Alton Brown to Host the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
On May 5, Alton Brown, Cutthroat Kitchen’s master of eviliciousness, will take on the master of ceremonies duties as the host of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards, a prestigious awards ceremony that is the culinary’s world’s answer to the Oscars. After being held in New York for 24 years, the event will take place in Chicago this year at the city’s appropriately sumptuous Civic Opera House, home of its Lyric Opera. It will be Alton’s second stint hosting the awards; he previously hosted in 2012. Alton is also a repeat James Beard Foundation Award winner, most recently honored as Outstanding Television Host – for his work on Good Eats — in 2011.
You can find a full list of this year’s restaurant- and chef-award semifinalists here. The foundation will announce the final nominees in these categories, as well as the nominations for its book, journalism, broadcast media and restaurant design awards, on Tuesday, March 24. The annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, to be held in New York on April 24, will be hosted by Carla Hall, of ABC’s The Chew.”
“We are thrilled to have two of television’s most influential food personalities host this year’s shows, our 25th awards,” Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, said in a release. “Both Carla and Alton have made impressive contributions to the food world through the years, so they seem the perfect fit to play master of ceremonies as we celebrate all of the culinary achievements made not only by our Foundation, but the wonderful community of food and beverage professionals who have made this past quarter-century great.”
In other words, they’re sure to bring flavor to the party.
Skip Takeout and Make Spicy These Recipes at Home
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
By Silvana Nardone
No need to order takeout when it’s easier — and cheaper — to make your own. Thinking Thai? Try my take on Curry Mee. Translation? Asian comfort food in a bowl. My recipe for coconut chicken noodle soup spiced with curry will soothe your Thai cravings — and you’ll have dinner ready in less time than it takes to wait for the doorbell to ring. Mexican sound good tonight? My spicy chipotle shrimp with arroz verde is so good you may never dream of ordering in again.
Spicy Curry-Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup
3/4 pound dried rice or ramen noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
One 3.5-ounce package shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons Thai yellow curry paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 quart chicken broth
One 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
Lime wedges and sliced red jalapeno chiles, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for serving
Basil leaves, for serving
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until al dente, about 6 minutes; drain well. Divide among 4 bowls.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and snow peas over medium-high heat and cook until golden, about 2 minutes; divide among 4 bowls.
Using the same saucepan, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, curry paste, curry powder and turmeric; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar, and bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through; season with salt. Ladle the soup over the noodles and serve with the lime wedges, chiles, cilantro and basil.
Spicy Chipotle Shrimp with Jalapeno Green Rice
5 garlic cloves, 2 chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
1 to 2 jalapenos — stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups medium-grain rice, soaked for about 30 minutes and drained
Zest of 1 lime
One 15-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a medium saucepan, stir together the 2 cloves chopped garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, broth, mustard, 2 tablespoons oil, 3/4 cup water and 3/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until finely chopped. Return to a boil and stir in the rice; cover tightly and simmer over medium-low heat until cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the lime zest and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the tomatoes, chiles, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 3 whole cloves garlic and 1/2 cup water until smooth; season with about 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a large skillet and cook until heated, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Serve with the rice.
Silvana Nardone is the author of the Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.
Classic vs. Creative: Your Pick of Top Chicken Comfort Foods — Comfort Food Feast
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
You may think of plastic-wrapped trays of chicken breasts as the most-boring item in your supermarket’s refrigerated section, but perhaps that view is on the stunted side. This week we’re running down the line of our favorite chicken comfort foods, pitting classic recipes against new creative takes. With fresh spins on chicken pot pie, chicken piccata and more, it’s safe to say that good ol’ chicken breast has a whole lot more to offer than you might think.
1. Chicken Pot Pie
Classic Comfort: Odds are, you’ve plunged a spoon into a dough-topped chicken pot pie to scoop up the decadent, creamy chicken-and-veggie filling. Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie (pictured above) is the most-classic recipe of them all, complete with a from-scratch pastry dough topping that comes out of the oven golden.
The New Take: Rather than loading it all into a casserole dish, try folding up your next chicken pot pie dinner. Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe for Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers wraps the chicken filling in flaky puff pastry so every bite of this dinner riff is doughier than ever.
2. Chicken Piccata
Classic Comfort: Lemony and bright, Giada De Laurentiis’ classic Chicken Piccata comes to the table with a vibrant, buttery sauce of lemon juice, chicken stock and capers. Butterflying the chicken ensures it’s done quickly, so you can get a taste of elegance any night of the week.
The New Take: If you’re down for the piccata treatment but are looking to tuck into something more than a chicken breast, go for Rachael Ray’s all-in-one Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss. It packs all the flavors of the classic Italian dish by tossing pasta with chunks of juicy chicken breast.
3. Chicken Noodle
Classic Comfort: We don’t need to be the ones to tell you that a bowl of chicken noodle soup can cure any and all things. Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup keeps it classic, using homemade chicken stock, shredded chicken, egg noodles and veggies.
The New Take: Chicken and noodles together have always spelled out “comfort food,” and Ree Drummond’s Chicken Spaghetti is no exception. Unlike a bowl of regular chicken and noodles, Ree’s cheesy casserole gets added decadence from a creamy mushroom sauce, plus a layer of cheddar cheese that leaves the oven bubbling and rich.
4. Chicken Tortilla
Classic Comfort: Some would say a simmering bowl of chicken tortilla soup is as curative as a bowl of chicken noodle, and Trisha’s Chicken Tortilla Soup is undeniable proof. Stir in store-bought salsa to add an easy punch to the soup base, and top with crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese for full south-of-the-border flair.
