• Baking
  • 10 All-in-One Casseroles to Add to Your Weeknight Dinner Rotation

    Chicken, Sausage, Pepper and Onion Fake-BakeThere’s something so satisfying about serving a warm casserole for dinner, especially when it covers all the bases by combining a protein, grain and vegetable. But there’s more to love about the casseroles we’re talking about today: You can almost always prep them ahead of time or double them up as you go. Make one for now, and save the other in the freezer for later or for a friend.

    Chicken, Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake (pictured above)
    Not every casserole requires hours of time in the oven. Rachael Ray saves time by cooking the pasta, sausage and veggies separately, then popping the whole casserole under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.

    Tuna Noodle CasseroleTuna Noodle Casserole
    These are flavors I grew up on, right down to the good old frozen peas and carrots. But this revamped version adds just enough tangy Monterey Jack cheese to make believers out of a new generation.

    Quinoa Enchilada CasseroleQuinoa Enchilada Casserole
    This versatile option combines all the fresh flavors of your favorite enchiladas into one mouthwatering dish. Want to use rice instead of quinoa? How about adding chicken? Yes and absolutely. I’ve prepped this casserole every possible way, and the results are always the same: delicious.

    Tater Tot CasseroleTater Tot Casserole
    This is another classic with just enough updates to make modern kids swoon. This one’s light on the veggies, so I like to double up the carrots and celery.

    Cornbread-Chili CasseroleCornbread-Chili Casserole

    Featuring a satisfying filling of spiced ground beef and corn, Trisha Yearwood’s easy casserole gets an added boost of comfort with the help of a cornbread topping.

    Baked Pasta with Spaghetti SquashBaked Pasta with Spaghetti Squash
    Not only is this one of the easiest pasta bakes you’ll ever put together, but it’s also the most-covert way to get a little extra nutrition into dinner.

    Chicken and Rice CasseroleChicken and Rice Casserole
    Not only does this speedy casserole feature a brilliant splash of color and flavor with the addition of tomatoes and broccoli, but this classic casserole recipe another major perk: You need only one pan to make it.

    Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs and PeppersBaked Rigatoni with Meatballs and Peppers
    Full of crispy pancetta, fresh basil and juicy plum tomatoes, the sauce for this baked pasta comes together in a hurry — and provides the base for the best pasta mash-up you’ll have all year.

    Zucchini Lasagna with SausageZucchini Lasagna with Sausage
    This healthy crowd-pleaser is my go-to dish for two things: doubling the recipe and either freezing one for later or bringing the extra to a friend.

    Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and PeasCheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas
    Save this one for your post-Easter ham leftovers. It features a rich cream sauce with just enough peas for a pop of color.

    Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids and lives in North Carolina on a mini farm in the making. She’s a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post and eHow Food and the founder of Foodlets.com, a food and parenting blog where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested x4. You can follow her on Facebook.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • 11 Recipes from Giada That Will Transition You Into Spring

    Pancetta-Wrapped Pork RoastWhile Italian comfort food seems to fit the winter bill, Giada De Laurentiis proves that there are some fresher takes that are prefect for our transition into spring. By incorporating seasonal produce like artichokes, asparagus and strawberries — and balancing them out with hearty ingredients like ciabatta bread, mascarpone and bowtie pasta — she bridges the winter-spring gap seamlessly.

    Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast
    In place of the usual ham, try introducing a pork roast to your Easter dinner menu this year. This one is blanketed with crispy pancetta, which means it’s certainly not lacking for flavor.

    Smokey Candied Carrots with Walnut Gremolata Smokey Candied Carrots with Walnut Gremolata
    Upgrade carrots with a sweet syrup and a walnut-herb topping for a dish that is great year round.

    Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Fried EggPan-Roasted Asparagus with a Crispy Fried Egg
    Dressed up with a fried egg and finished with a cheesy gremolata, this veggie-forward dish is meant for spring.

    Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry GlazeMascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze
    Utilizing store-bought cake mix and frozen strawberries helps this dessert come together quickly. But the impressive look and flavor of the cupcakes will make it seem like you spent hours in the kitchen.

