by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, In Season, March 20th, 2014
by Cameron Curtis in How-to, March 20th, 2014
Spring is here. I’ll admit that when I lived in colder climates such as Vermont or Paris, the arrival of spring was more anticipated (“When can I put my boots away?!”). I remember in Burlington, Vt., we had the tradition of breaking out our swimsuits on the first day that it hit 50 degrees F, a temperature that would have me snuggling up to the fireplace now. Even in San Diego, I’m excited about spring for two reasons. First, my daughters’ spring break is around the corner, and we are hunkering down for a family staycation here in San Diego (all the family time and fun, none of the stress of travel!). And the second reason I’m eager for the end of winter is — traditional spring food! Yes, I know these days we can get many ingredients year round, but they are lackluster compared to their in-season versions. Quite simply, there are certain flavors that are just better in that magical shoulder season between winter and summer.
Here’s my ideal springtime menu, featuring seasonal ingredients that you can get at any supermarket right now:
Asparagus: I’ll start here because it’s perhaps the quintessential spring vegetable, with its tender stalk and earthy flavor. While you can get asparagus many months of the year, the flavor (and the cost!) both tell you that spring is the time to indulge. I buy several bunches a week in peak season. My methods of cooking asparagus are almost exclusively roasting or grilling: a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and about 10 minutes in a hot oven (or seven minutes on a hot grill) is all it takes to bring out the natural sweetness and earthiness. Roasted asparagus can be served hot, at room temperature or cold (toss it with a tangy mustard vinaigrette for a fresh spring salad as in my Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette). Or cook for even less time to make a fresh soup (try my Almost-Raw Asparagus Soup with Yogurt and Almonds — it couldn’t be easier to serve spring in a bowl).
by Amy Reiter in News, March 20th, 2014
With the new season just beginning it’s time to start thinking about spring-cleaning, your kitchen included. Getting organized means less time spent searching through your cabinets for key utensils or ingredients. That means less time in the kitchen overall when you need to get dinner on the table on a busy weeknight. From spices to baking tools, Vivian Jao put together her top tips for getting the most out of your space.
1. Your Pantry
Make meal planning easier with a well-organized pantry. Assign designated areas for different kinds of food, like baked goods, breakfast items, boxed goods and canned goods. Label these areas or shelves as a reminder for when you’re unpacking groceries. Designate a section for quick-cooking meals, like mac and cheese or canned soup, for when you just need to grab something in a pinch.
by Allison Milam in Recipes, March 20th, 2014
Trend Watch (for Cooks with Deep Pockets): What’s the the newest ‘it’ ingredient among discerning New York City chefs? Ramp seeds (“not the fawned-over leaves or bulbs”), according to Food Arts, which describes them as “tiny, with a pungent punch and an equally sock-it-to-me price tag.” Often preserved using salt or vinegar, the caper-like green seeds have a taste that evokes garlic and onion, and they are being used to add punch to dishes. One chef calls them “tiny flavor bombs.” But even extravagant chefs are sprinkling them sparingly: Labor intensive to harvest, ramp seeds cost about $120 per pound. [Food Arts]
Spare Your Schnoz: To tell if your milk has spoiled, you probably subject it to the sniff test — which really means subjecting yourself to the sniff test, but is still better than skipping directly to the taste test. (Yuck — yet expiration dates are not always reliable freshness indicators.) Now you can spare your senses such unpleasantness. Chinese scientists have come up with “smart tags” — small, gelatinous squares — you can stick on containers that change colors to indicate when the food in them has gone bad. [CBS News]
by Maria Russo in Shows, March 20th, 2014
With an acronym that works more like a pet name, the PB element of the classic PB&J gets us through any kind of day, from the years on the playground to a hurried office lunch. But the infamous sandwich is just a jumping-off point for this beloved condiment. With its buttery consistency, it also has no problem melting away into our favorite desserts, giving everything it meets an intense nuttiness that nothing else could pull off. Grab your favorite jar — or churn out your own Homemade Peanut Butter (it’s easier than you’d think!) — and run with these endless peanut butter combinations.
1. PB & Jelly: This heck of a pairing is worthy of so much more than white bread. Ina’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars bake the fruity and nutty spreads together into crumb-topped treats, while creamy Miniature Peanut Butter and Jelly Pies come with a graham cracker crust.
2. PB & Chocolate: This classic combo comes wrapped up in candy bars so often for a reason. Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies are the second easiest way to get your fix.
