The Q Kicks Off SOBE Wine & Food 2012

by in Events, February 24th, 2012

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In a tent full of bright lights, loud music and some of the country’s best barbecue, chefs like Chris Lilly, Tim Love and Elizabeth Karmel joined The Q, formally known as BubbleQ, to kick off the 2012 South Beach Wine & Food Festival last night. With the air smelling of sweet and smoky barbecue sauces and spices, the event featured chefs’ signature dishes cooked on grills and smokers, and was hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Food Network’s Guy Fieri.

When people think of barbecue, the usual comes to mind: chicken, steak, burgers, ribs and hot dogs. While they were all present, they were all reinvented classics. Pulled pork was transformed into tacos and egg rolls, lamb ribs were served instead of pork ribs and yellowtail even made an appearance.

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Citrus Crostada — The Weekender

by in Recipes, February 24th, 2012

citrus crostada
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that unless you live on the same block or work in nearby offices, it becomes harder and harder to ensure that you’re seeing friends on a regular basis. Add babies to the mix (as many of my generation have been doing lately) and it becomes even more challenging.

To combat this, I help organize a monthly potluck for some of my favorite folks, to ensure that we see each other with some regularity. Each month, we gather around one of our dining tables with dishes in hand and spend a few hours eating, drinking and catching up.

Because I’ve known this collection of couples for nearly a decade, they’ve eaten all my standby recipes, sometimes many times over. I regularly feel like I have to step up my contributions to our community table to keep things from getting boring.

For this month’s gathering, I went in search of a recipe that would feature the oranges, lemons and grapefruit currently in season. What I found was Giada’s Citrus Crostada. It’s a shortbread tart crust, filled with slightly sweetened mascarpone and topped with a homemade citrus jam. It was a hit with my friends and is perfect for The Weekender.

Before you start cooking your jam, here are a few tips »

Nutritional Yeast Flakes — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, February 23rd, 2012

pumpkin and white bean soup
It’s awfully hard to get excited about a food called “nutritional yeast flakes.”

It sounds like something you either need a prescription to get — or a prescription to get rid of. Even worse, it resembles yellow flaked fish food. But trust me, this is an ingredient worth looking at beyond its name and appearance.

Nutritional yeast flakes have been around for years, but they are all but unheard of outside the vegan world, which uses them to simulate the flavor of cheese.

There’s a reason they use them that way. These flakes are jammed with glutamates, the compounds that give us the savory wonderfulness in Parmesan and steak.

But let’s go back to the basics. Nutritional yeast flakes are produced by growing, harvesting and drying a variety of yeast that is different from that used in baking.

Pumpkin and White Bean Soup With Sourdough Croutons

5 Rules That Speed Weight Loss

by , February 23rd, 2012
weight loss

Kick your weight loss efforts into high gear with these 5 easy rules.

Trying to shed a few pounds (and keep them off)? Do it the right way – these tips can help.

Rule #1: Eat!
Taking in fewer calories will promote weight loss, but cutting back too ...

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Two Ways to Use: Chocolate Syrup

by in Food Network Magazine, Recipes, February 23rd, 2012

chocolate waffles
Each month, Food Network Magazine puts chefs from Food Network Kitchens to the test: Create recipes that put a new spin on a pantry staple like mixed nuts or instant coffee.

Chocolate syrup isn’t just a sundae add-on: This month, Derek Flynn and Liz Tarpy put a new spin on this childhood favorite.

Recipe: Chocolate Waffles (pictured above)
Derek says: “I always have chocolate syrup in the fridge, so these waffles are an easy breakfast treat.”

Chocolate Souffles

On the Blogs: Doritos Locos Taco, James Beard Awards and Franken-Meat

by in Community, February 22nd, 2012

bobby flay and michael symonUSA TODAY: The marriage of two junk foods: Taco Bell creates taco shells made from Doritos chips.

Miami New Times: South Beach Wine & Food Festival begins tomorrow. Celeb chefs share their favorite spots to eat during their weekend in the sun.

Light Years: “Franken-meat” is grown from a petri dish and it costs $330,000 to make. Could it be the future of the burger?

Wall Street Journal: Hospital chefs are personalizing their menus for patients and reinventing hospital cuisine. Goodbye, plain baked fish; hello, tilapia en papillote.

Delights & Prejudices (JBF Blog): Semifinalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards are announced. Spotted on the lists: Michael Chiarello, Scott Conant and Bryan Voltaggio.

How Wolfgang Puck Prepares for the Governors Ball

by in Food Network Magazine, February 22nd, 2012

Illustration by Kagan McLeodWhile you’re watching the Oscars, Wolfgang Puck is preparing to feed more than 1,500 Hollywood big shots at the Governors Ball. Here’s his routine.

Believe it or not, Wolfgang isn’t a movie buff — he sees only one or two a year. He got the gig cooking for the Governors Ball 18 years ago because celebs had been heading to his restaurant, Spago, instead of the Academy’s official party. Wolfgang has been cooking for the ball ever since, but he doesn’t think about the menu until about a month and a half before the big day. The classics — mini Kobe burgers, smoked salmon and those famous gold-covered chocolate Oscars — are always on the menu, but for the rest, Wolfgang is a procrastinator. “I work much better under pressure,” he says.

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Bringing Up Baby — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, February 21st, 2012

three bean and beef chili
The early days of becoming a new parent felt like a blur. Life was on fast-forward, and faced with sleep deprivation, well, it’s no wonder my memories are far from vivid regarding that “breaking in” period. What I do clearly remember, though, is that by the end of the first month, I craved a home-cooked meal. No kidding — my husband and I ate takeout for the first four weeks as Mom and Dad.

Even ordering the healthiest to-go meals took its toll on me mentally. I missed the scent of onions browning in a skillet and marinara sauce bubbling away on the stovetop. By the time our second daughter was born five years later, I had a better idea of what to expect and easily jumped back into my normal cooking routines.

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