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Archive for April, 2011

Spring Cupcakes for Easter

Cupcakes for Easter Spring Cupcakes for Easter

The most exciting aspect of spring for me is all of the color. Living in a place like Minnesota means that I see nothing but white landscapes for nearly 7 months of the year.  Then April arrives, the snow melts and life happens.  By Easter I am full of hope and promise for a more saturated season. These brightly colored cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate this joyous occasion. The classic yellow cake is light and has a soft, tender crumb; it is perfect topped with the sweet, creamy icing. The giant roses that sit on the cupcakes are not only gorgeous, but also simple to create with the right tools.

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Enter for an Opportunity to Meet Ching at the LUCKYRICE Festival

Chine-He Huang with Lucky Rice Festival

Cooking Channel’s own Ching-He Huang from Chinese Food Made Easy is joining the ranks of star chefs like David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Marcus Samuelsson and Anthony Bourdain to participate in the second-annual LUCKYRICE Festival, an exciting, week-long tribute to the incredible diversity of Asian culinary culture.

The NYC-based roster of festival events is a Who’s Whoin the Asian culinary world today, featuring truly unique events with chefs from Iron Chef Morimoto to Ming Tsai … see the full list here.

Ching hosts the LUCKYRICE Festival.

If you’ll be in NYC May 6-8, you can enter for an opportunity to win a pair of free tickets to two festival events, and meet Ching yourself!

Here’s how: Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post with a question you would pose to Ching about Chinese cooking. It could be a request for a specific tip on the best way to cook a dish, or a question about how she would tackle a specific ingredient. Get creative, but stick to questions about cooking that would have a broad appeal.

We’ll choose our favorite and award a grand prize:

  • A ticket for you and a guest to the Grand Feast on Friday, May 6 at 6-10pm
  • A ticket for you and a guest to Ching’s Talk + Taste on Sunday, May 8 at 1-4pm
  • A signed copy of Ching’s book Chinese Food Made Easy
  • Plus a chance to meet Ching!

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Cooking the Channel: Mark Bittman’s Braised Short Ribs

Mark Bittman's Braised Short Ribs

Mark Bittman's Braised Short Ribs

Until last week, I had never made short ribs at home. I order the silky soft cut as often as possible when I dine out, but braising a batch myself had always seemed out of the question — too time consuming, too intimidating.

It’s hard to say whether a lack of patience or confidence held me back, but something about leaving meat to slow cook continued to intimidate me. Until I stumbled upon Mark Bittman’s braised short rib’s recipe.

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Country Ham Antipasto

Country Ham Antipasto

Oh, the lowly country ham. The salty southern staple has faded in popularity over the past few years, but get ready people, because it’s making a comeback. With “local” and “artisanal” being all the rage, some of the South’s most respected ham curers have finally caught on to the trend.

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Pre-Salting Poultry and Meat

Pre-Salting Meat and Poultry

I think it was my love of eating that turned me into a cook, one who is always searching for methods to make what I cook taste ever better. Like many home cooks I’ve found myself in the middle of trying a new recipe when suddenly I realize I’m in trouble–the language is vague and the process inadequately described– so I have to wing it. In my contributions to Devour, I’m eager to define in simple language the terms that recipes often leave vague and explore the techniques, tips, and tricks that chefs and long-time cooks have acquired over the years.

For years now I’ve been brining my chickens and meats to make them tender and tastier, but it’s always been something of a bother, an annoying and time consuming additional step in the cooking process. Recently I tried a pre-salting technique championed by San Francisco chef Judy Roberts (of the Zuni Café) and food science writer Harold McGee. I was attracted by its simplicity, but marveled at the results.

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Asparagus Frittata, Your Easter Brunch Centerpiece

Frittata with Asparagus

Whether you’re looking for a centerpiece dish for your Easter brunch this Sunday or just looking for recipes in anticipation of the soon-to-be-everywhere asparagus, Giada’s Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina is for you.

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Torrejas with Lavender Honey Syrup

Torrejas with Lavendar Honey Syrup Torrejas with Lavender Honey Syrup

Though many people give up their favorite vices for Lent – chocolate, alcohol, Facebook – the season has its consolations, too, mostly in the form of custard-soaked bread fried in olive oil and drenched with wine, honey or spiced syrup.

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Nat’l Cheese Ball Day Is for Chicks

Chick cheese ball

Cluck.

Happy National Cheese Ball Day! The appetizer kind of cheese ball, not the fast-talking used car salesman with slicked-back hair and a leather blazer kind of cheese ball. Today is a special day just for celebrating the crowd-pleasing spreadable snack that you can customize with just about any flavor, and mold into just about any shape. (Don’t believe me? Check out this Cheese Ball Snowman, and this Cheesy Christmas Tree.)

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Sensational Guilt-Free Salads with Hungry Girl

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Aren’t all salads healthy?  Just watch the fat and calories pile up when you cover your leafy greens with a groupy dressing!

But today at 4pm ET, Hungry Girl shares her best recipes for delicious, tasty salads that won’t leave you drowning in calories!

  • Hungry Girl’s Scoopy Salmon Salad is so decadent and creamy, it’s hard to believe a serving has only 2 grams of fat. Believe it, baby!
  • The HG Special is one of Lisa’s all-time favorites. It’s loaded with so many delicious ingredients, it doesn’t even need dressing!
  • Finally, Hungry Girl’s Top of the Chops BBQ Chicken Salad is a delicious, totally guilt-free version of the popular restaurant version. Lisa’s tastes just as good and is just as large — hooray!

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Flourless Chocolate Torte for Passover

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless chocolate cake is a long-standing tradition on Passover. I have made several variations, but this one is far and away the most popular. It is made of several layers of a flourless chocolate-almond cake and bittersweet ganache. I make the whole thing without dairy, for those who keep to kosher laws, and you’ll never know the difference. It is one of the few times I use margarine and cream substitute and I promise it is absolutely divine.

The cake can be prepared in advance, wrapped well and refrigerator for a few days or frozen for a couple of weeks. This leaves you with less work to be done on Passover. Just decorate with some fresh berries and enjoy a slice of rich, chocolaty goodness after your dinner.

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