now appearing on cocktail menus all over the country.

Read more of Simon’s Top 5 Trends

Meat and Peppers — Summer Fest

by in In Season, August 8th, 2012

sausage and pepper skewers
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers and our friends at HGTV Gardens to host Summer Fest 2012, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today we’re exploring peppers.

Late summer means the arrival of sweet, colorful peppers. Ranging from green to red to yellow to orange and purple, they are refreshingly crunchy when raw and wonderfully tender when cooked. And, they pair particularly well with meat, whether grilled, tossed with pasta or stuffed.

If you plan on planting your very own pepper patch, be sure to check out HGTV Gardens for great tips like letting the pepper plants dry after each watering to avoid soil fungi. Before you get cooking, be sure to choose firm, richly colored peppers, avoiding those that are limp and shriveled. Store them in a refrigerator for up to one week.

If you’re in possession of a grill, look no further than Food Network Magazine’s Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers (pictured above) and Sunny’s Steak Fajitas With Chimichurri and Drunken Peppers. They’re definite crowd-pleasers. If you’re looking for a little challenge, try Bobby’s hearty Grilled Pizza With Hot Sausage, Grilled Peppers and Onions and Oregano Ricotta. Better yet, get your guests involved in the pizza-making process.

Get more pepper recipes from family and friends

Fighting Summer Stains: Condiments

by in How-to, August 8th, 2012

ketchup splatter
Winter is the season for one-pot meals and slow, simmered sauces. Summer’s the time for quick, high-heat grilling and flavor-packed condiments. From cookout fixings like ketchup and mustard to the mayonnaise that dresses lobster rolls, these tasty topping are stains waiting to happen. If you find yourself with condiments on your clothing, follow these simple steps to remove the offending marks:

Ketchup
Ketchup and other tomato-based sauces like barbecue sauce and salsa should first be scraped off of the cloth, to remove as much of the sauce as possible (a dull knife is a good scraping tool). Then spray the stain with a laundry pretreater, rub it into the stain and let the product work for at least 10 minutes before laundering. Opt for the warmest water the garment can take according to the care label and feel free to add color-safe bleach to the load.

Mustard
Tre Mitchell Wright, fabric care expert at Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science, recommends removing as much of the mustard as possible and then pretreating the spot with white vinegar. Launder according to the care label with detergent and a little color-safe bleach to finish the job.

Mayonnaise, melted butter and more

June’s “Name This Dish” Contest Winner

by in Food Network Magazine, August 7th, 2012

Hot Dog Sandwich
Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include bite-sized cakes (winning name: “Swirly Temples”), crab-stuffed mushrooms (“Surf ‘N Earth”) and even an egg tart (“Breakfast in Bread”). In the June 2012 issue, we asked you to dream up names for this hot dog sandwich (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:

Pigs in a Bunk Bed
Milagros Swerdlow
New Wilmington, Pa.

Piggyback Stack
Dave DeSario
Brightwaters, N.Y.

More favorites and the winner announced

Next Iron Chef Logo

They’re After Redemption: The Next Iron Chef Season 5 Cast Revealed

by in Shows, August 7th, 2012

next iron chef season 5
Redemption: That’s what the newest season of The Next Iron Chef is all about. You’ll see 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef. Watch week after week as Alton Brown returns to host this series through an array of challenges that takes the contestants through Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Putting their reputations on the line one more time for a chance to join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon and Geoffrey Zakarian in Kitchen Stadium are:

  • Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan and Jehangir Mehta from The Next Iron Chef Season Two
  • Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Spike Mendelsohn from the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
  • First-time Next Iron Chef competitors Tim Love and Marcel Vigneron

Find out who the tenth slot will go to

The Perfect French Napkin Fold

by in Entertaining, August 7th, 2012

french napkin fold
Having beautifully folded napkins at your table is an easy way to make a big impression on your guests when hosting a party. They can make your table look really sophisticated and they don’t require spending a lot of time or money. The French napkin fold is one of the more classic ways to fold a napkin that is simple, as well as utilitarian — it creates the perfect pocket into which you can tuck your silverware. Check out this easy first step (pictured below), then click through our French Napkin photo gallery to find out how to finish off this traditional fold.

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