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  • American Star Ghost Chili Vodka 25 Jan 2015 | 7:32 pm

    Oops. Depending on the part of the country that you’re from, you may have already noticed a regional spelling disambiguation in the name of this product. While it’s rarely spelled out (pun intended), and most folks have likely never every considered that chili and chile are two different things. Here in New Mexico, and you can see the rule at play here at the Burn! Blog, if you look hard enough. Continue reading →

  • World’s Largest BBQ Pit Up for Sale 25 Jan 2015 | 3:15 am

    For $350,000 you can buy what's allegedly the largest barbecue pit in the world. Dubbed "Undisputable Cuz," the monster meat smoker rests on Highway 2290 in Texas. All you need is the winning bid on Ebay. Continue reading →

  • 2015 Show Program Advertising 23 Jan 2015 | 5:11 pm

    Burn! The Official Fiery Foods & BBQ Show Program is a once-a-year opportunity to promote your products to the most targeted audience of chileheads and barbecue fans imaginable. Visitors use the program to navigate through the show to find their favorite vendors. The newest batch of Scovie Award winners is also listed in this valuable resource. Buyers and the public alike take the programs home with them after the show and use them throughout the year for online shopping, etc. Continue reading →

  • Brisket Shortage: Where’s the Beef? 22 Jan 2015 | 5:32 pm

    Wendy's first raised that question in an `80s ad campaign. Now, though, pitmasters may be asking the same thing as they face sticker shock over a brisket shortage. Continue reading →

  • Happy National Hot Sauce Day! 22 Jan 2015 | 11:18 am

    I don't know how you're celebrating National Hot Sauce Day, but I'm working on a blueberry nasharab sauce for some chicken. I'll post the results and review tomorrow. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share some history factoids from the early days of hot and spicy sauce for your amusement. Continue reading →

  • Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips — Meatless Monday 26 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita ChipsWhether you’re looking to use up the last of the vegetables in the refrigerator, to make a single recipe that will feed your whole family or simply to cozy up to warming comfort food, soup is one of the ultimate go-to meals that surely fills the bill every time. When you’re craving something especially creative, dig into Food Network Magazine’s Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips (pictured above).

    Ready to eat in only 40 minutes, this fuss-free soup features fresh carrots and celery, a can of tomatoes, plus chickpeas for heft, and pinches of cumin and coriander for over-the-top taste. Once you’ve prepared the base of the soup, let it simmer for a few minutes so the flavors have a chance to marry, and before serving, finish with a splash of bright lemon juice. For extra texture, dress up the soup with golden pita chips, which promise welcome crunch.

    Get the Recipe: Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips from Food Network Magazine

    Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

  • 10 Talented Home Cooks Enter All-Star Academy to Compete for the Grand Prize 26 Jan 2015 | 9:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Ted Allen hosts All-Star AcademyFrom across the country, 10 skilled home cooks have come to enter All-Star Academy, where they will be mentored by some of Food Network’s most-revered chefs, all while competing for a $50,000 grand prize. Premiering Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c, All-Star Academy, hosted by Ted Allen, features superstar chefs Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon, who will guide the home cooks through challenges deemed difficult for even the most-well-seasoned chef. In the end, only one mentor and mentee will emerge victorious.

    In the premiere episode, 10 home cooks will embark on the greatest culinary adventure of their lives. But first, they will need to compete for a spot on a mentor’s team. Special guest judge Simon Majumdar will help decide who will have a chance to move on to fight another day.

    You won’t want to miss all the culinary action throughout the season, including an appearance by Robert Irvine, who will challenge each cook to create a dish using only canned meats. Other guests are Donatella Arpaia, Elizabeth Falkner, Amanda Freitag, John Li and Geoffrey Zakarian.

  • Embrace the Blizzard with Snow Day Cookies and Hot Cocoa 26 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    The ChewyHave you heard? There’s a little snowstorm making its way up the Eastern seaboard right now, and of course by “little snowstorm” we mean mammoth nor’easter the likes of which haven’t been seen here in New York City before. A blizzard of this magnitude surely brings with it a few icy downfalls, like bone-chilling temperatures, slippery streets and heavy shovels, but it also practically guarantees a snow day tomorrow. Take advantage of those cozy hours at home by indulging in a sweatpants-and-TV day — as well as cookies and cocoa.

