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Spicy Spring Grilling

Spicy Spring Grilling

Here are Dave's Faves for Spring!

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Which Cooking Oil to Use When?

Which Cooking Oil to Use When?

A SuperSite Cooking Resource

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The Fiery Foods of Spring

The Fiery Foods of Spring

Ferns, Ramps, Morels, and Asparagus

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Growing Peppers in Containers

Growing Peppers in Containers

Attention Apartment and Townhouse Dwellers!

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Spicy Burgers on the Grill

Spicy Burgers on the Grill

Guacamole Salmon Burgers, Anyone?

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  • Tequila Superpost, Part 2: What types of tequila are available? 17 Apr 2015 | 4:50 am

    Outside of the origins of tequila, which we discussed in part 1 of this series, it’s arguable that the kinds of tequila are even more critical, especially when you’re out shopping. Here are the 5 primary types of tequila that we talked about at the Fiery Foods Show. Continue reading →

  • Hot News 16 Apr 2015 | 1:25 am

    I'm still a little sore from the good squeezing I got from the IRS this year but with plenty of juice and cookies, this stone's blood flow will be back to normal real soon. Here are a couple of barbecue news bits for your reading pleasure. Continue reading →

  • Chile Chocolate Cake: Recipe 14 Apr 2015 | 2:04 am

    Over on the Super Site, Harald Zoschke recently related the tale of a trip to Italy to see old friends. While that story makes for fun reading, we just had to share this recipe from it to warm you up. Almost everyone loves chocolate cake and it's even better with some heat. Continue reading →

  • The Way of the Bun: A Quickie on Grilling Etiquette 13 Apr 2015 | 12:41 am

    Last weekend, a good buddy of mine took it upon himself to open the lid on my grill and check the food. Right after I'd just checked it myself. You do not second guess someone when they're grilling unless the grill is consumed in fire. My friend's lucky he's stringy or he'd have been the next course. Not because I'm into long pig-- I'm not a cannibal. I am, however, a firm believer in object lessons. Especially to any would-be violators of my grill second guessing my work. I have plenty of friends so I can afford to cook one here and there. Continue reading →

  • Szechwan Asparagus 12 Apr 2015 | 1:22 am

    This Szechwan Asparagus makes a spicy side kick for hot seafood, like the shrimp recipe I posted last week. Try it and let us know how you like it. Continue reading →






  • Meet Baker Andy Chlebana, Competing in Spring Baking Championship 18 Apr 2015 | 1:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Andy ChlebanaEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

    Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

    Andy Chlebana (Plainfield, Ill.) attended the Culinary Institute of America before working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago and The Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Fla., and in Washington, D.C. This competitive baker was named the American Culinary Federation’s National Pastry Chef of the Year (2008) and one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America (2013). He is a culinary arts professor at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill.

    What’s your first memory involving baking?
    I remember my mom always baking. It could have been a Darth Vader birthday cake or as simple as chocolate chip cookies. She always made a ton of cookies around Christmas, and that was the only time she would make certain types, so you had to eat as many as you could or you missed out for a year. Today she still makes the best cutter cookies; she even makes them for all the kids’ birthdays. They all get an “A” and the number of their birthday for the party.

    What’s the first thing you learned to bake really well? Do you still make it today?
    The first thing I remember baking was chocolate chip cookies. I remember mixing them in the bowl with a fork. It seemed like it took forever to make them. When we were done there never were a lot of cookies, because we ate most of the dough! Today I still make chocolate chip cookies; the only difference is that I make them faster and I eat them after they are baked.

    What would you say is your signature baked item, one that everyone knows you for?
    Cheesecake. It is so simple: cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. If your recipe has simple ingredients, it really comes down to execution. You need to make it right for it to be good.

    If you could bake only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Bread. I love bread! It is alive; you have to feed it, fold it, gently shape it, score it and bake it. Such a long process, and each step impacts the next. Any small change will impact the final product.

    What’s your favorite ingredient or item to use in your baking?
    Nuts. I love nuts. They give flavor and texture to baked items. As a kid I only liked peanut butter, but now I would put hazelnuts in everything if I could.

