Saving One Diner at a Time: Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag Revive Old Diners in a New Series

by in Shows, April 14th, 2015

Ty and Amanda on American Diner RevivalTy Pennington and Amanda Freitag are on a mission to help classic American diners across the country in American Diner Revival, premiering Friday, May 22 at 10:30|9:30c. Over six episodes, Amanda and Ty travel the country empowering towns to lend a hand in saving their struggling diners, using a combination of Ty’s design and carpentry skills and Amanda’s culinary expertise. This duo has only a few days to transform — with the help of local residents — a cherished establishment in desperate need of a physical and menu makeover, and will use a good old-fashioned barn raising to ambush unsuspecting and deserving owners with the surprise of a lifetime.

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Roasted, Fried and Mashed: 5 Best Ways to Put More Potatoes in Your Life

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2015

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pancetta and Broccoli RabeIf you’re used to saving potatoes for their spots in the side dish line on holidays like Easter (scalloped potatoes, anyone?) and Thanksgiving (mashed, but of course), the time is now to bring them into your weeknight dinner rotation. After all, potatoes are endlessly family friendly, and most can be ready to eat in a hurry, which makes them go-to timesavers when you need just one more item to round out a meal. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for starchy spuds to learn tried-and-true takes on all of the classic potato preparations, like roasting, frying, mashing and more.

5. Double-Fried French Fries — Golden brown and crispy on the outside with a tender potato texture inside, Guy Fieri’s wow-worthy fries come together with the help of a two-part frying process: once to parcook the potatoes and a second time to turn them crispy.

4. Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic — Smaller and skinnier than Idaho potatoes, new potatoes boast thin, waxy skins, so they don’t need to be peeled before they’re roasted in this satisfying herb-laced side dish. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead and wait until the second part of cooking to add the garlic; this will ensure it doesn’t burn in the oven.

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What Is Harissa? And 5 Ways to Use It — All-Star Academy

by in Shows, April 13th, 2015

HarissaBy: Leah Brickley

This week on All-Star Academy, the competition got hot (literally) when mentor Bobby Flay instructed mentee Joseph to add harissa to his tomato sauce for a surprising spin on his duck Parmesan dish.

We here in Food Network Kitchen are big fans of the spicy North African condiment, made from dried red chiles, garlic, and spices like coriander, caraway and cumin, so we cheered Joseph on as he added spoonfuls of the brick-red paste to his simmering sauce. Here’s a little harissa tutorial if you’re thinking about doing the same.

Harissa can be found in specialty food stores (or maybe even at your local market) in a tube, jar or can. It’s super-concentrated (think tomato paste), and heat levels can differ from brand to brand, so be sure to always taste it before cooking. You can add the concentrated paste straight into soups, stews and sauces, like Joseph did, or add just a few ingredients to make an entirely new condiment. Here are four other fun ways to play with harissa:

  • Mix it into softened butter and freeze into a log in parchment. Melt pats of harissa butter on grilled steak, grilled chicken or a baked potato.
  • Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, water and some salt into the paste. Use this new drizzly condiment on grain bowls or vegetables, or use it as a spicy vinaigrette for a green salad.
  • Stir harissa into mayonnaise. Use it as a dip for chicken fingers, or spread it on a sandwich.
  • Add a little harissa to your peanut butter for a spicy-sweet-salty spread. We love it on just saltine crackers for a quick snack, but you can also pair it with a little apricot preserves for a made-over PB&J.

 

There’s only one episode left! Tune in this coming Sunday at 10|9c to find out who takes home the $50,000 cash prize.

Giada’s 5-Ingredient Pesto Pasta — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 13th, 2015

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato PestoLike a traditional pesto sauce, Giada De Laurentiis’ easy-to-make recipe (pictured above) boasts a basil base and comes together with only a handful of ingredients in a matter of minutes, but there’s one key difference: It’s not tinted green, which is a usually a hallmark of classic pesto preparations. This one features a crimson-colored hue on account of the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which Giada incorporates to guarantee over-the-top taste and texture.

To make sure her sauce is packed with flavor, Giada opts for the sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in olive oil, which ensures that they’ve picked up some of the oil’s naturally fruity flavor. She simply whirls the tomatoes with the fragrant fresh herbs and garlic to create a speedy sauce. Perhaps best of all, though, is that like a tried-and-true pesto, this sauce doesn’t need to be cooked; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will be enough to warm the pesto before serving. Follow Giada’s lead and save a bit of the pasta water after cooking the noodles, as you may need it to loosen the sauce.

