by Guest Blogger in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 24th, 2013
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 14th, 2012
by 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.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, August 14th, 2012
We 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
by Mallory Viscardi in Community, August 12th, 2012
Melissa 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.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Food Network Chef, July 31st, 2012
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.
by Priya Krishna in Shows, July 22nd, 2012
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
by Sara Levine in Recipes, July 13th, 2012
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.”
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 12th, 2012
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
by Marisa McClellan in View All Posts, March 2nd, 2012
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
by Maria Russo in Holidays, December 4th, 2011
During my childhood years in Southern California, Mexican food was something we ate only at restaurants. Sure, we’d occasionally have burrito night at home, but there was nothing authentic or traditional about those overstuffed and rolled tortillas.
It wasn’t until I moved to Philadelphia and became friends with a woman who had lived in Mexico until the age of 14 that I discovered how truly approachable this cuisine was. Thanks to Angie, I learned to make authentic tamales and carne asada. She even shared her grandmother’s recipe for mole with me.
In recent days, it’s been harder to find a chance to get into the kitchen with Angie. She has twin toddlers and so keeping them out of trouble is her primary focus. Still, I want to keep nurturing my still-nascent Mexican cookery skills, so last weekend I went in search of a new recipe to try.
What I found was Melissa d’Arabian’s version of Chiles Rellenos. Though labor intensive, this dish was a huge winner in terms of flavor. It was just the thing for a lazy Sunday meal and The Weekender.
Before you start broiling your peppers, read these tips »
It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.
The best part about sandwich cookies is that you get double the cookie in each bite. Melissa nestles a cool mint-butter filling between two tangy cream cheese-based sugar cookies and dusts them with fine colored sugar. Bake up the tiny pieces of dough left over from the window cutouts — they made an ideal quick sweet snack.
Get Melissa’s Delicate Mint Sandwich Holiday Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.