    Alton Brown’s The Chewy (pictured above) is the ultimate in chocolate chip cookies, with a five-star rating and more than 1,000 user reviews. You can trust that the name speaks for itself; these cookies turn out moist, soft and chewy in the center with just a hint of crunch along the edges. “The darker the sugar you use, the chewier your cookies will be,” Alton explains.

    Super-Thick Hot ChocolateIf you manage to venture outside — or even if you don’t — look to Anne Burrell’s Super-Thick Hot Chocolate (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine for a warming treat to comfort you from the inside out. Ready to sip in just a few minutes, this winter staple gets its signature consistency from added cornstarch.

  • One-on-One with the Latest Recruit Eliminated from the Red Team — Worst Cooks in America 26 Jan 2015 | 7:05 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Red TeamThis season on Worst Cooks in America, 14 new helpless home cooks have joined the ranks to be mentored by chefs Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. Split into the Blue and Red teams, they’ll face new cooking challenges every week, honing their skills until just two finalists (one from each team) remain to face off in one final cook-off, the winner of which will walk away with $25,000 in cash, along with bragging rights for his or her mentor. Unfortunately, however, every week the two lowest-scoring recruits will be kicked out of Boot Camp, losing the chance to win the prize money, but leaving with new skills they’ve learned from their mentors.

    FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team.

    Last week we surprisingly saw David win a challenge for the first time, but this week two challenges put him in the red. Filleting fish for a po’ boy sandwich slowed him down so much in the Skill Drill challenge that he wasn’t able to finish without help from his teammate Kristen. And although it looked like David had a handle on making squid ink pasta in the Main Dish challenge, it was a rookie mistake of forgetting to flour the noodles that placed him in the bottom and ultimately sent him home.

    FN Dish: In the fish sandwich challenge, you nearly didn’t finish in time. What was going on for you?
    David: Having watched the show from Season 1, I knew that knife cuts and proper techniques were important factors on whether you were eliminated or not. So I took a really long time trying to filet the fish. Before the show, my only experience with fish was the fillet of fish sandwich at McDonald’s — or opening a can of tuna. So I really tried to do exactly as Chef Anne had shown us, but ended up hacking away at that poor dead animal. I thought about giving up then and there and becoming a vegetarian, but I don’t eat vegetables, so that wasn’t going to work. So I did the best I could and got the fish in the fryer. But because I took so long performing the “fish autopsy,” I don’t believe I was able to get most (if any) other things done. I know I made the tartar sauce, but I didn’t get to some of the other ingredients and had to “borrow” some from Kristen.

    At one point Anne asked where you were going and you replied “home.” Why did you think that? Do you think you were giving up early?
    I thought I was going home after every challenge. That’s just the way my mind works. I’m a very self-deprecating person, and face it, I can’t cook, and I was in a cooking competition. I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did. If it was a “smoke cigarettes and drink coffee challenge,” I would have won time and time again. But it’s not. And even though I was actually learning some useful things, I wasn’t learning as fast as my teammates. Plus, the added pressure of the clock ticking down and Chef Anne yelling at me wasn’t really helping. So, yes, I knew that my time was up.

    You and Anne had a moment during the pasta challenge when your station was a mess and she came over and wore your glasses. What was going through your mind then? Were you upset?
    I was too busy trying to figure out what the hell was going on with my pasta dough, and I wasn’t aware of what she was doing until I caught her in the corner of my eye imitating me. My first thought was: “Really? I’m trying to make pasta out of glop and you’re fooling around, Chef Anne?” But it did lighten the mood because at that point I knew I was drowning and there was no life jacket in sight. Chef Anne saw that I was really struggling and attempted to help me, but at that point I really had given up and just wanted to enjoy myself and have a good time on what I knew would be my last day. And I laughed, which wasn’t something I did on the previous challenges. But I got through it, and then it was time to harvest the squid ink. Really? Worsts Cook in America, people! I’m lucky I can boil water, open a box of pasta and throw it in without overcooking it. Now I’m making homemade pasta and harvesting ink from a squid? Recipe for disaster if ever there was one.

    You didn’t seem proud of your finished dish, standing far away from it during the tasting. Is there something you could have done to make it better?
    I was highly embarrassed of the dish. I had thought once the pasta disaster was averted I would do better with the squid and the pasta sauce. Harvesting ink from a squid is not as easy as it looks. And I forgot to get a bowl to put the ink in, so I improvised. The rolling of the pasta went without a hitch, but I didn’t put enough flour between my pasta sheets, so when I cut the pasta, some of it stuck together and didn’t look like Chef Anne’s pasta. It looked scary. But I tasted it and it was OK, so I went ahead and put it in the dish. I got everything on the plate, but I knew it wasn’t good enough to keep me any longer. I think had I relaxed and concentrated on the actual cutting of the pasta, I might not had been eliminated.

