Four Gourmet Globetrotters Take on Chopped and We Chat With the Winner

by in Shows, April 16th, 2012

gourmet globetrotters
What do Marcela Valladolid, Keegan Gerhard, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira have in common? They are masters in global cuisine and they spent several nerve-wracking moments together on the Chopping Block last night during the second episode of Chopped All-Stars. Last week, Michael Symon advanced to the finale as he took on his fellow Iron Chefs. This week’s episode was just as competitive, and some would argue that the ingredients were more challenging. If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner.

The baskets:
Appetizer: pancake mix, strawberry papaya, blue foot mushrooms and precooked chicken feet
Entrée: maraschino cherries, peas in the pod, parsley root and tripe
Dessert: ostrich eggs, plantains, dried strawberries and galangal

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Nutrient Rating Systems

by , April 15th, 2012
guiding stars

Have you seen foods rated with the Guiding Stars rating in your grocery store?

With thousands of food choices at your local store it can be difficult to know if you are choosing foods that are truly good for you. In recent years there have been sever...

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Inexpensive Eats: Low-Cost Recipes for Tax Day

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2012


It’s that time of the year again — Tax Day is looming and you’re feeling the financial pinch in your wallet. Once Uncle Sam has claimed a good chunk of your paycheck on April 17, there may not be room for fancy meals and decadent ingredients. But eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or nutrition. Check out our list of low-cost, easy-to-make meals that will keep you cooking at home without breaking the bank.

One of the most wallet-friendly dishes you can make, pasta is a guaranteed family favorite and will easily feed a crowd — just one pound of noodles can be split among six people. Top your choice of pasta with Food Network Magazine’s five-star Perfect Marinara Sauce to create a low-cost Italian supper in no time. Experiment with other flavor-packed sauces, like Alfredo Sauce, Basil Pesto or Vodka Sauce, to add variety to your pasta-recipe repertoire.

Not just for kids and picky eaters, grilled cheeses are the ultimate building-block sandwiches. They’re naturally inexpensive — just butter, bread and cheese are needed to craft a classic recipe — but can seem more indulgent by adding a few extra flavors. Cooking Channel‘s Kelsey Nixon whips up a traditional yet creative Grilled Cheese Sandwich by stacking tart Granny Smith apple slices, crispy bacon and cheddar cheese on mustard-spread bread and grilling the sandwich until golden brown. Check out Food Network Magazine’s roundup of 50 Grilled Cheeses for more gooey inspiration.

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Country Music Star Trisha Yearwood Answers Your Questions

by in Community, Food Network Chef, April 13th, 2012

trisha yearwood
Country music star Trisha Yearwood invites y’all into her Nashville kitchen starting tomorrow morning (10:30am/9:30c) on Food Network. She’ll cook up Southern favorites, share stories and keep her door open for family and friends.

Yesterday, Food Network Facebook, Twitter and Google+ fans got the chance to ask Trisha about her favorites, like Sunday meals, comfort foods and potluck pleasers.

@paint_it_golden on Twitter asked: What’s your favorite dish to cook on a regular basis?
TY: Basic stuff like spaghetti and black-bean lasagna.

@kongatoast on Twitter asked: What’s your favorite Sunday meal?
TY: Having roast beef, rice and gravy always reminds me of Sundays growing up.

Ann Garvin on Facebook asked: How do you plan out your weekly menu?
TY: Haha! I don’t. I have good intentions, but I never seem to plan ahead.

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French Onion Soup — The Weekender

by in Recipes, April 13th, 2012

french onion soup
During the final years of their lives, my grandparents stopped cooking at home. They’d do little things, like make coffee and toast in the morning and heat up a can of soup for lunch. But dinner was always eaten at Little Pete’s, the restaurant across the street from their apartment building.

Each day at around 5:00 or 5:30, they’d don coats (no matter what the weather) and make their way over. The wait staff took great care of them, reserving my grandma’s preferred booth and depositing a glass of iced tea in front of her the moment she sat down.

When we’d go to visit them, these trips to Little’s Pete’s took on even more importance, because it was an opportunity for them to show my mom, sister and me off to the unofficial members of their de facto nightly dining club.

Over the years, I logged a lot of hours at Little Pete’s. My regular order was a cup of French onion soup and a Greek salad with extra olives. Truly, though, the salad was simply there so that I could justify eating a bowl of tangy broth, onions and bubbling-hot cheese.

The tenth anniversary of my grandmother’s death recently passed, so it just seemed right to make something in her honor. Though I ordered it more often than she did, I chose Ina Garten’s recipe for long-cooked French Onion Soup as a way of remembering all those meals. I took my time slicing onions and cooking them until golden. I think it may have been my most favorite Weekender yet.

Before you start slicing onions, read these tips

What Is Sour Trahana?

by in How-to, Shows, April 13th, 2012

sour trahanaLast Sunday night on the premiere episode of Chopped All-Stars, the Iron Chef contestants opened up their baskets to find sour trahana. I quickly found myself Googling the term, only to find out several minutes later from Ted Allen that it’s a traditional Greek pasta that is essentially flour kneaded with sour milk, buttermilk or yogurt and some salt.

 

 

I couldn’t get a good glimpse of the grain on TV, but imagine a substance similar to couscous.

According to The Food and Wine of Greece by Diane Kochilas, “Until a generation ago, sour trahana was the shepherd’s and farmer’s breakfast. It was made at the end of every summer all over Greece in preparation for the winter months.”

So what can you do with sour trahana? Try cooking it in a soup, like Cat Cora’s Chicken Soup. The longer you cook the grain, the thicker it becomes.

If you can’t find sour trahana in the international aisle of your local supermarket, try searching for it online at a Greek specialty store.

Tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c when four gourmet globetrotters — Keegan Gerhard, Marcela Valladolid, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira — take their place on the Chopping Block.

On the Blogs: Bacon Sundaes, Pizza Parody and Bagel Trends

by in Community, April 12th, 2012

baconGothamist: What’s new in the world of bacon? Burger King’s bacon sundaes, Lay’s BLT potato chips and the evolution of bacon and egg ice cream.

Eater: Take a break to watch SNL’s “Almost Pizza” parody commercial. “It’s very nearly pizza, but not quite. It’s Almost Pizza.”

The Kitchn: The most difficult dinner guest = gluten intolerant + allergic to nuts + vegan + allergic to eggs + lactose intolerant. Believe it or not, there are still some tasty options to feed them.

Bon Appétit: Artisanal bagels are making a comeback. Say goodbye to the puffy, oversized rounds.

Huffington Post: How is food faring in the job market? The restaurant industry has rebounded faster in job creation than the overall economy.