Add Fruits and Veggies to Your Super Bowl Menu

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, February 1st, 2012

fruits and vegetables
The Super Bowl is such a great athletic event. It’s also a day that honors another great sport: cooking. People get out their smokers and their spicy chicken wing recipes. Others grab their salsa recipes and tortilla presses. It’s definitely a day to bust out some of your favorite all-American recipes. What I find people struggle with is something to put out on the table that’s relatively light, something with vegetables or fruit. Are we looking for something to replace those wings or hot dogs? Absolutely not. Just something else that can complement it.

Here are some suggestions and tips for that “light” (albeit out of place) touch for your Super Bowl spread:

  • Fruit can be a great guest at your party. Skewer some tomatoes and grapes and serve them with bowl of yogurt flavored with a few spoonfuls of honey, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Or just serve them plain.
  • Make a vegetable platter. What are my favorite vegetables? Raw carrots, cucumbers, celery, red bell peppers and cauliflower. Veggie platters allow people to nibble.

More tips for a lighter Super Bowl spread »

Food Network’s In the Kitchen App Gets a Makeover

by in News, February 1st, 2012

in the kitchen app
iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch owners rejoice: The latest version of Food Network’s In the Kitchen App has new features that will make browsing your favorite recipes and Food Network chefs even easier.

In the Kitchen delivers all-star dishes and menus on the go from Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri and more. Find thousands of the best kitchen-tested and fan-rated recipes for weekday dinners, in-season cooking, memorable holidays and easy parties — perfect for the big game this Sunday. Plus, tap into smart new tools:

Compare Recipes: Not sure what to make? Browse titles, cook times and ingredient lists of several all-star recipes at once. You can even use the tool to mix-and-match recipes for party menus.

Ratings and Reviews: See what other fans have to say about Food Network’s best recipes.

More smart new tools »

We’re Bringing Buffalo Wings to the Communal Table: Big-Game Edition

by in Events, Holidays, February 1st, 2012

virtual super bowl
The Super Bowl: It’s the pinnacle of the pro football season. Even more important than which teams are playing, however, is what you’ll be serving to keep family and friends fueled until the last touchdown. Whether you have your recipes in order for the big day or you’re looking for some inspiration, we thought we would share some of the best offerings out there.

We kicked off our first Communal Table on Food Network back in November for Thanksgiving, and the response was so outstanding that we decided the Super Bowl deserved the same attention. Today, experts from the industry are excited to “pull up a chair” to our table and offer readers their favorite recipes for appetizers, desserts and drinks for the big game.

alton brown buffalo wingsWe’ve chosen to bring Alton’s Buffalo Wings to the table — an easy, last-minute recipe with only five ingredients. Alton’s secret for success is to first steam the wings before baking them in the oven on parchment paper. Tossed with garlic, hot sauce and salt, all of the flavors seep into the crispy chicken for tangy wings the whole family will love.

See what our friends are bringing to the table and tell us what you would bring to the table on Twitter by using the hashtag: #pullupachair.

See what our friends are bringing to the table »

Under Pressure — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, How-to, February 1st, 2012

pressure cooker
Come cold weather, praises abound for slow cookers. I never got on that bandwagon. While I love low-and-slow cooking, when it comes to barbecue, I prefer my meals to come together more quickly on a daily basis. Why wait that long for a tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef stew when a pressure cooker can do the same job in less than an hour?

Back when I was a personal chef, I only had four to five hours to spend at each client’s house, to get five meals for four prepared from start to finish. Using a pressure cooker allowed me to not only multitask, but to prepare short ribs, pot roast and even soups in record time. It was just the primer I needed for feeding my own family years later.

Forget all your fears and the stories you’ve heard about pressure cookers in the past. In the 15 years I’ve been using mine, there’s never been an explosion. I started with a stovetop pressure cooker in the beginning, and in the last few years my electric one has become my new best friend. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll realize from the first bite that is one “fast food” busy parents can feel good about serving their kids.

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NYChilifest 2012: The Many Mugs of Chili

by in Events, January 31st, 2012

serving chili
After trying countless spoonfuls of chili, the subtleties can really start to evade your palate. Notes of nutmeg and tamarind, at first fresh and fragrant, are soon lost amidst the whirlwind of flavors; hints of coffee and chocolate no longer round off each bite, but instead take refuge behind the lingering heat of poblanos and other hot peppers of the like. Appreciating the nuances of chili can prove a pretty tricky task, but wrapping one’s palate around the subtle differences between competing bowls of the hearty stew, eaten one after another? Nearly impossible. Unless, that is, the entries are as varied as they were at this past weekend’s chili showdown in New York City.

