Tag: All Posts

“The Most-Spectacular Thing That We’ve Ever Done Here” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 28th, 2015

While surely all Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are designed for a bit of shock-and-awe factor, perhaps no single challenge delivered as much wow-worthy reaction as the brand-new dollhouse that was rolled out — literally — for tonight’s Round 3 oatmeal cookie battle. For host Alton Brown, this is quite simply “the most-spectacular thing that we’ve ever done here on Cutthroat Kitchen,” he said to guest judge Susan Feniger during the After-Show.

He explained that in this at once oversize and miniature house, one chef not only had to prep all of the cookie ingredients, but also cook them in there by way of the mini kitchen. “This was like a miniature kitchen dropped into the middle of hell,” Alton told Susan, adding that in true evilicious fashion, this sabotage wasn’t just what met the eye.

Aubrey, who works on the show’s team bringing the sabotages to life, explained that this house featured “some challenging ways for the chef to have to use the kitchen.” Think hanging through wall cutouts to reach the kitchen and crawling along stairs to get to the bathroom, where Chef Demarco, who was gifted this unprecedented challenge, chose to use the shower basin as a mixing bowl. “Our Cutthroat Kitchen workshop wasn’t big enough to build the whole thing in one piece, so we had to build [the house] in two separate pieces,” Aubrey explained, “and then when we rolled it into stage, we could actually put the roof on.”

Check out more photos below to see inside the dollhouse and get an up-close look at what this sabotage entailed.

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Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?

by in News, Restaurants, June 28th, 2015

Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?Back in 2009, The New York Times ran a two-part list, written by restaurateur Bruce Buschel, of “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do.” Included on it were these three instructive items:

17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

75. Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

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Garlicky Flatbread with Tomato Sauce on the Side — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, June 28th, 2015

Garlicky Grilled Flatbread Strips with Fresh Tomato SauceIf summer parties are all about casual, alfresco entertaining, then the menu at these seasonal bashes should be just as relaxed; that’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in. Instead of an intricate, involved hors d’oeuvre, opt for this simple, eat-with-your-hands appetizer. Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, this crowd-pleasing recipe takes advantage of a welcome timesaver — prepared pizza dough — to turn out chewy, smoky grilled flatbread that’s made conveniently on the grill, so you can spend time outside with your guests. For even more flavor, brush the dough with a garlic-spiked olive oil before grilling, and serve the bread with bright, no-cook tomato-vinegar sauce on the side.

For more easy party ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Entertain board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Garlicky Grilled Flatbread Strips with Fresh Tomato Sauce (pictured above)

The Ultimate Burger Guide from the July/August Issue of Food Network Magazine

by in Food Network Magazine, June 28th, 2015

burgerThe mouthwatering burger you see pictured above features the results of Food Network Magazine’s survey that asked thousands of fans what makes a perfect burger. The findings: Most people cook their patties to medium, are pro-bacon, choose a sesame seed bun over plain and prefer cheddar cheese to American. But voters also shared some less obvious burger additions — like peanut butter, kimchi and pickled beets — revealing that almost nothing is off-limits in burger building.

To celebrate the versatile backyard fare, the July/August issue features an entire section dedicated to the art of the hamburger. From fancy flavored buns to regionally inspired toppings, you’ll find new ways to enhance your grilled patty all summer long. Find snippets of the guidebook below.

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4 Flag Desserts for a Festive Fourth

by in Holidays, June 27th, 2015

Who needs fireworks when you can celebrate America’s birthday with a sweet bite of red, white and blue? These flag desserts will make the perfect patriotic conclusion to your backyard gathering with family and friends.

Ina Garten’s Flag Cake (pictured at top)
Topped with rich cream cheese frosting and seasonal summer berries, this cake is the best centerpiece for your July Fourth celebration. Make the easy vanilla sheet cake ahead of time, and decorate it with berries and frosting just before serving.

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U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes Up

by in News, June 27th, 2015

U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes UpCall it the Keurig effect. Thanks in large measure to the rise in single-cup brew pods, Americans are consuming less coffee — although they are also spending more on it than ever.

U.S. coffee consumption is projected to decline from 24 million to 23.7 million 60-kilogram bags in 2015-2016, down for the first time since 2009-2010, according to a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

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How to Make Dairy-Free Ice Cream with a Creamy Coconut Base

by in Recipes, June 27th, 2015

Cool and creamy, light yet rich, ice cream has the ability to satisfy your cravings without filling you up. It’s these qualities that make frozen treats the perfect ending to just about any meal.

