Speculoos — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in Food Network Chef, March 13th, 2012

speculoos spread
What’s the next best thing you never ate?

The Food Network Kitchens staff might know. We see (taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they take their place in the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs brings them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re going to share one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or just getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.

We Spy Speculoos

Peanut butter without nuts. Nutella without chocolate. While the first speculoos ad campaign might take the usual route of extolling what it’s almost like, we love it for what it is: an unctuous spread, tasting of toast and cinnamon and caramel, made by grinding its namesake Belgian cookie with oil.

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Three Reasons Why Social Media is Crucial for Food Trucks

by in Community, Events, March 12th, 2012

the lime truck the great food truck race
It’s no surprise that social media and food trucks go together. We’ve known that for quite some time now. However, the reasons why the two are so dynamic are evolving as more social platforms become available and as the food truck movement continues to grow.

A recent SXSW Interactive panel brought together Food Network’s general manager of online brands, Bob Madden, and recent cast members from The Great Food Truck Race to speak on this topic. Daniel Shemtob from The Lime Truck, James DiSabatino from Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Stephanie Morgan from Seabirds sat down for an hour to discuss how they go beyond using Twitter and Facebook on a day-to-day basis.

So why is social media so important to the food truck industry? Each panelist shared their reasons:

1. To tell people where your truck is located.
2. To show the transparency of the business.
3. To gain the consumer’s trust.

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Savory and Sweet Soufflés — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 12th, 2012

With a slight puff and a golden, crispy crust, Food Network Magazine’s Grits-and-Cheese Soufflés (pictured above) are unquestionably impressive, but quickly prepared in just 40 minutes using everyday ingredients. Ensure that your soufflés rise properly by beating the egg whites until you see medium peaks and incorporating them slowly into the grits-corn-cheese batter — the air inside will puff them up as they bake and yield light, soft results.

A special after-dinner treat, Sandra’s sweet Lime Souffle features zesty lime curd and creamy vanilla pudding. Each dessert is baked in an individual-sized ramekin, so serving becomes a cinch and guests can enjoy their own pre-portioned dish.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Healthy Snacks to Grab on the Fly

by , March 12th, 2012

lead
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s often very little time to plan for meals and snacks, let alone cook. So what do you do when your stomach grumbles when you’re on-the-run? If you’re super hungry, maybe you grab those...

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A Worst Cooks’ St. Patrick’s Day Party

by in Shows, March 12th, 2012

blue team st patricks day competition
It was an Irish affair on the fifth episode of Worst Cooks in America. The remaining recruits first tackled making a team meal without the help of their mentors, but then they were asked to cater a party for St. Patrick’s Day. Each member was tasked with making a classic dish: potato skins, as well as one other dish with a recipe that was provided for them. Both Bobby and Anne stressed the importance of providing enough food for their guests. For this party, they needed to make 35 pieces of each dish to satisfy the crowd.

While each recruit had to put their own spin on the potato skin, each team had to keep one thing the same: Team Bobby had to deep-fry theirs and Team Anne needed to utilize the oven and roast theirs. For the demos, Bobby created a Crispy Potato Skin With Smoked Trout Salad and Anne made Roasted Potato Skins With Colcannon, the national fish of Ireland.

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Have You Tried: Kefir?

by , March 10th, 2012

kefir

A “cultured milk product” may sound foreign, but if you’ve ever eaten yogurt, you’re closer to kefir than you thought. Find out what makes it just a little more special.

What Is Kefir?

Kefir has the mild tang of  yogurt, only with a thinner...

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Label Decoder: Diacetyl

by , March 9th, 2012
popcorn

What's this movie night treat made with?

There’s no better snack for movie night at home than a bucket of buttery popcorn. But you may think twice about the microwave stuff after we tell you about and ingredient it contains, diacetyl, and...

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Get Sauced: Celebrate National Sauce Month

by in Recipes, March 9th, 2012

It’s March and you know what that means — longer, brighter days, St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the official start of spring and a celebration of National Sauce Month, of course. We’ve rounded up our favorite savory and sweet sauces, so that you can add finishing touches to your chicken, pasta, seafood and dessert dishes with ease. Check out some of our best sauce recipes below, and let us know how you enjoy your favorite sauces.

Savory Sauces
Giada’s Grilled Chicken With Pine Nut Pesto (pictured above) takes less than 25 minutes to prepare and can be cooked easily on your indoor grill pan. Boneless chicken breasts are moist, tender and blank canvases that can be dressed up with sauces galore. This spinach-pine nut pesto sauce boasts nutty Parmesan cheese and plenty of fruity olive oil; spread a layer atop each piece of chicken to turn your basic chicken dinner into a beautiful one.

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Tri-Berry Oven Pancakes — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Recipes, March 9th, 2012

tri-berry oven pancakes
When I was seven years old, my grandmother gave me a cookbook written for kids. It was something she’d picked up at a museum gift shop and knew I’d love. My mom was not so pleased when it arrived, as she was never a huge fan of cooking with kids. In her mind, meal prep was strictly about efficiency. Adding my sister or me to the mix instantly made things drastically less efficient. Still, once in a while, she’d give in to my pleas and help me make something from the book.

When I turned eight, something happened that opened up my ability to bond with this cookbook of mine. Both my parents started working on Saturday mornings and we had a babysitter watch us until they came home. This babysitter was the teen-age daughter of friends and she was all of 13 (it was the mid-’80s, that’s how it worked back then). She was happy to let me cook, as it kept me busy and she got to help eat whatever I made.

Before you preheat your oven, read these tips