    What’s your favorite holiday to bake for? What do you typically make?
    Christmastime is my favorite holiday to bake for. Right before we go on break, we make stollen. It’s a yeast bread that has raisins, orange zest and almonds, all soaked in rum. There are spices in the bread, almond paste and a ton of butter. It is so good; to make it any other time of year just isn’t the same.

    Who is (or was) your baking mentor? What’s the No. 1 thing that person taught you?
    My first instructor at the Culinary Institute of America is my baking mentor, Noble Masi. He taught my first classes at the CIA. He truly loved what he did and loved baking. He taught us the basics and to do them correctly. Baking is based on basics; master these and you can do anything. He recently passed away, and this made me thankful for the time I had in his class and what he taught me.

    When it comes to baking, how would you describe your style, your mentality?
    I like to use familiar flavors and give them a little twist. I once made a dessert and called in peanut butter and jelly. This was a long time ago in my career; I thought it would be fun. It was good. It was a cake that had a raspberry gelee with chocolate mousse and peanut butter ice cream — YUM! When I made it I was thinking for adults, to remind them of their childhood. Turns out kids were ordering it, and they were not happy. For an adult, it worked.

    If you could bake a cake for anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what would you make?
    My dad; he passed away 12 years ago, [when] I was really getting started in the industry. I would like to bake him a linzertorte. It was his favorite; I always made one for his birthday. I wish I could talk to him and share my experiences with him and see his reaction.

    What’s the biggest baking fail you’ve ever had that you’re willing to admit to? Were you able to rescue it, or did you have to start from scratch?
    Where do I start! Without mistakes, you cannot learn. One of my favorite mistakes happened in culinary school. I was the oven master, all day on the oven baking everything, no other duty that day. I was prepping the pans for an orange chiffon. The sad thing is I did not need to prep the pans — you don’t do anything to them. The batter goes into an ungreased pan. When the cakes came out of the oven, I flipped them to cool and they all fell out. At least I greased them correctly! Everyone’s cake was ruined and they had to remake them. That day I learned to pay attention so I do not waste product or time.

    In your opinion, what’s the No. 1 mistake that most home bakers make?
    Not reading the recipe before they start. You need to read the ingredients to make sure you have everything you need. Read the equipment so you have everything you need or find an alternate. Read the method so you can preheat the oven and have an idea of what steps you will need to do and what order. This will help to prevent errors.

    What are five tips or words of advice you’d give to beginner bakers to improve on their baking?
    1. Follow the recipe.
    2. Test recipes before you need them. If you need a souffle for a Saturday night party, make it before to be sure it will work.
    3. Use good ingredients; little changes can make a better final product.
    4. If you are not sure how to do something, look it up online. Chances are good someone who knows what they are doing made a video.
    5. Don’t give up. People that are good at baking did not just magically start doing it. They tried and failed, and tried again.

    Baking Quickfire (name your favorite for each)
    Cake/cupcake: Devil’s food cake with fudge frosting
    Pie/tart: Raspberry pistachio tart
    Cookie: My mom’s cutter cookies
    Quick bread: Banana bread
    Yeast bread: Sourdough
    Pastry: Croissant
    Muffin: Blueberry lemon
    Savory baked item: Cheese souffle

    Keep coming back to FN Dish for more on the bakers, and visit the Spring Baking Championship page for more on the new series, including behind-the-scenes galleries, episode recaps, video highlights and baking tips.

  • Beyond the Muffin Tin: 2 News Ways to Transform Cornbread 18 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    2 New Ways to Transform Corn BreadA classic cornbread recipe is a must-have in any kitchen, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to dress up the usual fare and set your sights on next-level interpretations. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro introduced two fresh spins on this tried-and-true favorite, both savory and satisfying dishes that go beyond the ordinary comfort food.

    Part casserole and part bread, Sunny’s Tex-Mex Spoonbread boasts layer upon layer of flavor: first buttery browned chorizo, then a loose grits-style cornmeal mixture made light and fluffy thanks to a few whipped eggs. To make sure there’s plenty of texture in her spoonbread, Sunny adds a handful of corn kernels to the cornmeal batter, plus a duo of gooey cheeses for over-the-top richness. After baking in the oven, this big-batch dish turns out golden brown along the edges and fully set in the middle.

