After six weeks of competition on America’s Best Cook, it all came down to the finale and one last cooking challenge. Two home cooks faced off and had the opportunity to make whatever dish they wanted to show guest judge Bobby Flay their best work. In the end one home cook came out on top, the winner, and the other the runner-up. Even though the cook who came in second place did not win, she made her region proud, her mentor proud, her family proud and herself proud.
Tag: All Posts
Although the unofficial beginning of summer is still a few weeks away with Memorial Day at the end of May, it turns out that FoodNetwork.com fans are craving one of the season’s best recipes all year long. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts revealed that potato salad is one of the most-searched-for items on our site, and Sunny Anderson celebrated this easy, family-friendly favorite with a recipe to prepare for the picnics and cookouts to come.
While creamy mayonnaise-tossed potato salads may be some of the most traditional, Sunny’s Warm German Potato Salad (pictured above) boasts a vinegar-based dressing and is made with red potatoes instead of classic Idaho spuds. When it comes to making your family’s favorite potato salad, what ingredients do you reach for? Are you a fan of the rich flavor of mayonnaise, or do you skip the mayo and instead opt for a tangier dressing made with vinegar? Vote in the poll below to tell FN Dish your favorite way to enjoy potato salad, then check out Food Network Magazine’s roundup of 50 Potato Salads, and get new ideas for swapping out the mayonnaise.
Smile and Say ‘Cheese’: Rihanna’s captured the attention of fans as one of several celebrities who has been immortalized atop a pizza. Pizza artist and chef Domenico Crolla, owner of Bella Pizzeria in Glasgow, Scotland, has captured the likenesses of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, President Obama, the Pope and others using pizza crust as his canvas and cheese and sauce as his paint. Amazing, if not appetizing. [Bella Pizzeria (gallery) via The Daily Meal]
Holy Comic-Inspired Beer, Batman! Denver Comic Con organizers have teamed up with Breckenridge Brewery to launch a special limited-edition Batman-themed craft beer called (wait for it) Brews Wayne. The people behind the three-day convention, which last year released the similarly themed Caped Brewsader beer, describe this year’s 6.1 percent ABV brew as a “hoppy amber ale, a hybrid-style with two distinctly different, yet complimenting flavors ” that is perfect “for the playboy-by-day and superhero-by-night.” Oh my. [Denver Post]
From the familiar blue box to gourmet eight-cheese combinations, we can’t seem to get enough of mac and cheese. It may be the be all and end all of down-home comfort food. It’s rich, flavorful and satisfying — friendly and familiar but never dull. It’s a great, classic choice for dinner parties and a vegetarian dish that leaves even the carnivores contented. Almost everyone loves it. Creamy and cheesy, there simply aren’t many foods more comforting than homemade macaroni and cheese.
There are two primary formulas for making all-American macaroni and cheese: the bechamel or custard method. Bechamel is a white sauce made by stirring heated milk into a butter-flour roux. This white sauce can be thin, thick or somewhere in the middle. The thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of butter and flour to milk and varies according to what you are using it for: for example, thin for soup, medium-bodied for casseroles such as mac and cheese, and thick for souffles. The medium white sauce is probably the most common. The proportions for a thin sauce are 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk, a medium sauce uses 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour, and a very thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each. Bechamel is a very useful sauce in the kitchen, far beyond mac and cheese.
I know that by springtime most people think that we should be done with casseroles and one-pot dishes. But even in May there is occasionally a chilly, dreary day where nothing quite fills the bill like a good casserole.
One such dish that I like a lot this time of year is Rachael Ray’s Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf. It’s light, bright from the lemon juice, and comforting.
It’s also a handy one to have in your repertoire, because it’s one of those dishes that can be either more or less intensive, depending on how much time and commitment you want to invest. You can either poach a chicken for the meat and broth, or you can pick up a fully cooked grocery-store bird and use a bit of boxed stock. Both ways work and will result in a delicious Weekender.