    Pasta PrimaveraPasta Primavera
    Giada likes to roast the veggies in her top-rated primavera in order to boost their natural sweetness.

    Pea Pesto CrostiniPea Pesto Crostini (pictured above)
    Giada’s fresh pesto, which swaps traditional basil for peas, is best served on a toasted piece of ciabatta bread and topped with sweet cherry tomatoes.

    Herbed QuinoaHerbed Quinoa
    Simply seasoned with lemon and fragrant herbs, this light quinoa dish will become one of your go-to recipes.

    Herbed Chicken with Spring VegetablesHerbed Chicken with Spring Vegetables
    To make chicken bursting with flavor, Giada recommends placing an herb mixture under the skin so the flavors infuse into the meat. Add a medley of spring vegetables — baby carrots, morel mushrooms and snap peas — for a hearty dinner.

    Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula SaladBeet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
    Served with a combination of walnuts, dried cranberries and avocado, the sweet roasted beets balance the peppery flavor of the arugula.

    Artichoke and Tomato PanzanellaArtichoke and Tomato Panzanella
    Giada’s salad calls for simple ingredients you may already have on hand, like basil, black olives and tomatoes. Tossed with grilled bread cubes and artichoke hearts, this salad is both vibrant and rustic.

    Grilled Vegetables
    Add smoky, charred flavor to veggies like asparagus, mushrooms and squash by quickly grilling them. Giada brightens up this go-to side dish with a balsamic vinaigrette.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • White Chocolate Fans, Your M&M’s Will Soon Be Here

    White Chocolate Fans, Your M&M's Will Soon Be HereWhite chocolate has its devout fans, who think it’s the best chocolate, and its equally dedicated detractors, who may even question whether it really deserves to be called “chocolate” at all.

    Those who fall into the former camp will be happy to hear they’ve scored a victory that will melt in their mouth, not in their hand. White chocolate M&M’s (or M&M’s White Chocolate, as they will officially be known) will arrive in stores in May — and they will be there to stay.

    Previously a pastel-candy-coated seasonal offering was released for a limited time each spring, but now M&M’s White Chocolate — in classic M&M’s colors — will be available all year long. Suh-weet!

    “M&M’S White Chocolate will hit shelves at select food, mass, convenience and drug stores nationwide starting in May 2017 in Singles (1.5 ounces) packs that feature the brand’s iconic colorful candy shells,” a Mars spokesperson confirmed to FN Dish. “Fans of the brand will now be able to enjoy M&M’S White Chocolate year-round.”

    Because why should the Easter Bunny have all the fun? Now you can dream of a white chocolate M&M Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. Or Fourth of July.

    Photo courtesy of Mars, Incorporated

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • What to Do with the Season’s First Asparagus

    Roasted AsparagusSomething new has happened in our house this year. We’ve become a two-bundle family — in terms of asparagus, this is. One dainty parcel of asparagus, wrapped in a single rubber band, won’t cut it anymore. That’s because every time I cook a pound of asparagus, my husband and our four small rascals hoover that stuff up so fast I hardly have time to snag a spear myself.! So we’ve graduated. And it’s for the best. Now if I could just decide on which of these dishes to start with.

    Ina Garten’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above)
    If you’ve never cooked asparagus before, and certainly if this is your children’s first taste of it, you must start with this classic recipe. Only the Barefoot Contessa could use so few ingredients to generate a fan-favorite dish with more than 300 user reviews.

    Homemade Pizza with Asparagus, Ricotta and LemonHomemade Pizza with Asparagus, Ricotta and Lemon
    It’s always nice for kids to help with dinner, and nothing gets them more interested in actually eating dinner than lending a hand in making it. There are a few simple steps for kids to jump in along the way when prepping this simple pizza, dotted with creamy ricotta and zesty lemon.

    Asparagus CasseroleTrisha Yearwood’s Asparagus Casserole
    This two-layer side dish is a Southern cook’s dream. Start with a layer of fresh asparagus, and top it with a creamy, cheesy blanket of eggs and saltine crackers.

    Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise SauceRoasted Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
    This brunch favorite is easier to make than you might think. All you need is a blender for creamy results.

