The Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, was the guest judge for this week’s episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. And, of course, our contestants had to win him over with amazing sandwiches during the first round. We were so sad to see Sabrina go home with her first attempt ever at a croque monsieur sandwich — but so impressed that she took a chance! If you’re like Sabrina, and never made this classic French sandwich, then here’s a little 101.
Tag: food network kitchen
We were so happy that none of the kids on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off were sent home this week! They all did a stellar job, especially during the immunity round when each competitor had to cook a dish with one of his or her parent’s least favorite ingredients. Juliana was stuck with sardines — her dad’s worst nightmare. She did an amazing job, lightly frying them, and completely converted him into a lover of these oily little fish.
So many of us in Food Network Kitchen love sardines — fresh or canned in olive oil. And we’re sad that they have a bad reputation, because they’re delicious, inexpensive and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. And because sardines are low on the aquatic food chain, you don’t have to worry about mercury levels.
On a warm afternoon a few days back, the Food Network culinary team took the F train to the banks of the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn’s very own Superfund site, for a private tour of Gotham Greens’ third New York sustainable farm. “Don’t touch the greens,” Nicole Baum, Gotham’s marketing and partnerships manager, tells us on the way up to the roof. This is a rare event — to keep the facility sterile, the farm is closed to the public.
It’s hard not to rub a leaf or two between our fingers as we wander through rows of spiky lettuces and purple baby kale. We can smell the basil as we walk toward the herbs; Nicole says that during the daily morning harvest, the whole roof fills with the smell as workers snip and pack it to sell in the store below. That’s hyperlocal distribution, and it keeps GG’s carbon footprint to a minimum. (And allowed Gotham to deliver locally when Hurricane Sandy shut down most access to the city.)
The new school year is in full swing, and to match that brand-new backpack and those shiny unused school supplies, you want to start your lunch game strong. These lunchbox combos from Food Network Kitchen are so easy to make and pack that you won’t tire of them by October — and neither will the kids. Each includes a fun main recipe, plus all the tasty extras to round out a complete, balanced lunch. Warning: Lunch-packing parents may want to assemble an extra box for themselves, and we fully approve! Read more
In this week’s Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off immunity challenge, the remaining contestants could use only five ingredients (not counting salt) to make a sauce for a pasta dish. This is no easy task, but the kids did a great job, especially Scarlett, who won with her earthy mushroom pasta.
But there’s one secret (and free) ingredient we didn’t see in any of the dishes and that’s the pasta cooking water! Just a little of this starchy and salty water can be a real lifesaver. Cooked noodles tend to suck up a ton of sauce, leaving pasta dishes dry. A splash of this magic water can help loosen the sauce up, plus add plenty of body (thanks to the starch) and seasoning, if you salted your water (which we suggest you do). We’ve saved literally hundreds of gloopy pasta dishes in our test kitchen with pasta water — it works like a charm!
We met our eight kid contestants from Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off this week, and the competition is sure to be fun and fierce. Who else was blown away by the contestants’ cooking skills and understanding of flavor pairings? They cooked with ingredients we never expected, like scallops, mussels and smoked salmon.
We loved Olivia’s sweet heart-shaped one-bite creation, and we were super-impressed with her last-minute sweet-to-savory shift. It’s amazing how changing an ordinary food into a fun shape can totally inspire kids (and some adults) to retry a once-refused dish. Or it can just make an old favorite even more fun to eat!
By Aaron Hutcherson
The third annual New York International Olive Oil Competition took place this month, where a panel of 15 expert tasters spent three days evaluating nearly 700 different olive oils.
Seven hundred olive oils? Yes. A lot of variations exist in the world of oil. The first kind that likely comes to mind is “extra virgin,” which signifies more nutrients, less refinement and a more nuanced flavor. Many experts liken olive oil to wine in terms of its breadth of flavor. Olive oil can range from sweet to bitter or smooth to astringent, and it can have any combination of floral, fruity or grassy notes.
Here are a few things I learned at the competition that will help you shop for, store and cook smarter with oil:
By Aaron Hutcherson
We as a team couldn’t be happier that we’ve taken steps toward making the Food Network Kitchen more eco-friendly! Last week, we welcomed Haven Fricano from EcoLogic Solutions, who announced, along with sous chef Miriam Garron, that we were ditching most of our old cleaning agents in favor of EcoLogic’s all-natural products made of ingredients such as corn, salt, citrus, sugar cane and aloe. The decision was made after a months-long search process to find products that would be better for the health of both our employees and the environment. We’ve been making small changes for the last few years — most recently switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs in our pantry and using rubber mats in lieu of disposable paper towels to keep our cutting boards from sliding around — but this is a big change for us.
Not only are the new cleaning agents themselves better for the environment, but some also cut down on plastic waste, since they’re diluted onsite and placed in refillable bottles. The majority of typical store-bought spray cleaners are mostly composed of water, so you’re paying for water and also wasting fuel having that water shipped around the country. A 1-gallon bottle of EcoLogic’s concentrated degreaser replaces more than 2,000 standard 32-ounce spray bottles — that’s a whole lot of saved plastic and water we’re not shipping around! EcoLogic’s offices and production facilities are also headquartered in New York City, so it’s a short commute to us, meaning much less fuel used for transportation.
If you’re like some of us in Food Network Kitchen, then competition shows make your heart race right along with the contestants! That was the case this past Sunday, during the third episode of All-Star Academy, when Alex Guarnaschelli’s and Bobby Flay’s teams went head-to-head in a sweet-turns-savory cook-off. Who else wanted to hide behind a couch cushion when Ted Allen revealed the elimination challenge was cooking with marshmallows in a savory dish? Read more