WATCH: Food Network Stars Reveal Their Nightmare Chopped Ingredients
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Just imagine what the contestants go through every round on Chopped when they each stand in front of a mystery basket, getting ready to open the lid just as the clock goes off. It’s surely a feeling of dread as to what ingredients they might find inside, maybe even something that could cause nightmares, like an odd piece of offal, an exotic fruit or even candy.
FN Dish caught up with Food Network stars including Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Anne Burrell, as well as the judges themselves and other famous faces, to ask: “What’s your nightmare Chopped ingredient?” Watch the video above to hear which ingredient causes the most nightmares.
What would be your nightmare basket ingredient? Tell us in the comments.
How to Bring Your Lunch to Work: A Guide With 7 Easy Tips and Recipes
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Eating lunch in the office can get pretty expensive if you’re buying your lunch every day. Not to mention, it can get pretty boring. Really, what are your choices for lunch: soup, salad or sandwich? If that’s all you’ve got to pick from, you might as well pack your own soup, salad or sandwich and save a lot of money at the same time. Once you take into account how much you’re paying for lunch in a year, that number alone might convince you it’s time to start packing.
In honor of National Brown-Bag It Day, which is tomorrow, May 25, FN Dish is giving you the guide with seven easy-to-follow tips on how to make packing your lunch a breeze. And being budget-conscious doesn’t mean eating boring dishes, so you’ll find there are some great recipes to choose from below, too.
Here are seven great tips for packing your lunch:
1. Plan ahead, cook big batches: Whatever you’re cooking on the weekend, make a double batch and freeze portions for future lunches. Your frozen lunch won’t even need an ice pack for transport — let it defrost in your office fridge and you’ll have a nice lunch the next day. Double up on this California Turkey Chili recipe and stock your freezer for future lunches.
2. Pack foods that reheat well: Soups and stews are some of the best foods for reheating in the office microwave because they taste just as good the next day as the first day you made them. Try any of these simple soup recipes.
3. Pack foods that can be eaten cold: This is especially true if you need to grab and go and don’t have time to reheat your meal. Stick to salads, sandwiches, cold pasta or grain salads, like this Mediterranean Farro Salad.
4. Say no to sogginess: No one wants a soggy salad or sandwich. Pack your dressing separate from your salad, and pack your bread separate from the sandwich fillings. It’s an easy step to take for making sure your lunch tastes fresh. Get the recipe for the Ultimate Ham Sandwich (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine and check out these simple salad recipes and easy lunch sandwiches for more ideas.
5. Pack filling dishes: Don’t find yourself hungry an hour or two after your lunch break. Legumes and grains will help keep your hunger at bay. Pack dishes made with beans, lentils, brown rice, quinoa and other fiber-rich foods. This recipe for Quinoa Pilaf in Lettuce Cups is healthy, refreshing and filling.
6. Leftovers are your friend: Lots of leftovers from dinner last night? Think, free lunch! Imagine what you’ll save eating those leftovers instead of spending money on lunch. Not to mention, those leftovers might have ended up in the trash if no one ate them. Leftover Meatballs and Spaghetti are great for lunch the next day.
7. Utilize some prepared foods: Planning your lunch ahead doesn’t have to take up all of your time. A store-bought rotisserie chicken for topping salads or filling wraps, a container of healthy hummus for dipping veggie sticks, a pre-washed box of mixed lettuces for making salad — these are all great ways to cut down on prep and cook time when putting together a work lunch. This Chinese Chicken Salad With Red Chile Peanut Dressing uses shredded rotisserie chicken.
What lunch do you like to bring to work? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Turkey and Blistered Green Chile Burgers — The Weekender
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
For the last few years, my husband and I have been in the habit of visiting friends in Northampton, Mass., for the long Memorial Day weekend. We make the trek from Philadelphia on Saturday morning, arriving sometime in the early afternoon, very ready for several days of catching up, early cocktail hours and lazy meals.
One thing that’s always particularly fun about these weekends is that these friends take their grilling very seriously. We live in an apartment without a stitch of outdoor space, so I’m always excited to have an opportunity to cook outside on a real, live flame (my everyday cooktop is an ancient, soul-less electric stove).
Two years ago we experimented with grilled pizzas (a huge success!), and last summer we cooked up a buffet of sausages, from-scratch veggie burgers and a mountain of grilled vegetables. As our visit approaches, I’ve had my eyes open for new recipes that might work well on their deluxe grill.
Right now the top contender for this year’s weekend of grilling is Guy Fieri’s Turkey and Blistered Green Chile Burger. This isn’t just any regular-old turkey burger. It’s spiked with mustard, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of green chile that’s been roasted, peeled and diced. Topped with melted cheese and sauteed peppers and onions, it’s a tender, juicy burger that just screams “cookout.” We’ll be making it on Monday for our Memorial Day Weekender. I highly recommend that you do the same.
Before you start cooking, read these tips:
— If roasting your own green chile seems like a step too much for you, know that you can buy small cans of green chile that have already been blistered, peeled and diced. You won’t get quite as much flavor from them, but they’ll certainly do in a pinch.
— Remember that turkey burgers must be cooked until every hint of interior pink is gone. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 165 degrees F.
— If you’re cooking for a crowd, you can easily make up a double or triple batch of these burgers early in the day. Keep them in the fridge until just before grilling.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.
What to Watch: Season Premieres of Trisha Yearwood and Jamie Deen, and Guy Cooks With Chilli From TLC
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
This weekend, Food Network has season premieres of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and Home for Dinner With Jamie Deen, along with a lot of great new episodes.
On Saturday morning, Trisha is joined in the kitchen by her friend Karri and they’re cooking up a steak dinner. Afterward it’s a special episode of Giada in Paradise, as Giada takes viewers on an adventure through one of the most dazzling European cities, Monte Carlo.