    Asparagus Bacon BundlesAsparagus Bacon Bundles
    This recipe follows a tried-and-true rule of cooking: Anything wrapped in bacon is going to be pretty darn good.

    Penne with Asparaugs and Cherry TomatoesGiada De Laurentiis’ Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
    What happens when sweet peas mingle with asparagus, garlic, fresh basil and tomatoes? You get the taste of spring on a plate.

    Asparagus FrittataAsparagus Frittata with Feta Cheese
    Trisha’s satisfying recipe makes a great centerpiece at brunch, but you can also move it to nighttime. Serve this vegetarian dinner with a big loaf of crusty bread and a salad on the side.

    Grilled Asparagus BruschettaGrilled Asparagus Bruschetta
    For a quick party bite, look no further than these 20-minute toasts, slathered with a goat cheese mixture and finished with tender grilled asparagus.

    Easy Spring Asparagus with Peas & Parmesan
    Busy parents, this one’s for you. Just steam the veggies, then drizzle fresh lemon and a touch of shaved Parmesan cheese on top. It’s a kid-friendly side dish done in minutes.

    Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids and lives in North Carolina on a mini farm in the making. She’s a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post and eHow Food and the founder of Foodlets.com, a food and parenting blog where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested x4. You can follow her on Facebook.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Your Weekend Project: 5 Dinner Party Recipes to Impress Guests


    On weeknights, we just want to get dinner done, the sooner the better. On the weekend though, we’re ready for a challenge – like planning a multi-course meal with dishes our guests will remember for years to come. Here are 5 recipes to help you show your cooking prowess and plan a dinner party menu to dazzle friends and family.

    Pea Pesto Crostini

    Keep things easy for the appetizer round with a light and bright starter. The 12-minute recipe features a simple pesto with peas, garlic, Parmesan and olive oil.

    Cheese and Chile-Stuffed Mushrooms

    Take stuffed mushrooms to the next level with portobellos. In this vegetarian-friendly recipe, the meatiest of mushrooms is stuffed with poblano peppers, scallions, parsley, mozzarella and wheat germ for a flavorful blend in every bite.

    Osso Buco

    For the main dish, make Giada De Laurentiis’ 5-star recipe for osso buco, which are veal shanks braised in a flavorful sauce of white wine, vegetables, tomato paste, chicken stock and a bouquet garni of rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cloves.

    Vegetable Tarte Tatin

    Go rustic with a show-stopping tarte tatin, a French upside-down pastry. This savory take on the dish is made with earthy root vegetables, which are roasted and baked into a layer of caramel and puff pastry.

    Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

    Cookies might seem commonplace but trust us when we say everyone at the dinner table will be more than delighted when you bake and serve this supersized version in a skillet.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • From Kitchen Stadium to the Gauntlet: Alton Brown Returns to the World of Iron Chef, and We’ve Got the Scoop

    Iron Chef GauntletLet’s get one thing straight: No one knows food quite like Alton Brown. Whether he’s dishing on the internal organ structure of snails or explaining the etymology of soy lecithin, his ability to school us on all matters culinary is simply uncanny, and it’s for largely that reason he made a top-notch host of Iron Chef America for the 12-season run of the series. But now, for the first time since 2013, Alton is returning to the world of Iron Chef, this time as the host of Iron Chef Gauntlet, the all-new elite competition in which seven challengers are set to compete against not only each other but also a gauntlet of Iron Chefs for the chance to join their ranks.

    We checked in with Alton as he prepared for this much-anticipated premiere, and he gave us the inside scoop on what’s to come on Iron Chef Gauntlet, plus his take on how to succeed in this unique beast of a contest. Read on below for an exclusive interview, with Alton, then look back on some of the best culinary fun facts he’s ever shared on Iron Chef America.

    In many ways Iron Chef Gauntlet will be similar to The Next Iron Chef, but the idea of a three-tiered gauntlet in the finale is new. What are you most excited to see from these six episodes?
    Alton Brown: Straightforward cooking at its highest level.

