5 One-Bite Wonders You Need at Your Holiday Party — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2015

One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan CompoteWhile decking the halls and tearing open gifts are one person’s way of spreading holiday cheer, serving friends and family festive food is another’s. But when guests are juggling their mulled cider in one hand and a loaded plate in the other as they’re schmoozing their way through a holiday party, who has room for a fork and knife? If you’re welcoming guests this season, stay away from unwieldy appetizers in favor of these one-bite, hand-held appetizers that are showstoppingly elegant.

Sure, you could bake a triangle of Brie until it oozes and melts after some time in the oven, but trust us when we say this recipe is an easier, smarter approach. Instead of wrapping the whole wedge in flaky phyllo dough, serve One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan Compote in phyllo cups for a modern, mini presentation that’s easier for you to make and easier for your guests to eat.

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Go Behind the Scenes: It’s Bananas in Food Network Kitchen

by in Behind the Scenes, December 3rd, 2015

Go Behind the Scenes: It’s Bananas in Food Network KitchenI wish you could actually smell the photos here. We had nearly 700 speckled bananas in the Food Network Kitchen walk-in just a couple of weeks ago, and their intense perfume almost knocked my socks off. They were that perfect kind of ripe, ideal for banana bread (which these guys were destined for). Culinary Purchasing Manager Jacob Schiffman had ordered about 100 unripe bunches nearly a week before and had patiently let them ripen at room temperature. But measuring out the ingredients for 200 loaves of banana bread, for a special event, takes time, so to keep them from overripening he moved the bananas into the cold to slow down the process.

Jacob also shared a great tip for keeping your bananas from ripening too fast: Break them apart as soon as you get them home, since a single banana can ripen the whole bunch (he’s got a million handy produce tips like this). And unless you’re planning on making banana bread, it’s a great tip for getting more life out of your fruit.

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4 Hands Are (Maybe) Better Than 2 — Alton’s Superstar Sabotage After-Show

by in Shows, December 3rd, 2015

It was a finale of evilicious proportions last night when the top-four chefs took their places in the Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage arena for the fifth and final face-off. Fabio Viviani ultimately claimed the win after several downright diabolical sabotages, but it was Richard Blais who landed what was perhaps the most “hands-off” challenge of the battle. In the Round 3 dessert test, a Bob lent Richard a hand — or rather, both of his hands — which acted as Richard’s own while the Bob finished the round behind him. And in keeping with After-Show tradition, of course, it was only a matter of time before Alton Brown and Simon Majumdar, the judge of the day, tried their hands at this sinister setup.

Simon opted to prepare a cranachan, a layered trifle-like dessert spiked with whiskey, though of course it was Alton who’d be doing the actual prepping with verbal cues from Simon. While the situation started out efficiently enough, with Alton following Simon’s commands and executing each step gently, it indeed didn’t end that way, as Alton could hardly see his moves before him. “Not even close!” Simon said as Alton struggled to pour a glug of brandy into the glass. What resulted was a finished dessert, but also a messy prep station, a messy Alton and a messy Simon.

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Brownie Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 3rd, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

With Food Network Kitchen’s Brownie Cookies, you get the best of both worlds: Each cookie has crunchy-chewy edges and a moist, fudgy center. For those of us who gravitate toward the edge pieces in a pan of brownies, this recipe is a dream come true. Here’s a pro tip: When preparing the batter, spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, as scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods. Eat them fresh off the baking sheet — or for a twist on a brownie sundae, use them to build homemade ice cream sandwiches. Sea-salt caramel or peppermint ice cream would be particularly nice for the holidays.

Get Food Network Kitchen’s Brownie Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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One-on-One with the Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament Champion

by in Shows, December 2nd, 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, agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most ultimately fell in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few shined — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in tonight’s tournament finale. If you haven’t watched the newest episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and outs of the battle and reveal the tournament champion.

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3 of a Kind: Creative Cider Dishes

by in Restaurants, December 2nd, 2015

Cider Chevre3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Cider may seem best on a hayride, but as harvest season winds down, the fall favorite is staging a last hurrah. Sure, it’s enhanced pork dishes and spiced up apple cakes for years, but these restaurants are using the spiced sip in new and inventive ways.
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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Guacamole on the Half Shell

by in Recipes, Shows, December 2nd, 2015

Chopped Junior Inspired Lunchboxes: Guacamole on the Half ShellOur young Chopped Junior contestants were tasked with using avocado — an ingredient that’s great solo — as part of an entree dish. Inspired by their dishes, we put on our aprons and wandered into the Food Network Kitchen to make lunch.

We thought about guacamole, the most-iconic preparation of avocado, and decided to make it portable for lunch. So we mashed and mixed it right in its shell — no bowl required. Here’s how to make your own:

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It’s a Holly, Jolly Time of Year: Chefs’ Favorite Christmas Songs and Movies

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 2nd, 2015

Bobby FlayNow that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the focus is on the upcoming holiday season, and with that comes all manner of holly-jolly hall decking, including for many a switch of playlists and favorite movies. This time of year, even Food Network chefs are celebrating the season with their top picks for Christmas songs and movies — and, as you might guess, their favorites are as varied as their styles of cooking. Read on below to hear what they had to say.

Bobby Flay
Song: “Run DMC’s ‘Christmas in Hollis.'”
Movie: “I love Elf. It’s so good. ‘World’s Best Cup of Coffee — Congratulations!'”

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11 Party-Ready Recipes for All Your Holiday Get-Togethers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2015

Italian Sausage BallsWhether your holiday plans include an elegant cocktail party, a traditional seated feast, a seasonal open house or some combination of these events, the key to easy, enjoyable entertaining at any party is a go-to menu of eats and drinks. This holiday season, stick with Food Network’s best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Italian Sausage Balls
Reinvent the usual Southern appetizer with Italian flair by opting for sweet Italian sausage instead of the plain variety and pairing each baked sausage ball with classic Italian ingredients like creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil. Since these appetizers are served on toothpicks, guests will be able to easily snack with their hands.

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Cake Mix Holiday Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 2nd, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

These may look like basic holiday sugar cookies at first glance, but in fact, they’re even softer — and easier to prepare. How? Food Network Kitchen chefs use moist yellow cake mix in the cookie batter, so it’s no surprise that these cookies look and taste just like little cupcake tops. The white chocolate-cream cheese frosting is reminiscent of snow, and you can’t go wrong with the classic red-and-green color motif of the sprinkles. It’s important to note that some cake mix brands will yield flatter and fudgier cookies, while others will produce puffier and slightly cakier cookies. We think both are delicious in this recipe, but choose accordingly.

Get the recipe for Food Network Kitchen’s Cake Mix Holiday Cookies, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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