How to Win the Dessert Course This Thanksgiving: Pie, Pie and More Pie

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 12th, 2015

Apple-Pumpkin-Pecan PieAfter a richly decadent Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and likely several kinds of casseroles, the only way to end the meal is with something sweet … and also richly decadent. If cakes are the go-to at birthday parties, then pies were made for turkey day. Whether your family craves the tradition of a spiced apple pie or prefers the creaminess of the peanut butter variety, there’s indeed a filling for every personality this season. Check out Food Network’s top pie picks below, each a tried-and-true favorite from our chefs.

Apple-Pumpkin-Pecan Pie
Let’s nickname this one “indecision pie”: It’s a three-way mash-up of apple, pumpkin and pecan pies for those times when you really want a slice of all three at the buffet table. With a base of buttery pecans, an edge of sweetened apples and a center of spiced pumpkin puree, this pie boasts comforting fall flavors in each bite.

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Justin’s Journey from Judgee to Judge — Alton’s Superstar Sabotage After-Show

by in Shows, November 12th, 2015

It was just last night that Chef Justin Warner put all of his hopes for evilicious glory into three plates for judge Antonia Lofaso during Heat 2 of the Superstar Sabotage tournament. And lucky for Justin, Antonia was so wowed by the offerings before her that he won the round and earned the right to advance to the tournament finale. But not long after claiming the preliminary crown did Justin learn firsthand just what it’s like to judge — while Antonia learned a bit about what went into that day’s diabolical sabotages. On the latest installment of the After-Show, host Alton Brown offered himself and Antonia up for a not-so-friendly competition featuring an evilicious sabotage — Round 2’s turntable prep station — while Justin took on the role of judge.

After just barely finishing her grocery shopping within the allotted 60 seconds in the pantry, Antonia ran to the turntable where she and Alton were to cook Swedish pancakes side by side, and it didn’t take long for her to realize the difficulties of the rotating table. “I’m getting really dizzy,” she admitted, while Alton was trying to recover from his momentary panic over a missing whisk. Justin watched the duo wrangle with the sabotage and couldn’t help but smile at the scene before him. “Antonia, could you tell me what you’re making?” he asked the judge before questioning Alton. “Could you tell me what you’ve put in yours?” Justin asked the host, who couldn’t hide the fact that his pancake had darkened more than he would have liked. “I’m folding up my badly burned pancake,” Alton said. But then he corrected himself: “No, it’s perfect. What am I saying?”

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One-on-One with the Heat 2 Winner of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage

by in Shows, November 11th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar SabotageAlton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including grandmas, firefighters, the judges he keeps on hand and the A-list chefs on Superstar Sabotage. In this brand-new series, 16 all-star professionals, all renowned in their field, have agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most will ultimately fall in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few will shine — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in the tournament finale. Check back to FN Dish after each episode to hear from the latest round’s winner in an exclusive interview. If you haven’t watched tonight’s new episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and outs of the battle.

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3 of a Kind: Creative Chia Pudding

by in Restaurants, November 11th, 2015

Salt + SeedChia has come a long way since its time sprouting out of pet-shaped planters. Those tiny little seeds — packed with fiber, protein, calcium and Omega-3s — have become a healthy homemade go-to, but restaurants are sprucing up the Latin American superfood, going beyond the basics to include creative puddings in inspired flavors.

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It’s All in the Eye of the Beholder — John’s Journey on Holiday Baking Championship in GIFs

by in Shows, November 11th, 2015

Lorraine thinks it looks like toothpasteSo far in this season of Holiday Baking Championship we’ve seen Joe go home for serving crunchy, pretty much raw apple pie. But this week we saw John go home for a cookie wreath that left the judges wanting more, a lot more, especially in design. John also was in the bottom with Joe back in Episode 1 for an overbaked pie, but it was his use of white chocolate, or what Lorraine called “toothpaste,” that has stayed in the judges’ mind. This week he used “toothpaste” again — not once, but twice — and the judges weren’t fans of it any more than they were the previous week. Relive in GIFs some of the funniest moments with John, the judges and the toothpaste debacle from the series.

