Food Network Star Premieres This Sunday

by in Shows, June 3rd, 2011

food network star finalists
Back in early April, we gave you a look at the new set of contestants on season seven of Food Network Star. Since then, you’ve cast your pre-season predictions in the Fan Forecast Vote and have watched a sneak peek of the show on the Star homepage.

Now, the time has finally come to indulge in Food Network’s number one series: This Sunday, Food Network Star premieres with bigger personalities and unforgettable star-power.

Join us for a live Twitter viewing party with Entertainment Weekly and special guest stars starting at 9pm/8c; use #star in your tweets.

Tune in: Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central


Build Me Up Bruschetta

by in Recipes, June 3rd, 2011

Pronounced “broo-sketta” by the nanas and papas in Italy, bruschetta is simply a piece of bread, lightly grilled and topped with any assortment of ingredients. Though fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil may be a classic combination of bruschetta flavors, the possibilities for toppings are endless and best inspired by some of your favorite dishes. The bruschetta recipes below celebrate classic sweet and savory pairings and boast welcomed lightness and freshness in traditional two-bite appetizers.

Put your garden veggies to good use this summer by cooking up Food2’s recipe for Zucchini and Pine Nut Bruschetta.  Overflowing with fresh eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic, these crispy toasts are dotted with crunchy pine nuts and rich kalamata olives. Make extra of this savory topping to serve alongside grilled swordfish or broiled tilapia.

Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Shallot-Bresaola Bruschetta (pictured above) combines effortlessly the classic flavors of salty cured beef and tangy marinated shallots. Serve these hearty rounds as a light lunch with soup or salad or before dinner as a meaty starter.

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Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Food Plate

by in News, June 2nd, 2011
usda food plate
Photo: USDA.gov

Today, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama introduced MyPlate, the updated version of the American nutrition guide — the food pyramid.

The new diet incorporates these seven key messages:

Balancing Calories:
1. Enjoy your food, but eat less.
2. Avoid oversized portions.

Read the remaining 5 messages and take our poll »

Off the Beaten Aisle: Marcona Almonds

by in Recipes, June 2nd, 2011

tomato sweet potato soup
Five years can make a world of difference for an almond.

That’s about how long it took for Spain’s addictively good marcona almond to go from obscure gourmet goodie to a Trader Joe’s staple with serious culinary cred.

Why do you care? Because marconas are not your average almond. These wide, teardrop-shaped treats are the filet mignon of the nut world.

Almost literally.

The flavor and texture of marcona almonds are entirely different than the more common California almond. A higher fat content helps explain the textural difference – tender-crunchy and moist.

As for flavor, think uber-savory and steak-like. And it doesn’t hurt that they typically are prepared by being fried in olive oil, then sprinkled with salt.

Once only a limited import, marcona almonds now are widely available, often sold near the cheese, olives and other so-called gourmet items.

Find out what you can make with marcona almonds »

Recipe of the Day: Giada’s Chicken or Steak With Balsamic BBQ Sauce

by in Recipes, June 2nd, 2011

chicken with balsamic bbq sauce
If you’ve never made your own BBQ sauce before, you’re in for a treat. Here, Giada puts her Italian spin on a classic sauce by adding balsamic vinegar to the mixture, which adds a tangy layer of flavor.  Even better, it comes together in just 20 minutes. Keep this recipe handy all summer — it’s great on both chicken and steak.

