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Archive for February, 2012

Top Chefs Go Head-to-Head With Malaysian Cooking

Rendang dishes

When we received the invite to attend Malaysia Kitchen‘s first Rendang Cook-Off, I’ll admit I had to Google what rendang even was. A favorite dish in Malaysian culture, rendang calls for lots of lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, chiles and various other spices. Although it’s usually made with beef, the layers of flavor go well with any hearty, slow-cooked meat (and taste even better the next day).

person eating

To showcase the latest Asian dish to become popular in the United States, six New York City top chefs took over the Astor Center and went head-to-head in a rendang battle of the bites. Angelo Sosa, Anita Lo and Dale Talde of Top Chef fame, plus Shaun Hergatt of SHO, Todd English and Fatty Crab‘s Zak Pelaccio, each gave brief demonstrations showing off their culinary chops and chatting up the crowd with stories of their Malaysian travels.

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Make Potatoes, Earn Cash

Potatoes Contest

Do you like your spuds with a side of cold, hard cash? Well then we’ve got the recipe contest for you!

Our sister site, Food.com, is looking for your original recipe celebrating the almighty potato, and if your recipe comes out on top, you’ll win $2,000 and have your recipe featured in an advertorial spread in Food Network Magazine!

Money, fame and potato bragging rights? Pretty sweet deal.

Get all the details on the Main Contest Page.

You only have until March 7 to enter, so get on it!

A Dish for Every State?

Some dishes are so iconic of America, they bring us together at the table no matter where we live. I’m talking burgers, mac & cheese, pizza, French fries, apple pie, pancakes, etc. (Just ask Jeffrey Saad of United Tastes of America — he’s tried them all.)

But lately we’ve been wondering what dishes are unique to each state. If each state had to pick a dish that really defined it, what would it be?

Our Kitchens did a little research and came up with an interesting list of foods noteworthy to each state. Many are what you’d expect — Deep Dish Pizza in Illinois, BBQ Brisket in Texas, Peach Pie in Georgia, New Jersey’s Italian Subs.

The research found some curious dishes, too — Funeral Potatoes in Utah, Kansas’s Burnt Ends, Sauerkraut Balls in Ohio — not to mention some really odd-sounding ones. Burgoo in Kentucky? Chislic in South Dakota? Spam Musubi in Hawaii? (Apparently it’s a sushi-sized bite of grilled spam atop a block of rice, wrapped in seaweed. We can’t wait to try.)

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Four Scrumptious Stacks for Pancake Day

Today, while celebrants don their best purple, green and gold for bead tossing and other Mardi Gras merriment, others will be honoring Shrove Tuesday — or Pancake Day — by shoving flapjacks down their pie holes.

It’s common practice to eat rich, fatty foods on the day before the Lent fasting season begins (hence the name “Fat Tuesday”) — and what better food to satisfy this requirement than thick, buttery, fluffy pancakes drenched with maple syrup, sugary fruit toppings and candied nuts?

To help you get your pancake on, we’ve rounded up our favorite recipes for your stacking pleasure. (Stack ‘em high as you dare.)

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Meatless Monday: Homemade Hummus

hummus

You can (literally) whip up Dave Lieberman's hummus in 10 minutes.

Once a mispronounced hippie food, hummus is now so mainstream that there are several competing brands in the dairy aisle. It’s so ubiquitous that even babies and grandmas love the stuff. But for good reason. It’s vegetarian but not weird, so even carnivores love it. (In fact, you can spread it on meat; if you don’t believe me, smear some on your next grilled chicken sandwich.) It’s packed with protein and healthy fats so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a bunch of it at a party, the way you would with, say, spinach-artichoke dip. And hummus is really versatile; it’s a dip for crudites and pita, a sandwich spread, you can use it to make not-so-dry turkey burgers, add a dollop to grilled portobello mushrooms or use it as a salad dressing, thinned with some fresh lemon juice. When you need a break from traditional hummus, start adding extra stuff in, like sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts or chopped dill.   And you don’t even have to stick to chickpeas when you’re making hummus — try white bean hummus, black bean hummus or Ellie Krieger’s Edamame Hummus.

