After making a scrumptious ratatouille sandwich, I couldn't get the tasty French dish out of my mind. This time, I opted to serve the cooked vegetables in a more traditional way: in a classic French crepe. Considering the prep work, ratatouille is a time-consuming dish, but once the veggies are cooking it's pretty fast and effortless. For the ratatouille, it's important to use your largest pan — I actually used a wok as it holds a larger volume. Each bite of the final dish is a complex and delicious combination of eggplant, onions, bell peppers, squash, tangy goat cheese, and crisp crepe. If you don't have time to make ratatouille, be sure to give the crepe recipe a chance. Crepes are simple to make and easy to customize — try adding herbs and cheese for a different take on the savory version. Or do what I did with the extra crepes and create a sweet crepe with strawberries and a thin layer of Nutella. To get started on your own French dinner, read more
Belong to the camp that loves watching the Food Network? You'll be happy to know that it's not only bringing back some of its popular shows for more seasons, but it'll also be adding some surprising new developments into the mix.
The Next Food Network Star is back for a fifth season in June — and a sixth is already planned for 2010. Once Top Chef Masters is over, you can tune into season two of The Next Iron Chef, which returns in October. Wondering what happened to season one contestants Chris Cosentino and Aaron Sanchez? Well, they'll be featured in a new program called Chef vs. City.
In the show, which debuts this July, the duo will be "pitted against two local foodies in a winner-takes-all race through a different city each week."
Intrigue is only one word we have for a new cooking show airing in August, starring none other than — you'll never guess — Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano. In the daytime show — tentatively and humorously titled What Would Brian Boitano Make?, the ice skater will demonstrate how he entertains for friends.
Also coming this year is Sandra Lee's budget-friendly cooking show Sandra's Money Saving Meals and Extreme Cuisine With Jeff Corwin, which sounds like Food Network's answer to Bizarre Foods. In 2010's lineup, Rescue Chef Danny Boome will host a new series that shows diners how to prepare healthier, cheaper versions of their favorite take-out dishes; Alton Brown will host a miniseries on foods that have changed the world; and Anne Burrell tackles a team of hopeless home cooks in Worst Cooks in America.
I can't wait to check out Boitano's show, for the shock factor. I'll also tune into watch Chris Cosentino and Aaron Sanchez, some of my favorites from Next Iron Chef. What shows are you looking forward to watching?
After making a scrumptious roast chicken, I decided to make my own chicken stock to not waste the carcass. I've purchased plenty of store-bought chicken broth and in a pinch it works perfectly. However, it doesn't compare to the homemade variation, which has a rich, strong chicken flavor and insanely delicious smell.
While the entire process is long, it requires little attention — only a quick skim and water check, periodically. This recipe makes about 16 cups of chicken stock. Since I can't imagine using it all at once, and want to have it on hand when I need it, I cooled the liquid and froze it in individual bags. To get started on your own homemade chicken stock, read more
Dunkin' Donuts has Rachael Ray, T.G.I. Fridays has Guy Fieri, and Applebee's has Tyler Florence, so it's only natural for Welch's to want their very own Food Network spokesperson. They've found the perfect match in food scientist Alton Brown. Brown will appear in the new 100 percent grape juice from Concord grapes campaign. He'll appear in television, print, and online advertising. Chris Heye, vice president of marketing for Welch's, explains why Alton is the perfect fit for grape juice:
People have a growing interest in foods and beverages that deliver health benefits. Alton is the perfect partner to help us explain the science behind our Concord grapes and the health benefits they deliver to moms and their families. He has a knack for conveying these messages in a way that is both engaging and credible.
The ads will run from now until March 2009. Although it may seem like an unlikely partnership, Alton selling grape juice is no stranger to me than Rachael selling donuts. What do you think, does Alton Brown make you want to buy grape juice?
- Celebrate Halloween by making ghoul-aid. — Hostess With the Mostess
- If you are staying in on election night, cook a red- or blue-themed dinner. — GlamDish
- European wines may contain high amounts of metal. — Vinography
- Looking for a candy that's good for you? Try kiwiberries! — The Epi-Log
- Everything you need to know about cheese. — Chow
- Learn the difference between regular, smoky, Spanish, and Hungarian paprikas. — The Kitchn
- Alton Brown on donuts. — Serious Eats
At his Kidz Kitchen demonstration at the NYC Wine and Food Festival, Alton Brown not only answered audience members questions, but he taught the eager crowd how to make a kid-friendly dish, a pancake cake with a slime-like avocado frosting. Here are his tips for making the most delicious pancakes:
- Always weigh out the dry ingredients. It's especially important to weigh out the flour which can become very compact.
- For the best batter consistency, use both all-purpose and cake flours.
- If using baking soda include an acidic ingredient in the wet mixture. Brown likes buttermilk.
- To create your own pancake mix, measure several batches of the dry ingredients. Keep stored in air-tight container. Shake to combine before using the pancake mix.
- Don't overbeat. The batter should be lumpy.
- Be patient! When bubbles form around the edges of the cake and the center looks firm and set, carefully pick up with a spatula and flip over.
Did Alton Brown forget something? What's your technique for making the best pancakes?
This weekend I was lucky enough to attend Alton Brown's demonstration at the NYC Wine and Food Festival. The demo was a part of a Kidz Kitchen series, so the studio was packed with aspiring young cooks.
In person, Brown — who's a bit weary-looking with longer, shaggy hair — is comical, scientific, and jokingly insulting. Watching a chef cook live is an interesting experience, especially when they answer the audience members' questions.
To get up close and personal with Alton Brown and find out what he had to say, read more
All weekend we've been attending the Food Network's Wine and Food Festival in New York City.
We learned some interesting food facts at the demonstrations and tastings. To find out what the celebrity chefs taught us, test your common culinary knowledge by taking our quiz!Take the Quiz
In case its around-the-clock food shows aren't enough for you, Food Network has announced it will test-launch a new cooking magazine.
The 160-page debut issue of the aptly titled Food Network Magazine will hit shelves on Oct. 14 with a rather limited distribution of 300,000 copies. In the glossy, television personalities Ina Garten, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence, Alton Brown, and Guy Fieri will offer readers tips, tricks, and recipes not demonstrated on their shows, plus behind-the-scenes looks at the network's sets and kitchens.
Should the periodical prove successful, a follow-up issue is slated for January 2009. Let's just hope the magazine is more creative than its title.
- Alton Brown talks about his next big career move.
- Alton Brown talks about his next big career move. — Chow
- Remember the award winning peanut butter cookies? Here they are recreated from scratch. — Baking Bites
- Or, if you're wondering what it tastes like when you make them exactly like suggested, see what other folks have to say. — Cookie Madness
- Check out this healthy tip for packing salads for a week. — FitSugar
- Learn how to effectively warm bread in the microwave. — The Kitchn
- Discover these fabulous tea finds. — Simply Stated
- One dish, two meals. Make double dinners with half the effort. — iVillage
- Looking for more Passover dessert ideas? — The Food Section
- Get the 411 on building and planting your own planter box. — CasaSugar
- It only took three years, but Pinkberry is officially "frozen yogurt." — Eater LA