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Movie Snacks and Tofu on the Next Iron Chef — Critical Moments

by in Shows, November 14th, 2011

alton brown chairmans challenge
Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

The ability of many Americans to consume an entire meal while watching a movie equally amuses and frightens me. Whenever I head to the movie theater, I almost inevitably find myself seated next to someone slavering over a tray of cheesy nachos larger than a football field or thrusting their hands deep into a tub of popcorn only a tiny bit smaller than my first car.

Once they have finished with the savory element of their repast, they usually move on to dessert and the carefully crafted dialogue of many a great film (and some pretty dreadful ones, too) is drowned out by the rustle of wrappers or the sound of hard candy cracking under firm tooth pressure. Most of these “treats” are neither good nor good for you, and when Alton Brown informed the judges of the Chairman’s latest challenge, I suspect we rolled our eyes as much as the eight remaining chefs did.

It speaks volumes to the quality of this year’s roster for The Next Iron Chef that not only were most of the chefs able to meet the Chairman’s Challenge to show their “Ingenuity” head-on, they also fashioned some staggeringly good dishes from ingredients that would have made lesser chefs run a mile in the opposite direction. Read more

Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Stew — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 14th, 2011

Hearty shiitake mushrooms combine with rich and colorful carrot juice, instant barley (a good-for-you grain) and fresh kale to create a satisfying, veggie-packed bowl that is perfect for these chilly autumn nights. Best of all, this stew doesn’t need to stew on the stove all day; it is ready in just 40 minutes, making it a go-to weeknight pick.

End the meal on a sweet note by serving The Neelys’ quick and easy Apple Crisp, featuring a crumbly brown sugar-cinnamon topping and a warm filling of crunchy pecans and in-season Granny Smith apples.

Get the recipe: Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Stew from Food Network Magazine

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.

Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Super Chef Exile

by in Shows, November 14th, 2011

chuck hughes beau macmillian
The fourth season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is in full swing, with 10 new chefs fighting it out for a grand prize that so many would-be chefs covet: joining the ranks of Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Jose Garces and Michael Symon. Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Super Chef to get the boot.

Find out who was sent home »

Make Room in Your Cabinets — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, November 14th, 2011

generic bakers pantry items
Shop for non-perishable goods now. You can buy flour, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, canned pumpkin, rice and cranberries, all before the crowds descend. Wait until the day before Thanksgiving to buy fresh vegetables, seafood and bread.

Let the Thanksgiving Countdown Begin — 2 Week Checklist

Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving recipes and tips.

Don’t Give In to Stress — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, November 13th, 2011

ted allen
Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving or your 15th, making a meal this big can be stressful. Keep your cool with Ted Allen’s top tips for a freak-out-free holiday.

Make This the Smoothest Holiday Ever

Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving recipes and tips.

Recipes With Color: Marigold

by in Recipes, November 12th, 2011

cauliflower and ham crustless quiche recipe
Autumn may bring shorter days, but there’s still plenty of brilliant color to feast our eyes and appetites on. Thanksgiving meals display the season’s variety of colors from green bean casserole to jewel-toned cranberry sauce. One that creeps on to all our plates is November’s reigning color, marigold. It’s a fall favorite that both HGTV and foodies love. As a Design Happens blog contributor puts it, “Gorgeous to look at and good to eat.”

Marigold reminds me of harvest foods and my favorite time of day in fall when the sun lights up valleys in the last hour of the day and similarly in early morning. In photography terms, it’s called the “Golden Hour,” and it’s even prettier in the fall when slanted rays hit red, brown and gold trees. In celebration of golden sunrises and marigold, I’m hungry for breakfast, particularly leftover Turkey Day breakfast with family and friends.

Get the recipe for Cauliflower and Ham Crustless Quiche »

Wine Will Keep Well; Buy It Early — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, November 12th, 2011

wine for thanksgiving
Should you drink red or white with turkey? Don’t fret if you’re new to wine, there’s no wrong answer, but we’ve got some picks to get you started.

10 Ways to Be the Wine Hero of Thanksgiving

Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving recipes and tips.

VOTE: Help Cast an Episode of Chopped

by in Shows, November 11th, 2011

chopped
Have you always wanted a say in who gets cast on Chopped, to somehow influence the four contestants featured on the show or to watch some of your favorite Chopped competitors battle again? Viewers now have an unprecedented opportunity to cast an episode of Chopped with four returning challengers.

Do these contestants look familiar to you? These chefs have already been featured on Chopped, but during their first challenges, they lost in monumental, disastrous and shocking eliminations. After nine seasons and hundreds of contestants, Chopped judges have seen their share of winners and losers, but this group may simply take the cake.

Check out how the eight Chopped losers were unceremoniously eliminated, then cast your vote for four contestants you want to be featured in an upcoming episode of Chopped.

Watch the videos and cast your vote now »

40 Cloves and a Chicken — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 11th, 2011

40 clove chicken
I believe that it’s important to have at least one really good chicken recipe in your array of kitchen skills. It needs to be one that you know from heart and can make no matter where you’re cooking or how limited the assortment of available tools. It’s even better if it’s a dish that can be made with easily available ingredients that are unaffected by the changes in season.

Beyond those requirements, the actual chicken dish can be just about anything. The ability to truss a whole chicken and roast it until its skin browns and crackles beautifully certainly counts. A Pyrex pan of chicken legs, painted with honey-mustard dressing and baked until tender is always a good option. I’ve even known people to employ a slow cooker in their quest for the ideal chicken recipe.

Recently, in my ongoing search for the consummate chicken dish, I spotted Alton Brown’s recipe for 40 Cloves and a Chicken. I was fairly certain it would be love at first bite. He has you brown the chicken, top it with fresh thyme and an obscene number of garlic cloves (yes, 40) and bake until the meat is tender and the garlic nearly melts into the pan juices. Oh, yes.

Before you heat your skillet, read these tips »

How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Plus Mashed Potato Recipes

by in Holidays, November 11th, 2011

mashed potatoes
There’s no question that a Thanksgiving plate is not complete without a piping hot scoop of silky smooth mashed potatoes nestled next to a few slices of juicy turkey, a heaping mound of stuffing, a small pool of cranberry sauce and a buttery roll. However, the way to make the perfect bowl of mashed potatoes isn’t so obvious. Which kind of potato yields the creamiest mashed mixture? What size should the potatoes be when you cook them? And what about butter, cream or milk — which is best and at what temperature should you incorporate them? We have the answers, plus tips, suggestions and easy recipes to make this Thanksgiving’s starchy side dish better than ever.

Select a Spud: Thanks to their high starch content, russets or Yukon Gold potatoes will be your best potato picks and yield an extra fluffy finished product. I’m partial to Yukon Golds for their natural, slightly buttery flavor, though regular baking potatoes mash up nicely as well.

To Chop or Not? »