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Archive for June, 2011

All-New Season of Kelsey’s Essentials

Kelsey Nixon

Shake off summertime idleness: It’s time to jump back into the kitchen with Kelsey.

Kelsey Nixon returns for a second season of Kelsey’s Essentials this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. She’ll share her essential recipes, techniques, tools and tips to make you a pro in the kitchen.

Here’s a sneak peek of what she’s cooking up for season 2:

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Your (Not-So) Basic Strawberry Jam Recipe

Strawberry Jam Recipe

PunkberriesThey turn your head. Maybe it’s the flash of lurid red in the corner of your eye as you walk by the booth at the farmer’s market. More likely it’s the intense, candy-like perfume that fills your sinuses. Maybe you weren’t conscious of the triggers, but you suddenly find yourself salivating. Strawberries have a siren song.

So irresistible are they that, I confess, I have found myself mystified upon return home on how, exactly, I managed to purchase two groaningly heavy flats of the beauties. Mmm hmm, like you haven’t.

The problem is that the glorious music that is a perfectly ripe strawberry is fleeting. From the minute you pick them, the berries begin to wither and decay. If you want to capture it, you’d better work fast.

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Sifted: Summer Strawberries, Cherry Soup and Something More

Strawberries

Celebrate the arrival of summer with sweet seasonal produce.

Linkage we’re liking:

Emeril Hits South Beach

Joe's Stone Crab

On tonight’s episode of The Originals, Emeril takes a quick vacay in Miami. He’s not in search of the hottest new restaurants, but the classic spots that have served up quality food for decades. His first stop is the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach, where the meaty crab claws have been the thing to order (and wait in line for) since 1913. Emeril learns that the Key lime pie is also not to be overlooked at this institution.

Also on the menu for Emeril’s visit: authentic Cuban food at Casa Larios and long-smoked ribs and chicken at the famed Tobacco Road, Miami’s oldest bar. Emeril has such a great time in this sunny paradise that you might even catch him jumping in to play the drums with a local blues band.

Join Emeril’s Miami vacation on The Originals With Emeril tonight at 10:30pm/9:30c.

Are there some Originals in your town that Emeril should visit? Let us know in the comments.

The Best Seafood in the South

Ben Sargent of Hook, Line and Dinner

Fishing for Sheepshead Fish Outside of Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is a town steeped in history. The first shots of the Civil War were fired here. In fact, you can still find live cannon balls from the war in the oyster flats! But in the modern era, Charleston has become a tourist town where you can find some of the best seafood in the country.

I was in town to discover three of the tastiest commodities it has to offer: oysters, blue crabs and sheepshead fish.

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It’s National Onion Ring Day!

classic onion rings

Chuck Hughes' Classic Onion Rings

It’s National Onion Ring Day!  How should you celebrate a day dedicated to the delicious crispy rings? Whip up your own batch of boardwalk-style, batter-coated beauties!

We love Chuck Hughes’ Classic Onion Rings (shown above) which calls for soda water in the batter. The bubbles in the soda water leave tiny air spaces in the batter, giving it a light and crisp texture; your rings won’t be heavy and laden with oil. Tyler’s Tempura Battered Onion Rings have a similar light-as-air texture, thanks to rice flour — which is finer than all-purpose flour — and beer in the batter, which, like the soda water, lightens the batter with the same air bubbles.

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DIY Kimchi Recipe

Aside from judging pickles and standing in line for hours at various street food vendors at last year’s Bay Area Eat Real Fest, I also attended the adjunct Eat Real Lit Fest. It featured a wide range of brainy foodies alternately reading from their works or extemporizing on the topic of street food and other burgeoning trends.

One of the highlights was local chef Richie Nakano. Cribbing from his notes and brandishing his inked arms, he regaled the audience with the saga of how he left a stable kitchen gig to launch his own street food business, Hapa Ramen. On opening day, exhausted from an all-night noodle-making session, faced with missing valves and other logistical problems, Richie was exasperated. But he persevered and went on to become one of the hottest street vendors in the city of San Francisco, as well as one of my more regular lunch treats on market days at the Ferry Building.

Richie’s ramen is worth the trip, for sure, but should you find yourself at his booth, don’t forget to order the extra carton of kimchi and pickles for just a buck more. Richie uses seasonal veggies for the pickles, which rest on a bed of salty-spicy kimchi.

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New Favorite Recipes for the Grill

Grilled Oysters and Clams

Each year we lug out our grill, and each year we wind up grilling the same old foods in the same old ways.  This year I vowed to take advantage of my gas grill’s versatility and in the process I’ve come up with two new favorite uses. One takes mere minutes, the other five to six hours.

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Sweet & Salty with the Baked Boys

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

If you’ve been watching this season of Unique Sweets, then you’re already familiar with Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the owners of Brooklyn-based Baked bakery and guest contributors on the show.  We caught up with the dynamic dessert duo to get their take on the latest and the greatest in sweets.

You’ve traveled all around the country in the name of sweets. What’s one “trend” you see sticking around?

Matt Lewis: The salted sweet dessert. You’ve seen it evolve into other sweets, like bacon cupcakes. Anything with bacon in it is all about the salt factor. Brown butter is another, though it’s not always done correctly.

Renato Poliafito:And Americans are starting to catch on to using olive oil in their desserts.

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8 Things a Man Should Know About Grilling

Grilled Pork Chops

Perfect for Father’s Day, Esquire magazine’s new cookbook Eat Like a Man is about the skills and the confidence to delight and satisfy yourself and the people you care about, says David Granger, editor-in-chief of Esquire. We thought that sounded like our kind of cookbook, so we gave it a spin-through.

From the masterpieces (Coca-Cola-Brined Fried Chicken) to the quick and simple (Bread ‘n’ Butter Pickles) this cookbook covers all a man’s cooking needs. Like grilling. If you’re firing up the grill this weekend in honor of Dad, check out these eight tips from the cookbook to get you started.

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