Tailgating Cookbooks: A League of Their Own

by in Books, January 15th, 2014

Tailgating Cookbooks: A League of Their OwnWhether you’re a fan of the game or just of game-day food, there’s no denying the appeal of football cuisine. For this month’s recommendations, I set out to assemble an all-star lineup of the best of Food Network Library’s tailgating cookbooks. I fast found myself slipping down a rabbit hole into a vast and unfamiliar world of community cookbooks devoted to collegiate tailgating — a world where the NCAA begins to look like one massive Junior League that’s as devoted to recipes as to pass receptions.

It was amazing how numerous these cookbooks turned out to be (ripe terrain for a collector, for sure). To name just a few: Tar Heel Tailgating (University of North Carolina), Purdue Alumnus Tailgate Recipe Cookbook, University of Texas Longhorns’ Cookbook, Teatime to Tailgates (Kansas State University), Rocky Top Saturdays (University of Tennessee) and my favorite (in title, at least) Let the Big Dawg Eat (University of Georgia).

Get Jonathan’s cookbook picks

Tapas Time with Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

by in Recipes, Shows, January 15th, 2014

piquillo peppers
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient piquillo peppers, which you’ve probably seen in jars on the supermarket shelf or in salad bars. These peppers have a pleasant sweet taste, so no heat, and even though they’re relatively small in size (the name means “little beak” in Spanish), they’re actually great for stuffing. Consider this recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers a great tapas-style appetizer or light meal. The quinoa is packed with protein and the raw zucchini salsa is full of flavor. But best of all, the dish is simple to prepare, taking only 30 minutes.

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5 Supermarket Buys for Faster Dinners

by in Family, January 15th, 2014

Get dinner on the table quicker tonight with key ingredients that take only a few minutes of prep, plus ready-to-go buys that’ll save time.

Click to find out all 5 supermarket buys

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Judges of Chopped?

by in Shows, January 14th, 2014

Chopped judgesYou’ve seen them critique all kinds of dishes from competitors that have included professional chefs, amateur cooks and even celebrities. And you’ve seen them go from behind the Chopping Block to cooking front and center in All-Stars and the Web series After Hours. But how well do you know the judges of Chopped?

In a series of Q&As, FN Dish revealed several facts that viewers didn’t know about the judges (who didn’t have anything to hide). See how much you know about the judges from what you’ve seen on TV and what you’ve read here on the blog in the quiz below. Prove you’re a Chopped superfan! Continue to watch the competition every Tuesday at 10pm/9c, plus all-new online episodes of After Hours this month.

Test Your Knowledge: The Judges of Chopped

Think you know everything about the Chopped judges? Take this quiz to find out how well you know the panel of nine chefs.
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Za’atar — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in News, January 14th, 2014

Za'atar - The Next Best Thing You Never Ateby Jacob Schiffman

When I lived in Israel my junior year abroad in college, I started noticing that a lot of my favorite foods had a nutty, floral flavor I hadn’t seen before. I found out it was a Middle Eastern spice blend made of woody herbs (usually thyme and oregano, but traditionally hyssop), sumac and sesame seeds. There I saw it mostly on hummus or on flatbreads, but now I love putting it on roasted vegetables or fish (with a bit of honey), grilled chicken or baked eggs at breakfast. There are regional varieties of za’atar (Jordanian has more sumac and Israeli sometimes includes dill); I like the Israeli style, probably because that’s the first one I tried. Whichever one you prefer, let me know what you like to eat it on.

Find it: Look for it in most good grocery stores and any specialty spice shop.

14 Things You Didn’t Know About Alton Brown

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 14th, 2014

10 Things You Didn't Know About Alton BrownMost fans believe Alton Brown‘s a walking food dictionary (and he is). He’s the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he’s a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there’s still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.

1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. “Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time.”

2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.

3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. “I always travel with a guitar when I’m on the road.” He also sings with his trio on his live tour.

4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. “I’m anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she’s listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-’70s Elton John,” Alton shared with FN Dish.

5. Alton is terrified of calf’s liver. “I’ve tried it and I can’t make it edible. I don’t like anyone else’s either — and mine is just worse,” Alton adds.

Keep reading for more

Top 3 Most-Searched Ingredients on FoodNetwork.com, Plus Recipes

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2014

Perfect Roast ChickenJust last week on an all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts took to FoodNetwork.com to find out which three ingredients were most searched by fans, and it turns out that when it comes to home cooking, simplicity and health reign supreme. Chicken, the ultimate family-friendly dinner, leads the way in searches, followed by good-for-you kale and quinoa, so Marcela combined these picks into one simple dish: Chile-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Kale, Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts Salad. Instead of featuring all three ingredients on one plate, FN Dish is breaking them down, showcasing three of the best recipes for each chicken, kale and quinoa on FoodNetwork.com; read on below to find must-try soups, salads and all-in-one suppers alike for these fan-favorite ingredients.

Chicken:
3. Chicken Piccata — Quickly coated in flour and cooked until tender, Giada’s easy chicken dinner is topped with a classically bold sauce of lemon and capers.

2. Easy Chicken Pot Pie — Thanks to Sunny’s shortcut of using store-bought dough as the pastry topping, this creamy, hearty pot pie can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

1. Perfect Roast Chicken (pictured above) — Stick with Ina’s no-fail method of buttering the bird and roasting it with lemon and herbs to turn out a juicy, flavor-packed chicken every time.

Get more chicken recipes.

Get top recipes for kale and quinoa

The Search for the Best of the Worst — Worst Cooks in America Is Back for Season 5

by in Shows, January 13th, 2014

Bobby and AnneWorst Cooks in America returns with a new season on Monday, Feb. 17 at 9pm/8c. Chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay are back again to coach 14 kitchen disasters, turning them (hopefully) into culinary successes with seven weeks of Boot Camp. Every week the recruits, who will be divided into two teams, have to face two grueling challenges that aren’t necessarily related to the kitchen — certain field trips will show these amateurs where their food comes from — and one member from each team will be sent home.

At the end of Boot Camp, the title of Best Worst Cook will go to the most-improved recruit, who will win $25,000 and earn his or her mentor highly coveted bragging rights. Last season, Bobby earned his first-ever win, facing off against formerly undefeated series champ, Anne. Watch the premiere on Monday, Feb. 17 at 9pm/8c to find out which mentor will win this season.

Read About the Premiere and Vote for Your Favorite Team