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Archive for June, 2011

The Originals: Emeril Heads Home to NOLA

At Café du Monde, you're bound to leave with powdered sugar all over yourself. It's worth it.

Tonight on The Originals, Emeril is down south in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. He’s got several applauded restaurants of his own in the Big Easy, but the places he highlights go back way before his time.

Café du Monde is a Jackson Square landmark beloved by locals and tourists alike. Emeril delights in the simple pleasure of beignets – New Orleans-style doughnuts buried in powdered sugar—and chicory-laced coffee.  

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4th of July Berry Tart Recipe

Berry Tart Recipe

Patriotic colors and summery flavors combine to make this the perfect 4th of July dessert. Red raspberries, white chocolate pastry cream and blueberries top an almond shortbread crust. Add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and you have an easy, yet elegant, pastry.

I made the tart in a rectangular pan to mimic the shape of the flag, but it also works well in a more traditional round pan or even as individual tartlettes. Later in the summer try this same dessert, but switch the berries for fresh peaches or plums.

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Cherry Condition

Cherry Recipe

I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for those Day-Glow red maraschino cherries that lurk in the murky depths of the classic Manhattan. They’re nostalgic, and always good for a bar bet if you can tie the stems with your tongue. But let’s face it: They don’t really taste much like cherries. Or, for that matter, anything but sugar. And red.

In the interest of having a cherry that tastes like a cherry, consider making your own maraschinos. It really couldn’t be easier, other than the grueling effort of pitting the stubborn little buggers. (This can be greatly expedited by employing eager, young hands and one of these swank tabletop cherry pitters.) Or not: You can leave the pits in some or all; they lend a pleasing, almond-like flavor to the final product. That flavor happens to come from – ahem – cyanide, but it’s in quantities small enough to be merely delicious, not deadly.

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Gumbo Secrets From the “Queen of Creole Cuisine”

Ben Sargent of Hook, Line & Dinner

“I went to Dooky Chase
To get me something to eat
The waitress looked at me and said

Ray, you sure look beat,

Now it’s early in the morning
And I ain’t got nothing but the blues”

—Ray Charles, “Early in the Morning Blues”

For anyone traveling to New Orleans on a food pilgrimage, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant is a must-stop. Thanks for the tip, Ray!

Leah Chase, co-owner and star chef at Dooky Chase, was just about the coolest person I have ever met.  I don’t just mean that in the sense of nice or friendly; cool is a much more suitable word.  Even better, she had moves in the kitchen and makes a mean shrimp gumbo.

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Seafood Dinners Aboard the Historic Mary A. Whalen

I had an unforgettable dining experience last weekend aboard the Mary A. Whalen, a retired tanker docked off the Brooklyn waterfront neighbordhood of Red Hook.

It was a perfect summer dinner party, dining atop the deck of a historic coastal oil tanker with salty smells of the seawater and the taste of fresh seafood.

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Devour on the Go

Devour on the Go

Cooking Channel’s blog, Devour, is now a featured source in Pulse, the number one free news application for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Pulse is an app that makes reading news easy and engaging, while transforming your favorite news sources into a colorful and interactive mosaic. It also makes it simple to share the news and stories you like with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the app and add Cooking Channel’s Devour from Featured to stay current with Devour whether you have iPhone, iPad or Android: http://pulse.me.

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By the Book Giveaway: Splendid Homemade Ice Creams

Farmers' Market Sundae

Jeni's Farmers' Market Sundae is fresh summer berries and fruit topped with Lemon Frozen Yogurt.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
When I was young, the Fourth of July was the one day a year when I remember my family breaking out the ice cream maker, in all its mysterious glory. We filled the big wooden outer container with ice and rock salt, poured a cream and sugar mixture into the inside container and set it to churning. And, miraculously, we’d end up with a creamy and satisfying vanilla ice cream, with a special homemade taste and texture I’d look forward to year after year.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home proves that homemade ice cream isn’t just for the Fourth of July anymore (although it definitely should be part of your holiday weekend plans). Jeni, the owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Ohio, takes us season by season through the freshest and most creative flavor combos imaginable. All recipes are based on Jeni’s four-step process, using home equipment to make amazing, artisan American ice creams. Take a few of her recipes for a test churn: Farmers’ Market Sundae, Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Ice Cream.

To celebrate ice cream-making season, we’re giving away one copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, by Jeni Britton Bauer. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us your favorite ice cream flavor. We’re giving one copy away to one very lucky, randomly selected commenter.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 4 p.m. ET on June 28th and 5 p.m. ET on June 29th. Subject to full Official Rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $23.95. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a/ Cooking Channel, 75 9th Ave., New York, NY 10011.

So tell us: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Commenting is closed. The winner will be announced shortly!

Adventures in State Fair Eating, or The Making of On a Stick!

On a Stick by Matt Armendariz

I should have listened a bit more closely to the stern warnings of almost every person I know who has written a book.

“It’s more work than you think it can be.”

“You’ll gain 10 pounds.”

“You’ll miss your regular life.”

OK, alright, I admit that these are mostly from one end of the author spectrum but they still ring true: Writing and photographing a cookbook is a challenge and takes dedication and hard work.

It’s also a hell of a lot of fun!

Now that my book, On A Stick!, has been out a little over a month, I can almost sit back and let out a sigh of relief. What started in Spring 2010 is now on bookshelves all over the country, displayed just in time for summer cooking. And yes, I’m proud that it’s done and am delighted by the fun people are finding in its pages because it’s true: Food on a stick has that built-in fun factor!

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How to Host a Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil

It seems every part of the country has its own unique type of seafood extravaganza, whether it’s a Low Country boil in Charleston, a clambake in Maine, or a crawfish boil down in New Orleans.  I’ve been to quite a few in my day, but this year it was high time I hosted my own.

Crawfish season, which usually runs from late April through June and sometimes into July, just so happened to coincide with my boyfriend’s birthday. As if I needed another excuse to celebrate!

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Can’t-Miss Summer Appetizers

Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Pepper Salsa

Start your party with Rachael's quick and easy Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Pepper Salsa.

For casual summer get-togethers, you obviously don’t want to create course after course of fussy foods, but it’s always a good idea to have a few easy appetizers planned. Here are three reasons not to skip tasty teasers:

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