How to Make Instant Croutons

by in Food Network Magazine, April 24th, 2012

grilled chicken salad
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

To give your salad extra crunch, just toss in some chopped toasted bread. For extra flavor, rub the toast with garlic first; we did this for Food Network Magazine‘s Grilled Chicken Salad With Gazpacho Dressing. These quick croutons are especially great in summer tomato salads — they soak up all of the tasty liquid.

Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 23rd, 2012


An ingredient nearly as beefy as meat, portobello mushrooms are hearty, earthy vegetables that can be roasted, grilled, sautéed and more. Once you break off their stems, portobello mushroom caps are roughly the same size and shape of the average pancake, and can hold their form when cooked. This durability means that they are often treated like meat patties. Paula features them in her Portobello Mushroom Burger, finished with a pesto mayonnaise and peppery arugula.

Food Network Magazine’s stuffed mushroom (pictured above) boasts a filling of vitamin-rich spinach, fresh tomato and pecorino and mozzarella cheeses. After the caps are quickly broiled, they are topped with the spinach mixture and creamy ricotta cheese, and are cooked again until the stuffing is warm. Serve each mushroom with a refreshing celery salad for a quick but satisfying weeknight dinner.

Get the recipe: Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Okey Dokey Artichoke-y

by , April 23rd, 2012
stuffed artichokes

Baked, stuffed artichokes, from Robin's book, Quick-Fix Meals.

I adore artichokes. Every part of them, from the outer leaves to the tender hearts. They remind me of being a kid because my mom always stuffed and baked them for my birthday. Tender ...

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One Shining “Star” Joins the Chopped All-Stars Finale Lineup

by in Shows, April 23rd, 2012

chopped all stars food network stars
Vic “Vegas” Moea, Penny Davidi, Justin Balmes and Chris Nirschel know the pressures of competition cooking. They also know what it’s like to be in front of a camera. These four Food Network Star finalists gave it their all last season, but still came up short in the end. That wasn’t enough for them, though. They’re still out to prove that they’ve got what it takes and they’re still out to take down each other — they did just that on last night’s episode of Chopped All-Stars.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner.

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Food Safety: Grocery Store Bags

by , April 22nd, 2012
re-usable bag

Your grocery bag may be green, but is it clean?

Many folks love their eco-friendly re-usable grocery bags. But when’s the last time you washed them? A new survey found that only 15% of Americans regularly clean their totes, putting them at a higher...

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Pedometers 101

by , April 21st, 2012

pedometer
Counting individual steps may seem like a silly way to get some exercise but every little bit helps. Using a pedometer can be a fabulous motivational tool to get you to move more; use our tips and get stepping!

What is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a ...

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The Chopped Basket Revealed: The Masterminds Behind the Mystery Ingredients

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, April 20th, 2012

chopped basket rob bleifer
“Ugh! Who comes up with these crazy basket ingredients?” This is a statement that I commonly hear and read after watching an episode of Chopped. But the truth is, someone does have to research and choose what four ingredients will go into a Chopped basket — three different baskets per episode. Do the ingredients get tested first? Has there ever been a repeated ingredient? And why are four ingredients the magic number and not three or five? These are all questions I asked Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer last week when I sat down with him in Food Network Kitchens.

How are the ingredients picked?
Sara Nahas, the culinary producer of the show, and myself sometimes work together, sometimes work apart, but then come together to compare each other’s work. We’ll sit across from each other weeks in advance and knock out themed shows or random baskets — potential flavor and color combinations that will end up on the plate and, of course, that one ingredient that will get people talking. We have a list of ingredients we’ve already used in front of us, which is around 15 pages long, so I cross-reference that. In the past, we may have used an ingredient twice, but sometimes it’s intentional.

Is there a secret to a good Chopped basket (one part this, two parts that, etc.)?
While we’re creating the baskets, if we have to think too long about the possibilities of dishes, the baskets go away. If it takes us more than 15 seconds for a solution, it’s out. The contestants don’t have that much time.

We’ll often try, certainly in an entrée, to have a grain or starch or one ingredient that is substantial, whether it’s a protein or produce. But there’s no hard and fast rule that there has to be this, there has to be that.

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From Soil to Table: Natural Recipes for Earth Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 20th, 2012

Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, and with that comes the chance to rethink our approach to clean, smart eating and cooking. This weekend and into the spring season, try to incorporate more wholesome, plant-based foods into your everyday meals. Joining the Meatless Monday movement is an easy way to lower your intake of animal products just eat meat-free one day a week, Monday or any other. In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up a collection of natural recipes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients like carrots, potatoes, rhubarb and more, so that you can enjoy what you’re eating and feel good about it too.

If you can’t find rainbow carrots like those pictured above, stick with the classic orange beauties when preparing Food Network Magazine’s Coriander-Glazed Carrots, made with fresh citrus, crushed coriander seeds and a sprinkle of cilantro. This quick-cooking side dish complements simply roasted seafood,  grilled chicken and more.

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