Every Thursday in this spot, FoodNetworkFans.com will give you the latest dish about chefs on the web.
This week: Bite into Food Network chefs’ best burgers, Iron Chefs battle for a James Beard Award and Tyler Florence’s new restaurant.
Young at heart, or just too cool for school? The cool kids will be on the small screen at the Oscars this weekend. In a Best Picture field crowded with serious films and old-school subjects, two movies stand out for their youthful appeal: The Social Network and Toy Story 3.
All week The Dish is offering winning menus and recipes tailored to the nominees for Best Picture. Today, the tale of a brainy techno-whizkid’s creation of Facebook is food-fighting with the classic toys adventuring as their kid heads off to college.
So, WWMZE? What might Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg eat to celebrate (or not) if The Social Network wins best picture at this weekend’s awards? WWBLE? What might Buzz Lightyear sit down and enjoy if Toy Story 3 rockets to the winner’s podium (and if he weren’t an animated character)? Consider this a friendly foodie faceoff–which of their food picks wins?
You know the drill: New year, new you. But why go to extremes in January, then leave your goals in the dust before Valentine’s Day? This year, make small changes instead of over-the-top resolutions to stay healthy all year long. We chatted with Bobby Flay about how he changed his habits to lose weight and feel better. Get his start-the-year-right advice, then check back here and on our Healthy Eats blog for new tips every Wednesday.
Why did you decide to change your eating habits?
I just felt like I could be in better shape. While I wasn’t overweight, I felt like I needed to get my body back into shape and to be healthier. I knew that when I had been healthier in the past, I felt better about myself and about my day-to-day. It helped my day-to-day happiness.
How did you accomplish your fitness goals?
A couple ways. Hard work at the gym, and on the road, so to speak, you know, running. And then just making some smart choices when it came to eating. They’re both important and you need to do both. Anybody will tell you the same thing, to exercise and eat well. It sounds like a cliche, but if everybody did that, we’d have a much healthier country.
What’s your personal philosophy on healthy eating?
It’s more about what not to do as opposed to what to do. Here’s what I do from day to day:
What are some techniques and tips for making healthy meals that are full of flavor?
You know, fat is always tasty. Cream, butter, all of that tastes good. So without those ingredients, you have to use great sources of flavor. I use a lot of chipotles, a lot of Mediterranean ingredients, fresh herbs, dried spices, and savory things like onions and garlic that have lots of flavor but very little fat. See Bobby’s top-5 healthy ingredients >>
For hundreds more healthy appetizers, weeknight meals, desserts and healthy tips from Bobby, Giada, Alton and more, visit FoodNetwork.com/Health.
Thanksgiving is — count ‘em — only 7 days away! Every day from now until then, we’re sharing our favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes. Sweet potatoes may have been absent from the first Thanksgiving, but since then they’ve established their place on the Thanksgiving table next to green bean casserole, stuffing and/or dressing and mashed potatoes.
Traditional sweet potato casserole and honey-baked yams are great, but this year I’m adding a twist (or, rather, a kick) to the table with Bobby’s spicy scalloped potatoes. To make, just layer thinly-sliced sweet potatoes (a mandolin works wonders here) with chipotle-spiked cream and bake until tender and crisp on top. Bonus: This dish serves beautifully and travels well, so it’s ideal for a Thanksgiving potluck.
TELL US: Are you going traditional or with-a-twist for this year’s feast?
For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving
This year’s New York City Wine and Food Festival’s burger battle was a massive face-off featuring over 20 chefs in an old warehouse in Brooklyn, with Bobby Flay’s nacho-style burger taking the people’s choice award. (If you’re inspired, browse our collection of Bobby’s best burger recipes.)
We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.
Mild poblano peppers are the star of this Mexican food favorite, chiles rellenos. The peppers (look for darker colored poblanos for the richest flavor) are stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg and fried until the cheese is melted and the outside is crisp. They’re a fiesta on a plate, especially when paired with a fresh, tomato-based sauce like the Food Network Magazine version above.