On Sunday morning, Jamie Deen and his son Jack are setting up a pop-up restaurant in the backyard with a menu that will appeal to adults and kids alike. Afterward Chilli from TLC joins Guy in the kitchen to cook a bouillabaisse. Later in the morning on Sandwich King, Jeff takes a trip down memory lane back to his college town and prepares a pork sandwich and grilled ham.
In the evening it’s a special Harlem Globetrotters-themed episode of Cupcake Wars. After that, it’s Iron Chef Garces vs. Iron Chef Morimoto in the fourth battle of Iron Chef America Tournament of Champions. Finally, Robert Irvine helps save a barbecue restaurant in Texas.
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: “Karri-oke“
Trisha and her friend Karri grill up Karri’s Marinated Steak for a classic dinner menu that also features Twice-Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad With Raspberry Vinaigrette and Zucchini Saute before going out on the town for some costumed karaoke.
Tune in Saturday, May 25 at 10:30am/9:30c
Giada in Paradise: Monte Carlo
In this special, Giada De Laurentiis visits Monte Carlo — part of the Principality of Monaco, situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea along the French Riviera. Regal and elegant, Monte Carlo is known for its palace-like architecture, high-end fashion, mega-yachts, luxury sports cars, risky roulette and, most recently, world-class cuisine. It’s an elegant and stylized adventure set in one of the most dazzling destinations on the planet.
Tune in Saturday, May 25 at 11am/10c
Home for Dinner With Jamie Deen: “Italian Night at Rooster’s“
Jamie Deen is consulting his oldest son, Jack, for tonight’s menu: They’re setting up a pop-up shop in the backyard for Jack’s restaurant, Rooster’s. On the menu are Stuffed Shells With Spinach and Ricotta; Roasted Garlic and Herb Bread; Sliced Radish and Grape Tomato Salad; and Salted Caramel Rice Crispy Treats, a kid-friendly dessert that even the grownups will love.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 10am/9c
Guy’s Big Bite: “Soup’s On, Chill Out“
Guy Fieri is chillin’ in his kitchen with a special guest, Chilli from TLC! They’re making Guy’s Bouillabaisse With Seared Halibut, which also features shellfish, in tomato-fennel broth, topped off with Garlicky Rouille. On the side there’s Sundried Tomato Sourdough Toast. Then Chilli’s cooking up her Crab-Stuffed Portobellos, topped with Parmesan cheese.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 10:30am/9:30c
Sandwich King: “Indulgent Bites“
Jeff, along with his wife and siblings, revisit their beloved college town of Peoria, Ill. Jeff takes on Schooner’s famous 18-ounce pork tenderloin sandwich and comes up with his own take, the Central Illinois Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with a homemade apricot mustard sauce. He also makes Grilled Ham and Beerbit Horseshoe as well as Nachos Bell Rarebit with pickled jalapenos and a beerbit sauce.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 11am/10c
Cupcake Wars: “The Harlem Globetrotters“
Four cupcake bakers will have to pull out all their tricks if they want to win a chance to have their cupcakes center court at a huge fan event for the Harlem Globetrotters. Globetrotter Herbert “Flight Time” Lang serves as guest judge.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 8pm/7c
Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions: Battle 4 Garces vs. Morimoto
Round 1 winner Iron Chef Jose Garces battles Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who won round two. The judges for this battle are G. Garvin, Candice Kumai and Jeffrey Steingarten.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 9pm/8c
Restaurant: Impossible: “In the Pits“
Chef Robert Irvine is on his way to Lufkin, Texas, to help out Lynn Bryan, who is having trouble running her restaurant of 15 years, Bryan’s Smokehouse. An oversaturated market and a staff of misfits have put Lynn further and further into debt. Robert has just two days to overhaul the poor service and lackluster barbecue recipes in order to save the restaurant.
Tune in Sunday, May 26 at 10pm/9c
The Top 5 Most Shocking Moments on Mystery Diners
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
When a restaurant owner suspects his or her employees are not doing their jobs properly, they call Charles Stiles of Mystery Diners. With a sting operation that includes hidden cameras set up on location and a team of mystery diners who pose as customers and/or employees, Charles gets to the core of what’s happening. In most cases the employee is found to be stealing, lying or simply doing lousy work, but in some extraordinary situations, what gets revealed is shocking.
FN Dish recently caught up with Charles to talk about some of the most shocking moments he’s seen in his experience on the show. Here are his top-five moments (so far).
5. Ca’Brea in Los Angeles (Season 2, Valet Disservice) — The valet driver was stealing from customers’ vehicles and using the vehicles for food deliveries with the delivery guy as his accomplice.
4. Putter’s Bar & Grill in Las Vegas (Season 2, Night Shift) — The overnight bartender and manager was running his own bar out of the restaurant, serving his own alcohol, charging a fee at the door and letting the customers cook their own food in the kitchen.
3. La Traviata in Long Beach, Calif. (Season 2, Something Smells Fishy) — The head chef of the restaurant, which features organic ingredients and top-quality seafood, was found to be purchasing lower-grade seafood and produce that wasn’t organic so he could pocket the difference in cost.
2. Catharsis in Miami (Season 3, Dining in the Dark) — The employees of the restaurant, which features blindfolded dining, were caught messing with the diners. Their improper behavior included eating food off of plates, licking food, inappropriate touching and stealing.
1. Whiskey Dick’s in Las Vegas (Season 2, Singles Night) — The female night manager of the restaurant was running a dating service out of the restaurant using the waitresses to lure in male patrons.
Tune in to Season 3 of Mystery Diners on Fridays at 10pm/9c.