Nadia G. Unplugged at South Beach

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2011
Meet Nadia G., Cooking Channel host and South Beach reporter extraordinaire

At this year’s South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Cooking Channel’s Nadia G. — the hilariously irreverent host of Bitchin’ Kitchen — was on the ground chatting it up with everyone from Duff Goldman to our newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione. Check out some footage from this Canadian rising star’s whirlwind weekend down South.

At the Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach party, Nadia posed a question that’s bound to get any chef fired up: What’s the worst thing you ever ate?

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During the day, Nadia chatted with Guy Fieri about cooking with kids, a subject near and dear to both of these personality-packed chefs, who also share a penchant for tattoos.

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Then Nadia hung out backstage during Guy’s standing-room-only cooking demo, which truly looked like a rock concert. Check out her guest appearance on stage — it was a surprise to everyone, including Nadia!

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Want to see more Nadia G.? Check out more videos from South Beach on our sister blog Devour and catch Bitchin’ Kitchen on Wednesdays at 10:30pm/9:30c on Cooking Channel.

 

March Meatball Madness

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2011
Dressed Up Swedish Meatballs - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

If you are like me, you grew up eating meatballs in their most traditional sense: tossed in an Italian tomato meat sauce next to a heaping scoop of spaghetti pasta. Well, this is only one way to enjoy the minced meat creations. But have you ever had meatballs on a stick? Or have you featured them in a chili-based soup or combined them with bulgur wheat, pine nuts and lamb? These meatball concoctions are loaded with fun flavors.

While the traditional version is topped with a thick gravy alongside lingonberry preserves, this recipe for Swedish Meatballs from foodnetwork.com offers an updated twist. These golf ball-sized bites are flash fried, skewered with a pickled cucumber slice and served with lingonberry-cream dipping sauce.

Use the word “meat” loosely and try David Rocco’s recipe for Tuna Meatballs from cookingchanneltv.com.  For a mix of sweet and savory, David minces sushi-grade tuna and combines it with breadcrumbs, pine nuts and raisins before frying the balls and glazing them with a simple balsamic rosemary reduction.

Such classic Mexican flavors as cilantro, chili and mint are highlighted in Food.com’s recipe for Authentic Sopa De Albondigas (Meatball Soup). Better make an extra large batch of this timeless sopa – one bowl and you will be hooked.

Lamb and onions are sautéed then stuffed inside a hearty mixture of bulgur, mint and allspice in food2.com’s recipe for Kibbeh Meatballs. For a refreshing touch, serve these two-bite meatballs alongside a light mint yogurt dip.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, March 22nd, 2011
Duff Goldman: Ace of Ice Cream

Duff’s New Ice Cream: This Ace of Cakes has partnered with Blue Bunny to create four cake-themed ice creams. Here’s the scoop on the new flavors: Chocolate Lovers Triple Chocolate Cake, Strawberries are Forever Shortcake, I Do I Do Wedding Cake and Red Carpet Red Velvet. We’re already screaming for them. [eater.com]

Bolivia’s Quinoa Conundrum: Global demand for quinoa is so high these days those farming it in Bolivia are having to give it up as a dietary staple. As richer countries discover the super food, which is packed “with an exceptional balance of amino acids,” prices for quinoa have skyrocketed, making local consumption dwindle. [nytimes.com]

Alice Waters’ Daughter (Shockingly) Loves Salad: The Wall Street Journal profiles Fanny Singer, daughter of legendary chef Alice Waters, and reveals several noteworthy bites:  her first word was “lobster,” she doesn’t use a microwave and her biggest food indulgence is spending roughly $150 on 12 biodynamic limes. [wsj.com]

Restaurants and Bars Helping Japan: Here in New York, some local restaurants are donating proceeds from special menus to Japan’s relief fund. The New York Times shares a few of these spots, while Grubstreet.com has listed some local bars lending a hand. What establishments in your area are doing the same?

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

On the Triple-D Trail

by in View All Posts, March 22nd, 2011
Louie and the Redhead Lady in Mandeville, LA celebrated its DDD appearance with this tasty tribute to Guy. Image courtesy Louie and the Redhead Lady.

It’s not news to anyone that Guy Fieri is a total rock star. His “Chef-Dude” magnetism has been chronicled by the New York Times: It all started with his win on The Next Food Network Star; then came Guy’s Big Bite and soon after, the wildly popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. More recently there’s been Tailgate Warriors, a game show and cooking demonstrations that rival sold-out pop concerts. When Guy’s yellow Lamborghini went missing a couple of weeks ago, it was national news.

Diners at Louie and the Redhead Lady watch Guy's visit to the restaurant on a continuous loop.

But Guy’s rock-star status was never more evident to me than when I stumbled upon a mom-and-pop restaurant in Mandeville, Louisiana (a suburb across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans), that had received a visit from Triple-D. The episode featuring Louie and the Redhead Lady aired this winter, and Chef Louie and his wife Ginger (a.k.a., you guessed it, the Redhead Lady) are still flying high from the experience — and the huge boom in business that it set off.

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Chopped Up: Ted’s All-Star Recap, Round Three

by in Shows, March 20th, 2011
The third round of Chopped All-Stars featured four culinary heavy-hitters.