Held in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, NYChilifest 2012 featured an eclectic list of competitors, including fine-dining establishments like Gramercy Tavern, younger, trendier spots like Roberta’s and even popular Mexican destinations Tacombi and La Palapa. No less eclectic were the competing chilis, which ranged from straightforward ground beef and bean-stocked vats, to short rib-studded, spicy green varieties. We rounded up some of our favorite spoonfuls, as well as a few sights and sounds from Sunday’s chili cook-off.

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5 Ways to Clean Your Cutting Board

by in How-to, January 31st, 2012

cutting board
Feel like your cutting board just isn’t clean enough? Not to worry — you can get the board extra clean with some products likely found in your home.

1. Rinse immediately after use. Studies show that a prewash rinse eliminates enough bacteria so that levels are safe, while submerging the board in dishwater immediately after use transfers pathogens to the wash water. Since wood is a porous surface that absorbs water, submerging a dirtied board could also cause it to split and warp.

2. Disinfect using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Pour it over the board and spread it around using a clean sponge. Let it stand for a few minutes as it fizzes to kill germs. Wipe off with the clean sponge and repeat as needed.

Remove stains with coarse salt or baking soda »

Guacamole for the Big Game — Simple Soirées

by in Holidays, January 31st, 2012

alton's guacamole
Wait — Super Bowl Sunday is about a football game? Not in my world. Super Bowl Sunday is all about the food. And drinks. OK, and maybe the awesome commercials on TV. But mostly it’s about the food. And you can’t just whip up anything for this very special Sunday that happens once a year — no, you’ve got to go big with the best appetizers and finger foods out there.

Each year we throw a big Super Bowl Sunday fiesta. I think some people actually watch the game, but most come to eat and have someone else cook for them. For those people that truly understand football (I’m clearly not included in that group), I’m a big believer in having tons of appetizer and finger food options for people to grab while they sit in front of the TV. There has to be an assortment of wings, potato skins, chips, dips, desserts and, most importantly, guacamole. Oh yes, it’s not a party without guacamole.

I mean, in my mind it wouldn’t be a football party without a big bowl of guac. Something about it just screams to be eaten while watching football and lounging around on a lazy weekend. This year I’ll be whipping up a guacamole from Alton Brown.

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Skillet Lasagna — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 30th, 2012


While some lasagna recipes require Bolognese and bechamel sauces, multiple pots and pans and a few hours in the oven, this one calls for just a single sauce and only 20-25 minutes on the stove. No-bake lasagna noodles are nestled between layers of fresh tomato sauce, sliced vegetables and creamy ricotta cheese, becoming soft as they cook in the skillet and absorb moisture.

Continue with the Italian-inspired dishes and round out your dinner with Giada’s Mixed Green Salad With Sherry Vinaigrette and Rachael’s easy, cheesy Garlic Bread, ready in fewer than 10 minutes.

Get the recipe: Skillet Lasagna from Food Network Magazine

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.

Iron Chef America — Tailgating in Hawaii

by in Shows, January 29th, 2012

iron chef america hawaii
As a very recent immigrant to the United States, I have to hold my hand up and say that most American sports remain a complete mystery to me. Until recently, I thought the term “all net” referred to fishing and that a “power play” was something you found at a Van Halen concert. But, even in my ignorance, I still knew all about the Super Bowl, one of the greatest sport events on earth.

So, when Food Network got in touch and asked me if I would like to judge a very special Iron Chef America episode to air just before Super Bowl XLVI, I jumped at the chance. When I found out it was going to be filmed in Hawaii, I was even more determined to take part and, when I was told that my fellow judges were going to be the irrepressible Sunny Anderson and the current Miss Hawaii, Brandie Cazimero, I almost offered to pay for my own ticket. Almost.

What made it more exciting for everyone involved was that this episode was also going to have a very, very special audience selected from the extraordinary men and women of the United States armed forces. It made all of us even more determined to put on a great show, particularly Sunny, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

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Pollo Frito — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 27th, 2012

pollo frito
Until last weekend, I’d never made fried chicken at home. This is primarily because I grew up in a household that did not deep-fry. My mother preferred the kind of cooking that employed a nonstick skillet and the barest coating of heart-friendly olive oil. When we’d go out to eat, she would expound on the many dangers of fried foods and point my sister and me toward lighter, more healthful options. French fries were a very rare treat and chicken fingers came only in baked varieties.

It wasn’t until high school that I had my first piece of fried chicken. A dear friend’s mother prided herself on her perfectly cooked, crisp, tender drumsticks and delighted in making it for us. I gobbled it down hungrily and didn’t tell my family.

In recent years, fried chicken has gotten increasingly trendy. It’s got a pleasantly retro-kitsch appeal, so higher-end restaurants have begun to add it to their menus. I’ve taken advantage of those offerings on occasion, all the while believing that it was still something best left to professionals or those families with a serious fried chicken tradition.

Before you start heating your oil, read these tips »