Twitter Recap: What Foods Do You Want to Learn to Cook in 2011?

by in News, Recipes, View All Posts, January 7th, 2011
Tweet, tweet! Let us know what you're thinking, we are listening!

The new year brings a fresh start and new challenges — especially in the kitchen. We asked you via Twitter what recipes you wanted to learn to cook this year, and there were a few common themes. Perhaps you’ve stumbled on some 2011 cooking trends — could 2011 be the year of Pad Thai? Risotto? Here are a few of our favorite tweets, and some recipes to get started on your culinary goals. Read more

Get Healthy in 2011 With Bobby’s Help

by in View All Posts, January 5th, 2011
Get Healthy With Bobby Flay
Get Healthy With Bobby's Tips

You know the drill: New year, new you.  But why go to extremes in January, then leave your goals in the dust before Valentine’s Day? This year, make small changes instead of over-the-top resolutions to stay healthy all year long. We chatted with Bobby Flay about how he changed his habits to lose weight and feel better.  Get his start-the-year-right advice, then check back here and on our Healthy Eats blog for new tips every Wednesday.

Why did you decide to change your eating habits?

I just felt like I could be in better shape. While I wasn’t overweight, I felt like I needed to get my body back into shape and to be healthier. I knew that when I had been healthier in the past, I felt better about myself and about my day-to-day.  It helped my day-to-day happiness.

How did you accomplish your fitness goals?

A couple ways. Hard work at the gym, and on the road, so to speak, you know, running. And then just making some smart choices when it came to eating. They’re both important and you need to do both. Anybody will tell you the same thing, to exercise and eat well. It sounds like a cliche, but if everybody did that, we’d have a much healthier country.

What’s your personal philosophy on healthy eating?

It’s more about what not to do as opposed to what to do. Here’s what I do from day to day:

  • Avoid processed foods. I don’t eat fast foods or processed foods, when I can help it.  Instead, I eat things that have been prepared by hand.  Even if it’s in a diner, I know what it’s something that has been prepared by a person as opposed to a machine.
  • Nix huge portions. I don’t eat as much as I used to.  I try to eat about 2/3 of what’s in front of me when I go to a restaurant, and about the same amount at home.
  • Make every calorie count. I don’t eat just to eat things. If something doesn’t taste really good, I won’t eat it. I want my calories to count.

What are some techniques and tips for making healthy meals that are full of flavor?

You know, fat is always tasty. Cream, butter, all of that tastes good. So without those ingredients, you have to use great sources of flavor.  I use a lot of chipotles, a lot of Mediterranean ingredients, fresh herbs, dried spices, and savory things like onions and garlic that have lots of flavor but very little fat. See Bobby’s top-5 healthy ingredients >>

For hundreds more healthy appetizers, weeknight meals, desserts and healthy tips from Bobby, Giada, Alton and more, visit FoodNetwork.com/Health.

Cupcake Wars: Tree Tripping

by in Shows, January 5th, 2011
Candace and her fellow judges are ready to taste some cupcakes. After lots of hiccups this week, one baker hit his stride.

Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about last night’s episode, Tree People.

Wow, this week’s Tree People episode tripped a lot of people up! From Sara’s broken batter to Stephen’s mixed up frostings, there was upset after upset.

Let’s start with Tonnie. He was the first to go in round one, but felt very confident that he had the best tasting cupcake. And guess what? He was right! Tonnie’s carrot cupcake was delicious, but we couldn’t find a single one of the challenge ingredients! And he wasn’t alone…no one was immune to the missing flavors. All three of the remaining contestants’ cupcakes had no maple flavor!

Read more

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, January 4th, 2011
Today We Celebrate Spaghetti - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Today Is National Spaghetti Day: How will you celebrate? We can think of ways both healthy and classic (okay, and weird.)

