Off the Beaten Aisle: Sweet White Miso

by in Recipes, May 19th, 2011

miso mac and cheese
Fermented bean paste? Doesn’t exactly scream party in your mouth.

And yet we happily slurp it in that salty, savory soup doled out every time we sit down for sushi. That’s because miso really is a flavor bomb worth knowing.

So let’s start there. Miso is a broad term for pastes made from fermented cooked soybeans that are aged, sometimes for years.

Miso has origins in China, but is best known for its role in Japanese cooking, where it is used in soups, sauces, marinades, glazes and dressings.

There are many varieties of miso, which can vary widely in color and flavor intensity based on how long it is aged and which ingredients are added.

Sweet white miso, for example, is made from fermented soybeans and rice, then aged for just a few months. The result is a smooth paste with a sweet, salty, savory flavor and a light golden color.

Find out what you can make with sweet white miso »

Recipe of the Day: Chicken, Sausage and Peppers

by in Recipes, May 19th, 2011

chicken, sausage and peppers
Whether you’ve just returned from baseball practice, work or the gym, you can still put dinner on the table quick. This dish whips up in just 35 minutes and has something for everyone.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and sweet, Italian sausages are cut up into chunks and sautéed with fragrant onions and peppers. Before serving, pour a sauce made of garlic, white wine, cherry peppers and butter over it to kick it up a notch.

Tip: Add extra heat by using spicy sausage and hot cherry peppers.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Sausage and Peppers

Browse more of Food Network’s chicken recipes.

Fish Farming in Hell’s Kitchen

by in Events, May 18th, 2011

tilapia
That’s right: There is a tilapia farm in Manhattan. Food and Finance High School students are learning careers for the future from this lab run by Cornell Extension Professor Philson Warner. Aquaculture is a closed system of farming that raises hydroponic crops that links to a fish farm, cleaning and feeding as it cycles. The good professor suggests that this is how man might one day farm on planets less green than our own.

Join Food Network Kitchens this Friday, May 20, at 6:30 PM at Chelsea Market in New York City, for a special evening fundraiser and silent auction benefiting the Food and Finance High School. Special guests include Alex Guarnaschelli and Kelsey Nixon. Get tickets at foodeducationfund.org.

Get the recipe pictured above: Bobby’s Baked Tilapia

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, May 18th, 2011

potatoes
• The latest product at the chopping block of school cafeteria foods is the potato. The USDA is seeking to ban spuds entirely from federally-subsidized school breakfasts and limit them–and all starchy veggies–to one cup per week at lunch. [wsj.com]

• Intrigued by foods promising to lower cholesterol, curb digestive issues or perform other miracles? These “functional foods,” or edibles marketed as health and wellness promoters, might be a tad misleading to consumers. [nytimes.com]

• Wisconsin-based McDonald’s enthusiast Don Gorske has eaten his 25,000th Big Mac. “You don’t dream of living so long as to reach a milestone like that,” he told the BBC, though we don’t think he was referring to health concerns surrounding the double-decker burger. [bbc.co.uk]

• If you experience anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, head to the Texas office of Dr. Clint Herzog, who offers pre-cleaning beer and wine to patients. Good thing that glass of red comes with a free whitening. [41nbc.com 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: Artichokes

by in In Season, Recipes, May 18th, 2011

baby artichokes
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 asparagus and rhubarb — today, we’re exploring artichokes.

An edible thistle, artichokes are one of those veggies that is easiest used from a jar or frozen. But if you’re going to pick one time of year to actually carve into an artichoke, spring is the time to do it, when fresh artichokes are at their peak. Don’t be intimidated by all those leaves and the inedible “choke” hiding inside – just follow the lead of Food Network chefs.

Start with this easy recipe for Steamed Artichokes (in the microwave) from Food Network Magazine, along with their step-by-step guide to cutting up baby artichokes.

