Making everything from spider cupcakes to mummy macarons, seven of the country’s top bakers will compete to create Halloween’s spookiest confections on Halloween Baking Championship, premiering Monday, Oct. 5 at 9|8c. To survive this haunted competition, hosted by Richard Blais, contestants must prove their baking abilities and impress judges Ron Ben-Israel, Carla Hall and Sherry Yard. Only one winner will take home the grand prize of $25,000 and earn the title of Halloween Baking Champion.
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Just as blockbusters leave movie theaters to make way for award-season films, so too must our summer produce pack up and leave stores. But fear not, because for each and every peach, plum and berry recipe we must bid goodbye for another season, a trusty apple recipe swoops in to save the day. Here’s a preview of five things we can’t wait to see on our tables this fall.
Make grilling season last a little longer with an easy apple crumble (pictured above) that comes together in 25 minutes. Grill tart Granny Smith apples until browned on both sides, then top with vanilla ice cream, granola and a warm caramel sauce. Dare we say this dessert is almost better than traditional apple pie?
He’s a no-nonsense mentor on All-Star America and a bona fide beach fanatic, as he shows off every week on Beach Eats USA (Wednesdays at 10:30|9:30c), but did you know that Curtis Stone also keeps hordes of hot sauces on hand and has been known to relax to Jack Johnson tunes? Recently FN Dish checked in with Curtis to find out the little-known details about this Australian-born chef, from his last-supper must-have to his favorite person to cook for. Read on below for his answers.
Who’s your favorite person to cook for?
Curtis Stone: My wife, Linds. She is my best bud, so it’s always nice after a hectic day, or hectic week, to just take a beat, pour ourselves a wine and cook, eat and talk about everything. She is an adventurous eater so she keeps me on my toes.
What’s the most-surprising thing we’d find in your fridge?
CS: Pickles upon pickles, and loads of hot sauces.
This episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off was amazing. YouTube’s popular food critic Daym Drops (Daymon Patterson) was a guest mentor and judge, and we also saw some really innovative dishes from the kids. Our favorite moment was when Christopher kept his cool during the waffle disaster in the elimination challenge. He had started out making a waffle-and-fried-chicken sandwich, but his batter was too thin and leaked like crazy out of the waffle iron. So in a moment of genius, he dipped slices of bread into the waffle batter and made a French toast fried chicken sandwich instead! He even won the challenge and received the highest honor of a Daym Drops’ “5 All Day.”
Head to any large grocery store chain and you’ll likely find an imported supply of warm-weather produce, even in the dead of winter. But once cooler weather settles in, you won’t find any of your favorite summertime crops at the local farmers market, and certainly not in your own garden. In the battle of fresh versus imported, fresh always wins, so savor in-season produce at every opportunity before the bountiful supply of corn, tomatoes and zucchini runs dry until next year. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, turn to fresh, seasonal salads as a way to showcase the season’s bounty. Here are five fruits and vegetables you can’t miss, and a few salad recipes to help you make the most of each.
Sure, it’s possible to purchase avocados year-round, but the vibrant green fruit seems most at home in fresh summer salads. For creaminess and light, airy texture, the chefs at Food Network Kitchen include ripe Hass avocados in their mealworthy Crab and Avocado Salad (pictured at top). For a festive end-of-summer side salad, try Bobby Flay’s Crunchy Avocado Salad loaded with blue corn tortilla chips and aromatic spices, like cumin and paprika.
By Katie Workman
Nothing says tennis tournament like a … steaming bowl of maple miso tofu with jasmine rice?
New York City has been upping its game in the sports-venue cuisine arena in recent years, and the scene at the United States Open, which kicks off today in the Queens neighborhood of New York City, is a prime example. You can definitely go with a hot dog and hamburger meal in mind and get it. But don’t expect defrosted meat — you’ll be getting skinless dogs and juicy burgers made with Pat LaFrieda beef. And if you are looking for another kind of culinary experience altogether, you’re going to have a lot of choices.
There’s no denying that Mondays can sometimes feel like an abrupt transition from the relaxing weekend. So what better way to spice things up than by putting a fun twist on an ordinary recipe? Follow Bobby Flay’s lead with his Grilled Ratatouille (pictured above).
A classic French dish that combines eggplant, squash, peppers and herbs, ratatouille is a beautiful blend of colors and textures. Bobby transforms these fresh veggies — plus red onion and tomatoes — into a flavorful grilled meal in under 35 minutes. The key to perfectly grilling these vegetables is coating them with enough olive oil and turning them throughout the cooking process to ensure they do not stick or burn. Bobby also removes the tomatoes before the other veggies, as they cook a bit quicker. Once the other veggies are grilled, toss them with the tomatoes along with olive oil, garlic, oregano and parsley for a fragrant finish. Serve at room temperature or pack up for a picnic-ready meal.
A risotto’s success greatly depends on frequent stirring. So when Alton Brown auctioned off a fixed spoon — one suspended several inches in the air — on tonight’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the eviliciousness was in full effect for the chef forced to stir his risotto using only that spoon.
The Cutthroat culinary crew attempted this challenge in the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages, and while the team indeed found the sabotage to be doable, attaining that result was nothing short of surprising — or risky. Filling in for a prop to hold the stationary spoon, food stylist Abel Gonzalez was on hand to assist Jamie Peterson, another food stylist, who tried his hand at making shrimp-studded risotto with the spoon that Abel held. “It’s going to be really difficult, because as soon as I lift [the pan] up, I’m getting it off the heat,” Jamie said, explaining the drop in temperature every time he moved the pan to meet the spoon. As the rice continued to cook, Jamie managed to remedy that problem by increasing the heat, but in doing so, he nearly singed a few arm hairs off of Abel when a cloud of hot steam shot up from the pan. “I’m actually human, and you actually burned me,” Abel told Jamie, reminding his fellow food stylist that he’s indeed not a table prop without feelings.
Chef, cookbook author and TV host G. Garvin is a regular judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. Now G. is the chef at Low Country in Atlanta, his hometown. But before that G. was responsible for launching numerous restaurants in Los Angeles, where he cooked for celebrities and world dignitaries alike. When G.’s not hosting his Cooking Channel show Road Trip with G. Garvin or judging on Triple G, he’s developing his product lines, or taking time to mentor kids interested in culinary careers.
Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch G. on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.
Creamy, rich and, of course, cheesy, Ree Drummond’s easy-to-make dish is packed with the timeless comfort you crave in a hefty bowl of hearty macaroni and cheese. Ready to eat in less than an hour, Ree’s recipe, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, features a buttery cheese sauce made with tangy sharp cheddar, plus a pinch of dry mustard to round out the flavor. After tossing in the pasta, the stovetop-or-baked decision is in your hands: Either enjoy the dish as it is, or top it with cheese and bake for even gooier results.
For more of Ree’s top recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook With: The Pioneer Woman board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Macaroni and Cheese