Tag: Melissa d’Arabian

Melissa’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Round Four

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 8th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabianby Melissa d’Arabian

You know my rules: 30 seconds to decide. Longer to write (but not much).

Appetizer basket: sour-apple martini mix, mortadella, white asparagus and fennel

I love this basket and don’t want to overthink it. The asparagus and mortadella make me think of a chopped salad and I stick to the idea. I peel the tough outer part of the asparagus and poach it in salty water, brown sugar and white wine. I get the fennel sliced up with some cubed onion and tart apple (which will bring play against the sour-apple martini mix that I plan to use in the dressing), tossed with a little olive oil and get them roasting to bring out its earthy sweetness. I fry up the mortadella and chop, making my own take on bacon bits. I chop up some greens from the pantry (arugula or watercress). I make a reduction from the apple cider vinegar and sour-apple martini mix. I assemble the salad: chop all the prepped ingredients, toss with olive oil and a bit of cider vinegar. Top with a bit of goat cheese and drizzle with the apple martini reduction.

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Melissa’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Round Three

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 31st, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian on Chopped All-Starsby Melissa d’Arabian

Last week was fun. So now I’m back, this time playing virtual Chopped 30,000 feet in the sky (I forgot my headset and how many times can I see Arbitrage anyway?), so here goes. My 30 seconds to plan starts now!

Appetizer basket: smoked eel, cream cheese spread, quince paste and haricot verts

Smoky eel, cream cheese and sweet quince all work well together, but how to get the green beans in on the act? I first think of my daughters’ favorite, “crunchy green beans,” which is a nice way of saying batter-dipped and fried. A fritto misto it is. First I’ll get the oil heating. Then I take inspiration from crab puffs and create a little dumpling out of wonton skins (I’m pretty sure they have those in the pantry, but if not, then some other kind of dough or bread rolled super thin) filled with the eel and cream cheese, a little onion and a touch of smoked paprika.

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Melissa’s Take on the Chopped Basket — Champions Round Two

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 24th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian and Ted Allenby Melissa d’Arabian

I have to admit that watching Chopped actually stresses me out so much that if I watch when it airs late in the evening, I find that I can’t sleep. My husband thinks it’s “fun” to press pause and spit out quickly what he would do if he were getting the basket. Clearly he has never been in the Chopped kitchen himself. I can’t watch Chopped without feeling like I’m the one who actually has to pull off a culinary miracle in minutes, but for you, dear readers, I will take one for the team. I will give myself 30 seconds for each round to come up with a menu. Thirty seconds; that’s it (I’m on the honor system here, I realize). Time starts — now.

Appetizer basket: Fruitcake, shad roe sack, vodka and Tokyo scallions

I imagine opening the basket on that first course and pulling out fruit cake, my mind racing to the brandy-soaked monstrosity that my mom used to make for months leading up to the holidays. (Is this the Chopped basket where all fruitcakes go to die?) My mind would be spinning in despair, but not for long because the rest of the basket has potential — shad roe sack is amazing when simply sauteed, vodka and Tokyo scallions for the most part fit into the flavor profile. Even our (fr)enemy the fruitcake can play along nicely, adding some sweetness to play off the richness of the roe sack (think seared fois gras with berry compote). The biggest challenge for me is getting the onion not to overpower the rich roe sack.

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Melissa d’Arabian’s 10 Holiday Favorites

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 14th, 2012

Melissa d'Arabian and Her FamilyWe caught up with Ten Dollar Dinners hostess, Melissa d’Arabian, to chat about her holiday plans. We asked her 10 rapid-fire questions to help us get to know her holiday personality.

For a holiday drink, eggnog, apple cider or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate! I love to serve it with homemade flavored marshmallows.

Christmas breakfast or Christmas dinner?

Dinner. I love a long dinner at the holidays, relaxing and catching up with family while the kids are playing with their presents.

Ham, beef or lamb?

Beef. There’s nothing like a perfectly done beef roast. I’ve perfected the art of cooking even an inexpensive cut of roast (the recipe’s in my cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners).

Find out if Melissa eats fruitcake

Enter for a Chance to Win an Autographed Copy of Ten Dollar Dinners

by in Books, Contests, August 14th, 2012

melissa d'arabian ten dollar dinners cookbookMelissa d’Arabian can now add another title to her long list of accomplishments: cookbook author. Her first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners, is officially available today and it’s packed with fresh meals — more specifically, 140 mouthwatering recipes, like Caprese Tartlets, Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup, Grilled Two-Cheese Burgers and a Classic Apple Tart, for any night of the week.

She also includes tips to save you time and money like using leftover wine (see photo below, too). According to Melissa, “If you have a little leftover wine in a bottle, fill an ice cube tray half-full with wine and then freeze (don’t fill it all the way, it won’t freeze). The next time you need to deglaze a pan or make a quick pan sauce, toss in a few cubes for an extra layer of flavor that didn’t cost you an extra dime.”

 

You can order a copy right now, but we’d like to give you a chance to win one that Melissa has autographed. All you have to do is comment on this post by telling us which one of Melissa d’Arabian’s recipes is your favorite and why. We’re giving away five signed copies of her cookbook to randomly selected and very lucky commenters.

