Cutthroat host Alton Brown knows the ultimate grilling sabotage. “Easy,” he says, “a dirty grill. When grills get dirty, they don’t conduct heat properly. Food will wind up sticking to the surface and will take on the flavor of the grill.” Proper grill cleaning and upkeep will prevent this from happening. If your food does get stuck, though, get the grill hot, then lightly saturate a paper towel with oil and, using tongs, swipe it gently over the surface of the grate. Brush your grill down well once you’re done cooking every meal so you’re not stuck cleaning right before dinner next time.
Peaches have a subtle flavor that can easily be masked by stronger ones, so if you want the peach to shine, stick...
Just two losses after nearly 10 battles — that winning record could be earned only by Bobby Flay, a famed Iron Chef and the master of the throwdown, who first challenged hopeful chefs to head-to-head competitions on Beat Bobby Flay last year. This summer, Bobby’s bringing his A-game yet again for an all-new season of Beat Bobby Flay (premiering July 31 at 10|9c), and with his reputation on the line, the stakes will be higher than ever. FN Dish caught up with Bobby recently and chatted about what he’s looking forward to in this upcoming batch of face-offs. Read on below for an exclusive interview, and find out Bobby’s most-memorable battles, plus his strategy for securing victory after victory.
What are you most looking forward to in Season 2?
Bobby Flay: Being pushed to the edge. I want it to be really challenging ’cause that’s what keeps my edge going.
What are some of your most-memorable moments from the first season?
BF: When I lost the taco [battle] — that was memorable. One of my favorite dishes I made was the meatloaf with the Korean-style kimchi in it, ’cause I’ve only made meatloaf a couple times in my life, really, and I’m not that big of a meatloaf fan. So when they said meatloaf, I was like, Oh, brother. But it actually turned out to be really tasty.
For years I never understood the allure of gazpacho (I can hear the collective gasp), but tomatoes and I have an interesting relationship. I’ll gladly eat them sliced with a bit of salt and a drizzle of olive oil all summer long. Cooked? No problem! I’ve never been a tomato juice person, though, and this is where gazpacho poses a problem. To my palate, it’s just chunky tomato juice with some seasonings and spices.
My thoughts, or shall I say tastes, regarding gazpacho changed a couple of summers ago when I paired it with watermelon. The watermelon added just enough sweetness to balance out the acidity. You can find my recipe for Smoky Watermelon Gazpacho here.
All that time you spend artfully arranging food on the plate before serving it to your guests or family is not in vain. And if you’re the sort of cook who doesn’t think much about how you present the food you make, thinking that taste alone will carry the day, you may want to reconsider your approach.
Presentation may not be everything, but when it comes to the meals we serve, appearance may be more important than we realize, capable of greatly influencing diners’ perception of taste, a recent study, published in the journal Flavour, has shown.
Building upon prior research showing that visual factors, like the color and balance of elements on the plate, play a large role in the way people respond to food, experimental psychologists at the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England, set out to discover whether arranging food “in an art-inspired manner” would affect diners’ expectations and experience of the food they were served.
Making lunch shouldn’t have to be a long, arduous affair. For extra-busy days, you need something that can be prepared in a flash — and that’s where chickpeas come in. Bursting with protein and fiber, canned chickpeas are already cooked, so all you have to do is rinse and drain them to pack some nutrition into your meal.
In this Grilled Eggplant Chickpea Wraps recipe from the chefs of Food Network Kitchen, the chickpeas are paired with sauteed eggplants for a tangy twist on a Middle Eastern falafel. The mixture is topped with a creamy, garlic-based yogurt sauce and stuffed in a soft tortilla wrap. Top the dish with oregano, tomato, lettuce and cucumber. With this recipe, lunch is ready in 20 minutes flat, and with a side of salad or french fries, you could make it an easy weeknight dinner staple as well.
Remember that time the Food Network Star hopefuls had to make viral-marketing videos? I bet you are LOL-ing right now. That was last week, and with that episode we saw the elimination of Aryen, who could almost cut the mustard on camera, but had a dull blade in the culinary department.
After that so-bad-it’s-good challenge, the gang heads to Knott’s Berry Farm. Where there was once a patch of beautiful berries, there are now roller coasters and funnel cakes. With eight left, the once many-sided dice of elimination rolls closer to doom for the gang. Read on to see who got jammed and who was preserved in the Knott’s Berry Farm Corral.
Mentor Challenge: The finalists are to cook some real American dishes for the 4th of July.
Many times on Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown demonstrates his truly evilicious side by taking away the contestants’ ingredients, their heating appliances and even all their knives. In this week’s episode, Alton takes evil to a whole new level — he takes away all pots, pans and mixing bowls, and replaces them with a bread bowl for one of the contestants and a soup ladle for the other. The two contestants have to make both a soup and a salad without all their mixing equipment. This challenge didn’t come without its share of difficulty — the soup ladle was extremely small and could heat up only a small amount at a time, and the bread bowl kept soaking up all the liquid for both the dressing and the soup. While sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen have to slow the contestants down and make things difficult for them, they can’t make it impossible for them to make a dish.
How did these two sabotages get approved by Food Network’s culinary team for this episode? Click the play button on the video above to find out.
Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges’ perspective.
As far as I’m concerned, this challenge got down to the nitty-gritty — the real skills required to do the actual job of being a Food Network Star. The finalists had an hour to concoct a crowd-pleasing dish based on a classic summer pairing. Then they had to demo that dish to a crowd of roughly 400 food fans. The food was as up and down as the rides at Knott’s Berry Farm. When it came to the demo, two finalists were clearly on the bottom: Reuben and Christopher.