Run with the ball, because even if you aren’t a soccer fan, you can’t avoid World Cup fever. Go team USA! When Landon Donovan scored in the final minute against Algeria this past week, the overwhelming vuvuzelas never sounded so sweet. Can you say GOOOOOOOOOAL?!
When you tune in to the USA vs Ghana game Saturday have fast summer-stunner eats on hand. Each takes less than 20 minutes to prep; I’d suggest keeping your appetizers simple and fun so as not to distract from the screaming, high-fiving and even fist pumping.
To increase Team USA’s odds welcome your guests with Rachael’s Lucky 7 Layer Dip or one of Food Network’s other crowd-winning dips. Party it up with Giada’s Prosciutto-Wrapped Crudite for a mix of fresh summer veggies. And go for the goal with Bobby’s Grilled Flatbread with Asparagus Pesto! You can always rely on your guests to bring a classic six-pack but in case you want to up the World Cup ante let them wash everything down with Ina’s luscious Long Island Iced Tea.
Do you know what Sunday night is? Come on, we’ve been promoting it like crazy! In case you’ve been living inside a bubble, Sunday night at 9pm/8c is the two-hour season premiere of the best competition show on television – the one, the only – The Next Food Network Star. No, I’m not just saying that because I work for FN, I honestly feel it’s the best. Where else does a foodie have the opportunity to become a national celebrity, have access to build their own brand and all the while do what they love – cook? The concept of the show is amazing!
The peeps who have made it to this season’s competition have a passion for food. And, of course, we dig that! Now, sure, not all of them have the defined culinary skills, point of view or TV presence to win a show on the network, but our judges (Bobby, Susie and Bob) would never question their passion for food itself. The judges just need to find that one person with a little “sparkle” to go along with that passion (i.e., Guy Fieri).
Have you checked out who the 12 finalists are this season? Have you read their bios, watched their videos? Seriously, you must! You need to see what true characters these people are. Char-ac-ters, I say! Once you read and watch, let us know what you think! Write us here, tell us on Facebook, or chat with us – yes, chat!
On Sunday (and every week after that), we will be hosting a live chat during the Star broadcast. So before you settle in on the sofa to watch the show, grab your laptop! We’ll be starting at 9pm/8c at FoodNetwork.com/Star. It will be a weekly date, so don’t stand us up.
The heat is always on in the Ultimate Recipe Showdown kitchens, but it got even hotter this week with the Hot & Spicy competition. The contestants’ fiery flavors spanned the globe, from Thai chicken soup to Indonesian salad to Mexican tacos.
Once again, we sat down with Katherine Alford, VP of Food Network Test Kitchen and veteran URS judge, to get her tips on cooking (and eating) spicy foods.
FN Dish: Is a dish ever “too spicy” for you? Were you worried at all that one of the contestants might overdo the heat in this round?
Katherine Alford: Yes, a dish can be too spicy, if it’s hot just for the sake of being hot and taking your head off. The best spicy food has more than just incendiary heat. Even dishes that use habaneros, the hottest chile, should be balanced to play up its fruity quality. A good hot and spicy dish should have enough going on so that the heat is part of a larger taste.
FN Dish: The dishes in this round represented many diverse cuisines. What are some of the best international cuisines for spicy food lovers to experiment with?
KA: Of course the first that comes to mind is Mexican, as well as a wide range of Asian cuisines such as Szechuan, Vietnamese and Thai, Indian…or Indonesian like our runner-up. But what is interesting is that spices and chiles can be found in many cuisines…one of my favorite peppers is the Aleppo pepper that is used in Turkish and Lebanese food. It’s smoky, almost meaty, and it packs a punch.
Try Bobby Flay’s recipe for Tuna Crusted with Aleppo Peppers.
Burgers, beaches, bubbly, BBQ, Bobby Flay—what more could you want in a weekend? All of the Food Network stars came out for the 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and we caught some of them on camera during the whirlwind of parties, seminars and grand tastings.
Check out our favorite video highlights from the festivities as recorded by FN ClipChick.