The Perfect Pizza Crust — Fix My Dish

by in Community, How-to, January 18th, 2012

pizza recipe
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: “How do I get my pizza crust to have that slightly chewy texture and hollow bubbles to obtain that authentic pizzeria-style crust?” — Stephanie.

Find out the answer to Stephanie’s question »

How to Stretch Your Food Dollar: Herbs and Brown Sugar

by in How-to, January 17th, 2012

fresh herbs brown sugar
Many of you tuned in to Food Network’s special, The Big Waste, that aired last week, and we heard from lots of you about how eye-opening and shocking it is to see how much perfectly edible food ends up in the garbage. Even if you’re not tasked with cooking a meal for 100 people using wasted food like chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay and Michael Symon were, you can still learn how to get the most out of your groceries with the tips below.

1. Treat fresh herbs like flowers and give them a vase. Who doesn’t hate it when you need a tablespoon of fresh parsley for a recipe but you’re forced to buy a giant bunch? You can hang on to the extras for another use if you treat them well. Fill a glass halfway with water, remove any twist ties or rubber bands from the herbs, and then place them in the glass, stems down. Cover with a plastic bag (the produce bag you probably brought them home in is perfect), then secure the bag to the glass with a rubber band. This will keep them fresh and usable for much longer than if you’d just tossed them in the crisper drawer.

Keep brown sugar soft and moist »

Tips for the Perfect Fondue

by in Food Network Magazine, January 17th, 2012

Perfect Fondue

Food Network Magazine has the recipe and tips for the Perfect Fondue. Here’s how to master the melting:

1. Use room-temperature cheese: Grate the cheese straight out of the fridge, then let it come to room temperature before melting.

2. Keep the heat low: Overcooked cheese is tough and rubbery. Melt it slowly, stir constantly and don’t let it come to a boil.

Melt the cheese on the stove and more tips »

Satisfying Salads — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 16th, 2012

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat smarter in 2012, it’s no secret that fresh fruits, vegetables, substantial proteins and healthful whole grains will become your best food friends this year. For a light meal that is easy to make and incorporates those hearty grains and good-for-you veggies, try serving a few simple yet satisfying salads in place of a traditional, heavy meal. Ditch those basic leafy green salads and opt for ones that boast interesting ingredients and textures.

Food Network Magazine’s Warm Beet-Orange Salad (pictured above) is packed with such in-season eats as tender roasted beets and bright citrus. Toasted walnuts add a welcome crunch to this colorful plate.

More recipes for Meatless Monday »

Sour Cream Coffee Cake — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2012

sour cream coffee cake
Though I’m known as something of a baker in my circle of friends, it wasn’t until very recently that I tried my hand at homemade coffee cake. You see, for most of my life, I didn’t really think it was something one could make at home. My experience had taught me that coffee cake was something you bought, packaged in a square white box that was emblazoned with the word “Entenmann’s.”

Part of the reason for this is that I didn’t grow up in a coffee cake household. On those rare occasions that we had a sweet morning baked good, it would be hearty, whole-wheat banana bread or a dense, barely sugared scone. My mother did not approve of cake for breakfast.

The only time I experienced this thing called coffee cake was when we’d visit my grandparents. They bought them regularly and kept them tucked into the space on top of the toaster oven. My grandfather’s habit was to have a small square around 10am, with a second cup of coffee and whatever scientific journal he was reading at the moment. As a perpetual dieter, my grandmother rarely sat down to a full slice, instead picking at the edges and crumbs each time she passed through the kitchen.

Read more

Comfort in a Bowl

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2012


Though there’s no question it’s been an unseasonably warm winter, the temperatures are finally starting to dip toward average January numbers and we’re once again craving rich, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that fill you up and keep you cozy. Nothing delivers that warmth quite like hearty soups, stews and chilis do. This weekend, cook up some steaming bowls of our favorite comfort foods and share the decadence with your family.

