Star-a-Day: Sarah Penrod

by , May 16th, 2014

Sarah PenrodSarah Penrod, 30, is a born-and-bred Texan who comes from a family of entertainers. She’s been performing for her whole life and also has serious culinary chops, as she now owns her own business. This feisty chef has worked with celebrities and athletes, and she always keeps things entertaining in the kitchen. Read on below to hear from Sarah, and learn about her style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.

Describe your cooking style or culinary point of view — in one sentence, if you can.
Sarah: The concept is that we’re all so busy, and we’re losing the source of love and joy and passion in our lives, and that’s our relationship with our partner. And I want to bring that back to you by teaching you how to do these awesome date nights, and I’m the perfect person to ’cause I’ve been a private chef to celebrities and professional athletes. I have to do some really cool stuff visually, and I think that I’m the perfect person to do date night ’cause I’m madly in love with my husband.

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A Whole Week of No-Cook Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 15th, 2014

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

When it comes to favorite sides, FN Dish is on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s work of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.

Day 1: Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.

Day 2: Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.

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Star-a-Day: Reuben Ruiz

by , May 15th, 2014

Reuben RuizReuben Ruiz, 27, grew up in a traditional Cuban family that owns restaurants, and he started working in kitchens when he was just 10 years old. After struggling with his weight for many years, he now specializes in healthy dishes with a Latin influence, and he’s honest, outspoken and high energy with a strong work ethic. Read on below to hear from Reuben, and learn about his style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.

Describe your cooking style or culinary point of view — in one sentence, if you can.
Reuben: The flavors of Miami — I want to bring those to the limelight. The tropical cuisine of the Caribbean, and Central America and the flavors that we have over there. But also with a healthier perspective on life as well. Most people don’t know I’ve lost a hundred pounds, and I did so naturally. And I’ve been able to maintain it, more importantly, now for seven years.

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The Secret to Grilling the Perfect Steak (Indoors and Out)

by in How-to, News, May 14th, 2014

The Secret to Grilling the Perfect SteakLet’s talk steak. Just the thought of a thick, juicy slab of perfectly cooked beef will make the mouths of enthusiastic carnivores water. (Those who don’t eat meat may want to just move along to the next post.)

New York Times dining reporter Julia Moskin fills in her readers on her tried-and-true method for cooking steak on the stovetop: Forget the talk about dry rubs and marinating, she advises. Buy your meat from a butcher. Choose thinner, boneless cuts — marbled, about 1 inch thick. Keep the meat refrigerated until about a half-hour before you’re ready to cook, then pat it dry with paper towels. Use a cast-iron skillet (unoiled) and turn the heat up “insanely” high. Salt the pan (not the steak) and heat it some more. Lay down your meat, wait about a minute, then flip it every 30 seconds until – 4 or 5 minutes later – you have a perfectly cooked steak. It’ll be crusty on the outside, pink on the inside.

“If it’s good quality steak and you don’t cook it for more than five minutes per inch, you really can’t mess it up,” Richard Schatz of New York City’s Schatzie the Butcher reassures Julia’s readers. “Steak is nothing to be scared of.”

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Sloppy Joes Get a Mexican Spin

by in Recipes, Shows, May 14th, 2014

Sloppy JoesFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient Mexican chorizo. Unlike the Spanish variety, Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage that requires cooking. In this Southwestern Sloppy Joes recipe it’s browned with garlic and onion and then cooked with tomatoes for a very flavorful and just-as-sloppy rendition as the classic joe. Once your family has a taste, they’ll keep coming back for seconds and thirds — and they might even request this over the classic recipe the next time.

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Support Your Favorite Home Cook — America’s Best Cook Fan Vote

by in Shows, May 14th, 2014

Final Four Home CooksHome cooks from across the country came to compete in America’s Best Cook. In the premiere, 16 contestants fought to gain only eight spots, two cooks per regional team. Now after five weeks of cooking battles, the competition has been halved to the final four. These very talented home cooks have shown they’re the best, but there can be only one winner.

In the finale, round by round, one home cook will be eliminated until the single best home cook is named the winner and awarded the $50,000 prize. You’ll have to watch this Sunday at 9|8c to find out who wins. But until then, show your support for your favorite competitor in the America’s Best Cook Fan Vote.

Vote and Get a Sneak Peek of the Finale

End-of-School Study Snacks

by in Family, May 14th, 2014

End-of-School Study SnacksIf you’re raising some budding scholars or you’re studying the day away yourself, you can bet all eyes are on the calendar these last few days before summer. And amidst all the final exams and projects, even the most focused student is bound to get hungry. When you need brain power the strength of jet fuel to get through a tricky finals season, look no further than Food Network’s healthy snack recipes. Just in time for college finals season, these wholesome, easy bites definitely beat a trip to the vending machine.

It’s no secret that bananas and peanut butter are a power-packed match made in heaven. Banana Dippers (pictured above) are dunked in granola or trail mix for added crunch.

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A Berry Hungry Bunny, Cephalopods for Breakfast and a Boxful of Tailgate Fun

by in News, May 14th, 2014

Cephalopods for BreakfastBerry Cute Bunny: Why has this 33-second video of a fluffy gray-and-white bunny eating raspberries racked up nearly 9 million page views (as of this writing) since being posted on Friday? We guess you’ll have to ask the millions of people who have watched it and shared it — and watched and shared it again. Maybe it’s the way the raspberries make the bunny look like it’s wearing lipstick? Or just because the bunny is so cute? (Though, really, it’s no burrito-eating hamster.) Who knows? But there are plenty of worse ways to spend 33 seconds. [YouTube]

Mmm … Mollusks with Maple Syrup: You love your kids. But do you love them enough to make them pancakes in the shape of cephalopods? (Do you even know what cephalopods are? Here.) Nathan Shields does. The Washington-state-based illustrator and math teacher who’s “on leave to be a professional dad” says he “began entertaining my kids with silly pancakes while we were living in Saipan.” He shares images of his remarkable pancakes every week on his blog, Saipancakes.com. Recent themes include sharks, Star Wars creatures, bunnies and Zach Galifianakis (pictured between two ferns). Of the squids, cuttlefish and other critters in this current batch, Nathan muses, “Nothing says ‘good morning’ like a plateful of delicious tentacles.” Indeed. [Saipancakes.com via Laughing Squid]

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