by Amy Reiter in News, April 14th, 2014
by Jennifer Perillo in Holidays, How-to, April 14th, 2014
Passover kicked off on Monday night, with Jews all around the world sitting down to break matzo — the unleavened “bread of affliction” that commemorates the Jews’ speedy exodus from Egypt, from slavery to freedom, more than 3,000 years ago — with family and friends at the traditional festival meal known as the Seder. Tonight, the second Seder will take place, and for those keeping the Passover tradition, matzo (not to mention matzo balls and matzo ball soup) will become a staple of their diets for the bread-free duration of the eight-day holiday. Here are a few quick clicks about the humble, flat cracker:
Don’t Call It Tasteless: Dan Pashman, creator of the food podcast The Sporkful and co-host of the Cooking Channel Web series Good to Know, is a fervent defender of matzo. “In a typical cracker you kind of have one or two options,” he tells NPR’s The Salt. Either it will be “crunchy but … also be very oily and salty,” or it will be like a “table water cracker, which is plain in flavor, but very flimsy” without a lot of crunch. Matzos, however, are both plain and crunchy. “It’s like a blank canvas,” Dan says; it’s a welcome base for any number of toppings. Dan also says “the degree of charring” differentiates one sort of matzo from another, and the holes are key as well. “There’s a lot of science behind those holes,” he says. [NPR's The Salt]
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 14th, 2014
Dissolving little tablets of dye into vinegar-spiked water and dipping hard-boiled eggs into the bowls was a rite of passage growing up. For my own children, though, it’s a foreign experience. It’s a myth you might say, like the Easter Bunny himself. We actually ate the cooked eggs growing up, and while egg salad was never my thing, I did love eating the freshly peeled eggs with a sprinkling of salt. It’s still my favorite way to enjoy them, with my Mediterranean Tuna Salad coming in as a close second.
My girls aren’t fans of eating hard-boiled eggs, though, regardless of how they’re prepared. Because one woman can eat only so many hard-boiled eggs, we usually skip the whole ritual. This year we’re mixing things up for the Easter holiday and driving to Toronto to celebrate with friends. Egg coloring will be in full swing. The girls will get to dip, tie-dye and color away, and I’ll be ready with some of my favorite recipes to put all those leftover Easter treasures to delicious use.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, April 14th, 2014
Soups and stews often get a bad rap as far as quick-fix meals are concerned, as the thought has been that they take hours of slow-simmering to achieve the fullest flavor. But with the help a few foolproof methods and go-to ingredients, it’s surely possible to turn out simple, ready-to-eat dishes in a flash.
Food Network Kitchen transformed the traditional slow-and-low tagine, a classic Moroccan stew, into a weeknight-friendly staple in its recipe for Shortcut Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with Couscous (pictured above). In place of meat, which may take hours to break down, this fuss-free supper lets vibrant vegetables, like tomatoes and butternut squash, shine, as they can become deliciously tender in mere minutes. Much like classic recipes, this one also boasts a mix of bold, warm spices — cinnamon and cumin — plus a bit of harissa for heat as well as chickpeas and chewy raisins for texture. For added freshness, sprinkle fragrant cilantro atop the tagine before serving, and round out the meal with fluffy couscous.
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 13th, 2014
A famed Iron Chef with multiple New York City restaurants, Marc Forgione is certainly no rookie cook, but that doesn’t mean he can’t dole out advice to those just beginning in the kitchen. Recently Marc hosted a hands-on cooking event wherein dozens of fans were tasked with manning the frying pan and making their own dinners, and while many guests were culinary novices, he guided them through the how-tos of making a successful hearty main dish. FN Dish was at this event and caught up with Marc to hear more about his take on elementary cooking, ask which go-to dish a beginner should learn and find out a few of his essential ingredients. Read on below to hear from Marc in an exclusive interview.
What’s the first dish a novice cook should learn to master?
