by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 15th, 2012
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 14th, 2012
We caught up with Ron Ben-Israel, host of Sweet Genius and the mastermind behind Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City, to chat with him about some of his holiday favorites. As he’s known for creating some of the country’s finest couture cakes, we weren’t surprised when we asked him about his favorite holiday dessert and he named an old-fashioned classic that, when finished, is a spectacular conversation piece.
What’s your favorite holiday dessert?
I love some of the old-fashioned desserts that have now disappeared from restaurants. Things you used to get at a tea parlor, like at the Plaza Hotel. Something that is elaborate and beautiful and nostalgic for me is baked Alaska. I’m also crazy about baked egg whites, which is really what meringue is. I used to be fascinated seeing my mother whip egg whites into a foam for baked Alaska or for mousse. Watching them gather up air and triple in volume to become white peaks was fascinating. You can mix dollops of egg whites with sugar and make the most amazing baked kisses. For an easy baked Alaska, take ready-made ice cream, shape it into a dome, cover it with swirls of meringue and brown it. The crunchiness on the outside and billowy soft layer underneath — it’s not hard to do. You can add a layer of cake for an interesting effect, or pour some liqueur around it and ignite the whole thing for flambe. Bring that to the holiday table and it’ll be spectacular.
More from Ron Ben-Israel
by Maria Russo in Holidays, December 14th, 2012
On last Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, the remaining rivals packed up their knife kits and flew east to Sin City after five weeks of challenges and showdowns in Los Angeles. For the chefs, the move to Las Vegas proved to be a turning point in the competition, a sign that they are one step closer to claiming the only title that matters.
For Alton Brown, however, the move to Vegas was an opportunity to dabble in matchmaking — ingredient matchmaking, that is. With an altar of savory delicacies and sweet confections, he created a series of odd pairs like squid and marshmallows, chicken livers and peppermint candies, and bone marrow and fruit candies, which forced the rivals to think beyond the ordinary and create harmonious marriages out of culinary confusion.
Looking ahead to this week’s episode and the sneak-peek image above, it may seem as though Alton is once again experimenting with something new: flying. It turns out, however, that he is a frequent flier, and not just in the passenger sense. For more than 10 years, he’s been operating his own private airplane and only relies on commercial flights when there’s no other option.
Write your best captions
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, December 14th, 2012
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, it can be tempting to take shortcuts for the sake of simplicity. This year, we’re all about doing whatever it takes to make this holiday your easiest, best one yet, but when it comes to building your own gingerbread house, you can skip the store-bought, pre-assembled kit and create your own one from scratch in flash. Believe it not, the gingerbread house pictured above comes together in just 1 hour and 30 minutes thanks to a fuss-free recipe with clear, step-by-step instructions. Learn the basics of making gingerbread houses below, assemble and decorate this simple, seasonal structure with your family, then post a picture of the finished product to Food Network’s Facebook timeline.
The beauty of this gingerbread dough in particular is that it can be made entirely in one bowl. After creating a stiff mixture of wet and dry ingredients, however, it’s important that the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. This will make it less tacky and far easier for you to roll out.
Measure twice, cut once
by Marisa McClellan in Holidays, December 14th, 2012
When it comes to the holidays, you must have a strong resolve to get through the rigors of gift giving, meeting the day-to-day demands of a hungry household, and entertaining a crowd. Let Food Network help you out with all three.
Don’t know what to do about gifts this season? Let Trisha show you how to make your own treats and package them. If you’re looking to refresh your winter recipe repertoire, get five brand-new ideas from Rachael. And don’t get stuck in a rut when entertaining a crowd this holiday. The chefs of The Best Thing I Ever Made are here to show you how to do it right.
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: “Trisha’s Favorite Foods to Gift“
Trisha and her friend Kim get together in the kitchen for the classic Southern tradition of making edible gifts for the holidays. There’s Hot Corn Dip to snack on while they cook and assemble the gifts. Trisha uses nostalgic recipes like Margaret’s Raisin Bread, Slow Cooker Chocolate Candy and Peanut Brittle. You can’t go wrong with a homemade gift.
Tune in: Saturday, December 15, at 11am/10c
More shows to watch
by Food Network Magazine, December 14th, 2012
My Great-Aunt Doris made the best rugelach. A nurse who preferred baking to hospital work, Aunt Doris never turned down an opportunity to help cater her charity functions, Temple’s holiday dinners and family gatherings.
Her instinct to feed continually vexed her sister, because no matter how clear my grandmother was that the dinner party menu was entirely handled, Doris would show up with a Saran-covered platter of freezer strudel or rugelach. At the end of the meal, my grandmother would be forced to watch as her guests gobbled up the party-crashing treat and ignored her own carefully selected pastries.
Because I grew up a country away from my Aunt Doris, I only got to see her once or twice a year. As soon as we landed in Philadelphia, however, she’d march me up to my grandmother’s apartment (they lived in the same building), slip an apron over my head and pull a stool over to the counter so that I could help her roll the dough. We’d make cinnamon twists, Mandelbrot and rugelach.
Before you start your dough, read these tips
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 14th, 2012
Food Network Magazine staged a holiday face-off and asked a registered dietitian to name the better choices. Before you bake your holiday faves, see how these staples stack up.
Bleached Flour vs. Unbleached Flour
WINNER: It’s a draw. The less ...
by Sara Levine in Books, Contests, December 13th, 2012
We caught up with Ten Dollar Dinners hostess, Melissa d’Arabian, to chat about her holiday plans. We asked her 10 rapid-fire questions to help us get to know her holiday personality.
For a holiday drink, eggnog, apple cider or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate! I love to serve it with homemade flavored marshmallows.
Christmas breakfast or Christmas dinner?
Dinner. I love a long dinner at the holidays, relaxing and catching up with family while the kids are playing with their presents.
Ham, beef or lamb?
Beef. There’s nothing like a perfectly done beef roast. I’ve perfected the art of cooking even an inexpensive cut of roast (the recipe’s in my cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners).
Find out if Melissa eats fruitcake
by Food Network Magazine in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, December 13th, 2012
Whether Tyler Florence is cooking in his restaurants in San Francisco and Mill Valley, Calif., on TV or at home for his three kids, fresh ingredients are always on his mind. “It’s what California cuisine is all about,” says the 16-year Food Network veteran. “I always think about myself as a middleman, a translator of flavors who respects the produce.” Tyler’s newest cookbook, Tyler Florence Fresh, fully embraces this ingredient-driven mantra.
Tyler recently chatted with FN Dish about the book, sharing why it’s different from his previous seven cookbooks, his advice for home cooks, and the backstory behind the adorable chick perched atop his shoulder on the cover.
We’re giving away copies of Tyler Florence Fresh to three lucky Dish readers. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Tell us: What’s your favorite winter produce and why?
Want a sneak peek? Check out three recipes from the book and read on for our Q&A with Tyler.
Read official rules before entering
by Toby Amidor, December 13th, 2012
Step up your usual wrapping job this year by presenting gifts in these farmer’s berry baskets ($2.50 for six, plus $8 shipping; bakeitpretty.com). They’re just like the ones from the market and they’re the perfect size for homemade truffles or small presents like these polka-dot napkins from Anthropologie ($24 for four; anthropologie.com). The baskets are available in both pint and half-pint sizes.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
We heart holiday food, but holiday food doesn’t always show love our waistlines. Use these simple tricks to lighten up your favorites.
#1: Baked Ham
Ham is a lean meat but when recipes call for one pound per serving the calories skyrocket to 760 a...