    What was it like for you working on a team? Did you feel people had your back?
    Everyone in the cast was extremely supportive of one another. I guess living in a brownstone with two and a half bathrooms will make 14 strangers become close really fast!

    Did you learn anything from doing the competition or from Anne that you feel you might use in the future when you cook? Will you be cooking anytime soon?
    Chef Anne is an excellent teacher and I would have loved to work one-on-one with her. I think that under the circumstances, we worked well together, and I certainly learned things that I will try again in the comfort of my own home without being timed or yelled at. I plan on making everything I made on the show. As a matter of fact, I plan on buying all of the appliances that we used on the show, including the fancy mixer with the pasta attachment, a paella pan and maybe even a new five-burner stove. As you can see, I’m a little bit compulsive. And Chef Anne has an open invitation for dinner at my house if she ever gets to Las Vegas. I’ll even harvest some squid ink just for her.

    Is there anyone on your team who you think might make it to the end?
    From my team, I think that Norman will make it to the finals, but the two people I am closest to in the house are on the Blue Team, so I am rooting for Genique and Sarah.

  • One-on-One with the Latest Recruit Eliminated from the Blue Team — Worst Cooks in America 26 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Blue TeamThis season on Worst Cooks in America, 14 new helpless home cooks have joined the ranks to be mentored by chefs Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. Split into the Blue and Red teams, they’ll face new cooking challenges every week, honing their skills until just two finalists (one from each team) remain to face off in one final cook-off, the winner of which will walk away with $25,000 in cash, along with bragging rights for his or her mentor. Unfortunately, however, every week the two lowest-scoring recruits will be kicked out of Boot Camp, losing the chance to win the prize money, but leaving with new skills they’ve learned from their mentors.

    FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team.

    This week the recruits faced their fears in two challenges, first deep-frying, and then making pasta with squid ink. For Kortni, both challenges were far above her experience level. While making her chicken wings for the Skill Drill, she tossed them in honey before cooking them, which led to the wings burning in the fryer. Then while making pasta in the Main Dish challenge, she ran out of time to make her sauce, presenting one naked ravioli. Her elimination didn’t come as a surprise.

    FN Dish: After winning with your Greek taco last week, were you excited going into this week’s challenges?
    Kortni: Yes, I was really excited and shocked that both chefs actually enjoyed my cooking. If the chefs like it, then my family at home should love it!

    You seemed nervous during the challenge while cooking your chicken, and you ended up kind of burning it in the deep fryer. What was going on in your mind?
    In my mind I kept praying: “Lord, please don’t let me start a fire! I can replace burnt chicken, but I can’t buy Food Network a new kitchen.”

    What did you think when you saw the squid in the main cooking challenge? Were you ready to cook with it?
    I actually thought it was a baby octopus and I didn’t want to cook it.

    You ended up getting help from Tyler and Genique during the challenge. What was it like working on a team?
    I love my team! Chef Tyler is a great coach and my teammates are all amazing. If it wasn’t for me sharing stations with Genique and Sarah (oh, and Stephanie), I probably wouldn’t be in Episode 4.

    Things got tough when you were making the pasta and you ended up forgetting to make a sauce, plating your dish without one. What happened?
    I ran out of time, so I was left with a raviolo that looked like a spaceship on the moon inside of my empty white plate.

    At elimination you joked you won’t need flash cards at the supermarket anymore. Do you think you’ll be cooking more?
    Yes, I will definitely be cooking at home now. In fact, don’t be surprised if the next time you see me I’m challenging Bobby Flay.

    Is there one thing you leave the competition with — something you learned from Tyler that you think will help you cook better in the future?
    Tyler taught me so much. I came into Boot Camp thinking a zucchini was an instrument and a pomegranate was a part of the apple family. I’m now leaving more knowledgeable and confident. And thanks to Tyler I can create fancy meals that don’t require a bag or microwave.

    Is there anyone on your team who you think will make it to the end?
    Genique was my roommate, so I can’t help but to cheer her on, but I’m wishing everyone on my team the best of luck. I really hope someone from the Blue Team wins.

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