    Jeff saves time in the kitchen when making his Sausage and Chard White Cornbread Pizza by starting with a box of instant cornbread mix, which he uses to make the pizza crust. While a combination of four cheeses promises a decadent smear to act in place of pizza sauce, toppings like hearty Italian sausage and fresh Swiss chard round out the dish to make it a meal. Just before serving, add a few pickled sweet peppers for bright taste and a bold bite.

    Tune in to an all-new episode of The Kitchen on Saturday at 11a|10c.

  • Why I Work to Feed Hungry Children in America, Plus an All-American Meatloaf 18 Apr 2015 | 7:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Melissa d'Arabian and FamilyI spent most of my week in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, supporting No Kid Hungry’s efforts to feed our nation’s children. I attended the No Kid Hungry Summit alongside thought leaders, corporations, foundation heads and some of the best chefs nationwide. I joined forces with many of them to spend a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with our legislators, and I hosted two Taste of the Nation events in D.C. and Charlotte. Phew! As I type, I’m sipping a strong cup of coffee (after a 3 a.m. wake-up call!), sitting on a plane headed home to San Diego.

    Why would I spend nearly a week away from my family and take that kind of time off from my “regular” work?

    My career is firmly centered in helping families create affordable and healthy meals, not because that’s marketable (although it is), but because families eating truly matters to me. On a personal level, I am a mom of four daughters, and nourishing them, with both my food and my parenting, is one of the most-important things I do. My kids matter to me, and I know deep in my soul that everyone’s children matter just as much. If hunger is happening to someone else’s children, then I feel it in my own heart. I am a citizen of one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and if there are children going to bed hungry tonight, then those kids are my kids too

    I left my family behind this week because I myself received free lunch as a child. I know what it is like to be hungry in a classroom, and I know what it’s like to have someone care enough to notice and find a way to fill my stomach with a warm, nutritious meal — fuel that enabled me to focus, become a high-performing student with a bright future in college, and go on to graduate school and then two great careers.

    It takes a lot to get me on a plane to leave my family. But as long as I work in the food industry, as long as I am a mom and as long as I live in this great country of ours, then I will work to connect kids with food. As No Kid Hungry’s co-founder Billy Shore often says, politics can be complicated, but feeding a child isn’t.

    When I think back to my own childhood, one of my favorite dishes was a simple American staple: meatloaf. So today I’m sharing with you my updated version of my childhood comfort-food fave: Meatloaf with Mustard and Sour Cream Gravy.

  • This New Machine Puts Fizzy Cocktails at Your Fingertips 17 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    SodaStream MIXIf cocktails are delicious and fizzy drinks are delicious, then it stands to reason that fizzy cocktails are delicious. That may be the thinking behind the recent enthusiasm for carbonated cocktails and a new wave in home carbonation systems that render effervescent any beverage, including those of the alcoholic variety.

    Perlage offers a superfancy (and pricey) professional cocktail bottling system, targeted at the hospitality industry, and a less expensive system and kit for consumers to use in the home. And now SodaStream is introducing a version of its popular seltzer maker designed to “carbonate any and all liquids, from pure fruit juices to alcoholic beverages.” (Apparently people have been employing their soda makers for this off-label use for a while now anyway.)

    The new SodaStream MIX, its sleek look the work of renowned designer Yves Behar, is set to debut this month at Milan Design Week 2015. Aimed at bartending pros and “sophisticated” consumers and expected to be available this summer, it will feature a color digital display panel and Bluetooth connectivity and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app.

    Sounds like a real gas.

    Don’t feel like waiting to have a fizzy cocktail? Here are a few sparkling wine cocktail ideas you can make right now.

    Photo courtesy of @designboom

  • A Baker’s Guide to Pantry Problems [INFOGRAPHIC] — Spring Baking Championship 17 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Pantry InfographicPantry Infographic

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