3. PB & Cereal: It’s not just the kiddos who are beggin’ for a little peanut butter in their breakfasts. Whip up gooey Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats later in the day instead.
by Maria Russo in Shows, March 19th, 2014
Whether they’ve won or lost on Cutthroat Kitchen, many competitors would likely agree that one turn at the contest is enough, as it’s too fierce and downright evilicious to attempt again. For four determined chefs, however, one Cutthroat cook-off isn’t enough.
Chefs Brian, Charles, Frankie and Gwen, all winners from past appearances on the show, are returning to battle this Sunday on an all-new special episode, airing at 10|9c. The rules of the game are the same, but the competition will surely be steeper, as the most-skilled sabotagers are gathering to take on each other in a no-holds-barred competition. Ultimately three of these previous winners will be forced to forfeit their perfect records, and only one will earn the title of two-time Cutthroat conqueror.
Prepare for the upcoming event by reliving Chef Brian’s, Chef Charles’, Chef Frankie’s and Chef Gwen’s best moments in battle, then tell FN Dish in the poll below who you want to win a second time this weekend.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, March 19th, 2014
Inferior food was just one of the problems Robert Irvine was forced to contend with when he arrived at Pasión Latin Fusion in Albuquerque, N.M. Owners Monica and Elvis Bencomo were faced with financial struggles and family conflict, and they needed Restaurant: Impossible to improve their issues if Pasión was to have any chance at future success. With just two days to work and a budget of only $10,000, Robert transformed the interior of the Latin-inspired eatery, overhauled the menu and eased strained personal relationships to ultimately relaunch the business. Read on below to hear from Monica in an exclusive interview and find out how Pasión is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible reopening.
Since Robert left, Monica says, “Sales are definitely up by about 40 percent compared to January 2013 and 30 percent from December 2013.” She adds that “according to our servers, about one in five customers are new.”
by Food Network Magazine in Food Network Magazine, March 19th, 2014
When Season 5 of Worst Cooks in America began, 14 culinary klutzes entered Boot Camp; each contestant had the hope of making it to the end, to win $25,000 and at the same time gain bragging rights for their mentor Anne or Bobby. The finale is less than one week away. Two recruits have risen to the top, proving that it is possible to start at the bottom and work one’s way up. Through countless Skill Drills and Main Dish challenges, they’ve shown resilience to nearly anything Chefs Anne and Bobby could throw at them, from milking cows for making fresh mozzarella to tackling very much alive lobsters. Now it’s time for you, the fans, to show support for your favorite team.
by Amy Reiter in News, March 19th, 2014
Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include a steak sandwich (“Kraut Pleaser“), savory muffins (“Thyme Savors“) and a Santa ice cream treat (“Brrrr Humbug!“). In the January/February 2014 issue, we asked readers to dream up names for this rolled crepe (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:
Choc ‘n Roll
Front Royal, Va.
League City, Texas
by Maria Russo in In Season, Recipes, March 19th, 2014
The nominations for 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards — the food industry’s version of the Oscars — were announced Tuesday in Chicago. The awards honor excellence among chefs and restaurateurs, cookbook authors, food journalists, broadcast and media producers and personalities, restaurant designers, architects and other culinary professionals. Winners will be named in a ceremony in New York City in early May.
Food Network’s own Ina Garten was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Broadcast and New Media Award in the category of Outstanding Personality/Host for Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. The other nominees in that category are Sara Moulton, host of Sara’s Weeknight Meals on PBS, and Andrea Robinson for The 30-Minute Wine Whiz on Andreawine.com.
Heartland Table, hosted by chef and connoisseur of all things Midwestern Amy Thielen, was nominated in the Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location, category, alongside Lidia’s Kitchen and Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, both of which air on PBS.
Amy was represented in another category as well. Her cookbook, The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes (Random House), was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award in the American Cooking category. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes (Ten Speed Press), and John Currence’s Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some (Andrews McMeel Publishing) are the other nominees in that category.
Click here for the full list of nominees. Our deepest congratulations to Ina, Amy and all!
Tomorrow marks the first day of spring, and just as you may be getting ready to transition your wardrobe from heavy snow coats to light jackets, so, too, are you likely longing for a change in everyday meals. Gone are the cravings for warming stews and comforting casseroles; it’s all about bright, fresh flavors that make the most out of this brand-new time of year. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for the season below, and celebrate the first days of spring with an abundance of crisp vegetables and juicy fruits of all colors.
5. Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables — With this all-in-one supper of juicy chicken, hearty potatoes, and colorful carrots and radishes, you no longer have to prepare separate protein, starch and vegetable components to offer a complete meal.
4. Green Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette — Consider Rachael’s fuss-free recipe the ultimate go-to salad, as it requires just a few minutes to assemble the lettuce with fresh berries and a tangy dressing.