New Super Food: Almonds A diet rich in almonds could ward off type 2 diabetes, a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reveals. Good thing dark chocolate and almonds taste so good together – double immunity! [smh.com.au]

Salads Make Millions of Women Laugh: If these salads keep making the ladies laugh so hard, they just might get a fork in them. [thehairpin.com]

Bananas: The Lowest-Hanging Fruit The New Yorker takes a look at the massively-consumed banana. Why do we like these yellow guys so much? They’re cheap, fibrous and full of vitamins. Why we shouldn’t? They lack sustainability here and scientists are now trying to genetically modify them so they’re not prone to a killer fungus. That last part sounds a little bananas, indeed. [newyorker.com via newyork.grubstreet.com]

The Kombucha Craze Hits Home: If making your own health-boosting herbal tea (from a colony of bacteria and yeast) sounds appealing, read on over at the New York Post. We just love that they call it “the booch.” [nypost.com]

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Lina Yu

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2011

"Hopefully I'll get to a point where I can actually make a full meal without feeling like I just had a nervous breakdown," says Lina, one of the first recruits eliminated.

When you presented your final dish, Chef Anne’s Chicken Cacciatore, how did you feel about it?
When I presented my dish I felt that since it was incomplete there would be no way that I would make it through. Chef Anne wasn’t able to accurately critique me since one of the key ingredients of the dish was missing, which was the sauce. That’s half of the dish right there! I felt pretty upset that it was the timing and not the actual cooking, I feel, that got me eliminated.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
If I could do-over the challenge I would have been more aware of the time on the clock because at the end of the day I think that is what got me eliminated. I took too long trying to get things perfect and then it was too late when I found out my plating dish was missing. I would have grabbed everything I needed before I started cooking.

What was the most valuable tip/piece of advice that you learned from Chef Anne?
The most valuable tip that I think I received is to prep the kitchen and ingredients before you start the actual cooking. I also figured out which is the chicken’s front side versus back side. I don’t think I can ever forget now.

What did you take away from the experience?
I learned that cooking doesn’t have to be a stressful experience and that not everyone is the perfect cook. The goal is to improve each time and hopefully I’ll get to a point where I can actually make a full meal without feeling like I just had a nervous breakdown.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I’ll continue to try to learn a little at a time and I’m sure I’ll have a lot of practice in our house. We have to learn how to cook since my family expects us to host some holiday dinners.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
I would say be alert of your surroundings and remember that even though this is a cooking show it is a competition as well. Be careful and watch what is happening around you or you might miss something.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I cooked an easier chicken dish that required only soy sauce and sprite. Sprite soy sauce chicken! I am still all about simplicity. All you have to do if put some chicken drumsticks into a pot and pour a can of sprite and soy sauce on it and let it cook. It turned out pretty decent according to my husband. I’m happy with it.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
The most memorable part of shooting the show was just getting to know all the other contestants. Everyone was from different walks of life and no matter what you do for a living, cooking is something that everyone can relate to. For our group that was the frustration we all found with not being able to cook particularly well. We were all there for the same purpose which was to improve our ability to cook food which is so key to our everyday lives.

Read Eric’s Exit Interview, find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Eric Ricupero

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2011
No words of advice could save Eric's botched chicken dish.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I need to learn how to cook in order eat healthier and save money. Eating out 10 times a week in killing both my pocket and waistline.

What was the most valuable tip/piece of advice that you learned from Chef Robert?
Preparation and organization – it makes everything else easier.

What did you take away from the experience?
I am not only a bad cook, but apparently I’m also a bad cooking student.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I will continue to work on my cooking and using what I learned on the show should help.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have cut out the bone of a bone-in chicken breast.

When you presented your final dish, Chef Robert’s Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, how did you feel about it?
I knew I’d blown it when I cut the bone out.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Listen, remember and be patient.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I tried to cook that bone-in chicken breast. I blew it again.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
Anytime Joshie and Priscilla had an argument.

Read Lina’s Exit Interview, find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks Premiere: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2011
Chefs Anne and Robert brace themselves for their first tasting on Season Two of Worst Cooks in America.

After each elimination on Worst Cooks in America this season, chefs Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine share their candid impressions of the booted recruits with the FN Dish. Up first, it’s Eric from Robert’s Team and Lina from Anne’s Team. These two barely survived day one. What went wrong?

Lina looks pretty proud of her plate, but the missing sauce was her downfall, says Chef Anne.