    What do you think fans at home might not realize about what it takes to cook at that very high level?
    AB: That in this situation, you’re cooking against yourself, you’re cooking against the clock and you’re cooking against everybody else.

    We’ve seen you host Iron Chef America countless times before, but your role here will be a bit different. What can we expect?
    AB: Well, my job is certainly different than it has been in the past, because I’m actually judging the first round in each show and deciding who’s going to be going on to the second round.

    And with that comes tasting, right?
    AB: Yes. I will be tasting all of the first-round food, all of the Chairman’s Challenges. I’ll be tasting and deciding.

    Are there certain technical elements or flavors that you absolutely must see in what the challengers offer you?
    AB: No, but if a technique is offered, it must be done correctly. What I’m looking for, and what we’re always looking for in Iron Chef food, is that that Secret Ingredient has to be the focus of the dish. But if you tell me it’s a saute, then it better be sauteed. If you tell me it’s a braise, it better be braised. But that’s all very often up to the description by the chef.

    Is there anything for which you will simply not forgive them?
    AB: Sloppy technique, most certainly. Sloppy knife work. One of the first things that falls off to the side when the clock is running is knife work, is consistent knife cuts, and I won’t put up with that.

    Why is this title of Iron Chef such a big deal? What does it mean to stand in these ranks?
    AB: I think it’s because on Iron Chef, and on Iron Chef America, the food has always mattered most. It’s not a gameshow where people are running through kiddie tubes and climbing walls and swinging on ropes. They’re cooking, and we look for the people who do that better than anybody else does.

    On Iron Chef America, you saw the good, the bad and the ugly go down in countless episodes, so you know what it takes to do well in battle. What kinds of demands will the challengers face when they begin this competition?
    AB: The biggest demand is to not fall into a mind trap. When you’re cooking against the clock, all chefs know how to hurry. They do it every night during service. So you can’t really think about that too much. You can’t think about what the judge is going want, what I’m going want. You’ve got to cook your food. And so you have to create kind of a little dome of protection for yourself to just do what it is you do without letting all of those other circumstances encroach on your little fortress of solitude.

    Tune in to the premiere of Iron Chef Gauntlet on Sunday, April 16 at 9|8c.

    Related Reading:

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • The Journey to the Gauntlet: Chatting with Challenger Stephanie Izard from Iron Chef Gauntlet

    Iron Chef GauntletThis. Is. It. The fight to become an Iron Chef is unlike any other culinary competition, with the demands for precision, expertise, intuition and downright excellence the most rigorous in the business. On Iron Chef Gauntlet, seven of the country’s most-elite chefs will come together to prove that their skills are the sharpest — but ultimately just one will earn the right to the run the gauntlet for the chance to join the ranks of the great Iron Chefs.

    Before the competition begins on Sunday, April 16 at 9|8c, we’re giving you, Iron Chef fans, the first introductions to the crop of challengers ready to do battle. Today we’d like you to meet Stephanie Izard, a chef from Chicago. Read on below to get to know her style in the kitchen, and be sure to come back to FN Dish all week long as we present a new contender every day this week.

    What’s your style of cuisine, and do you have a signature dish?
    Stephanie Izard: I wouldn’t say I have a signature dish, because I just make a lot of different things and I think my favorites kind of change, but I like to cook foods from all over the world and just keep trying to learn more and more about different flavors. So a lot of focus on Asian cuisines, I would say, whether it’s Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese. But I try to dabble in some other areas too.

    What’s your proudest culinary achievement to date?
    SI: Food & Wine Best New Chef. When I got that I couldn’t even breathe, and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone around me when they called. And Dana, who makes the calls, she was like, “You didn’t sound very excited.” I’m like, “There were people around me.” I couldn’t even explain how excited I was. That was something that was always a goal of mine.

    What’s your strongest skill in the kitchen, be it something technical or mental?
    SI: I definitely don’t have mental skills in the kitchen. I think putting the right balance of acid and seasoning. I’m really good at balancing flavors.

    Why do you have what it takes to be an Iron Chef? What makes you worthy of joining such esteemed ranks?
    SI: I think that because I cook so many different things, I have an array of things I can do, and I’m extremely competitive. So, when I’m given ingredients, I take the competitive nature and I take all the different things that I like to challenge myself to learn how to do. That’s a good winning combination.

