by Duff Goldman in Shows, May 18th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 18th, 2015
Alright, baking fans, things are getting serious. Last week proved how tough this competition is: Juliana, an immensely talented baker, had to go home. Tough break, but that’s Spring Baking Championship. This week the remaining five bakers started their challenge by making desserts on a stick. Anyone who has been to any state fair knows that making food on a stick is about as American as it gets. Hopefully Damiano has been to a state fair; if not, we will be regaled by tales of a stick-free Italy while he makes something incredibly delicious. Andy seemed a bit worried about desserts on sticks when he said, “They don’t teach this in culinary school.” But I was convinced he was being modest. Dwayne went three for three in the first three challenges and hasn’t been back on the podium since, and I know that he’s hungry for it. He’s a sweet guy, but he has the eye of the tiger.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, May 18th, 2015
Quinoa may be the ultimate superfood seed, but when it comes to versatile grains, farro — a hearty, chewy wheat — deserves its moment in the spotlight too. The beauty of farro is that, like quinoa and barley, it can be prepared once on its own, then kept on hand and mixed with your choice of add-ins to create an array of quick-fix salads.
Giada De Laurentiis starts with a batch of cooled farro, then adds to it fresh tomatoes and half a sweet onion for an Italian-focused salad (pictured above) that’s a cinch to pull together. She opts for a duo of fresh herbs — chives and parsley — for a fragrant note, while a garlic-laced balsamic vinaigrette promises a tangy bite and a bold punch of flavor. Since this recipe can be assembled the night before (just let it come to room temperature before enjoying it), it’s a go-to pick for make-and-take lunch salads.
by Maria Russo, May 18th, 2015
Given your work commitments, the kids’ activities and the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road, it can seem like a feat simply making it to the supermarket at all, let alone enjoying the experience and feeling prepared for family meals — and checking out under budget. That’s where Melissa d’Arabian comes in. The host of Ten Dollar Dinners and the Web-exclusive Picky Eaters Project just launched the all-new Web series Smart Carts: Winning the Supermarket, devoted to making your experience at the grocery store simpler and more strategic with just a few good-to-know tricks for conquering the aisles no matter where you shop.
Over the course of eight videos, Melissa shares her tried-and-true secrets for saving time and money at the market, including ways to know when is best to bulk shop and how to get the job done in a hurry. Click the play button on the video above to watch the first of her all-new videos, then read on below to pick up Melissa’s supermarket savvy with six of her top tips.
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 17th, 2015
The key to being a Food Network Star isn't simply being able to show off sharp knife skills. Star power requires a sparkly personality to hook an audience on TV, and with that comes the ability to convey a strong, simply message — aka the all-impor...
by Amy Reiter in News, Restaurants, May 17th, 2015
What with its penchant for ruthless sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen is surely an every-chef-for-himself-or-herself competition, but that doesn’t stop host Alton Brown from auctioning off a few strategically chosen team challenges. These unexpected tests force the rivals to learn to work together in the midst of their efforts at self-preservation, as was the case tonight during the fifth and final round of the Evilicious tournament, in which four previous victors came back for the chance to score the ultimate win and take home an additional $50,000.
With not one but two team sabotages up for grabs throughout the battle, the contestants quickly realized that their success was dependent on someone else’s agenda during the prep time. “This is a real test of teamwork,” Simon Majumdar noted of the Round 2 seesaw sabotage during the After-Show. He wondered how the two rivals split their time between working on their own dish and waiting for the other person to prep, and Alton told him simply, “They had to work it out.” Both Chef Yaku and Chef Jernard indeed managed to complete their dishes despite their teeter-tottering high above the arena, though Alton admitted, “This does explain why both of those chefs delivered the small amount of food they did.”
by Maria Russo in Community, May 17th, 2015
You, like me, may not have paid much attention to the particulars of pay-what-you-want restaurants. Perhaps you’re vaguely aware that they exist, but you’re unsure of how, precisely, the whole sliding-scale, honor-system concept plays out when put into practice.
Helpfully, Eater has published a blog post called How Do Pay-What-You-Want Restaurants Work?, which explains how eateries like SAME Café, a “pay what you can” restaurant in Denver, pay the bills even though not all customers are paying full price for their meals.
Here are four key facts to take away (no payment necessary):
1. Most pay-what-you-want (PWYW) restaurants look like other regular eateries — with tables, menus, ways to order and places to pay. The difference is that you can pay the amount that you are capable of paying, if you cannot afford to pay full fare, or even work (helping to wash dishes or prep meals, say) in exchange for your food. You can also pay more than the value of your meal, to help defray the cost of those who may need to pay less.
by Maria Russo, May 17th, 2015
While soup is surely a warming winter comfort food, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a hearty bowl in the spring and summer months too. When it comes to #notsaddesklunches, make-and-take meals like reheatable soups are a go-to option, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week from Ree Drummond is no exception. Laced with cream and finished with fresh, fragrant herbs, this big-batch soup will surely fill you up. Plus, since Ree opts for cans of tomatoes instead of off-the-vine beauties, you don’t have to wait until tomato season to make her simple recipe.
For more must-try meal ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.
by Emily Lee in Holidays, Recipes, May 16th, 2015
There are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June...
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 16th, 2015
On a day like Memorial Day, classic American dishes deserve special attention. And since no cookout is complete without a bevy of seasonal sides, it’s only right to show your patriotism by including a national staple: pasta salad. Celebrate the holiday weekend with any of these five summer pasta salads guaranteed to feed a crowd. Planning a picnic? No problem. These recipes are mayo-free and perfect for toting to the park.
Garden Pasta with Bocconcini (above)
When it comes to pasta salad, campanelle, Italian for “little bell,” is often overlooked. This pasta has a lovely flower-evoking shape that’s incredibly festive for a summer party or picnic. Though campanelle may look delicate, it’s just as hearty as penne and fusilli — the more-common pasta salad stars. Here, it’s tossed with substantial vegetables and bocconcini for an ample summer side.
On its own butter is, of course, a most decadent ingredient, full of rich, creamy and (sometimes) salty flavors. But beyond its indulgence, butter is also endlessly versatile, which means that it can be used as a finishing condiment as well as a fat with which to cook, and it pairs well with both sweet and savory tastes. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts showed how simple it is to start with your everyday sticks of butter — both salted and unsalted — and turn them into compound butter, which is simply a fancy name for flavored butter.
The key to making compound butters is starting with room-temperature butter; this will ensure that when you add the extra ingredients, like nuts, fruit jams or herbs, the butter will quickly absorb them and become one unified product. Once those additions are fully incorporated, it’s best to roll up the butter into logs and refrigerate it, so you can easily spread or saute with as you would ordinary butter.