Find out how to prep and cook artichokes »

Tickets Still Available for The Matthew Finkel Scholarship Fund Dinner

by in Events, May 18th, 2011

dinner in the dark
Dinner In The Dark, an impromptu dinner series designed to stimulate diners’ palates by offering no clues to the menu or who will be cooking, is hosting a special edition dinner to honor Matthew Finkel. Matthew passed away on December 29, 2010 in a car accident at the age of 22 — he was an amazing individual and a talent in the kitchen, who at a very young age became a part of Food Network’s family. This event, which features over 15 chefs offering small bites, will help the Matthew Finkel Scholarship Fund. The Fund is dedicated to helping culinary students with extreme financial need, who are attending the Culinary Institute of America.

“In evaluating all the candidates in conjunction with the CIA for the scholarship, Matthew Finkel definitely stood out in the crowd,” says Bruce Seidel, Senior Vice President of Programming.

“He was an amazing individual full of compassion, passion and the type of person who took care of everyone around him while he sacrificed for all. Matthew touched our hearts with the way he helped others, so the team at Food Network wanted to graciously help him and awarded Matthew our scholarship.”

Price is $40.00 per person, all inclusive. The dinner also offers great raffle drawing prizes including two VIP tickets to a filming of Iron Chef America.

Purchase tickets here for the May 23 event in Cleveland, Ohio.

Learn more about Matthew’s life after the jump »

Recipe of the Day: S’more Brownies

by in Recipes, May 18th, 2011

chocolate brownie smores
This is not your average brownie and yes, you can start drooling now.

A crust of butter, sugar and graham cracker is pressed evenly over the bottom of the pan than baked to golden perfection. Next, a thick, fudgy brownie batter gets poured on top and baked just until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. At that point, large marshmallows are added to the top of the dessert and put under the broiler under slightly melted.

Three different layers form three scrumptious textures.

Tip: While dinner is cooking, bake these showstoppers. By the time you’ve finished eating and washed the dishes, these brownies will have cooled down and be ready to eat.

Get the recipe: S’more Brownies

Browse more of Food Network’s brownie recipes.

Icing on the Cake: AP’s 2011 Stylebook Adds Food Writing Section

by in News, May 17th, 2011

ap stylebook 2011
Pop quiz time!

How do you make “petit four” plural?

When making pesto, do you add “pine nuts” or “pinenuts”?

And which is correct: bok choy, bok choi, pak choi or pak choy?

These are the questions I tend to spend too much time geeking out over. But then, as food editor for the world’s largest news organization, that’s part of the job. Especially recently, as we geared up for the release of the 2011 edition of “The Associated Press Stylebook.”

Unless you’ve done time in the news trenches, you may not be too familiar with the book. It’s basically an all-purpose spelling, grammar and formatting guide for journalists. We’ve been producing regularly updated editions of the book since 1953.

But the cool part is that this year we created our first standalone section of the book dedicated to food writing. In it, we cover the basics of recipe writing, as well as the proper spelling, capitalization and use of more than 400 common (and sometimes complicated) food terms.

Read more

FN Fan Bites: Robert and Alton Cooking for Solutions, Meet Scott Conant at Taste of the Nation

by in Food Network Chef, May 17th, 2011

robert irvine, alton brown, scott conant
The Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a Cooking for Solutions celebration May 20-22, featuring great chefs, gourmet cuisine and fine wines. On Saturday May 21, the event will feature presentations from Alton Brown and Robert Irvine, highlighting the use of sustainable seafood while saving the oceans and helping home cooks discover new and delicious ways to serve seafood dishes. Visit Montereybayaquarium.org for details and ticket prices.

On May 22, Montage Laguna Beach will host Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event. Share Our Strength is a charity that hopes to eliminate childhood hunger in our country and 100% of ticket sales go to the cause. Scott Conant of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle is one of the participating chefs this year and a VIP ticket offers a chance to meet him, along with other chefs while enjoying food, wine and specialty cocktails. Visit Taste.strength.org for information on this and other events across the country.

Paula Deen launches a line of home accessories »

Recipe of the Day: Baked Farfalle With Escarole and Zucchini

by in Recipes, May 17th, 2011

baked farfalle with escarole and zucchini
Meet your new go-to staple for hearty family and entertaining dinners that come together in under 40 minutes. Bow-tie pasta is tossed with tomatoes, basil, escarole and zucchini, than baked until a combination of fontina and Parmesan cheeses have melted.

Get the recipe: Baked Farfalle With Escarole and Zucchini

Browse more of Food Network’s pasta recipes.