    What makes you unique in terms of your culinary expertise or your approach to food?
    SI: I think our approach in our restaurants, of course it’s about the food, but it’s about the front of the house and the atmosphere and everything kind of fitting together just really making you feel warm and welcome and comfortable. And challenging you a little bit, and always getting people to try new things, but it’s very approachable at the same time.

    What do you think fans at home might not realize about what it takes to cook at such a high level?
    SI: I think a lot of times, especially with TV now, people look at being a chef as being a sort of glorified thing, which is awesome, but there are so many people at my restaurants who make it happen. Yes, I work most every day, but the reason I can be sitting here now is because I have such amazing chefs and sous chefs that work for me, and when people come in, they’re like, Oh Stephanie didn’t cook this?” Well, I mean, way back when I did that, but I think people don’t even realize how many hands it takes to get a restaurant to where it is.

    Tell us about a day in your life. What are some of your primary responsibilities and roles?
    SI: I have the three restaurants, and then also I have a book and we’re launching a magazine. So, my days are checking on all the restaurants, managing all of my sous chefs, working on new dishes, working on specials — we have blue plate specials every day at the diner, so I still work on those — and really just coordinating and making sure everything’s happening okay at all the restaurants, trying to run around. And then aside from that, making time for the projects outside of the restaurants. We have a catering company now too, so we focus a lot on marketing and things like that. So you wear lots of hats.

    How did you prepare for this competition?
    SI: I don’t know how you really can prepare for this. Honestly, I took a couple of my dumpling and noodle recipes and memorized the grams, which I was surprised I had the brain capacity to do on the airplane, and I don’t know if other people did the same thing. But there’s definitely some things that I make that have to be very specific in the amounts of measurements, so I tried to memorize those. And then I’m just trying to remain calm and hope that everything that I can do at the restaurants can filter into the competition.

    If you had the chance to battle one Iron Chef, who would you choose and why?
    SI: I guess Michael Symon, since I lost to him on Iron Chef America. It was very close. We made a soufflé. That’s crap. Just kidding. And he’s fun. I think that Michael Symon’s someone that now I’m friends with. I think it would be a fun, friendly battle.

    What would be a Secret Ingredient that you’d dread finding on the altar, and why?
    SI: I mean, just with the time constraints, if they give us each our own whole animal, I feel like that might make me a little bit nervous.

    Is there any dish or ingredient that you don’t care for or will not eat?
    SI: No, I pretty much like to eat everything.

    Beyond a knife and a tasting spoon, what’s one of your favorite kitchen tools?
    SI: I’m pretty simple, but one of the things that I brought with me that I needed was my little Chinese rolling pin. It’s a little marble rolling pin that’s nice, and it stays cold, so it’s good for the dough. It’s very heavy, so it’s easy to push down on the dumplings, and it’s small — little hands making dumplings. It’s so simple, but it works.

    What’s your favorite ingredient to work with these days? Anything new you’re obsessing over right now?
    SI: Fish sauce is my favorite ingredient, and you can tell when you come to my restaurants that we get in pallets of fish sauce.

    What do you like to cook on your days off?
    SI: It’s a little chilly in Chicago right now, but we love using the grill. For Christmas we actually took a couple ducks from Duck, Duck Goat and did grilled peaking duck. So when we moved into our house, the first thing we did was build a grill in the backyard. It’s a gas-wood combo. That’s my favorite.

    Who do you consider to be your culinary mentor?
    SI: That’s a question that comes up a lot, as it should, but I didn’t work for one chef for a really long time and have a mentor in that way, so I think there’s lots. From cookbooks, I think Mario Batali was one of my first mentors, just from reading his stuff. I worked for Shawn McClain, who’s in Vegas now. … I think I’ve learned little bits and things from so many people.

    What’s the first dish you think an aspiring Iron Chef should master?
    SI: They always say just making a nice omelet.

    What do you think is the most-underrated ingredient or dish these days?
    SI: That’s a hard one. Oh my husband is always like, “You should just make French bread pizza. Just do it. Make French bread pizza.” That sounds really good.

