Tag: test kitchen

FN’s Secretary Confidential Returns

by in View All Posts, November 21st, 2008

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies -- Paula DeenToday I headed to the kitchens for a legitimate reason this time (not scrounging for leftovers). I was asked to coordinate a little soiree. The reason? We’re celebrating the launch of our new UK Food site!

Whenever I head to the 6th floor (test kitchens and studios) I wonder if I’ll bump into any FN faves. On recent treks, I’ve spied Rachael and hubby, Bobby (he was in all black — very New York), Guy — sporting his signature sunglasses (yes, inside) and Anne Burrell as well. Of course, the best part of any 6th-floor adventure is Clarence, the security guard. He’s a gem who always has a smile ready for me.

Chef Bleifer and I went over options for hors d’oeuvres and drinks. His plan is to incorporate tasty recipes from the new site — synergy! On the menu: prosciutto-wrapped scallops (yum), thai chicken style skewers (double yum) and a blini with smoked salmon (curious). The delicious smells emanating from the kitchens got the best of me.

“What are they cooking?” I excitedly asked. Chef Bleifer encouraged me to take a peek. Sarah Copeland, head of recipe testing (title is actually “recipe developer”) , and team were busy testing for the FN Magazine’s spring issue. They told me I can’t reveal the test recipes, but here’s a hint: think iconic ballpark or carnival food. I didn’t get a taste, but if looks and smells could kill, no doubt the mag will be slaying your appetites come spring. That said, what are you favorite FN Magazine recipes? I’m voting on the Loaded Oatmeal Cookies — to quote my gal Rachael, YUM-O!

~ Secretary Confidential

FN Magazine — Toast of the Office

by in View All Posts, October 24th, 2008


Contrary to popular belief, FN staffers are not treated to mind-blowing tastings and delicious snack breaks daily. We pack lunches or grab take-out like everyone else. However, special occasions sneak up on us and when they do, they are not to be missed.

Food Network recently launched its brand-new magazine (which makes me insanely hungry every time I thumb through it). To celebrate, our test kitchen chefs served up one feature called 50 Toast Toppers. It’s my guess that our diligent cooks actually tackled all 50 but I lost count somewhere around 27.

The spread was bountiful and impressive which triggered a somewhat embarrassing stomach growl when I walked in. The base for each app was a baked round of French bread, brushed with creamy salted butter. Atop each was a tiny explosion of flavor, whether a bite of gorgonzola, fig jam and prosciutto or hummus with olive tapenade. Sweet and savory made appearances as the team served up tender blue crab with wasabi mayo, an addictive Nutella with tangy orange marmalade and butter-sautéed apples with thinly-sliced ham. The formula was only broken with bite-sized versions of Tyler’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie. (the dessert featured on the cover). Silky. Sweet. Tart. Crunchy. YUM!

The spread looked complex for a beginner cook like myself. However, a chef confided to me that prep was actually simple. Apparently, I could knock out these toast toppers without issue (or fire alarm). With the holidays around the corner, I’m looking for easy.

Better yet, they are all featured in a pull-out booklet that can live with your cookbooks. Get details on the new FN magazine here.

And don’t miss when Bruce sits down with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Maile Carpenter, on Monday.