Sam Kass, a White House chef and Michelle Obama’s adviser for her Let’s Move! program, says that the White House is always stocked with fruit in case Sasha or Malia needs a bite. But Sam knows that kids don’t always come home from school begging fora healthy snack, so he offered up these smart swaps for some favorite after-school treats.
Instead of a candy bar, drizzle chocolate on pretzels or apples (pictured left).
Chop 1/2 pound dark chocolate. Microwave three quarters of the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring, until mostly melted. Stir in the remaining chocolate until smooth. Drizzle over mini pretzels or apple slices and let harden.
“There is no substitution for chocolate!” Sam says. “The key is moderation.”
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It’s a sunny Thursday in May at the Charles Krug winery in St. Helena, Calif., and Guy Fieri is giving Robert Irvine a shoulder massage.
In a few minutes, Robert will be marrying his girlfriend of three years, professional wrestler Gail Kim, and Guy, one of Robert’s best men, is giving the usually unshakable Restaurant: Impossible host a rubdown to calm his nerves. Just a half hour earlier, Robert was singing a different tune: “I feel the calmest I’ve ever been. I haven’t screamed, not once,” he said as he looked over the grounds where the cocktail hour and reception would take place. This whole wedding is his brainchild — conceived, planned and executed with the same military efficiency Robert brings to the massive two-day restaurant overhauls on his show. But today it won’t be a restaurateur who is dazzled by his work; it will be Gail. Robert has kept her in the dark about the details of the party, including the main event: the food.
“No one goes in there until I say it’s OK!” Robert barks, pointing to the venue. (So much for not screaming.) Satisfied with how everything looks, he throws back a beer in five gulps and keeps moving; the ceremony is about to start.
With Guy at his side, Robert beams as his daughters, Annalise, 15, and Talia, 11, read poems to the crowd, then he lets out an audible sigh of relief when Guy produces the ring and he exchanges vows with Gail.
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If you need to use up all of that basil from the garden, make basil-flavored salt: Pulse ½ cup kosher salt and ½ cup packed basil leaves in a food processor, then spread on a baking sheet and bake at 225 degrees F until dry, 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through. Let cool and pulse again to make a fine powder. Serve it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella at a cookout, or package it to give to the neighbors.
(Photograph by Sam Kaplan)
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
To get fluffy, evenly cooked rice, ignore it for 5 to 10 minutes after it’s done cooking and keep the lid on while it sits. (Do not stir.) The rice will continue absorbing moisture from the steam in the pot even after all of the water is gone. If the rice is still a tad undercooked after resting, sprinkle it with hot tap water, cover and set aside until the water is absorbed.
The T-bone pork chop is the perfect cut for grilling. Also called the “center cut” or “pork loin chop,” it’s immediately recognizable by the T-shaped bone running through it — much like the beefsteak of the same name. It’s mostly juicy loin meat, with a little bit of lean but tender tenderloin meat, and a nice amount of fat to impart lots of moisture and flavor. But the most important component is the bone itself, which does a lot to keep the chop from drying out as it cooks.
When you brine these chops, you end up with an even juicier cut. The chops in Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Pork Chops With Plum Ginger Chutney (pictured above) are brined in a mixture of water, sugar, salt, gin, vermouth and various spices. The botanical flavors of the booze really complement both the pork and the plum chutney. For your next barbecue, leave the boneless cuts at the store and try the T-bone instead. We promise you’ll be licking your chops.
Try our Farmers’ Market Menu
Most of the sweet cherries grown in the United States are this large wine-colored variety. Their intense flavor and firm, crisp texture make them the ultimate all-purpose cherry, great for snacking or baking. They’re usually available from May to August.
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Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include bite-sized cakes (winning name: “Swirly Temples”), crab-stuffed mushrooms (“Surf ‘N Earth”) and even an egg tart (“Breakfast in Bread”). In the June 2012 issue, we asked you to dream up names for this hot dog sandwich (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:
Pigs in a Bunk Bed
New Wilmington, Pa.
More favorites and the winner announced
Sliced bread is the measure against which we judge all the best things in life because without it we wouldn’t have one of the most ingenious food inventions of all time: the sandwich. Starting six months ago, we scoured America for the country’s most delicious sandwiches and we learned two things: One, you can put pretty much anything between two slices of bread, and two, almost everything tastes better that way. We considered sandwiches of all kinds — hot, cold, round, square, tall, pressed, wrapped, meaty, cheesy — and narrowed down our list of favorites to the single must-try sandwich in each state. Catch some of the best on Cooking Channel August 19 at 8pm, then get out there and try them!
Find your state’s sandwich: 50 States, 50 Sandwiches
The Great American Sandwich Poll results are in
Each month, Food Network Kitchens chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Dreaming up gelatin desserts for the July/August issue proved no easy feat: We wanted the bites to be fresh and elegant, yet whimsical and maybe a tiny bit kitschy (a concept we jokingly referred to as “jell-egance”).
The gelatin squares on page 90 of the July/August issue have a sleek modernist edge, but they originally started as a kid-friendly trompe l’oeil dessert (pictured above). We used the rind of a sugar baby and mini chocolate chips to give them their fun watermelon look.
Re-create it at home by pouring and setting the watermelon gelatin mixture in the hollowed-out half of a sugar baby watermelon. Make sure it’s completely set before cutting it, then apply the chocolate chips just before serving so they don’t turn to mush.
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Hot Tips from Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
To check a steak for doneness, insert a thermometer into the side, not the top. Aim the tip of the thermometer toward the center of the meat: You’ll get a more precise reading there than from the hotter areas near the surface. Move the steak to the edge of the grill before taking the temperature to prevent overcooking.
(Photograph by Antonis Achilleos)