    Besides cooking, what do you like to do?
    SI: I swim before work — I’m on a swim team — so that’s how I stay normal. I haven’t done it in a few days, so I don’t feel normal. And we have a baby, so that’s what life is all about right now, spending time with our baby.

    Any guilty food pleasures you’d like to reveal?
    SI: Oh, I eat all sorts of crap. We always have Cheez-Its around the house. I actually took them away for a little while, but they’re back and I’m pretty sure that Ernie, my baby, is going to be a Cheez-It lover as well.

    Is there anything you want to say to introduce yourself to new audiences?
    SI: Hi, I’m Stephanie Izard. If folks happen to come to Chicago, come to Duck, Duck Goat. It’s really fun, and we have this cool little take-out window that’s street food, which I think is my favorite menu of stuff. And there’s not information released yet, but we’re launching a magazine this year, so just keep an ear out for that.

    Tune in to the premiere of Iron Chef Gauntlet on Sunday, April 16 at 9|8c.

    Related Reading:

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • 11 Fresh Takes on Spring Recipes from Bobby

    Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Black OlivesWhile recent snowstorms and confusing weather patterns across the county might have you revisiting your winter wardrobe, the truth is that spring is officially here. It’s time to move away from soups and stews and venture into all the fresh produce this season has to offer. In celebration of spring, we’ve rounded up some of Bobby Flay’s best recipes that will have you craving the flavors of the season.

    Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Black Olives (pictured above)
    As pasta salad season approaches, think outside of the box by using quinoa instead of the usual noodles. Follow Bobby’s lead and boil the quinoa with fresh thyme to infuse it with flavor as it cooks.

    Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa
    Nothing adds freshness to a meal like homemade salsa. Bobby mixes tomatoes, herbs and habanero pepper to create a fresh concoction that tops his spice-coated snapper fillets.

    Mustard Glazed Baked Ham and Pimento Cheese BiscuitsMustard Glazed Baked Ham and Pimento Cheese Biscuits
    Bobby starts by baking a juicy ham with a mustard-thyme glaze before piling the meat onto fluffy biscuits with a rich pimento cheese spread.

    Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas
    Turn the time you spend cooking dinner into happy hour with a fast cocktail. When crafting this refreshing margarita, Bobby balances the tart flavor of rhubarb with the sweetness of fresh strawberries.

    Sauteed Kale Sauteed Kale
    For a healthy side dish, kale is a flavorful go-to — especially when the greens are sauteed in garlic and dressed with tangy red wine vinegar.

    Carmelized Onion Spinach and Gruyere Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Strata with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes
    Think of this dish as a savory breakfast bread pudding. The cheesy egg custard lends moisture to the casserole, which Bobby likes to serve with juicy cherry tomatoes.

    Buckwheat Noodle Salad Buckwheat Noodle Salad
    Skip your usual Italian-focused pasta in favor of this lighter noodle dish, which boasts bold Asian-inspired flavors. Quick-cooking buckwheat noodles (also known as soba noodles) are tossed with cucumbers, red bell peppers and carrots, then finished with sweet and spicy mixture of honey and chili sauce.

    Carrot SaladCarrot Salad
    Bobby gives this seasonal veggie a spicy twist with a tangy vinaigrette, featuring cayenne pepper, parsley, lemon juice and cumin.

    Peas with Shallots and PancettaPeas with Shallots and Pancetta
    By using frozen peas, this top-rated side dish, studded with crispy pancetta, can be on the table in 20 minutes.

    Crunchy Avocado SaladCrunchy Avocado Salad
    A topping of crunchy tortilla chips adds welcome texture to this 15-minute no-cook salad.

    https://i0.wp.com/thusbakeszarathustra.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GL0813_Grilled_Chicken.jpg.rend_.hgtvcom.616.462.jpeg?w=697Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic Oregano Vinaigrette and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes
    Bobby’s secret to turning out moist grilled chicken? Using skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. For added flavor, he finishes both the grilled bird and the potatoes with a simple roasted garlic vinaigrette.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Ticket to Dine: Why This Chef ‘Uberized’ His Michelin-Starred Restaurant

    Would you eat at a restaurant if you had to foot the entire bill in advance?