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Relax, It’s Just Butternut Squash

by in How-to, In Season, November 11th, 2015

Perhaps during a fall trip to the market you’ve been charmed by the heaping piles of colorful winter squash, stout and curvy, and wanted to bring them home. Perhaps you have. And perhaps once you’ve unpacked the squash and put them on the counter, you’ve thought, “Now what?”

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunches: Watermelon with Toasted Coconut

by in Recipes, Shows, November 11th, 2015

Watermelon dishInspired by the mystery basket ingredients — watermelon pizza and coconut milk yogurt — on this week’s episode of Chopped Junior, we threw together a simple fruit salad in the test kitchen. It’s perfect for any brown-bag school lunch!

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Feast Your Eyes on the 11 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 11th, 2015

Best Thanksgiving Side DishesWhile the turkey often gets all the glory at Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the side dishes that turn the turkey into a full meal. From creamy mashed potatoes and classic green bean casserole to roasted vegetables, cranberry sauces and buttery, flaky breads, the seemingly second-string dishes can indeed take the spotlight at your holiday feast. Below are Food Network’s best-of-the-best side dish picks, the tried-and-true winners that will surely garner praise from your holiday guests.

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When Things Go Up in Smoke, Try, Try Again — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 10th, 2015

While it’s almost always difficult to make a cohesive meal from one of the Chopped mystery baskets, the judges were thankful that this week’s ingredients were all usual suspects for a dessert. After a group of talented military vets left the kitchen, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Marc Murphy attempted to make a third course out of lemonade, ballpark peanuts, marshmallow cereal treats and peaches on an all-new Chopped After Hours.

Alex mentioned that she was glad they left the peanuts in the shell for an extra layer of flavor, but Marc immediately disagreed. “I like the peanuts with the shell, too, but not on Chopped,” he said before pointing out how much time they take to shuck. He ended up attempting to make a sort of brittle out of them, which became the source of a fun game of hide-and-seek between Marc and the others. “Somebody evil has hid Marc’s, hopefully, peanut brittle from him, and now I’m going to join that game and I’m putting it on a high shelf in the pantry,” Ted said.

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Chatting with Alice Waters: Here’s How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy Meals

by in Books, November 10th, 2015

Chatting with Alice Waters: Here's How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy MealsWhen it comes to stocking your home pantry like a professional chef, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better adviser than Alice Waters. Her new book, aptly titled My Pantry, is an eloquent exploration of what Waters keeps on hand in her kitchen all the time. It explores how to make several staple ingredients, like vanilla extract, candied citrus peel and ricotta cheese. It also gives recipes that utilize items from a well-stocked pantry, like superfood granola or Chocolate Nut Bark (recipe below for you to enjoy at home).

My Pantry blends Waters’ lovely writing with her highly craveable food and speaks to how a home pantry can evolve its staple items over time. “My travels to Morocco, Australia and Mexico have influenced what I keep on hand, especially spices,” Waters told FN Dish. “My pantry has also changed through my thinking about the importance of school lunch nutrition — whole grains, fruits and vegetables first.” You can find more about her work improving youth nutrition through better food resources for schools with her Edible Schoolyard Project.

What does Waters say every home cook needs to keep in a well-stocked pantry? The list is surprisingly simple. “You must always have olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices,” she said. “Plus brown rice, farro pasta and preserved tomatoes.” According to Waters, a good home cook keeps 10 to 15 items on hand at all times, and with My Pantry you’ll find yourself making delicious meals from your pantry shelves multiple times a week. How does Waters choose what to make when she’s cooking from her pantry? “I pick whatever looks inspiring to me or what works with what I have on hand. You can make a delicious simple meal with only three or four ingredients.”

You can order your own copy of My Pantry here.

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