Get the recipe: Giada’s Chicken or Steak With Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Get more of Food Network’s grilling recipes.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, June 1st, 2011

watermelon agua fresca
• We love everything about watermelons, except maybe chopping them. Until now! Enter the watermelon knife –- who knew sharp bladed things could be so adorable? [nytimes.com]

• This Thursday, the USDA will reveal its new food icon, replacing the age-old pyramid for a plate. “We presume that it will be divided into sections that will show you how much of different types of foods you should be eating,” Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent for CNN.com, predicts.  [eatocracy.com]

• 2011 is the year of beer (gardens, that is). According to the New York Times, there are over 50 German-themed drinking halls in the five boroughs with new ones cropping up and iPhone apps to tell you where to find them. [nytimes.com]

• With global warming, the temperature isn’t the only thing that’ll rise –- so will food prices over the next 20 years. [fastcompany.com]

• Students at Bath Spa University have created five dresses made entirely of cheese (and they used one ton of it to do so). Because, you know, who doesn’t love a good fromage frock? [dailymail.co.uk via grubstreet.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Spring Fling: Strawberries

by in In Season, Recipes, June 1st, 2011

strawberries

We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Spring Fling 2011, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Recently, we dove into the world of rhubarb and artichokes — today, we’re exploring strawberries.

Strawberries are the season’s eye catching bounty that so many people wait for — they’re juicy, flavorful and can be eaten plain, roasted, grilled and more. When buying, choose brightly colored, plump berries that still have their green caps attached. Do not wash them until ready to use them, and store (preferably in a single layer on a paper towel) in a moisture-proof container in the refrigerator for two to three days.

While strawberries vary in size, if you see European Alpine strawberries, which are much smaller than American and Chilean varieties, don’t hesitate to pick them up. They are exquisitely sweet and are considered by many to be the “queen of strawberries.”

This week, we’re going beyond chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry shortcake with these five new recipes for spring and summer:

Breakfast: Giada’s Strawberry Strata

Lunch: Rachael’s Romaine Hearts with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Browse our dinner, dessert and drink picks after the jump »

It’s National Iced Tea Month

by in Holidays, June 1st, 2011

iced tea
June is National Iced Tea Month — so get out your tall glasses and ice cubes and celebrate the warm weather by pouring yourself a home-brewed glass of iced tea.

According to Food Network’s Encyclopedia, “Tea grew wild in China until the Chinese determined the leaves helped flavor the flat taste of the water that they boiled to prevent getting sick. All tea plants belong to the same species, but varying climates, soils, etc., combine in different ways to create a plethora of distinctive leaves.”

Whether enjoyed plain, sweetened, flavored or spiked, sip down this cool drink with one of these recipes:

Giada’s Sweet Apple Iced Tea
Thai Iced Tea
Ellie’s Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea With Berry Cubes
Iced Tea With Grenadine

Browse our picks for alcoholic versions after the jump »

Recipe of the Day: Guy’s Cuban Pork Chops With Mojo

by in Recipes, June 1st, 2011

cuban pork chops with mojo
Impress the family tonight with Guy’s Latin-inspired pork chops with a spicy rub and citrus marinade. While the total time of this recipe says it takes “1 hour 45 minutes” to make, don’t fret. The pork chops will marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, leaving you time to help the kids with their homework or to make a refreshing side salad like this Avocado Salad With Tomatoes, Lime, and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette.

Get the recipe: Guy’s Cuban Pork Chops With Mojo

Browse more of Food Network’s pork recipes.

FN Fan Bites: Iron Chef Jose Garces, Marcela on Jimmy Fallon and More

by in Food Network Chef, May 31st, 2011

jose garces
Iron Chef Jose Garces will participate in The Great Chefs Event in Philadelphia, Penn. on Tuesday June 14 in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alex Scott, a young girl with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, founded the organization. Every year she opened a lemonade stand in front of her home with the proceeds going to benefit pediatric cancer research. Alex inspired people from all over the world, motivating them to hold their own lemonade stands and donate to her cause. In August of 2004 at the age of 8, Alex passed away knowing she had helped raise over $1 million dollars to help find a cure for the disease that took her life. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $40 million towards fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure by funding over 150 research projects nationally. If you would like to attend the event featuring Chef Garces visit: The Great Chefs Event.

Chef Marcela Valladolid stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon late last week to whip up recipes perfect for the warm summer weather. Marcela taught Jimmy the fine art of sipping tequila and guided him through the steps of making a Mexican style burger. Watch the video clip: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

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