    Turns out it’s not that wild of a concept. More and more Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park in New York and Alinea and Acadia in Chicago are converting to a ticketing system where diners reserve their tables by paying for the entire meal weeks, sometimes months, ahead of the booking — even the waiter’s tip.

    Think of it like a Broadway ticket, or seats to a baseball game.

    We have no reservations about purchasing these, yet the idea of paying for food one has yet to ingest is something we’re still getting used to.

    So why are restaurants bothering with ticketing sites like Tock when the rest of the world is on reservation services like OpenTable?

    Acadia Chef Ryan McCaskey likens it to Uber: “I like the idea of the diner not having to worry about the bill at the end of the night, especially after a great meal.”

    The focus, then, gets placed on the experience of the dinner — as more than just sustenance, but as an event in and of itself.

    Though this might seem like a precedent for the postmodern death of the server and the end of his or her services, McCaskey argues that this unburdening in fact frees up the wait staff so they can focus on more important things like wine pairings, conversation and narrative. The diner, in turn, gets to benefit on what really matters: the food.

    The convenience of a prepaid reservation is a benefit to the restaurant, as well. People are less likely to back out. Every year restaurants lose thousands of dollars on no-shows and cancellations. But tickets, like security deposits, guarantee a diner’s commitment. No refunds.

    Jessica Coen sums it up well: “[I]f Beyoncé doesn’t give [refunds] for her live performances, why should a Michelin-starred chef?”

    McCaskey had reservations about this model for Acadia. He felt that there was a need — no matter how much we’ve automated the service industry and food culture at large — for a little wiggle room. Because life happens.

    At Acadia, there are no refunds. But should you be unable to make a ticketed reservation, you have up to a year to reschedule your dinner. The ticketing system requires commitment, but it’s not an ironclad fist.

    Acadia even accepts walk-ins (though reservations are encouraged), especially at off-times. A 5 ’o clock booking will cost you less than a 7 or 8 ’o clock.

    If ticketing is, truly, the future of dining, then maybe it’ll catch up in the way that car services like Uber and Lyft have monopolized transportation in metropolitan cities.

    The question here is whether or not people consider food an event.

    They say food culture is culture. And if that’s the case, it’s no wonder then that America is finally starting to take dinner seriously and treat it as it should be — like a Beyoncé concert.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Modest Lunch Spot in France Mistakenly Awarded a Michelin Star

    Modest Lunch Spot in France Mistakenly Awarded a Michelin StarEveryone makes mistakes, and chortling over those of others can make a person feel uncharitable. (People who live in glass houses and all …) Still, it’s hard not to gawp and guffaw at a recent error — one as amusing as it was alarming — by the Michelin hotel and restaurant guide.

    The august arbiter of taste messed up last month when it accidentally awarded one of its prestigious stars to a restaurant called Le Bouche à Oreille in Bourges, a town in central France. The coveted Michelin star was actually intended for a different restaurant named Le Bouche à Oreille, a fancy fine-dining establishment in Boutervilliers, near Paris.

    While the Bourges bar/restaurant, located on route de la Chapelle, serves hardy lunches to a local working-class crowd seated at plastic-covered tables and has only a part-time cook, the Boutervilliers spot, located on rue de la Chapelle and overseen by chef-owner Aymeric Dreux, serves things like lobster and foie gras to clientele seated in cushy armchairs around elegant tables.

    The Bourges brasserie’s owner Véronique Jacquet told the New York Times that, when she heard on the radio that her modest café had been awarded a Michelin star, she knew straightaway there had been a mistake.

    “I laughed out loud,” Jacquet told the paper. “It was impossible that this could happen to me.”

    Still, all’s well that ends well. After about a week, Michelin apologized for the error. In the meantime, Jacquet’s humble eatery has been “swamped” with customers curious about its mistaken star, she told the Guardian.

    Even sweeter, Dreux invited Jacquet and her part-time chef to come dine at his restaurant. It has a Michelin star, you know.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!