Wedding Food Takes Center Stage

by in News, June 21st, 2012

fava bean falafel
The arrival of warm weather and long days are sure signs that the wedding season is upon us. As the season shifts into high gear, we thought we’d check in on what’s hot and happening food-wise in the world of weddings. A whole lot, it turns out. Be assured the old rubber-chicken buffet clichés no longer apply. All the excitement of the contemporary food scene — street foods, far-flung flavors, techno-wizardry, updated retro classics, etc. — is coming to the party. There’s a lot less “continental” stuffiness and, ironically, far more sophistication and worldliness. A new adventurousness and license to have fun is unmistakably in evidence, allowing couples more room to personalize and invent. Wedding food is no longer something to endure; increasingly it is becoming another part of the evening’s entertainment.

Click for a sampling of top trends

Field Test: Citrus Spritzer

by in Product Reviews, June 21st, 2012

citrus spritzerIt’s a rare day that I’ll turn down the opportunity to bring a fun new gadget into my kitchen and make a bit of a mess. When the Citrus Spritzer came through the office, I jumped at the chance to test it out “in the field.” The little wonder’s claim to fame was that you simply pop it into your citrus fruit of choice and it will generate a light mist of citrus juice, as easy as spritzing water. I had a large bowl of citrus fruit at home, just waiting to be spritzed. It was fate.

I started with a small lemon, which I rolled gently on the counter to get the juices flowing. “Better give this little gadget a fighting chance,” I thought, skeptical that it could work. But lo! A couple pumps and I was getting perfect little puffs of lemon mist falling over my soon-to-be-sauteing green beans.

 

Find out what else it works on

Baking 101

by in How-to, June 20th, 2012

baking 101
I was classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America. The school prides itself on providing all its students the tools they need to succeed in the food industry. The most important tool I’ll pass along is “mise en place.” This is a French phrase used by chefs that translates to “everything in place.”

Baking 101 is, simply put, baking mise en place.

Baking can seem daunting to novices. I understand it seems very technical and can also be confusing. I will dispel many myths with these simple steps.

Before buying any ingredients for a recipe, read the entire recipe from start to finish. Look closely at all the ingredients. If for example, a recipe calls for room-temperature butter and eggs, make sure you pull them out of the fridge far enough in advance (at least one hour).

Preheating the oven is very important and should always be done before measuring out the ingredients.

Have a timer set and ready to go and more

Reinvented: Orzo Salad 5 Ways for Summer

by in Recipes, June 20th, 2012

orzo five ways
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

Orzo is pretty delicious with just some butter and salt. But why not try one of these summertime-inspired orzo salads? The options are endless. Plus, you can serve them warm, room temperature or slightly chilled.

First, start with the classic

Chopped Heads West in a Five-Part “Grill Masters” Summer Battle

by in Shows, June 20th, 2012

chopped grill masters
You’ve seen Chopped, Chopped Champions and Chopped All-Stars. Now, Chopped is traveling to the Arizona desert for a special five-part themed series: Grill Masters, which premieres Sunday, July 22, at 10pm ET/PT. Over the course of five weeks of dry desert heat, 16 grilling professionals from around the country face off in this captivating Wild West showdown. The stage is set for the ultimate culinary feud with Chopped favorites Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Aarón Sánchez at the judging table, and astonishing mystery ingredients and tremendously talented competitors. One chef from each preceding duel makes it to the final fiery face-off, and when the dust clears, the greatest grilling pro of all will walk away with a $50,000 grand prize.

Episode schedule:

Grill Masters: Part 1 – Sunday, July 22, at 10pm ET/PT
Fire up the grills, y’all! In this first-of-its-kind Chopped grilling tournament, the competition heads west for a fierce, five-part showdown for a $50,000 grand prize.
Competitors: Ray Lampe (Florida), Jennifer Duncan (Arizona), Tom Duncan (Arizona), Galen Zamarra (New York City)

Continue reading episode schedule

Team Giada: Down to Three

by , June 19th, 2012

Team GiadaTeam Giada thought they had last Sunday’s food-court challenge in the bag. A Mexican-themed kiosk, with Martita on their side? No problem. But for South African dessert queen Linkie Marais, Mexican food was uncharted territory: “I don’t even know what they serve for dessert in Mexico!” Stumped, she ran with Martita’s suggestion of churros and hoped for the best, despite the fact that she’d never made them before.

Sure enough, the texture of the churros was off and Linkie tried to re-brand them as “biscotti.” But her confidence was shaken, and it showed. She ended up in the Producers’ Challenge, where she gave Bob and Susie a solid chicken dish, proving that she shouldn’t be pigeonholed into pastry. Still, in the end, it was pitch room veteran Nikki who prevailed, sending Linkie home.

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