by Joseph Erdos in View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
by Sara Levine in Recipes, View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
FN Dish is counting down until the premiere of America’s Best Cook on Sunday at 9|8c. On the new show, four Food Network chefs representing the four regions of the United States mentor teams of exceptional home cooks in a competition to find America’s best cook. The winner walks away with the title and $50,000 in prize money. But which region will that winner be from? It could be North, South, East or West. The final result will be a testament to the mentor who coached the winner. Ahead of the premiere, FN Dish spoke with the show’s host, Ted Allen, to find out his take on the competition.
As the host of Chopped, Ted Allen gets to see professional chefs enter the heat of the competition, but on America’s Best Cooks, it’s all about the home cooks. Amateurs who have proven they’re the best home cooks in the nation will enter the competition for a chance to be chosen and mentored by one of four Food Network chefs. According to Ted, each team will show a different dynamic and each mentor will have a strategy — some similar, some a bit different. As the host, he has a unique point of view: He gets to see everything that happens on all four teams.
by Dana Angelo White, April 12th, 2014
Aside from the old reliables — always-addictive chocolate matzo brittle, from-scratch coconut macaroons and flourless chocolate cake — Passover desserts are usually forgettable. Attempts at kosher-for-Passover versions of cookies and brownies never turn out very well, and those sugared jelly candies always make an appearance but remain untouched on the Seder dessert spread. Fortunately, we rounded up five decadent new desserts that are worth making whether you’re observing Passover or not.
Lemon-Coconut Matzo Jelly Roll
This flour-free, non-dairy dessert will make an impressive showing when sliced on the post-Seder dessert table. Read more
by Amy Reiter in News, April 12th, 2014
Among the big holidays, Easter isn’t traditionally associated with excessive eating. But any family gathering has the potential to lead to overindulging. The best strategy: Plan your menu around fresh, healthy and seasonal recipes.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, April 11th, 2014
Online reviews on sites like Yelp (not to mention Chowhound, Urban Spoon, Zagat, TripAdvisor and others) presumably tell us a lot about restaurants. They also tell us a lot about the people who write them, a new study concludes.
For the study, published by the peer-reviewed online journal First Monday, Stanford University linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky and his co-authors examined 900,000 online restaurant reviews using computational linguistics and “sentiment analysis” to ferret out “the meanings that are hidden in the way people use words and connotations,” Dan explained in the Stanford Report.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, April 11th, 2014
Banana pudding is the epitome of old-fashioned country cooking. Yet it’s based on the English dessert called trifle made of layered cake, custard and fruit, often served in a special footed glass serving dish. There are no fancy dishes used for banana pudding. The iconic banana pudding receptacle is a square-shaped Pyrex glass baking dish. Practically every “meat-and-three”-serving restaurant, old-school cafeteria and BBQ joint across the South has a shallow aluminum pan or Pyrex dish of silky banana pudding on its cold line ready to serve up. Nothing fancy, no ordeals — just easy and delicious. Read more
by Marisa McClellan in Holidays, Recipes, April 11th, 2014
FN Dish is counting down until the premiere of America’s Best Cook on Sunday at 9|8c. On the new show, four Food Network chefs representing the four regions of the United States mentor teams of exceptional home cooks in a competition to find America’s best cook. The winner walks away with the title and $50,000 in prize money. But which region will that winner be from? It could be North, South, East or West. The final result will be a testament to the mentor who coached the winner. Ahead of the premiere, FN Dish spoke with each of the mentors to find out more about the competition, mentoring strategies, what makes a good home cook and more.
On America’s Best Cook, Tyler Florence is representing the West. Tyler started out in the South and then worked for many years in New York City, so he’s got experience with three out of the four regions. But as a chef who has made his home on the West Coast and runs establishments there, Tyler is more than qualified to represent the West. He’s previously mentored home cooks and budding chefs on the shows Food 911, The Great Food Truck Race and Food Court Wars, and he’s ready to do the same again.
by Merritt Watts, April 11th, 2014
When I was growing up, Passover wasn’t a holiday we celebrated with any regularity. My mom was Jewish, but she had grown up in a very secular branch of the family. Occasionally we would attend a Seder at our Unitarian church (they were very into the world religions back in the 1980s), but it was not an annual thing.
Once I moved to Philadelphia, however, I found myself surrounded by family that, while still pretty New Age and multicultural, was far more observant when it came to the Jewish holidays.
And so Passover has become a staple holiday on my yearly calendar, second only to Thanksgiving in terms of eating. The meal is coordinated by my mom’s first cousin Amy, and she distributes dish assignments at least a month prior to the meal (so that people can practice and get things just right).
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, April 11th, 2014
Rice is over. Couscous is passe. It’s all about alterna-grains these days. But don’t just stock your pantry with these exotic-sounding carbs and hope for the best. Those wheat berries won’t cook themselves! Here’s what to do with you...
by Amy Reiter in News, April 11th, 2014
On Saturday, Ree is putting on a big Cajun-style party for her father-in-law, and on Heartland Table, Amy is bringing back the supper club. Sunday morning, tune in to Rachael for a week’s worth of meals prepared in one day. Later Damaris helps her uncle create a spring lamb feast. Then Giada makes an Easter luncheon for her family. And Guy’s Big Bite is all about one of Guy’s favorite comfort foods: hot dogs.
On Sunday evening, tune in to a new episode of Food Court Wars — one team specializes in sub sandwiches, the other team focuses on comfort food. Then on the premiere of America’s Best Cook, 16 cooks from four regions compete for just eight spots. Mentors Alex, Cat, Michael and Tyler will each pick the two home cooks they think will best represent their region (East, South, North and West, respectively) during competition. Only one home cook will walk away the winner of $50,000 at the end of six weeks. Then on a new Cutthroat Kitchen, one chef must use a cement mixer while making a layer cake.
Peeps — Puffed: If microwaving Peeps — those sugar-covered marshmallow birdies that show up in stores every spring — and watching them do their “best Bruce Banner-meets-Jabba the Hutt impression” is something you’ve never done, the food scientists behind the site Decoding Delicious want you to know you’re missing out. “It’s the closest thing you’ll get to a toasted marshmallow without a bonfire,” they write, adding that it’s also “totally fun to watch” and a good way to make stale Peeps “palatable” again. But why do marshmallows puff when you nuke ‘em? Because they are “basically thousands of minuscule air bubbles surrounded by thin walls of gelatin and sugar syrup,” Decoding Delicious explains. “When microwaved, the water molecules in that syrup begin to vibrate and heat up. They quickly turn to steam and fill the air pockets in the marshmallow, causing them to expand.” It works for kosher marshmallows, too, by the way, so those who celebrate Passover need not miss out on the marshmallow-puffing fun. Learn more ways to put Peeps to work by checking out videos of Whoopeeps and homemade Easter chocolate bowls, and save the leftovers for Easter Candy Bark. [Decoding Delicious]
Tso Intriguing: A feature-length documentary set to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival this month looks to answer two age-old food questions: Who was General Tso? And why are so many people eating his chicken? For The Search for General Tso, director Ian Cheney traveled to Hunan and Shanghai hoping to discover how the sticky-sweet, crispy-tender dish became such an American staple, appearing on the menu of virtually every Chinese restaurant in the United States. “Did he love chicken?” one of the people Ian spoke with asks in a trailer for the film. “We don’t know. Nobody knows.” Ah, a mystery. Check out the film’s website here. [Food Republic]