Archive for February, 2011

Untrapped: Athens With Jamie Oliver

In Athens, Jamie gets into a friendly Souvlaki-making race with this young Greek cook.

“The only way to understand a culture and a country is to get into the restaurants, get to the markets. That’s the only way.” — Jamie Oliver

Athens, Greece. Most tourists take in the highlights of this ancient Greek capital before jetting off to the surrounding islands. Sure, the Acropolis is a must; hire a guide and take it all in. But before and after your history lesson, Jamie Oliver will make sure you eat well. On Jamie’s Food Escapes tonight at 8pm/7c, our favorite food-obsessed travel guide uncovers the culinary side of Athens.

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Chowder: Manhattan vs. New England

Chowder — it’s coastal comfort food at its best. Tonight on United Tastes of America, Jeffrey Saad explores how this classic American seafood stew has been adapted to fit local tastes, and he delves into the controversy that surrounds Manhattan clam chowder.

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Oscars + Food

Winter's Bone-In Pork Chops

Though more of a foodie than a movie buff, I’m only one film short of having seen all the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. And while it’s enjoyable to debate with friends which picture should take home the top prize of awards’ season, it’s even more so to see who can come up with the punniest, funniest Oscar movie/food combo.

Here are some of my favorite so far.

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Waffles: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Pearl Sugar Waffle

The Waffle Window's Pearl Sugar Waffle

On tonight’s episode of Unique Eats, the crew hits up the Waffle Window in Portland, Oregon, as part of their explorations of Street Food. We were inspired by the versatility of the menu items at The Waffle Window: stop in for breakfast, lunch, a snack or dinner!

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Rachael Knows Comfort Food

Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

Rachael puts a special, semi-healthy twist to a classic comfort food with Cauliflower Mac N Cheese.

Is anyone else loving Rach’s all new Week in a Day show + recipes? After cooking in 30-minute mode for years (making tons of meat patties and chicken tenders), it’s exciting to see Rachael breaking out her special takes on casseroles, slow-cooked faves and more make-ahead wonders. The recipes are still easy and no-fuss, but now dishes can cook in the oven or simmer on the stove for more than 25 minutes. And, lucky for us, she’s reveling in comfort foods and all their ooey, gooey, yumm-o goodness.

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Enjoy Guilt-Free Cheeseburgers and Onion Rings with Hungry Girl

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When you get a craving for fast food, nothing else will hit the spot! But what if you’re trying to watch what you eat? Kinda puts a damper on the fun. Can you ever enjoy American fast-food classics like cheeseburgers, onion rings and apple pie ever again?

Enter Hungry Girl. She remakes these favorites into low-cal, guilt-free recipes you can make yourself.

  • Her Island Insanity Burger packs all flavors you crave in a juicy burger, loaded with toppings.
  • Serve it with a crispy order of Lord of the Onion Rings, super crunchy from an ingredient swap you won’t believe!
  • Then Hungry Girl goes all the way with a Baked Apple Pie-let that satisfies every dessert craving you’ll ever have.

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Snack Food, Italian-Style

Use leftover risotto to fry up arancini, an addictive Italian snack.

In Rome, there’s a McDonald’s mere steps from the Spanish Steps. It’s always busy, but I can’t imagine why anyone would choose McDonald’s over authentic Italian snack food. Fast-food French fries vs. freshly-fried arancini risotto balls? That’s a no-brainer.

“Italians are experts in some of the most creative and satisfying snack foods around,” says Mario Batali, a true expert in all things Italian (and all things delicious).

Tonight on Ciao America, Mario’s visiting food spots across the country for the best Italian snacks, stateside. In Rhode Island, Saint Louis and New York, Mario finds the panini, the frittatas, the grilled pizzas and spiedini that are ready to eat pronto!

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Crafting a Better Pizza Crust

The guys at Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn know what they're doing. Photo: Roberto Ferdman

When perfected, pizza crust is light and airy, substantial enough to hold its toppings, but never so heavy that it weighs you down. Each bite is at once chewy and crunchy, and each mouthful is a delicious balance between texture and taste.

But last week when I pulled a pie from out of my own oven, it was none of those. I kneaded it and let it rise, shaped it, dressed and tossed it into an oven set at the highest possible temperature. To my disappointment, the crust was dense and heavy. Where did I go wrong?

Looking for an answer, I caught up with Frank Pinello from Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to learn the ins and outs of perfecting pizza crust.

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Extra Virgin on Wheels: Bruschetta To Go

A very special Italian food truck -- Debi gets our menu ready.

This week on Extra Virgin, Debi and I volunteer our time for an important Los Angeles charity, Midnight Mission. Our contribution is to cook up a few Italian specialities and sell them on the Vesuvio Food Truck to a very hungry crowd. All the proceeds are going to The Midnight Mission!

On the menu are Turkey Meatballs, risotto croquettes or Arancini, and Sautéed Mushroom Bruschetta.

Meatballs and arancini are real treats in Tuscany, but bruschetta is a staple. It’s served in every home; in every bar as early as 11 am, when people get out of the office for a glass of prosecco or a traditional spuma (a light Italian soda); and as an appetizer for every event you might attend. But any time of the day is good for bruschetta, and the variety of toppings used is incredibly abundant, and seasonal.

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The Veg Edge Makes an Encore

Julie Hasson and Native Bowl food truck in Portland.

Cooking Channel special The Veg Edge shows vegetarians and vegans — food truck owners, chefs and restaurateurs — as adventurous, flavor-loving food people rather then the rabbit food-gnawing, red paint-on-fur-throwing, protein-deficient activists some people consider them to be.

When we first announced the show on our Facebook page, a pretty healthy debate was sparked about the merits of a meat-free lifestyle (and a cooking show dedicated to it). Here are some highlights:

Jesse Lynne: I seriously can’t wait, I’m going on 3 years of being a veg-head and i was wishing for a cooking show just for vegetarians! THANK YOU!!!!!

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