Sweet Potato Casserole — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, November 14th, 2014

Sweet potatoes are good, and good for you. Most comfort-food recipes absolutely drown them in butter and sugar. I haven’t always been fond of sweet potatoes. Then, I realized it wasn’t the sweet potato I didn’t like; it was the insane amounts of granulated sugar, brown sugar, marshmallows, maple syrup, vanilla extract and butter Southerners traditionally heap on top of them. With all that added flavor, it’s impossible to taste the naturally sweet and earthy essence of the actual sweet potato! In regard to marshmallows, frankly, I prefer them in a steaming cup of cocoa or sandwiched with a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers! This down-home-comfort fall dish is certainly sweet enough and is topped with a seasonally appropriate partner of chopped pecans. Read more

The Baking Bible — Off the Shelf

by in Books, November 14th, 2014

The Baking BibleLong-hailed as the queen of American baking, Rose Levy Beranbaum is back in the spotlight with her new book, The Baking Bible. Beranbaum’s steady voice and seasoned hand is the perfect guide for any home cook, regardless of skill level. In fact, what you’ll find in the pages of The Baking Bible far exceed standard recipes. Beranbaum intentionally loaded as much information as she could into each recipe, telling FN Dish: “Some people at first glance perceive my recipes as intimidating because they are long, but on the contrary, they have all the information needed to achieve success. Guidance is given for each step of the recipe so that they work for beginners as well as advanced bakers.”

The book covers every type of baked good imaginable, from rugelach to cupcakes to cheese course pairings. It starts with Cakes, then covers Pies, Tarts and Other Pastries; Cookies and Candy; and ends with Breads and Yeast Pastries. Each section has numerous subcategories, all clearly identified and simple to follow. It makes finding the exact recipe you’re looking for easy as pie. It also contains Beranbaum’s Golden Rules, perfect baking mantras to bring into the kitchen at any skill level. Beranbaum offers two crucial tips that home cooks tend to overlook: “Weighing is not only more precise, it is faster and easier. Many affordable scales are available that switch back and forth from ounces to grams. Beginning bakers should know that they need to use the exact ingredients specified in the recipe and not try to substitute unless substitutions or equivalencies are offered in the book. Oven temperature is critical to the success of baking, so if recipes are taking longer or less time than the range indicated, the oven needs to be adjusted either by turning up or down the heat or calling in a professional to calibrate the oven.”

But don’t mistake the book’s heft and content for a collection of complicated recipes. Beranbaum wrote these dishes up with the busy home baker in mind. Some of her favorite low-fuss recipes include the Chocolate Sweetheart Madeleines, the Cadillac Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding, the Stilton Baby Blue Cheesecakes and the Rose Red Velvet Cake, which Beranbaum says “has a major wow factor because it looks like it was sculpted by hand but is actually formed by the pan itself and easy as can be.”

Read more

What to Watch: Thanksgiving Has Come to Food Network

by in Shows, November 14th, 2014

Alton BrownThanksgiving preppers, the time has come. Holiday episode hysteria has taken over Food Network. Get your pens, pencils and paper — or, if you’re technologically savvy, your tablet — ready, because you’re going to want to write this all down. The Food Network chefs are intent on you making your best, most sophisticated spread yet.

The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. The Kitchen, Barefoot Contessa, Giada at Home, Guy’s Big Bite, Southern at Heart, Farmhouse Rules, Cutthroat Kitchen and the Food Network special Outrageous Thanksgiving are all featuring Thanksgiving-themed episodes, providing you with a surplus of recipe ideas. If you feel like you need a break from the turkey day festivities, tune in to a fun extra episode of Guy’s Grocery Games and a Christmas-inspired Holiday Baking Championship.

Read more

Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops with Sorghum BBQ Sauce — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 13th, 2014

Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops with Sorghum BBQ SauceWinter is coming, and that means that it’s time to put the outdoor furniture away, insulate the spigots for the garden hose and make sure the house is ready for the coming chill. You may also be considering putting your grill away for the season, but I think you should hold off on that one and remember how your grill can serve you all year round.