The New Take: Layer up Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole with levels of corn tortilla, chicken breast, cheese and spices, plus a good helping of homemade chicken gravy. The result is a hearty Mexican-inspired casserole that uses chile-spiked heat as a means of warming comfort.
Get more chicken recipes from family and friends:
Feed Me Phoebe: Easy Vietnamese Chicken Pho with Bok Choy and Herbs (Pho Ga)
The Lemon Bowl: Thai Chicken Satay with Sriracha Hoisin Peanut Sauce
The Heritage Cook: Chicken Divan with Roasted Vegetables (Gluten Free)
Creative Culinary: Maple Bourbon Chicken with Bacon
Dishing with Divya: Chicken Bones and Vegetable Soup
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Whole Roasted Tandoori Chicken
Taste with the Eyes: Fabulous Filipino Chicken Adobo
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chicken with Spinach & Artichoke Dip Sauce
Red or Green: Spicy Chicken, Rice & Black Bean Bake
5 Essentials to Guarantee Not-Sad Desk Lunches
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Dining at your desk can feel sad — like eating Thanksgiving dinner with plastic utensils. (The food may be delicious, but the circumstances make it less so.) But there is a way to make eating last night’s leftovers actually pleasant — and I’m not talking about investing in one of those annoying bento lunchboxes that never have enough room for the main part of the meal. Over the years, I’ve come up with five essentials that bring dignity to lunch at work. Here’s what I always have on hand.
1. A Low, Wide White Ceramic Bowl: White because most food — even a baked potato — looks good against it. Low because it can work for salads, soups, grains or a piece of chicken. And ceramic because it can go in the microwave (cold leftovers just invite depression).
2. Real Cutlery (i.e., a stainless steel fork and spoon): They don’t have to match, so grab those oddball orphaned pieces from your silverware drawer and put them to good use. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also a scientifically proven fact that nothing (other than North Carolina barbecue served in a Styrofoam container) should ever be eaten with a flimsy plastic fork.
3. A Sharp Paring Knife (preferably serrated!): With one of these at your desk, you don’t have to waste time before work on tedious prep and packing. Instead, you can just throw an avocado, a cuke and a cup of yogurt in your bag. Or maybe toss in a hunk of cheese, a roll and an apple. If that requires too much thinking, then just grab a bunch of leftover containers from your fridge. Come lunchtime, with a little dicing and slicing, you can assemble a fresh new meal.
4. Olive Oil: This is the ultimate flavor enhancer. Drizzle it on greens, sandwich bread, avocados, cut-up vegetables (see above), reheated rice, pork chops or soup. Practically the only thing I don’t put it on is yesterday’s moo shu pork.
5. Vinegar: Aka “acid” in Food Network Kitchen parlance — as in “Don’t you think this stew/salsa/broccoli/slaw/squash could use a little acid?” Lemon also works wonders but is harder to keep fresh at your desk.
Not on the list are salt and pepper, which many office pantries keep with the sugar and the coffee-stirring sticks. If yours doesn’t — or if your salt and pepper tastes have evolved — bring in a little stock from home. Or invest in some travel-size dispensers, as I have. You’re not cooking meals for eight, so a little really will go a long way.
And there you have it. With the above tools, your midday meal should be more than bearable — even though I know you’ll probably still eat it in front of your computer, as I do.
Inspired to bring your own lunch? Check out a few of Food Network’s best on-the-go lunch picks.
Layered Picnic in a Jar
Cold Soba Peanut Noodles with Chicken
Mediterranean Farro Salad
Quinoa with Shiitakes and Snow Peas
Wheat Berry Salad
Best 5 Shepherd’s Pie Recipes
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Chicken pot pie may get most of the credit for being a savory twist on a classically sweet idea (fruit filling + buttery crust), but shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie, as it’s sometimes known — can play the meaty pie game too. Instead of a biscuit or pastry crust like the chicken version, however, traditional shepherd’s pie is topped with … wait for it … a thick blanket of creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Combined with the warm and hearty filling featuring ground meat and bright vegetables, these hefty potatoes guarantee comfort food. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five takes on this satisfying supper from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Alton Brown and Melissa d’Arabian.
5. Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie — The secret to this fuss-free recipe is opting for frozen potato tots in place of the usual mashed potato topping. “Using potato tots instead not only saves you time but makes for a crispy topping that’s a nice contrast to the beef filling,” the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain.
4. Melissa’s Shepherd’s Pie — Boasting layer upon layer of flavor, Melissa’s bacon-laced beef filling is simmered in a bold beer broth before being topped with tangy garlic mashed potatoes and gooey cheese.
3. Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie — Even your meat-eating friends will appreciate Food Network Magazine’s vegetarian shepherd’s pie, filled with turnips, carrots and chopped veggie burgers to guarantee a satisfying center, and topped with buttery mashed spuds and nutty Parmesan for an over-the-top casserole.
2. Alton’s Shepherd’s Pie — For added richness and heft, Alton adds a bit of tomato paste plus a few dashes of Worcestershire to round out the flavor in his lamb-based pie, which is sealed with a creamy mashed potato topping before baking.
1. 30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie — Easy enough for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve guests, Rachael’s quick-fix recipe lets you create your own ideal meal: Pick either ground beef or ground lamb as the star ingredient, then decide whether you want to add a splash of cream for richness or opt for broth for a lighter finished product. Click the play button on the video below to watch Rachael make it.