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Archive for July, 2011

Halibut and Rock Crabs in Santa Barbara

Ben Sargent of Hook, Line & Dinner

On my way to Santa Barbara

Ah, Santa Barbara, Calif. — a welcome relief weather-wise after Oregon. The sun shone brightly for three days straight, and I could feel my fingers for the whole trip (which are essential for braking on a motorcycle). Craig Lewis, a local trawler who traded the high seas of Alaska for the area, refers to it as “cupcake cove,” because the weather is nice and the fishing so good. As he would say, “No worries in this bay, right mate?”

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Beating the Heat with Your Favorite Cooking Channel Recipes

Better Than Citron Press

Nothing refreshes quite like Laura's Better Than Citron Pressé mint lemonade.

With temperatures soaring to record highs, Cooking Channel fans have been looking for ways to beat the heat this week. From cool, summer salads to refreshing summer drinks, you’ve been telling us about your favorite recipes, and your tweaks and substitutions to make these recipes your own.

Hot, summery days call for something sweet and refreshing to cool off, and Laura Calder’s Better Than Citron Pressé is just the sip.

“This is wonderful and is so easy… I now keep a jar in my fridge at all times. You can make it to your own sweetness, we have also used sparkling water to give it a little fizz… EXCELLENT.” — damianokay

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How to Make a Winning Hot Dog

Will Nick's new take on the classic Chili Cheese Dog win him another 1st prize?

After winning the Great Hot Dog Cookoff in 2009, Nick Suarez went on to beat Bobby Flay in an epic Hot Dog Throwdown and hasn’t looked back. This weekend, Nick returns to compete in the 6th Annual Hot Dog Cookoff in Brooklyn, NY with his newest creation, a riff on the classic chili cheese dog. Nick shares his secrets for building a winning hot dog recipe.

Yesterday I shared my strategy for how to win a cookoff. Today I’m revealing my secrets for building a winning hot dog recipe.

One of the keys to success is creating a balance of flavor in your dish. You must create the perfect bite. Apply these tips for a cookoff, or the dogs at your next family BBQ.

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Summer Fest: Cucumbers Stuffed With Crab-Mango Salad

Week three of our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2011 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we’ve delved into eggplant and peaches. This week we’re getting creative with cucumbers.

Summer appetizers should be fresh, light and they should take advantage of the bounty of the season. Ideally, they’d be great-tasting, and wouldn’t take a lot of time to make (you’ll need that time to waste by the pool or in a hammock somewhere) and summer apps should not heat up the kitchen. This is not the time for spinach-artichoke dip, folks.

It is time for bite-sized chunks of cool cucumber, stuffed with mango and jalapeno-studded crab salad. It tastes like the crab walked out of the sea and into your garden.

I was inspired by Daisy Martinez’s Avocado Stuffed With Crab-Mango Salad, but since it’s not avocado week of Summer Fest, I wanted to use cucumbers instead. Plus, cucumbers are lighter, so you can pop a couple of these in your mouth without needing a nap afterward. The end result is a no-cook snack or appetizer that looks pretty fancy but is done in a half-hour, and you won’t have to heat up the kitchen at all.

A Day in the Kitchen with Chuck

Chuck is always "on call."

Rocker chef Chuck Hughes is no stranger to high pressure, a hot stove, and cool ambiance. When he’s not kicking back and cooking up killer cuisine for his friends on Chuck’s Day Off, he’s busy calling the shots in the kitchen at his hot Montreal restaurant, Garde Manger.

Reservations are hard to come by at this dimly-lit, shabby-chic eat spot, where chef Hughes serves up some of Montreal’s most inspired and innovative modern French fare (two words: Lobster Poutine). Each day, running the kitchen at this trendy hotspot demands creativity, discipline, and passion — and Chuck’s got all three in spades.

Check out the clips below to see Chuck in action.

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How to Win a Cookoff

In 2009, Nick Suarez set out to win the Great Hot Dog Cookoff, an annual tradition in Brooklyn, NY. His dog was an all-beef frank topped with bacon, fried corn, cilantro, cotija cheese and hot sauce. After taking the top prize, Nick shared the winning recipe on Grill It with Bobby Flay, then was challenged by Bobby to a Hot Dog Throwdown, which Nick won. Two years later, Nick is back to compete in this weekend’s 6th Annual Hot Dog Cookoff with his newest creation, a riff on the classic chili cheese dog. Nick shares his secrets for winning.

Having competed in various cookoffs and hosted even more, I’ve tried to pinpoint a formula for winning. While preference is a subjective thing — I’ve noticed that audience members tend to vote for more homestyle, comfort dishes, while judging panels tend to prefer dishes with refined, nuanced flavors — I ultimately believe you can win any cookoff with any dish by keeping two things in mind. I always say that winning cookoffs is 50% logistics and 50% flavor balance.

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New Show: The Perfect 3 (Plus Contest Winners!)

Perfect Recipes

Who makes the best burger? What is the ultimate chili recipe? Find out on Cooking Channel’s new show The Perfect 3. We reached into our archives to find the best variations on recipes in 13 categories: cookies, brownies, pies, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, pancakes, salads, hot and spicy chili, cakes, potatoes, chicken and exotic dishes.

From Kelsey’s perfect roast chicken to Emeril’s kicked-up tuna melt, tune in for the top recipes from favorite Cooking Channel chefs. And, as an added bonus, we reached out to our fans for their take on each category. Find out who won!

From a brisket sandwich with a secret ingredient to cookies that inspire marriage proposals, you’re sure to find a new favorite.

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A Better Take on Pop-Tarts


Homemade Pop Tarts Recipe


Forget Kellogg’s: Pop-Tarts are getting an upgrade. Candice Reynolds, founder of Red Queen Tarts in Woodstock, Ga., is serving up homemade, artisanal tarts to order.

Where did she get the idea? When she heard that her boyfriend, who is an executive chef for a catering company, was planning to use store-bought Pop-Tarts for an ice  cream sandwich bar, she intervened. From there, Red Queen Tarts was born.

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Hakurei Turnips

Hakurei Turnips

It’s not often you hear people waxing rhapsodic over turnips, but these snow white little globes are so crisp and sweet you too will be singing their praises.  I was introduced to the Japanese Hakurei by chef Dan Barber who serves these beauties with just a sprinkling of salt when you sit down to dinner at Stone Barns. Though the Hakurei has developed something of a cult following in recent years, you’re not likely to find them anywhere but at farmers’ markets.

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Tune in for Kelsey’s Essentials: Steak

Kelsey's Steak Salad Recipe

Nothing beats the sizzle of steak on the grill. On today’s episode of Kelsey’s Essentials, Kelsey explores the best way to cook up three different cuts of steak.

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