Sure, it’s great for cookouts in the summer and fall, but it’s also an amazing workhorse for making big batches of grilled vegetables (you haven’t lived until you’ve had grilled delicata squash), for roasting chickens and turkeys, and even for prepping a week’s worth of ingredients for lunches and dinners.

This weekend, consider firing up the grill. Roast off a mess of squash. Grill up a couple of batches of Bobby Flay’s Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops. Finally, spatchcock a chicken, rub it with a little salt and pepper, and let it cook over the embers. You can get at least three meals from just a couple of hours of work, and the cleanup will be minimal.

Read more

POLL: Your Favorite Barbecue Dish and More — Play Along with Hungry Games

by in Shows, November 13th, 2014

Richard BlaisThere’s no doubt about it that barbecue is a distinctly American style of cooking. The smoke, the low heat and slow cooking time are all key to barbecuing — and by that we don’t mean grilling. Although everyone has his or her favorite dish (ribs, brisket, pulled pork and more) and regional style, the facts are the same: Americans love barbecue! On the upcoming episode of Hungry Games, Richard Blais delves into the history and science behind barbecue, revealing how and why our primal instincts attract us to foods cooked over fire, and how the person serving it makes a difference too.

Before the episode, we want to know your favorite barbecue dish, your favorite style of sauce and more. Vote in our polls, and also find out what fellow fans are thinking.

Vote in the Barbecue Polls

5 New Ways to Bake with Carrots — Fall Fest

by in Recipes, November 13th, 2014

Carrot Cake CheesecakeWe’re always down for a good carroty side or munching on a wholesome handful as-is, of course. But when it’s getting dark early and dessert intake is of the utmost importance, we need our carrot recipes to be comfortingly sweet. Typically taken with that familiar swirl of cream cheese frosting and just the right touch of spice, carrot-based baked goods add that veggie-packed punch  but this time, there’s a twist. Start grating those carrots for five new takes on carroty desserts. We have big plans for them.

1. If you believe that the cream cheese frosting is hands-down the best part of carrot cake, go all-out with a Carrot Cheesecake (pictured above). Food Network Kitchen’s comforting mash-up creation stacks a thick layer of cheesecake and a sour cream topping on top of moist, spiced carrot cake. See how to make it here.

Read more

Pizza Picks for Your Wednesday-Before-Thanksgiving Dinner

by in Holidays, Restaurants, November 13th, 2014

by Cindy Augustine

One of the busiest pizza nights of the year is — wait for it — the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It makes perfect sense: With most Americans prepping turkeys, chopping veggies and baking pies, who has time to make dinner? Fortunately, a hot and tasty meal is only a phone call, and sometimes just a delivery, away. Here are some of the best independent pizza spots across the country — no reservations required. Check out the full gallery to find the best pies near your Thanksgiving destination. Read more

Hot Potato? A New Genetically Engineered Spud May Be Headed Your Way

by in News, November 12th, 2014

PotatoesA genetically engineered potato may be on its way to your dinner plate, not to mention your chip bag and french fry packet.

On Friday, the Department of Agriculture approved the commercial planting of a new variety of spud specially modified to resist bruising and contain less of a possibly cancer-causing chemical, acrylamide, that is produced when a potato is fried. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on whom you ask.

Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist at the advocacy group the Center for Food Safety, has expressed concern about the genetically engineered (GE) potato and the technique used to produce it, RNA interference, calling USDA approval hasty, “riddled with holes” and “extremely worrisome.”

Read more

Think Beyond the Can: Homemade Cranberry Sauces Fit for the Feast

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 12th, 2014

Cranberry-Orange SauceNext to the turkey, the potatoes, stuffing and vegetables often compete for the spotlight on your Thanksgiving table, but there’s one tangy side that’s not to be forgotten: cranberry sauce. This year, instead of opting for the jellied stuff from a can, make your own cranberry side dish from scratch. Most recipes call for only a few ingredients and can be made ahead of the feast, so the dish will likely be one of the easiest you make all season long. Read on below to find go-to cranberry sauces from Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and more chefs, then check out Food Network’s entire collection of top cranberry sauces for more inspiration.

A tried-and-true classic you can count on, Tyler’s Cranberry-Orange Sauce (pictured above) boasts the subtle warmth of fragrant cinnamon, which he balances with bright, refreshing orange juice.

Read more