Eggs. ‘Cause if you think about an egg, how many different ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled eggs, soft-scrambled eggs, hard-scrambled eggs, over easy, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, soft-poached, hard-boiled. It’s something that everybody has in their fridge all the time, and it’s almost like culinary school right in your refrigerator. Challenge yourself. When you figure out how to make the perfect sunny-side up, figure out how to make the perfect over easy.
by FN Dish Editor in Community, April 13th, 2014
With one swift auction and a bit of bad luck, Cutthroat Kitchen
competitors could have all of their seemingly necessary tools and food products taken away from them and replaced with inferior items. From salt and knives to the stove and pans, nothing is safe in Cutthroat Kitchen, including the chefs’ workstations. On tonight’s all-new episode, contestants bid on a game-changing sabotage in Round 2′s enchilada challenge that forces one person to abandon his or her standard setup and fashion another one using a stocked toolbox. The catch? The workspace, heat source and cooktop must be built in and confined to a shopping cart. Was this challenge taking the competition too far and asking too much of one person during a 30-minute challenge? It turns out that the answer is no, as Food Network’s culinary team vetted and approved this sabotage prior to air.
Click the play button on the video above to watch the test unfold and see how one grocery store staple became a fully equipped cook space.
by Joseph Erdos in View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
One single ingredient, peanut butter, does double duty in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: It goes into the chicken’s poaching liquid, which then gets boiled down and chilled to create the dressing for this refreshing salad hearty enough for a main dish.
For more recipes inspired by Chopped, visit Food Network’s Let’s Watch: Chopped board on Pinterest, and for even more, browse through a selection of recipes from The Chopped Cookbook.
Get the Recipe: Chilled Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad
by Sara Levine in Recipes, View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
FN Dish is counting down until the premiere of America’s Best Cook on Sunday at 9|8c. On the new show, four Food Network chefs representing the four regions of the United States mentor teams of exceptional home cooks in a competition to find America’s best cook. The winner walks away with the title and $50,000 in prize money. But which region will that winner be from? It could be North, South, East or West. The final result will be a testament to the mentor who coached the winner. Ahead of the premiere, FN Dish spoke with the show’s host, Ted Allen, to find out his take on the competition.
As the host of Chopped, Ted Allen gets to see professional chefs enter the heat of the competition, but on America’s Best Cooks, it’s all about the home cooks. Amateurs who have proven they’re the best home cooks in the nation will enter the competition for a chance to be chosen and mentored by one of four Food Network chefs. According to Ted, each team will show a different dynamic and each mentor will have a strategy — some similar, some a bit different. As the host, he has a unique point of view: He gets to see everything that happens on all four teams.
by Amy Reiter in News, April 12th, 2014
Aside from the old reliables — always-addictive chocolate matzo brittle, from-scratch coconut macaroons and flourless chocolate cake — Passover desserts are usually forgettable. Attempts at kosher-for-Passover versions of cookies and brownies never turn out very well, and those sugared jelly candies always make an appearance but remain untouched on the Seder dessert spread. Fortunately, we rounded up five decadent new desserts that are worth making whether you’re observing Passover or not.
Lemon-Coconut Matzo Jelly Roll
This flour-free, non-dairy dessert will make an impressive showing when sliced on the post-Seder dessert table. Read more
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, April 11th, 2014
Online reviews on sites like Yelp (not to mention Chowhound, Urban Spoon, Zagat, TripAdvisor and others) presumably tell us a lot about restaurants. They also tell us a lot about the people who write them, a new study concludes.
For the study, published by the peer-reviewed online journal First Monday, Stanford University linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky and his co-authors examined 900,000 online restaurant reviews using computational linguistics and “sentiment analysis” to ferret out “the meanings that are hidden in the way people use words and connotations,” Dan explained in the Stanford Report.
Banana pudding is the epitome of old-fashioned country cooking. Yet it’s based on the English dessert called trifle made of layered cake, custard and fruit, often served in a special footed glass serving dish. There are no fancy dishes used for banana pudding. The iconic banana pudding receptacle is a square-shaped Pyrex glass baking dish. Practically every “meat-and-three”-serving restaurant, old-school cafeteria and BBQ joint across the South has a shallow aluminum pan or Pyrex dish of silky banana pudding on its cold line ready to serve up. Nothing fancy, no ordeals — just easy and delicious. Read more