It's midweek, and you're tired, hungry, and craving a meal that's more exciting than that pizza lurking in the depths of your freezer. This time you might dial up takeout or bust out a fast and easy pantry pasta dish, but chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a smart solution for weeks to come. To avoid this dilemma in the future, she suggests spending a couple of hours cooking on a cozy Sunday afternoon to set yourself up for an enticing meal later in the week. Watch the video for her satisfying squash pasta recipe — it can, and should be, made ahead, as it tastes even better after an overnight stay in the fridge. Then print out the recipe!
The music was pumping. Justin Warner was chillin'. "The secret ingredient is . . . gastronomy!" the party pamphlet declared. Where else could we be but The Next Iron Chef party at the New York City Wine & Food Festival? It was Saturday night at the jam-packed Highline Stages in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, and everyone from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to The Next Iron Chef: Redemption hopeful Alex Guarnaschelli was rocking the party, talking to guests and serving their most worthy dishes.
Curious to know what foods make the cut in Kitchen Stadium? Get a preview when you see the provisions plated by stars of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and Iron Chef America.
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
- Ditch the Paper: I used to have a million scraps of paper for grocery lists and recipe ideas, but now I organize it all on my phone instead. There are a lot of apps out there for this, but I really like OneNote, available on Windows Phone 7 phones. OneNote also has an audio-notes feature that I can imagine my mom using to record some notes for me on our family recipes.
- Simplify Cooking: Cookies are always a holiday staple and can be made in advance to save time on the big day. I can make my favorite cookie recipes from memory — the ones my mom and I bake every year — but when I’m looking for something new, there are search tools that make recipe hunts a lot easier. For example, Bing has a recipe search tool that includes pictures and can narrow down results by cooking method and occasion.
- Keep It Clean: I always feel better when my counters are clean — and I’ve found the same is true for my PC. I like to keep recipes and notes off of my desktop and online. SkyDrive is an easy tool to use to store files for free, and I can access my SkyDrive from my PC or phone, and send photos or meal ideas to my family and friends.
- Get Out: As much as I enjoy creating a fulfilling meal for my family, sometimes you just have to let someone else do the work. One of my favorite Windows phone features is Local Scout — anywhere I go I can scroll to Bing on my phone, press the Scout button, and see what restaurants and bars are close by, including reviews.
Hear about the gadgets Alex hopes to find under the tree this year after the break.
We caught up with her at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to get her thoughts on competing under pressure, making new celebrity chef friends, and the show's most emotional moments.
YumSugar: What was it like competing in Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs?
Alex Guarnaschelli: It was like going to sleep-away camp and being 18 again, in a way. You're removed from your normal life, in an abyss, with a knife and chunks of meat. It was an interesting experience. I made some friends that I didn't expect to make, like this one. [Michael Chiarello walks up].
Michael Chiarello: We had a love child on the series. [Winks.]
AG: I'd never met Michael Chiarello, as an example. I thought, "Wow, he's a tough cookie — I don't know about that one," but then we wound up in tears, laughing so hard, so many times. He would just give me that little look and a little flick of the eye, that little Clint Eastwood facial expression and it just kind of reboots you. It reminded me how alive we are. I don't know if that's good. It's kind of like being whipped with a thunderbolt.
Read on to hear more of Alex's takeaways from Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.
In between some homemade pizza baking, Alex, Ted, and a surprise guest talk about the star-studded lineup, the high-pressure stakes, and the serious beer drinking that goes on behind the scenes.
Find out more — and discover which chef makes a fun cameo! — when you watch the whole segment on Slashfood.
I also had some fun celebrity chef sightings: I bumped into Anne Burrell at the bar, watched as Guy Fieri and his entourage arrived at the space and scoped out the scene, and met the lovely Claire Robinson in person. There were so many scrumptious tacos that it was hard to select one as a favorite, but I really enjoyed Sue Torres' taco, a smoked fish in a crunchy shell.
To get a better taste of the tacos, check out all my images after the break.
Source: Flickr User FotoosVanRobin
Happy October! Although I can hardly believe both Summer and September are over, I'm fully embracing Fall and all of its deliciousness. From pumpkin carving parties to Halloween bashes, there's a lot to do! To get you in the mood for tricks, treats, and cool-weather foods, I've rounded up some items I can't live without. Here's what you must have to survive the next 31 days.
Masaharu Morimoto isn't the only celebrity chef to be serving stepped-up stadium food at future Yankees games. As part of the stadium's new Legends Culinary Series, at select games, famous New York chefs will serve up signature dishes at the stadium's Legends Suite Club.
In addition to Iron Chef Morimoto, the star-studded lineup of chefs will include Alex Guarnaschelli of The Cooking Loft and Butter restaurant, April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque. Chocolatier Godiva will also be on hand to create signature chocolate desserts.
Food Network has announced that it, too, will be rolling out its first-ever food stands. The stands will feature "quality takes on classic" foods that incorporate "the ethnic cuisines of New York City, Food Network's hometown," according to a statement from the network. Hot dogs, burgers, and fries will be in the mix — but so will Puerto Rican pork sandwiches and Chinese cold noodles.
Since variety is the spice of life, and because dining options at sports events do seem to be trending toward the upscale, I suppose premium dining at the stadium makes business sense. PartySugar and I both agree, however, that canapés can never take the place of chili dogs at the ballpark. What do you think? Would you want to eat gourmet cuisine at a sporting event?