Best 5 Shepherd’s Pie Recipes

by in Recipes, March 4th, 2015

30-Minute Shepherd's PieChicken pot pie may get most of the credit for being a savory twist on a classically sweet idea (fruit filling + buttery crust), but shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie, as it’s sometimes known — can play the meaty pie game too. Instead of a biscuit or pastry crust like the chicken version, however, traditional shepherd’s pie is topped with … wait for it … a thick blanket of creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Combined with the warm and hearty filling featuring ground meat and bright vegetables, these hefty potatoes guarantee comfort food. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five takes on this satisfying supper from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Alton Brown and Melissa d’Arabian.

5. Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie — The secret to this fuss-free recipe is opting for frozen potato tots in place of the usual mashed potato topping. “Using potato tots instead not only saves you time but makes for a crispy topping that’s a nice contrast to the beef filling,” the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain.

4. Melissa’s Shepherd’s Pie — Boasting layer upon layer of flavor, Melissa’s bacon-laced beef filling is simmered in a bold beer broth before being topped with tangy garlic mashed potatoes and gooey cheese.

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A Scoop of $817 Ice Cream? Yes, But You Get to Keep the Cup

by in News, March 4th, 2015

Black DiamondA single scoop of ice cream hardly sounds like a splurge. But in the case of the “Black Diamond,” recently introduced by Scoopi Café in Dubai, it inarguably is: One scoop of that stuff will run you $817, according to media reports.

On the bright side, you get to keep the Versace bowl it comes in, as well as the accompanying Versace spoon — I guess as a memento of that time you blew way too much money on a transitory treat you couldn’t even savor too long before it melted in the tropical desert heat.

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Bake Hamentaschen for Purim (Even If You’re Not Jewish)

by in Holidays, Recipes, March 4th, 2015

HamentaschenIf a Jew has ever been jealous of a Christmas tree or an Easter egg hunt, think of Purim as the time the tables are turned. It’s the holiday that hinges on fun — and lots of it. Treated as the Jewish equivalent of Halloween, when you pull on a costume and take part in all kinds of, ahem, “revelry,” Purim marks a celebration of the Jews rising above the villainous ruler Haman during biblical times. Beyond all the partying, ringing in this holiday also calls for the baking of Hamentaschen: triangular pastries filled with traditional poppy seeds or jam. The name harks back to Haman himself, and each doughy pastry signifies the corners of his hat (or, depending on whom you talk to, his ears or his pockets).

Whether you’re Jewish or not, fold up your own filled cookies in honor of this joyous holiday, and remember that the custom of gifting food (mishloach manot) is a big one on Purim, so bake enough for fellow revelers — or co-workers, teachers and friends.

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Soon New Yorkers Can Get Hot Tips from a Hot Sauce Sommelier

by in News, March 3rd, 2015

Hot SauceHot sauce will not be outdone. Mere months after French mustard maker Maille opened a high-end Manhattan boutique offering more than 20 varieties of mustards in jars and on tap (to be hand-poured into stoneware containers) and introduced its own “Mustard Sommelier” to New York City condiment lovers, a hot sauce tasting room is poised to open in Brooklyn with … wait for it … its own “Hot Sauce Sommelier.”

I know, sigh. But these purveyors of bottled heat are remarkably earnest about their endeavor, which they are cutely calling Heatonist. Previously peddling their wares in a wheeled cart, the Hot Sauce Mobile, which eventually proved unequal to their aspirations, they’ve decided to establish a permanent shop in the heart of hipster Williamsburg, where, according to a Kickstarter page set up to fund the project, they plan to set up a “charred oak hot sauce bar. Tasteful and timeless — like a fine hot sauce.”

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How to Eat Like a Billionaire, According to Warren Buffett

by in News, March 2nd, 2015

Warren BuffettIf you want to eat and drink like a billionaire, forget the filet mignon, oysters, caviar and truffles, never mind the champagne and fine wine: Just scarf down a boatload of snack foods and soda pop.

That’s what mega-wealthy investor Warren Buffett does. At 84, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO – renowned for both his frugality and his curiously lowbrow taste in food – says he drinks at least five 12-ounce servings of Coca-Cola, made by a company he owns a great deal of stock in, every single day.

“I’m one quarter Coca-Cola,” Warren Buffett told Fortune. “If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola.”

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PHOTOS: Guy Fieri Makes Nachos in a Trashcan (and They’re Amazing!)

by in Events, Food Network Chef, March 2nd, 2015

Guy FieriLeave it to Guy Fieri to turn a simple live cooking demo into an all-out party, complete with pumping music, plenty of The Drunk Donkey cocktails and, of course, over-the-top eats. That’s just what happened at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival when Guy dished out the cheesiest, meatiest nachos ever … in a trashcan. This nontraditional (and clean) vessel was the only container large enough to hold his super-layered snack — so large, in fact, that when it came time to serve the nachos, Guy needed a few friends’ help to flip the can over.

