QUIZ: What’s Your Culinary Point of View?

by , May 18th, 2015
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QUIZ: What's Your Culinary Point of View?The key to being a Food Network Star isn't simply being able to show off sharp knife skills. Star power requires a sparkly personality to hook an audience on TV, and with that comes the ability to convey a strong, simply message — aka the all-impor...

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“This Is a Real Test of Teamwork” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, May 17th, 2015

What with its penchant for ruthless sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen is surely an every-chef-for-himself-or-herself competition, but that doesn’t stop host Alton Brown from auctioning off a few strategically chosen team challenges. These unexpected tests force the rivals to learn to work together in the midst of their efforts at self-preservation, as was the case tonight during the fifth and final round of the Evilicious tournament, in which four previous victors came back for the chance to score the ultimate win and take home an additional $50,000.

With not one but two team sabotages up for grabs throughout the battle, the contestants quickly realized that their success was dependent on someone else’s agenda during the prep time. “This is a real test of teamwork,” Simon Majumdar noted of the Round 2 seesaw sabotage during the After-Show. He wondered how the two rivals split their time between working on their own dish and waiting for the other person to prep, and Alton told him simply, “They had to work it out.” Both Chef Yaku and Chef Jernard indeed managed to complete their dishes despite their teeter-tottering high above the arena, though Alton admitted, “This does explain why both of those chefs delivered the small amount of food they did.”

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Pay-What-You-Want Restaurants: What They Are and How They Work

by in News, Restaurants, May 17th, 2015

Pay-What-You-Want Restaurants: What They Are and What You Need to KnowYou, like me, may not have paid much attention to the particulars of pay-what-you-want restaurants. Perhaps you’re vaguely aware that they exist, but you’re unsure of how, precisely, the whole sliding-scale, honor-system concept plays out when put into practice.

Helpfully, Eater has published a blog post called How Do Pay-What-You-Want Restaurants Work?, which explains how eateries like SAME Café, a “pay what you can” restaurant in Denver, pay the bills even though not all customers are paying full price for their meals.

Here are four key facts to take away (no payment necessary):

1. Most pay-what-you-want (PWYW) restaurants look like other regular eateries — with tables, menus, ways to order and places to pay. The difference is that you can pay the amount that you are capable of paying, if you cannot afford to pay full fare, or even work (helping to wash dishes or prep meals, say) in exchange for your food. You can also pay more than the value of your meal, to help defray the cost of those who may need to pay less.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Best Tomato Soup Ever — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, May 17th, 2015

Best Tomato Soup EverWhile soup is surely a warming winter comfort food, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a hearty bowl in the spring and summer months too. When it comes to #notsaddesklunches, make-and-take meals like reheatable soups are a go-to option, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week from Ree Drummond is no exception. Laced with cream and finished with fresh, fragrant herbs, this big-batch soup will surely fill you up. Plus, since Ree opts for cans of tomatoes instead of off-the-vine beauties, you don’t have to wait until tomato season to make her simple recipe.

For more must-try meal ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

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Star-a-Day: Sita Lewis

by , May 17th, 2015
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Sita LewisThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June...

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Portable & Patriotic: Memorial Day Pasta Salads

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 16th, 2015

On a day like Memorial Day, classic American dishes deserve special attention. And since no cookout is complete without a bevy of seasonal sides, it’s only right to show your patriotism by including a national staple: pasta salad. Celebrate the holiday weekend with any of these five summer pasta salads guaranteed to feed a crowd. Planning a picnic? No problem. These recipes are mayo-free and perfect for toting to the park.

Garden Pasta with Bocconcini (above)
When it comes to pasta salad, campanelle, Italian for “little bell,” is often overlooked. This pasta has a lovely flower-evoking shape that’s incredibly festive for a summer party or picnic. Though campanelle may look delicate, it’s just as hearty as penne and fusilli — the more-common pasta salad stars. Here, it’s tossed with substantial vegetables and bocconcini for an ample summer side.

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Compound Butters Will Make Any Dish a Fancy (and Flavorful) Treat

by in Recipes, May 16th, 2015

Sweet Fruit Compound ButterOn its own butter is, of course, a most decadent ingredient, full of rich, creamy and (sometimes) salty flavors. But beyond its indulgence, butter is also endlessly versatile, which means that it can be used as a finishing condiment as well as a fat with which to cook, and it pairs well with both sweet and savory tastes. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts showed how simple it is to start with your everyday sticks of butter — both salted and unsalted — and turn them into compound butter, which is simply a fancy name for flavored butter.

The key to making compound butters is starting with room-temperature butter; this will ensure that when you add the extra ingredients, like nuts, fruit jams or herbs, the butter will quickly absorb them and become one unified product. Once those additions are fully incorporated, it’s best to roll up the butter into logs and refrigerate it, so you can easily spread or saute with as you would ordinary butter.

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Star-a-Day: Rue Rusike

by , May 16th, 2015
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Rue RusikeThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June...

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Win Memorial Day with 12 Amazing Hot Dog Toppings

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 15th, 2015


Grilling season officially kicks off next weekend, and we’re here to make sure your Memorial Day cookout is better than ever. Start with one of the simplest things you could possibly throw on the grill: hot dogs. There are probably a million possible hot dog combinations. First you’ve got your bun options: honey wheat, potato, bolillo, baguette. Then you’ve got your options for sauce, cheese, veggies and other toppings. Finally, you’ve got your choices for the dog itself: veggie, chicken, Ball Park Frank, organic grass-fed beef … and sausages, oh, the sausages! Actually, all hot dogs are sausages, but we tend to put the spicier variety in its own category.

Summer party spreads like picnics and potlucks are an excellent opportunity to put your creative snacking skills to use and experiment with inventing new and exciting hot dog combinations, or host a summer soiree with a preloaded DIY hot dog bar to get your guests’ juices flowing.

Check out the full gallery for all 12 unexpected hot dog toppings.

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Local Flavor: Awesome Avocado Dishes in LA

by in Recipes, Restaurants, May 15th, 2015

Avocados are having a moment right now in all corners of the country, but nowhere are they more prevalent or more delicious than in Southern California. Food Network’s new original Web series Local Flavor follows a city’s local ingredient to three restaurants that prepare it three different ways. In Los Angeles, it’s all about the avocado. Start with avocado fries at 3 Square Café, check out one of the best avocado toasts in the business at Superba Food & Bread, and sip an Avocado Project cocktail at Picca Peru. Play the video above for the ultimate LA avocado tour.

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