Exclusive: Alton Previews the Premiere Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 23rd, 2014

Alton BrownFor the first time ever, 16 of your favorite all-star chefs are coming together in the name of eviliciousness to face off in the first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage tournament, premiering Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 9|8c. During the course of five weeks, kitchen masters like Alex Guarnaschelli, Justin Warner, Anne Burrell and Nadia G will battle in four heats plus a finale, but ultimately only one contestant can earn Cutthroat glory and a $75,000 prize for charity. Before this unprecedented series of cook-offs begins, FN Dish wanted to learn a little bit more about what host Alton Brown has in store for these A-list rivals. Will he be soft on the sabotages on account of the contestants’ vast culinary experience? It turns out, Alton says, “It’s not difficult for me at all” to be hard on the chefs. Read on below to hear more from Alton in an exclusive interview.

Do you think these chefs have any idea what they’ve signed up for? After all, Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t like any other culinary competition.
Alton Brown: I think that everybody that is in the competition has watched the show — or maybe two — but that still doesn’t really prepare you because this is one of those shows where being a spectator just doesn’t set you up for the realities of what to expect, especially during the shopping.

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POLL: What’s Your Soup Preference?

by in Community, Shows, September 22nd, 2014

Classic Tortilla SoupLast week FN Dish revealed that The Kitchen is preparing for its first-ever episode dedicated to one of fall’s favorite comfort foods — soup — and we asked for help in learning how you make and enjoy soup at home. (Click here to vote on last week’s questions.) This week The Kitchen wants to know more about your personal tastes when it comes to filling up on a warm bowl of soup. Read on below to cast your vote in the polls, and be sure to look out for The Kitchen’s upcoming soup show.

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Super Food Nerds: The Making of Sausages

by , September 22nd, 2014

Ever since making chorizo for Super Food Nerds several months ago, we haven’t stopped wondering how sausages are made. So, over the summer, we began debating doing a deep dive into the making of either sausage or hot dogs. We decided to let a poll on Facebook determine our fates, and the people spoke loud and clear: They wanted sausage. So we reached out to the proprietor of butcher shop Hudson & Charles, Jason Fox, who had visited our offices a few years ago to teach us how to break down pigs. The newly opened shop, named for the corner it’s on in New York City’s West Village, is co-owned by Jason and partners Kevin Haverty and Adam Gale.

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Macaroni and Cheddar Cheese — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 22nd, 2014

Macaroni and Cheddar CheeseWhat better way to celebrate Meatless Monday than with a classic, cozy favorite? This Rachael Ray dish is here just in time for autumn, a warm and creamy meal to soothe the outside chill. Despite its savory, mouthwatering nature, this Macaroni and Cheddar Cheese (pictured above) recipe is actually quite easy. It’s an ideal meal to prepare when you’re in a time crunch, taking only 30 minutes to both prepare and cook.

The draw of this meal, other than its rapidity, is that it uses few, readily available ingredients. One of them, of course, is cheese. Rachael’s cheese of choice is pungent white cheddar. Other ingredients include butter, flour, olive oil, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and elbow macaroni. In fact, this meal may not even require a trip to the store! For this dish, the sauce comes first as you let the butter and oil melt together, subsequently adding in flour and then whisking in milk. Once the mixture thickens, cheddar is added a handful at a time. To spice up the sauce, you can season it with the cayenne, nutmeg and a bit of salt. Once the sauce is complete, you can mix in the cooked pasta, coating it with the cheese sauce. From there it’s simple: Put it in a baking dish, add more cheese, and bake until the cheese topping has browned.

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9 After-School Snacks: From Super Simple to Deliciously Decadent

by in Family, September 22nd, 2014

9 After-School SnacksKids may be ravenous when they come home from school, but not all kids’ snacks are created equal. From easy-to-make treats to more-of-a-commitment (and totally worth it) eats, these are our favorite after-school snacks — not too filling but satisfying enough to hold even the hungriest kids over until dinnertime.

Super Simple:

Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes: Just sweet enough to satisfy, these cakey bars are full of hearty whole oats. Bonus: The recipe is so simple that kids can make a big batch themselves to enjoy all week long.

Peaches and Creamsicles: Even though school’s back in session, most afternoons are still warm enough to welcome a homemade Popsicle. Our favorite hot-weather treat is made with fresh peaches (or strawberries), pure vanilla and just a bit of rich and creamy half-and-half.

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Restaurant Menus Get Lean and Mean

by in News, September 22nd, 2014

Restaurant Menus Get LeanJust a few years ago, you’d frequently find yourself, after being seated at a restaurant, perusing a menu the length of War and Peace, its pages packed with offerings borrowing from a host of cultures and cuisines, yet customized (not to say watered down) to suit American palates.

Eateries tried give us everything. But what they really gave us, we have since collectively decided, was entirely too much. And as we Americans became more food savvy, we began to suspect that restaurants, in trying to do so many things, were likely not doing any of them particularly well.
According to The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, many chain restaurants, including the International House of Pancakes, Tony Roma’s, Olive Garden, McDonald’s and Burger King, have noted customers’ distaste for epic menus and begun to scale back their offerings.

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History-Making Moments All Around — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 21st, 2014

Considering the ruthless sabotaging that takes place on any given day on Cutthroat Kitchen, it would surely take something over-the-top evilicious to stop host Alton Brown in his tracks, and that’s exactly what happened on this week’s all-new episode. Just moments into his After-Show, Alton revealed to judge Jet Tila, “This one may be my favorite — ever.” And Alton added, “We definitely had our best round of cooking, I think ever, today.”

While Round 1 saw a doozy of a bento box challenge and Round 2 welcomed a toy crab claw sabotage, it wasn’t until the pineapple upside-down cake test began that Alton saw what he deemed “the round that I believe to be the finest Cutthroat Kitchen round that I have ever witnessed.” As judge Jet listened to the details of the history-making Round 3, Alton noted the competition’s first-ever Hammock Station, which made its debut after Alton and the Cutthroat crew looked for “something else that goes upside down in an inconvenient time and way.” What resulted forced Chef Alexis to work exclusively on the hammock (with the exception of the cooking) as he prepared his cake. Simply put, it was “unspeakably wonderful” to watch, according to Alton. But what came next in judging was perhaps the most-unexpected ending to the contest: a tie. “For the first time in Cutthroat Kitchen history, the judge decides on a tie,” Alton explained; and Jet told him, “I had to.”

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Exclusive Interview with the Latest Food Truck Team to Exit the Race

by in Shows, September 21st, 2014

The Great Food Truck RaceThis week’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race saw the teams riding into Alabama. They started the day with a shrimping challenge in Bayou La Batre. Next they moved to Mobile, adding three seafood dishes to their menus at Tyler Florence’s request. But lengthy prep time led to some unhappy customers. Tyler then tasked them with selling brunch dishes, which he’d taste to determine the two teams that would get a chance to cook in a seafood challenge. In an ironic turn of events, the team that won was ultimately sent home. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the latest team cut from the race.

Find Out Which Team Was Eliminated