Keeping Blueberries From Sinking in Batter — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, August 10th, 2012

blueberry buckle
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 can I get my fresh blueberries to distribute evenly in my cake better so when they bake, they all don’t sink or rise, leaving nothing in the middle?” — Suzanne Sinatra Perucci via Facebook

Answer: Try tossing your berries with a tablespoon or two of flour before adding them to the batter. Just remember to account for that when you mix up your dry ingredients, subtracting that same tablespoon or two from the amount called for in the recipe. The light coating of flour around the berries will absorb some of the fruit’s liquid, making them less likely to sink. This is especially helpful when the batter is thin; thicker batters are a little better at cradling the fruit and keeping it suspended. You can try this with any of your add-ins — peach chunks, strawberries, chocolate chips, dried fruits or nuts — when the batter is thin. Even if it ends up not being necessary, it certainly won’t hurt the recipe.

More From Fix My Dish

Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs With Romesco Sauce — The Weekender

by in Recipes, August 10th, 2012

salt and pepper spare ribs
For the last 10 years, I’ve lived in the same apartment in Center City Philadelphia. It’s a wonderful, light-filled space that has been in my family since 1965. I am well and truly lucky to call it home. The apartment really has only one downside and that’s the total absence of outdoor space. During the winter months, it’s no big thing, but come summer, I long to have a bit of space in which to grow a few vegetables and set up a grill.

I’ve not found an adequate substitute for indoor gardening yet, but when it comes to giving food a grill-like flavor and appearance, I’ve developed a few tricks. I have a stovetop grill pan and a fancy George Foreman-like appliance that does a very nice job with pork chops. When it’s about more than the simple appearance of grill marks, I use either smoked paprika, liquid smoke or hickory-smoked sea salt. Each has a way of lending a touch of open fire to the foods they’ve been added to.

Recently, my husband announced that he was longing for ribs, preferably the kind that tasted like they’d spent hours in contact with indirect, smoky heat. Before we made tracks for our local barbecue joint, I decided to see if I couldn’t find a way to mimic that kind of flavor at home.

Before you heat your oven, read these tips

Coconut Diet 101

by , August 10th, 2012

coconut
This popular diet has a die-hard following. We’ll tell you if coconut oil is the ultimate superfood that’ll help you shed pounds or just another fad diet making waves.

Overview
The theory behind this diet is that when coconut oil is combined wit...

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On the Blogs: Astronaut Hot Dogs, Plus McDonald’s Midnight Breakfast

by in News, August 10th, 2012

hot dogEater: Watch a hot dog journey into outer space and drop back down to earth, only to be eaten immediately.

Food 52: What is a cherpumple? It’s an outrageous dessert composed of three cakes, each filled and baked with its own pie.

Food Beast: “Floating mugs” may be your family’s solution to those unwanted condensation rings left behind on table.

Business Insider: You don’t have to wait until morning anymore to grab an Egg McMuffin. McDonald’s introduces Breakfast After Midnight.

Tupperware Smart Prep System Giveaway

by in Contests, August 9th, 2012

tupperware smart prep system
Make the most of your grill in these remaining summer weeks with the Smart Prep Marinating System. The liquid-tight, lockable container takes the mess out of marinating and breading while still infusing your dish with loads of flavor in seconds. Its compact size is also perfect for taking food on the go.

You can buy your own Smart Prep System, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite kind of marinade in the comments. We’re giving away a Smart Prep System to three lucky, randomly selected commenters.

Read official rules before entering

Try a T-Bone Pork Chop

by in Food Network Magazine, August 9th, 2012

T-Bone Pork Chop

The T-bone pork chop is the perfect cut for grilling. Also called the “center cut” or “pork loin chop,” it’s immediately recognizable by the T-shaped bone running through it — much like the beefsteak of the same name. It’s mostly juicy loin meat, with a little bit of lean but tender tenderloin meat, and a nice amount of fat to impart lots of moisture and flavor. But the most important component is the bone itself, which does a lot to keep the chop from drying out as it cooks.

When you brine these chops, you end up with an even juicier cut. The chops in Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Pork Chops With Plum Ginger Chutney (pictured above) are brined in a mixture of water, sugar, salt, gin, vermouth and various spices. The botanical flavors of the booze really complement both the pork and the plum chutney. For your next barbecue, leave the boneless cuts at the store and try the T-bone instead. We promise you’ll be licking your chops.

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Just the Facts: Cherries

by in Food Network Magazine, In Season, August 9th, 2012

Cherries
Bing CherriesBing Cherries

Most of the sweet cherries grown in the United States are this large wine-colored variety. Their intense flavor and firm, crisp texture make them the ultimate all-purpose cherry, great for snacking or baking. They’re usually available from May to August.

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Restaurant Revisited: Stella’s

by in Shows, August 8th, 2012

Restaurant Revisited: Stella's

In Stratford, Conn., Michael Savoie and his mother Cami needed Robert’s help to keep their 15-year-old Italian restaurant, Stella’s, alive. Despite working exhausting 90-hour weeks, Michael was clueless about food costs and lacked the leadership skills to effectively manage his staff. From management to decor, Robert and his team gave Stella’s a complete overhaul. We checked in with the Savoies a few months later to see how business is going.

In the months following their Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Stella’s are up 20 percent.

Michael is letting his mother have access to the business financials. He now has a better grip on how to manage food costs. As the new general manager of Stella’s, Cami is also handling the catering side of the business and helping to keep costs down.

Keep reading

The Top 5 Trends in Cocktails Right Now

by in Drinks, August 8th, 2012

raspberry lime punch
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend some time in New Orleans. It has long been one of my favorite cities in the United States, both for its food and its people, and I always leap at any opportunity I get to visit.

I was even more excited on this occasion, however, as the particular reason for this visit was to attend the Tales of the Cocktail convention, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary. From an event which began in 2002 with just a handful of attendees, this celebration of the mixed drink now attracts well over 20,000 people, including representatives of all the major spirit brands as well as the best bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from around the globe.

I will admit that it is, at its heart, an excuse for the cocktail community to have a really good time. There are also plenty of fascinating seminars, presentations by brands large and small, as well as enough tasting sessions to give you a good snapshot of what the latest developments are in the drinks business.

Here are the top five trends I saw emerging from 2012 Tales of the Cocktail:

1. Shrubs and Cobblers

If you thought that “shrubs” and “cobblers” had more to do with gardening and baking than with booze, think again. They are now appearing on cocktail menus all over the country.

Read more of Simon’s Top 5 Trends