Anne on Lina: Lina never finished. She never got all the food on her plate. She butchered her chicken upside down—a couple of people started trying to take the breast off by going through the backbone. Erika did it too, but Lina didn’t finish and that’s why she had to go home. There was no choice. I think Lina was just smiley and happy and cheery, she was like “I just got back from my honeymoon.” She was super sweet—I don’t think she realized how intense it actually was. Everybody when we showed up was so excited. It wasn’t until the first set of people got sent home that people realized how serious this is and actually how hard it is. Everybody kicked into gear after that.

Eric just didn't want to be there, says Chef Robert. Plus, his chicken with maraschino cherries scared the judges.

Robert on Eric: Eric, he didn’t really want to be there. He was trying to save his bar business, but the attitude wasn’t there. When he was doing things, it was haphazard. He didn’t care about it. He didn’t want to do it period. He was touching the chicken, then didn’t wash his hands. He was like, “What do I care?” He’d already checked out before he checked in.

Who do you think should have been the first Worst Cooks recruit sent packing?

Catching Up With Worst Cooks in America Season 1 Winner Rachel Coleman

by in Shows, January 2nd, 2011

Rachael ColemanRachel Coleman was crowned “Best of the Worst” on Season 1 of Worst Cooks in America. A year later, she’s rocking it out in her home kitchen in Brooklyn.

Since winning Worst Cooks in America a year ago, how much do you cook at home?
RC: I now cook at home all the time! At this point it’s hard for me to even remember what I DID eat before, since now I cook at least five nights a week. I even cooked dinner for my roommate and 10 of her friends for her 30th birthday party; my roommates love having me around.

What’s your favorite dish to make?
RC: I love making chicken parmigiana. Another favorite of mine is pasticcio (a Greek lasagna). Lately I’ve been on a health kick and have been experimenting with making healthier foods; I made a really great dish a few weeks ago with Brussels sprouts.

Have you re-created any of your favorite dishes from the show (Chef Anne‘s recipes) at home?
RC: I’ve made the mac and cheese Chef Anne taught me many times since the show. I’ve also made my winning pork milanese. Lately I’ve been dreaming of the cacciucco we made during episode 1; I want to try that again.

Read more

Sandra’s Saturday Savings: Market Strategy

by in Shows, January 1st, 2011

Sandra Lee Every Saturday morning in January, Sandra Lee teams up with the FN Dish to bring you budget-friendly tips for creating delicious dishes and meals for your family. From the supermarket to the stove, she’ll help you stretch every dollar and minute.

This week, Sandra’s tips are all about smart shopping strategies. Read on, then hit the grocery store!

1. Grocery stores put higher priced pre-packaged meat on top for hasty consumers. Look underneath and save.

2. Don’t forget your reusable grocery bags. Many stores will give you a $0.05 credit per bag used. 

3. Avoid convenience items like pre-chopped fruits and vegetables and the pre-package deli meats and cheeses. You pay extra for the convenience.

4. Buy generic! Store brands are typically 20-30% less expensive than name brand items.

5. Make menu-planning a routine and save money on spontaneous spending and too many trips to the grocery store.

Want more tips? Sandra’s shows are full of ‘em. Catch Money Saving Meals on Saturdays at 9am/8c and Semi-Homemade Cooking on Sundays at 11:30am/10:30c.

Food Network Kitchens Forecast: More 2011 Trends

by in News, December 31st, 2010

2011 Food TrendsThe Food Network Kitchens compiled a list of trends to look for in the coming year — some flavor-focused (Southeast Asian Black Kale Tacos, anyone? How about an extra helping of comfort, or veggies in a starring role?) — and some a continuation of the food-meets-technology-craze (digital cookbooks and your favorite cooking sites on your mobile device). Devour listed the first five predictions earlier this week, and we gave you more here on The FN Dish here and here. Before you begin your NYE reveling, check out our final two predictions below — eating well and doing good.

Local Sourcing Surges – Time was, if you wanted to eat locally you went to your nearest farmers market and bought directly from the producer. Well, times are changing. Some of the biggest fish in the food industry—Walmart, Bon Appétit Management, and Sysco, among others—are getting into the game. As a result, in 2011 we’ll be seeing local foods cropping up more frequently in supermarkets as well as in some surprising places—schools, hospitals, ballparks, and chain restaurants.

Read more