Now this is stone-cold talent: For the third episode of Chopped All-Stars, three of our four celebrity chefs have competed in the culinary Super Bowl that is Iron Chef America: Chefs Beau MacMillan, Anita Lo and Nate Appleman. And one of them, Chef MacMillan, in a battle I was lucky enough to judge, actually won there, an incredibly difficult feat. The remaining competitor, lovable Frenchman Jacques Torres, is one of the most famous and successful chocolatiers in the world—a force to be reckoned with in any dessert competition. But could he get there?

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Behind the All-Star Chopping Block With Nate Appleman

by in Shows, March 18th, 2011

On Chopped All-Stars this Sunday, Nate Appleman faces off against three other well-regarded chefs. Read on to find out who he considered his biggest threat.

This Sunday’s episode of Chopped All-Stars features four celebrity chefs with serious culinary chops. Anita Lo is a longtime fixture on the New York City restaurant scene, Beau MacMillan helms an applauded restaurant in Phoenix, pastry chef Jacques Torres is often credited with creating the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet and Nate Appleman has run successful restaurants on both coasts and has a James Beard Award (for Rising Star Chef) under his belt.

In anticipation of his Chopped appearance, Nate sat down to chat with us about competing for his son, how this experience compared to his run on Season Two of The Next Iron Chef, and what motivated him to recently make the move from an upscale restaurant kitchen to…Chipotle? That’s right — visit New York’s Chelsea location and you just might score a burrito made by a celebrity chef.

Did competing on Chopped bring back memories of your experience on The Next Iron Chef, Season Two?
It did, it brought back a lot of memories, just the competition aspect of the whole thing. By doing The Next Iron Chef, I realized how much I missed competition like that; I mean like when you’re a kid and you compete in games or whatever it is. It brought back that desire to want to compete. It was just really fun to do.

Was Chopped very different from NIC?
The timing of everything is very different, not only that Chopped is just one day but the timing of the battle, it’s 20 and 30 minute rounds versus…I think the shortest Next Iron Chef challenge was 45 minutes. It’s also different because on The Next Iron Chef I felt like I was really competing for myself. This time I was competing for everybody out there who went through the same thing I went through with my son. I did it to raise money for his disease through the Kawasaki Disease Foundation. I felt like I was doing it for everyone besides me.

Was Chopped harder than you expected?
It is at least twice as hard as The Next Iron Chef. It truly, truly is. Here, they open the basket and go. It was mind-blowing. I was trying to peek in the basket to see what was in there; it is a real surprise. I’ve always been a fan of Iron Chef, so watching that and Chopped, I’d think, what would I do with that as quickly as possible? That ended up being something that helped me; I was used to thinking that way, in a very quick manner. Then again, actually putting that to the test is very different from sitting on your couch watching.

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Paula, Paula Everywhere

by in News, March 17th, 2011
Paula and fans gather for a photo, and some Food Network Magazine treats.

Paula’s been busy y’all! She was in New York City all day yesterday, first co-hosting the Today Show, then making a stop at Food Network Magazine’s treats truck. Did you catch her on Today or spot her in the city? Get a recap of her appearance on the show and see what else Paula’s been up to. Read more

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day With Irish Soda Bread

by in View All Posts, March 17th, 2011
Ina Garten’s Soda Bread

Whether you’re cooking up corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew to celebrate the Emerald Isle this March 17, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need something to sop up all those delicious juices. The answer: Irish soda bread. Thanks to baking soda, it’s as quick to make as banana bread, yet as hearty and satisfying as bread that took all day to bake. Here are some of our favorite versions.

Make soda bread tonight »

SXSW Festival: Sushi From a Truck & BBQ

by in Events, March 17th, 2011
Raw fish from a truck? Why not?

I have a few rules about eating. Almost all of which I broke in Austin. For one: I try to avoid seafood when I’m far from the ocean. Once you’ve lived on a coast, it’s easy to get spoiled by price and proximity. However, when I spotted this cute little trailer in a food truck park, I was drawn in like a cat following a piece of string.

The verdict: Sushi from a truck and classic Austin BBQ »

Cupcake Wars: 170 Cupcakes and Counting

by in Shows, March 16th, 2011
Candace and her cupcake wars colleagues, fellow judge Florian Bellanger and host Justin Willman.

Whew! What a season! Let’s see… 13 episodes, 13 cupcakes per episode. Then throw in a few more tastings after giving comments…that’s over 170 cupcakes tasted in Season Two of Cupcake Wars. By the way, did anyone notice I was pregnant? Seven-and-a-half months pregnant, to be exact. You’d better believe my little baby is going to have a passion for cupcakes!

And what a range of cupcakes I tasted. Everything from the standard red velvet to an exotic oxtail cupcake. We had pros like Hollis and Chloe return, and they baked cupcakes that made Florian and I swoon. And then there were first-timers who got spooked by the clock (remember the unfrosted vanilla cupcake?). Don’t forget the cupcake that never even showed up on the table… our first disqualification ever.

Season Two of Cupcake Wars was full of drama, surprises and wonderful creations. As we gear up for Season Three, I can only expect our contestants to be more prepared and more driven to win. But…how many more times are we going to see bakers get tripped up by kiwi? My best advice for the next batch of contestants: Do your homework and learn what we judges do and don’t like!

I can’t wait to see everyone for new episodes this summer. Until then… stay sweet….keep baking… and keep eating cupcakes. XO, Candace

Craving more Cupcake Wars? Check out behind-the-scenes videos and try your hand at winning cupcake recipes from Season Two.