5 Questions With Gabriella Gershenson of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 28th, 2011

gabriella gershenson
Last Thursday, the second season of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle premiered, promising an all-new set of contestants aspiring to open their own restaurants –- all in just one day.

We asked three of the judges to talk about the new season, the drama we can expect and advice they can share. Last week, Alison Brod gave us her advice from a public relations standpoint. Today, we’re talking with Gabriella Gershenson, a senior editor at Saveur magazine.

Tune in tonight for a new episode of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle at 10pm/9c.

FN Dish: For the new season, what are some changes we can expect?
Well, you’ll be seeing more of the original four—Alison, Scott, Geoffrey and myself—but there are also some great additions to the judges table. For instance, David Sax, a deli expert and contributing editor at Saveur magazine, where I work, joins us when two Jewish-style restaurants face off.

FN Dish: What is the most common mistake you come across?
Some chefs serve dishes that they have never attempted before coming on the show. Huh? I don’t get that. Second most common: chefs who don’t taste their dishes before serving them.

Read Gabriella’s one piece of advice to the contestants »

Off the Beaten Aisle: Ghee

by in Recipes, April 28th, 2011

ravioli with fried sage and asparagus

Why not just use butter?

Fair question, especially since ghee is going to be more trouble to find (it’s hidden in your grocer’s international or natural foods aisles) and you’ll pay way more for it ($5 or more for a 7½-ounce jar).

Despite that, it’s an easy answer: — because ghee is a rich indulgence that is so totally worth the effort and expense.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Which means it is butter that was heated until the milk solids separated from the liquid. Then it was heated some more, until the liquid evaporated and the solids began to brown.

The result is a thick yellow-brown paste with a nutty and intensely — Are you ready? — buttery flavor. But it’s true. This is butter on steroids.

And yes, it’s easy to make your own (try Alton Brown’s recipe). And no, most of us won’t.

Find out what to do with ghee »

Recipe of the Day: Alton’s Perfect Guacamole

by in Recipes, April 28th, 2011

guacamole recipe
Alton’s guacamole is filled with fresh ingredients like onions, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic — he spices it up with ground cumin and cayenne pepper. Keep your guacamole bright green by tossing the avocados in fresh lime juice, the acid will keep the fruit from turning brown.

Get the recipe: Alton’s Perfect Guacamole

Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.


Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, April 27th, 2011

maple french toast bacon cupcake
Introducing Cupcake Vodka: It’s a thing, and it comes in four flavors: original, chiffon, devil’s food and frosting. But if pie the new cupcake, we’re thinking this liquor may have a short shelf life. [blogs.villagevoice.com]

Food Bloggers Bare All for Japan: If there was ever any doubt that food bloggers are totally cute, check out the Nudie Foodies, who are posing sans clothes (safe for work!) for a good cause. The photos, accompanied by recipes of course, will be compiled into a book, with proceeds from it going to the relief effort in Japan. [gothamist.com]

Pesticide Exposure in Womb Linked to Lower I.Q.s: Three new studies reveal that women who had higher exposures to pesticides while pregnant gave birth to children who went on to have lower I.Q. scores (by about seven points) once they began school. Score one for organic produce. [nytimes.com]

Green Tips for Your Kitchen: Earth Day was just last week, so it’s perfect timing to get a little more eco-friendly. The good folks at Kitchen Daily have a few small tips (like how to keep that sponge out of the landfill a little while longer) that could add up to big results. [kitchendaily.com]

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.

Lighten Up Your Salad

by in Food Network Magazine, Recipes, April 27th, 2011

light salad dressings
Eating salad is a great way to slim down, especially during the warm months of spring in preparation for summer. However, salad dressings can often be packed with fat and calories. Food Network Magazine has decided to give your favorite dressings a makeover — transforming the classics into healthy, yet still flavorful options.

Get the recipes:

What’s your favorite salad dressing? Tell us in the comments.

Recipe of the Day: Mini Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon Glaze

by in Recipes, April 27th, 2011

mini olive oil cakes with lemon glaze
You would never guess that fruity olive oil is the secret ingredient in this light, lemony cake. Grated lemon zest and fresh thyme are added to the batter for sweet and savory combination, while a glaze of confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and butter is drizzled on top.

Get the recipe:  Mini Olive Oil Cakes With Lemon Glaze

Browse more of Food Network’s olive oil recipes.

Chef Marcela Valladolid at The White House

by in Food Network Chef, April 26th, 2011

marcela valladolid white house

On Monday, April 25, Food Network’s own Marcela Valladolid had the rare opportunity to participate in a cooking demo on the South Lawn at The White House as the First Family hosted the 133rd Easter Egg Roll.

With 30,000 people in attendance, everyone took part in this year’s theme “Get Up and Go,” which focuses on promoting health and wellness, a key initiative for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. According to the Let’s Move! website, it’s important to “put children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years.” An easy to way to do this is by getting them into the kitchen — kids are more likely to try new foods when they’ve invested themselves in the process.

Read more about Marcela’s time at The White House »

FN Fan Bites: Cooking Shows and Demos, a Chance to See Stars

by in Food Network Chef, April 26th, 2011

paula deen
Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen and The Neelys are scheduled to appear at the 2011 Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Atlanta, taking place April 30-May 1. In addition to presentations, there will be book signings featuring all 3 headliners. Plenty of other offerings will be available throughout the 2-day event with over 200 exhibitors, cooking classes, cooking demonstrations and food samples. Visit Metrocooking.com for calendar and ticket information.

Alton Brown will give the 2011 commencement address for the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. Alton, the host of Good Eats, is a 1997 Graduate of NECI. The Burlington Free Press reports the graduation ceremony is planned for June 4th in Montpelier.

Find out what Claire Robinson and Ted Allen are up to »

Random Quick Bread Combinations

by in Food Network Magazine, April 26th, 2011

banana bread
When I was developing the Mix-and-Match Quick Bread story for Food Network Magazine’s May issue, I was taking a statistics class in graduate school, so math was on the brain. The whole concept of our mix-and-match stories is to give the reader (you) the ability to come up with an endless number of combinations using our suggested ingredients. With that in mind, I decided that I needed to make the whole development process as random as possible, to ensure that any combination would work. I typed up little slips of paper, each with the name of a potential ingredient. Then, I had my fellow test kitchen members (Andrea, Bob and Claudia) blindly pick out ingredients.

Look at some of the random combinations we came up with »

Recipe of the Day: Mexican Brownies

by in Recipes, April 26th, 2011

mexican brownie recipe
Start preparing for Cinco de Mayo with this easy dessert. Using your favorite boxed brownie mix, add ground chipotle chile powder and cinnamon to the batter for a Mexican twist on a traditional dessert. Top each brownie with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream.

Get the recipe: Mexican Brownies

Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.