No matter how many brands show up at the grocery store, homemade always tastes best to me. If you’ve never made it before, don’t be scared. All it takes is 10 minutes and a food processor — you basically throw everything in, press a button and wait, with a pita in hand, for it to be done.

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It’s National Cherry Pie Day!

Kelsey Nixon's Cherry Pie-in-a-Jar

Celebrate National Cherry Pie Day (plus National Cherry Month and President’s Day — remember that story about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree?) all in one go by baking up Kelsey Nixon’s adorable and easy Cherry Pie-in-a-Jar.

This concoction is perfect for home cooks who want the elegance of a fruit-filled masterpiece without all of the fuss. Cherries, sugar and cinnamon combine in a sweet yet tart filling that tastes even better with a golden brown crust. Spread the joy by delivering to friends or have a pie-in-the-jar party.

Either way, we guarantee your day will be a sweet success.

A Real-Deal Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake

I’m a very lucky girl, having married into a food-obsessed family from New Orleans. My in-laws send us NOLA treats all year — local favorites that are hard to come by in New York, like Zatarain’s jambalaya mix, Aunt Sally’s pralines and Tony Chachere’s seasoning. As Fat Tuesday approaches, it’s King Cake time.

This quintessential Mardi Gras treat is a sweet braided pastry with frosting coated in plenty of purple, green and gold sprinkles, but the pièce de résistance is hidden inside. Whoever gets the slice with a plastic baby — caution is recommended as you devour your piece — is declared the king or queen for the day. Some say getting the baby is like catching the bouquet at a wedding, except instead of being the next to marry, it means the finder will soon have a (real) baby.

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Birthday Cake Oreos: America’s Favorite Cookie Turns 100

Birthday Cake Oreos

Get ready to celebrate Oreo's 100th birthday with a sweet new spin on the classic.

It’s official: One of America’s favorite sandwich cookies is turning 100.

At Cooking Channel, we’re especially excited to celebrate, since our office is located in the New York City Food Person landmark Chelsea Market. The first Oreo rolled off the line 100 years ago at NBC, or the National Biscuit Company, in the space were Chelsea Market currently stands.

And what better way to celebrate than by fusing Oreos with what every person, pet, and cookie deserves on its birthday: BIRTHDAY CAKE.

That’s right: The flavor gurus at Nabisco have created a new birthday cake-flavored Oreo complete with rainbow sprinkle-flecked creme (obviously). And you better believe this Cooking Channel staffer tore open a box and tasted these birthday-cake bites of bliss.

Birthday Cake Oreos

These Birthday Cake Oreos pack a sweet frosting punch. Photo by Roberto Ferdman.

The Taste Test:

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Thirsty Thursday: Peanut Butter and Jealous Much?

Peanut Butter and Jealous Cocktail

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too.

Last week we shared our adult’s only riff on the Shamrock Shake; this week we’re back with a cocktail best served alongside your favorite childhood snack.

Do you ever find yourself feeling nostalgic for those awkward elementary school days? Do you long to spread Skippy Peanut Butter, the smooth kind, and Smucker’s Grape Jelly on country white bread? The bad news is you have peanut butter and jelly sandwich withdrawal syndrome. Peanut butter and jelly what? Just an highly unscientific term we made up. Nothing serious, no need to fret. It’s easily curable and you haven’t heard the good news: you can have that peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and drink it, too.

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The Ultimate Seafood Road Trip

Ben Sergeant Hook, Line & Dinner

Ben is ready for a whole new season of extreme seafood adventures.

Ben Sargent lives for seafood. He’s a fisherman, restaurateur, chef and overall seafood fanatic who’s ready to take you on another amazing adventure: Season two of Hook, Line & Dinner premieres tonight at 8pm on Cooking Channel.

This season, Ben continues his cross-country seafood road trip on his tricked-out motorcycle (which you should totally check out here) in pursuit of the very best local sea-foodies, the freshest fish and the most delicious ways to prepare it. Beginning tonight, Ben’s travels will take him coast to coast, on a bigger, better-than-ever, seafood-packed motorcyle tour of the continent.

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