Making dairy-free versions of traditional desserts often involves a few extra steps, from making a nut-based milk or cream to replacing an egg by mixing ground flax seeds with water. These additional steps can put home cooks off, as they take extra time and ingredients, and create more dirty dishes, too. This recipe for vegan ice cream is the exception — it’s actually easier and faster than ones with traditional dairy and egg ice cream bases. It can easily be done by beginners and experienced ice cream churners alike. There’s no extended time spent over the stove awaiting the moment the custard thickens and no reason to worry that you’ll scramble the eggs if your mixture cooks too long. All you need to do for this ice cream is warm coconut milk and thicken it with a little dissolved arrowroot powder before cooling and churning — it’s that easy! Infusing the milk with vanilla bean adds great flavor but can be skipped in a pinch. This ice cream is the perfect base for a variety of mix-ins, and some of my favorites are included below.

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A Slew of Slaws for Your Cookout

by in Recipes, June 26th, 2015

While a classic, creamy coleslaw fits in at any summer gathering — topping picnic sandwiches and sidling up next to smoky, barbecued meats — sometimes you want to serve a slaw that really stands on its own. The classic bagged cabbage-and-carrot mix often wilts over time, succumbing to the flavor of the mayo-vinegar sauce and languishing in a pool of it. But if you add in other ingredients — including, say, firm, crunchy jicama — and make the dressing a little more interesting, your slaw can more easily mingle with Asian-inspired grilled chicken or street-style Mexican corn.

Asian Slaw (pictured above)
In Alton Brown’s recipe, thinly sliced cabbage finds company with red and yellow bell peppers, grated carrots, bias-cut onions and chiffonade-sliced cilantro and mint, forming a rainbow-hued slaw with a medley of interesting textures. The classic Asian dressing imbues salty, nutty flavor, and serrano chiles add a healthy amount of heat.

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The Top Picnic Mistakes to Avoid, and How to Fix Them If They Happen, Plus Boozy Bubbles to Pack in the Basket

by in Books, In Season, June 26th, 2015

The PicnicWhen it comes to summer picnics, you’ll be hard pressed to find better resources for tips, tricks and menus than Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson of the Portland Picnic Society. They’ve assembled the only picnic guide you’ll ever need in their new book, The Picnic. The Picnic has everything from the rules for common lawn games and 99 uses for Mason jars to delicious recipes and menu ideas. The book is perfect for the novice picnicgoer, with guides for packing your basket and how big a blanket to get, and a list of essential tools everyone always forgets.

One of the most-useful parts of The Picnic is the crisis-aversion section of the book, where 10 common picnic disasters are triaged proactively for you. Planning a picnic before you can snag your own copy of the book? Keep the following details in mind.

1. Bathroom Break: Nothing ruins a picnic like having to go, with no relief in sight. Scout the state of your picnic site’s restrooms upon arrival. If they’re locked or loathsome, search for the nearest coffeehouse and inform your friends of its location.

2. Beat the Heat: If it’s a real sizzler of a day, surprise your fellow guests with a Mediterranean-scented cooldown: Add a few drops of rose, citrus or lavender oil to chilled miniature spray bottles of water and distribute them to the crowd. (Paper fans work, too.)

3. Battle of the Bugs: Summer bugs are a picnic plague. Bring an arsenal of citronella votives and bug spray. To keep unwelcome sweet-tea swimmers at bay, try this easy trick for transforming a Mason jar: Remove the lid and set it aside. Take a square of decorative paper, punch a hole in it, lay it over the lip of your jar, replace the ring and poke a straw through the hole. Drink elsewhere, bugs.

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Cold Brew & Beyond: 5 Coffee Trends to Look for This Summer

by in News, June 26th, 2015

Whether you rely on a big chain or a neighborhood cafe for your daily dose of caffeine, by now you’ve noticed that cold brewed coffee is getting a lot of attention — and for good reason. Unlike traditional iced coffee, which is made by brewing hot coffee at double strength and pouring it over ice, cold brew is steeped for a long time — up to 14 hours, if you wish — at room temperature. The result? A balanced and distinctively smooth cup of joe that’s both chocolatey and low in acidity.

Recently, this barista-approved method has inspired a number of innovative and experimental renditions of summer’s quintessential pick-me-up, like coffee-flavored sodas and beers, and plenty of regional twists on the basic cold brew recipe of ground coffee plus cold water. So the next time a caffeine craving strikes, reach for one of these five trendy takes on the thirst-quenching beverage.

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