This thick, cheesy Chicken-Corn Chili (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is loaded with protein-rich white beans, tender corn kernels and fragrant herbs. Ground cumin and a jalapeno pepper add flavor and subtle spice to the chili, while a dollop of sour cream offers tang. To save time in the kitchen, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and have the dish ready in just 40 minutes.

Danny Boome’s indulgent Braised Lamb Stew boasts cubes of cardamom-marinated lamb shoulder that are simmered until tender in a tomato-based sauce featuring chickpeas, chewy apricots and refreshing lemon zest.

More comfort food recipes »

Iron Chef Marc Forgione to Open New Restaurant

by in Food Network Chef, News, January 13th, 2012

american cut restaurant
This spring, Iron Chef Marc Forgione is taking his talent to Atlantic City as he opens a new restaurant at Revel, a beachfront resort. American Cut is Chef Forgione’s first restaurant outside his Michelin star winning outpost in New York City.

“American Cut gives me the opportunity to redefine and reset the bar for the American Steakhouse experience,” he says.

The 300 seat restaurant will feature a lounge, a grand meat bar and seafood raw bar, two private dining areas and a main room with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Chef Forgione’s decadent menu spotlights his take on the ultimate surf and turf — a 28-day aged, 48-ounce Tomahawk Rib Eye Chop served with Chili Lobster. The Chicken Under-A-Brick dish for two served at his namesake restaurant in New York will also make an appearance on the menu.

The name American Cut is a nod to Marc’s father, Chef Larry Forgione who owned An American Place in New York City.

Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It: We’re Watching You

by in Shows, January 13th, 2012
Your Caption Here

The playing field is once again even on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off, with only three competitors remaining on both Rachael Ray’s and Guy Fieri’s famous teams. In this Sunday’s episode, the remaining six finalists will not compete together as Team Rachael versus Team Guy but individually, one-on-one.

Who better to evaluate this head-to-head battle than Chefs Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and Marcus Samuelsson, who have judged countless Chopped competitions. Here these all-star chefs look on curiously as the Cook-Off finalists race against the clock to execute plates that are prepared to impress. Will Judges Scott, Alex and Marcus be pleased with the contestants’ efforts or will the dishes leave more to be desired?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the action unfold, we’re challenging you, Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Why Screw Caps Are No Longer a Stigma

by in Drinks, January 12th, 2012

screw cap wine bottle
If anything should convince you of my position on screw caps, consider the stated location on my Twitter profile: “wherever corks pop and caps snap.”

Yes, I give equal status to corks and screw caps because both are perfectly fine bottle enclosures. Just a generation ago, the thought of packaging wine like soda pop would have prompted connoisseurs to raise their corkscrews in a vampire cross.

These days enthusiasts know that quality wine is often packaged with twist-off tops, making the wine not only easier to open but also protecting it from cork taint, which is that basement-floor, mildewy smell that experts estimate affects at least 5 percent of all cork-enclosed bottles.

Continue reading »

Crème Fraiche — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, January 12th, 2012

croque monsieur
Not sure what crème fraiche is or why you should care?

Consider it a relative of sour cream. Except that while both are white, thick and creamy, crème fraiche is the richer, sexier and more talented relative.

Here’s the deal. Like yogurt, sour cream and crème fraiche are dairy products produced thanks to the miracle of beneficial bacteria.

But while yogurt is made by adding those bacteria to milk, sour cream and crème fraiche are made from cream.

So what’s the difference? Sour cream is made from cream that is 20 percent fat; crème fraiche sports an even more succulent 30 percent. That may not sound like a big difference, but it matters in both taste and versatility. That extra fat turns crème fraiche into a kitchen workhorse.

But first, taste. While sour cream tastes, well, sour, crème fraiche is rich and tart. And as a byproduct of the bacteria added to produce it, crème fraiche tends to make other foods taste buttery. But unlike yogurt, crème fraiche isn’t particularly acidic (so it’s not great for marinades).

Get the recipe for Croque Monsieur »