You’re Only as Young as You Cook — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, July 15th, 2014
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When it comes to cooking, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are — it’s the food that matters. And the teens on Part 1 of tonight’s Chopped Teen Tournament proved that talent is ageless. But, when it comes to the judges of Chopped After Hours, age doesn’t matter when it comes to letting loose, which is all too easy for them. As Ted points out in this all-new episode: “This is going to be tough for you,” as he asks the judges to act more mature than normal.

Amanda, Aarón and Scott take on the appetizer-basket ingredients from tonight’s episode. The ingredients include cherry drink pickles, lamb chops, kale chips and ricotta salata. Creating an appetizer out of these ingredients is all about finding the right balance and proportion — after all, it is an appetizer. The teen chefs learned, though the hard way, that cooking lamb chops on the bone isn’t possible in such a short amount of time, so quick thinking is necessary, especially when it comes to forming a plan B or C.

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Twice As Nice: 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Burgers

by in Recipes, July 15th, 2014

Twice As Nice: 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover BurgersSummertime means grilling time. It also means you might find yourself with an excess of cooked burgers from hosting family and friends. Instead of tossing those leftovers, turn them into chili, tacos, sloppy joes, a 20-minute Bolognese sauce and even wontons. Before we get to the leftovers, though, do you ever wonder what goes into making the perfect burger?

For starters, fat matters if you want juicy burgers. Eighty-five percent is a good blend, and if you have a butcher who will do custom grinds, a mix of sirloin, short rib and brisket is worth the splurge. One last tip: Don’t fuss with your burgers when cooking them. Lay the patties on the grill, and turn them only once, after the underside is cooked. Resist the urge to press the patties flat on the grill. All you’ll do is squeeze the juices out of them.

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Tofu Finally Gets Some Respect

by in News, July 15th, 2014

Tofu Finally Gets Some RespectA show of hands, please. Who here loves tofu? Anyone … anyone?

Tofu, also known as bean curd — which, let’s remember, is coagulated soy milk pressed into a soft block — is a food many of us have learned to accept. Low in calories and packed with protein, iron and other nutrients, it’s undeniably healthy and is a staple of vegetarians and diet-aware eaters.

Still, flavorless and bland and with a consistency that can be hard to pin down, tofu is a food few of us truly adore. “It’s not likely that tofu will become anyone’s favorite food; this we know,” is how Mark Bittman began his defense of tofu in The New York Times last week.

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Beat the Heat: Best 5 No-Bake Recipes

by in Recipes, July 15th, 2014

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich CakeNo matter if you’re hosting a weekend cookout or you simply have a sweets craving that needs curbing, you shouldn’t have to turn on your oven on already sticky, scorching days to turn out a winning dessert. In these dog days of summer, stick with no-bake treats that come together quickly and rely on the freezer instead of the oven. From chilled pies and ice cream on a stick to bite-size peanut butter treats, there’s no shortage of both kid-friendly and party-worthy ideas to help you cool off all season long. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five beat-the-heat recipes from The Pioneer Woman, Tyler Florence, the Neelys and more chefs.

5. Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream Pie — Both kids and kids at heart will appreciate the tried-and-true flavor combination of chocolate and fresh bananas, here made into an easy-to-prepare pie with a vanilla wafer crust, a duo of ice creams in the center and a toasted coconut topping.

4. Ice Cream Freezer Pops — Perhaps the best part about The Pioneer Woman’s treats is that you don’t need fancy molds to make them; just fill throw-away paper cups with layers of candy and rich vanilla ice cream.

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Staff Favorites from Food Network’s Product Guides for Summer

by in Product Reviews, July 15th, 2014

Staff Favorites from Food Network’s Product Guides for Summer‘Tis the season for backyard cookouts. Whether you’re the host of the soiree or one of the guests, you’ll want to be well-prepared. That’s why Food Network put together three Grilling Shopping Guides to help readers find all the right tools for summer parties — from gear and tableware to delicious sauces, condiments and more.

In order to find the best new items in the market, the editorial team sat through product pitches, searched look books and scoured the Internet. And then, of course, we had to try all the food (the part that the whole office eagerly volunteered for). We love everything in the guides and think that you will too. Here are just a handful of our favorites:

Piggyback Bacon Rack (pictured above)
Bacon makes everything better, and burgers and dogs are no exception. This handy rack keeps all the cooking in one place, and you don’t have to worry about the grease.

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All-New Food Truck Rookies Hit the Road for The Great Food Truck Race, Season 5

by in Shows, July 14th, 2014

Tyler FlorenceThis summer, The Great Food Truck Race returns for Season 5, premiering Sunday, Aug. 17 at 9|8c, with host Tyler Florence and eight brand-new food truck teams. This season’s high-stakes culinary road trip will take the hopefuls on a new route beginning in Southern California and culminating in a triple-city finale in Florida. None of the teams are current food truck operators — they’re hitting the ground as rookies. But they do have food skills, fresh concepts and entrepreneurial spirits, which they’ll need to rely on if they plan to make it to the end for a chance at winning their own food truck business and $50,000 in seed money.

Find out the route and meet the teams

Dinner on a Stick: 10 Skewers No Kid Can Resist

by in Family, July 14th, 2014

Dinner on a Stick: 10 Skewers No Kid Can ResistTired of lackluster reactions to the phrase “dinner’s ready”? Try a trick I use on my brood and serve skewers. From sides to entrees, everything’s more festive on a stick, and the good news is, it’s pretty simple too.

1. Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri (pictured above): With bright pops of green basil sauce and juicy red cherry tomatoes, Melissa d’Arabian’s skewers turn fish from a picky eater’s no-no into a showstopper worth trying.

2. Pork and Pineapple Kebabs: Sure a pork chop is tasty, but chopping it up and serving it with fresh pineapple wedges transforms an otherwise average dinner into something special.

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Buckwheat Noodle Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 14th, 2014

Buckwheat Noodle SaladOn warm, summer days, a cooling salad seems like the ideal bet. It can be frustrating to always go carbless for lunch, however, especially when you’re craving a more filling meal involving pasta and rice. Luckily, there’s a solution. Asian noodle salads are hearty enough to be considered a main meal, but light enough to not weigh you down on a hot day. And, as a bonus, they cook up unbelievably quick.

In Bobby Flay‘s recipe for Buckwheat Noodle Salad, the dressing is made with pungent spices and condiments like tamari, sesame oil and chili sauce, mixed with ingredients like vinegar, sugar, ginger and honey to tone down the heat. Bobby also combines a slew of vegetables, including carrots, cucumbers and peppers, to pack a nutritional punch. The result is a filling and healthy summer meal staple that can be prepared in less than half an hour.

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