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Chat With Food Network Super Chefs Melissa d’Arabian and Robert Irvine

by in Community, August 12th, 2012

melissa d'arabian robert irvine facebook chat
We have a star-studded cast available to answer your questions this week on Food Network’s Facebook page.

Join us Monday at 3:30pm EST on the Food Network Facebook page to chat with past Food Network Star winner Melissa d’Arabian about the release of her first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners.

And on Tuesday we’ll be hosting a chat with Robert Irvine on the Food Network Facebook page to talk about the 50th Restaurant: Impossible episode, which will premiere August 22 at 9p/8c. We’ll also be chatting about Wedding: Impossible, a special presentation that airs Saturday August 18 at 10p/11c and features Robert’s wedding to professional wrestler Gail Kim.

Mark your calendars and get your questions ready for Melissa and Robert.

Melissa d’Arabian Dishes on her First Cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners

by in Books, Food Network Chef, July 31st, 2012

melissa d'arabian ten dollar dinners cookbook
In just two weeks, Melissa d’Arabian’s first cookbook will officially be available — Ten Dollar Dinners the book is packed with tips to elevate simple, fresh meals any night of the week along with 140 mouthwatering recipes. We caught up with Melissa on the set of her show to talk about what makes her book stand out, several key takeaways and the home cook’s best friend — the pantry.

Towards the beginning of the book, you talk about strategies for saving and list your top 10 commandments of Ten Dollar Dinners. If you had to pick just three strategies for saving money, what would they be?

1. Incorporate bean night once a week: Contrary to the title, that doesn’t mean just beans, it’s any sort of inexpensive protein. If you have a few recipes in your pocket that you know are very inexpensive and are driven by an inexpensive protein you will automatically see savings in your grocery bill every month. Think about beans, eggs, pizza or a meatless meal.

2. Try clear-the-pantry week: This is a week when you really don’t buy any other groceries — you dig into your pantry and you really try to stick to the food you already have. You’d be amazed what you can get away with. It’s a great opportunity to see what you have lurking in the pantry — and who doesn’t have frozen meats tucked away in the freezer? Let’s face it, if you don’t use it, it’s going to go bad and that’s wasting money.

Find out what Melissa uses the most in her pantry

Chopped: Food Network Star Edition

by in Shows, July 22nd, 2012

chopped food network star edition
Before tuning into the much-anticipated finale of Food Network Star tonight at 9/8c to find out which contestant — Ivan, Michele, Martie or Justin — will finally have their culinary dreams realized, watch a special episode of Chopped airing at 8/7c. Watch as past FN Star winners Jeff Mauro, Melissa d’Arabian, Aarti Sequeira and Amy Finley face the dreaded chopping block, judged by this year’s Star mentors Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown. With unusual ingredients, you can certainly expect the unexpected from this showdown.

While Aarti has competed on Chopped once before, this will be Melissa’s and Jeff’s first time each on the show. “Food Network Star was still pretty fresh in my mind and I was anxious about doing another food competition,” Jeff says of being a contestant on Chopped. Jeff and Melissa both agree their first experience on the show was extremely stressful. “No matter who you’re up against in the Chopped kitchen, chances are you’re most likely battling yourself,” Jeff says. “We had a ton of fun and laughs during the process, though!” Aarti says that being on Chopped once before helped shape her mentality going into the show the second time around: “The last time I competed on Chopped, frankly I was so terrified of the whole thing that I couldn’t focus! This time, I decided to leave my ego at the door.”

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New French Favorites for Bastille Day

by in Recipes, July 13th, 2012

zucchini gratin
This Saturday marks France’s answer to the Fourth of July, Bastille Day. If you can’t make it to Paris to catch the fireworks over the Seine, unleash your inner Francophile at home with a French-inspired feast. Some of our favorite classics — like cheesy onion soup and rich beef bourguignon — don’t exactly lend themselves to balmy July temperatures, but our Food Network stars have plenty of summer-appropriate recipes with French flair.

Ina Garten, who has an apartment in Paris, loves to put her own spin on the dishes she enjoys there, like this Zucchini Gratin from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook. Melissa d’Arabian, whose husband is French, creates lots of recipes inspired by France that always have her no-fuss, affordable touch. Bobby Flay trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, so even though he’s the king of all-American burgers and anything grilled, many of his recipes are rooted in France.

Mix and match some of their French-inspired favorites

Melissa Gets Nostalgic in Her New Season, Welcomes Her First Guests

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 12th, 2012

melissa d'Arabian
Melissa d’Arabian is returning this Sunday to Food Network with an all-new season of Ten Dollar Dinners, and her fans are in for a treat. We sat down with the queen of creative, budget-friendly eats to talk about the new season, her first guests and even a couple of little-known facts about herself.

What are you looking forward to the most with this new season?

MD: Ten Dollar Dinners has become sort of an accidental diary of my life. I prepare six months in advance for every season I tape and since I don’t see them until they air, they become a snapshot of my life.

This season was really inspired by my childhood — the time I spent in Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California Since moving back to San Diego last year, I think it’s reawakened that part of my life. It’s a celebration of my childhood and the memories that were created around food. For example, this season I make homemade tortillas, arroz con pollo and empanadas, which we made all the time when I was growing up. There will always be a part of me on the plate this season.

I can honestly say this season was the most fun to shoot. Even though it was hard work, it was so gratifying.

Little-known facts about Melissa