Click the photo below to launch an entire photo gallery of the making of Guy’s next-level nachos.

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Grapefruit-Arugula Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 2nd, 2015

Grapefruit-Arugula SaladIt’s no surprise that salads sometimes get a bad rap for being boring; after all, a plate of lettuce and a drizzle of dressing isn’t exactly a satisfying meal. The key to making a salad, especially a meatless one, hearty is layering flavors and textures. While traditional mixed greens are a go-to pick for lettuce, try swapping in arugula or endive to experiment with new tastes, then pair them with bold mix-ins like fresh vegetables and filling proteins, like eggs or nuts. When it comes to dressing, ditch the bottled stuff in favor of a DIY mixture — most vinaigrettes come together in mere minutes with ingredients you likely already have on hand.

Food Network Magazine’s Grapefruit-Arugula Salad (pictured above) is full of color and crunch, as it’s brimming with peppery greens, plus fresh celery and endive for a mix of crispness. While fresh grapefruit segments promise a refreshing bite, the next-level walnuts, baked with a cumin-brown sugar coating, offer a welcome smoky sweetness and a hefty crunch to round out the meal. Before serving, toss the salad with a creamy yogurt-based vinaigrette laced with lemon juice for even more citrus flavor.

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Confessions of a Mommy Blogger: 5 Dinner Shortcuts Every Parent Needs

by in Family, Recipes, March 2nd, 2015

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger: 5 Dinner Shortcuts Every Parent NeedsThere are four small kids in my house right now, and I’m going to make dinner for all of them. Like I do (nearly) every night. But in order to make all these fresh meals, the ones that the kids like, that my husband enjoys and that I feel good about serving, there are going to be some shortcuts made. Like there are (nearly) every night. Here are a few of my secrets for getting it all done.

1. Use That Netflix Subscription to Your Full Advantage: There is no shame in putting on a video for the kids while you cook dinner. That gives you 22 minutes to get something accomplished while the kids bliss out. Tip: Just be clear ahead of time about how MANY videos or how LONG they’ll be watching. My kids go crazy if they think I’m pulling the plug prematurely. The last thing you want to start dinner with is mutiny.

2. Repurpose Leftovers with Confidence: On the incredulity scale, “This again?” is about a 9.5 at the dinner table. There’s also this: As a food blogger I’m constantly testing new recipes. Sometimes things are a hit, and sometimes they’re not. Either way, I love having a second life planned out for dinners like London broil (which later becomes a pot of beef stew), roasted chicken (which shows up again in a casserole) or meatballs that start out on pasta and end up on sub sandwiches. Sometimes the second time is a charm.

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The Curse of the Deconstructed Dish — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, March 1st, 2015

No matter chefs’ culinary skill levels or the amount of time they’ve prepared for competition, nothing can ready them for battle on Cutthroat Kitchen. Combined with the fierce time constraints in any given round, the unruly sabotages doled upon them practically guarantee they must reimagine any preconceived ideas about their dish and simply attempt to finish on time. For many finalists, however, the only way to complete the round is to offer a deconstructed version of their dish, featuring just its parts, which when combined, may make up a whole.

Such a maneuver is risky, as judges — especially seasoned ones like Antonia Lofaso, Jet Tila and Simon Majumdar — can see past a chef’s mention of purposely deconstructing a dish and realize that it’s likely a last-ditch effort to plate his or her food. On tonight’s all-new episode, Chef Jenny was faced with a doozy of a sabotage that landed her in a racecar seat, so her ability to cook quickly was compromised. And much to the judge’s horror, Chef Jenny told Antonia that her lasagna was “deconstructed.” Antonia explained of her reaction to Alton Brown on the host’s After-Show, “I almost can’t take it seriously when they say ‘deconstructed’ to me anymore.” Alton added, “Because nobody actually does it unless they’re in trouble.” Antonia said of Chef Jenny sarcastically, “She’s like, ‘Oh, I really meant to just throw the noodle down the center and put some raw tomato on it with a dollop of ricotta.'” Ultimately the curse of the deconstructed dish struck again: Chef Jenny said goodbye after the lasagna round.

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This Balletic Beer-Can-Making Video May Make Your Heart Leap

by in News, March 1st, 2015

Hops on PointeBallerinas have their leaps; beer has its hops. Nevertheless, beer cans and ballet dancers would seem to have little in common — until you watch this unexpectedly graceful video about the making of aluminum beer cans.

After taking their bows in the factory, these cans will go on to contain Hops on Pointe beer, a pale lager (6.7 percent alcohol) created by Wellington, New Zealand, brewery Garage Project for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

The Garage Project calls its beer and ballet pairing, originally bottled, “an unusual pas de deux,” noting that it “teases the boundaries between high and low culture.”

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