Whether it’s to post on Instagram, send in a text or share on a blog, people love to take pictures of their food. The deliciousness of the dish, however, doesn’t always come through in the actual photo. A mediocre photo can make a tasty and brag-worthy dish look average or even unappealing. Ree Drummond knows this firsthand.
Fans know Ree for her beautiful food photography, but when she first started her blog, The Pioneer Woman, in 2006, she had no previous experience using a camera. She shared her top tips for taking a good food photo with Food Network Magazine, along with some of her early shots to show home cooks what not to do.
Wheely Convenient: Picnicking is great, but figuring out how to transport your sumptuous spread to the perfect spot can rank right up there with bugs as a buzz-killing complicating factor. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just ferry it all there on your bike? Enter (on two wheels) the Kickstarter-funded, Dutch-designed Fietsklik, a detachable, foldable recycled-plastic crate that snaps onto the back of your bike. The crate is big enough to transport up to 24 bottles of beer or 25 pounds of groceries. Who’s bringing the blanket? [Fietsklik via Food Republic]
Spicing Up Your Lunch Bag: Would you like your burrito with a side of deep thoughts? Chipotle believes you would. The Mexican restaurant chain is launching a “Cultivating Thought” initiative, tapping best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer to bring illuminating quotes to its bags and cups. The two-minute essays and nuggets of wisdom from 10 writers – from Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison and George Saunders to Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman – will create “a small pocket of thoughtfulness right in the middle of the busy day,” Jonathan said. “We will never have a perfect world,” read the words of experimental psychologist Steven Pinker on one bag, “but it’s not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one.” Food for thought. [BusinessWire]
What to Watch: Nancy Fuller’s Leftover Strategies and the Finale of America’s Best Cook with Guest Judge Bobby Flayby Joseph Erdos in Shows, May 16th, 2014
This Saturday Food Network has all-new episodes from Ree Drummond, Nancy Fuller and The Kitchen. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree prepares a meal for the cowboys on the farm. Then on Farmhouse Rules, while her husband, David is out of the house, Nancy reinvents leftovers from the day before. Later on The Kitchen, the hosts show off some fun new uses for kitchen tools and they answer questions on The Kitchen Helpline.
On Sunday Damaris Phillips helps a friend plan a romantic dinner on Southern at Heart. Then Giada De Laurentiis runs through her favorite recipes, creating mini versions of them on Giada at Home. And Guy Fieri is cooking up his favorite spicy bar snacks on Guy’s Big Bite.
On Sunday evening, tune into four hours of competition, starting with a new episode of Guy’s Grocery Games followed by the finale of America’s Best Cook with guest judge Bobby Flay. Afterward tune in for a new Cutthroat Kitchen and Kitchen Casino.
When it comes to favorite sides, FN Dish is on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s work of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.
Day 1: Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.
Day 2: Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.
Let’s talk steak. Just the thought of a thick, juicy slab of perfectly cooked beef will make the mouths of enthusiastic carnivores water. (Those who don’t eat meat may want to just move along to the next post.)
New York Times dining reporter Julia Moskin fills in her readers on her tried-and-true method for cooking steak on the stovetop: Forget the talk about dry rubs and marinating, she advises. Buy your meat from a butcher. Choose thinner, boneless cuts — marbled, about 1 inch thick. Keep the meat refrigerated until about a half-hour before you’re ready to cook, then pat it dry with paper towels. Use a cast-iron skillet (unoiled) and turn the heat up “insanely” high. Salt the pan (not the steak) and heat it some more. Lay down your meat, wait about a minute, then flip it every 30 seconds until – 4 or 5 minutes later – you have a perfectly cooked steak. It’ll be crusty on the outside, pink on the inside.
“If it’s good quality steak and you don’t cook it for more than five minutes per inch, you really can’t mess it up,” Richard Schatz of New York City’s Schatzie the Butcher reassures Julia’s readers. “Steak is nothing to be scared of.”