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“Yeah, It’s Quite Uncomfortable. That’s Why We Do These Things” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, April 12th, 2015

It’s one thing to watch Cutthroat Kitchen competitors endure the hilariously evilicious sabotages that have been dealt them, but it’s another to attempt those challenges for yourself, experiencing the struggles they did firsthand and learning to bear them as best you can. As the judges learn on Alton’s After-Show what diabolical situations have led to chefs’ finished dishes, even they are wowed by the lengths to which sabotages have forced contestants to go just to cook a seemingly simple meal. For Jet Tila tonight, that surprise came when he tried his hand — or, rather, his foot — at wearing a 30-pound rum barrel.

“It’s really heavy,” Jet admitted, strapped into the contraption and feebly making his way around the kitchen. Alton Brown agreed that this was indeed a doozy of a sabotage; as he told Jet, “Of all the things I wouldn’t want, wearing that barrel … that’s physically grueling.” But when Jet told him just how “quite uncomfortable” this challenge was,” Alton was quick to remind him that such is the nature of the Cutthroat beast. “Yeah, it’s quite uncomfortable,” said Alton. “That’s why we do these things.”

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Woman Bites Into Oyster, Finds 51 Pearls

by in News, April 12th, 2015

Woman Bites Into Oyster, Finds 51 PearlsIf you’ve ever bitten into an oyster and discovered a pearl, you probably felt pretty lucky (once you got past the initial tooth-jarring alarm). But a diner at a restaurant in Franklin, Tenn., got lucky 51 times over with a single oyster.

Toni Elliott – a big oyster fan — was enjoying her lunch order of fried oysters a couple of weeks ago at Puckett’s Boat House when she discovered one, then two … and ultimately 51 tiny, shiny pearls in the final oyster on her plate.

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How to Make Blondies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, April 12th, 2015

How to Make BlondiesYou know you love brownies, but have you ever indulged in a blondie, the sandy-colored cousin of the brownie and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week? Like brownies, blondies are bar-shaped and turn out rich and chewy, but they lack a signature brownie ingredient: cocoa powder. When making Food Network Kitchen’s Blondies recipe, it’s up to you if you want to add a touch of chocolate decadence by mixing in a handful of chocolate chips; butterscotch chips would work well too.

For more dessert inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: How to Make Blondies 

The Very First Meal You Should Eat Outside: Springtime Garden Party Menu

by in Recipes, April 12th, 2015

Spring PizzasHey, you wanna take this thing outside?

Before you lose your cool, we’re not picking a fight with you. In fact, we just really, really want to get outside already. As spring begins to set in, think of this time as an excuse to throw a gathering in the great outdoors and plan an alfresco party anywhere from the garden or your backyard to the park or your patio. As for the menu, we’ve got that part covered with fresh, celebratory recipes that are just begging to be taken outside.

To start, graze on veggie-topped Spring Pizzas (pictured above) that couldn’t be easier to make. Stretch store-bought pizza dough into mini rounds for a fresh take on your usual sauce-and-cheese pizza. Topped with ramps, scallions and other in-season treats, Alex Guarnaschelli’s ricotta-and-Parmesan-topped individual pies are invigorated with fresh basil and lemon zest. Cut them into triangles for an easy outdoor appetizer.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Herb to Cook With?

by in Polls, Shows, April 11th, 2015

HerbsMuch like spices, herbs are easy ways to add bold punches of flavor to dishes without much effort. While dried herbs can handle the long cooking times of slow-simmering sauces, like marinara or cacciatore, fresh herbs are delicate, so it’s often best to hold those until just before serving; otherwise they may darken in color. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast took advantage of the warmer springtime weather to shed a light on what it takes to grow fresh herbs at home in a simple-to-maintain kitchen garden. When it comes to fragrant picks like parsley and cilantro, Jeff Mauro puts those beauties to work in a chimichurri, which he uses to dress up a classic hanger steak.

FN Dish wants to know — whether you prefer fresh herbs grown at home or just pick up jars of the dried stuff from the supermarket — which variety of herb is your all-time favorite. Do you prefer the citrus-based scent of thyme or the woodsy smell of rosemary? Are you a fan of the floral flavors of fresh lavender, or is basil your best bet? Cast your vote in the poll below.

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How to Dine Out: Eat Sushi Like a Pro

by in Restaurants, April 11th, 2015

Our all-new Web series, How to Dine Out, is full of tips and tricks that’ll help you dine like a regular, wherever you eat. First up, grab a seat at the sushi bar for a three-minute lowdown on the basics of sushi vs. sashimi, maki vs. nigiri and the all-important chopstick etiquette.

Check out more episodes of How to Dine Out. You might get inspired to try a new restaurant, or learn something new about your favorite cuisine. But you’ll definitely leave hungry.

Plus, find out about the New York City restaurants where we shot the series.