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Archive for January, 2014

Insane Monte Cristo Burger Features Vanilla Custard Buns and Maple Syrup

If there’s one saying that is perpetually true, it’s the one about how hard it is to find a decent Monte Cristo sandwich. This deep-fried, preserve-laden monstrosity should be a staple at every diner and sandwich counter across this great land of ours. That, however, is not the case. Don’t fret. Now you can have your precious Monte Cristo sandwich only in, well, burger form.

Hip burger joint Umami Burger has just unveiled their Monte Cristo Burger. Designed by Top Chef alum Michael Voltaggio, this burger is truly a feast for both the eyes and mouth. First up, the patty is covered in Gruyere fondue and prosciutto. The buns are soaked in vanilla custard, deep-fried and then topped with powdered sugar. Of course, it also comes with a hefty side of maple syrup. To your health!

The burger is now available for a limited time at all Umami Burger locations, of which there are plenty around Southern California, as well as one in New York City and one in Florida.

Dinner Rush! Rigatoni with Meat Sauce and Peas

There’s no sense in even trying to deny the allure of rigatoni. You love it, you know you love it and there’s no shame in admitting it. Those thick tubes of perfectly cooked pasta, harboring secret pockets of saucy delight. Don’t even try to wipe the drool off your keyboard. Resistance is futile.

Seriously, though, if you’re hankering for quick and easy weeknight comfort, this is the ticket. A lean blend of flavorful meats and just a touch of cream make for a sauce so delicious and silky it’ll leave that pantry can of vowel-shaped spaghetti shaking on its shelf. And don’t worry about all that healthy talk — there’s totally peas in here, so you’re getting your green for the day. Plus everyone deserves a little carb comfort now and again, right?

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Alie & Georgia’s Guide to Super Bowl Drinks

Whether you’ve got money riding on the office pool or you’re just tuning in for Bruno Mars, the Super Bowl is — let’s admit it — a national holiday. It’s the one day a year that we are all united in entertainment and brought together by the power of nachos.

While you may be staring a veritable melted-cheese bonanza in the face (find all manner of Super Bowl party foods here), don’t forget to hydrate! It’s a long day, so keep plenty of water on hand for yourself and guests, and leave room for cocktails. Below are some of our beverage recipes to match your Super Bowl moods and to tackle that thirst.

I’m So Pumped

Okay, so you’re pumped. You’re wearing a [insert sportball team name] jersey and have gotten up early to watch all the red carpet coverage, or whatever they do before Super Bowls. Sweet. Good for you. Get this morning kicked off right by slipping into your lucky sweatpants and mixing up some brunchy drinks that will get the party officially started. Such as:

The Beefy Tomato (pictured above)

A beef jerky-infused whole-blended-tomato Bloody Maria. It would be a serious fumble to pass this one up.

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New York City Now Has an All-Bacon Restaurant

The world has watched silently with fingers crossed, wishing but never daring to hope it would actually happen. As bacon slowly crept into the planetary consciousness, everyone wondered whether the porky slabs of mystical wonderment could sustain a restaurant. Chicago’s Burke’s Bacon Bar answered that question with a resounding, and fatty, yes. Now there is another bacon-based eatery. Ladies and gentlemen, this just may be a trend.

Introducing New York City’s BarBacon, another bar/restaurant that has bacon in the name. This place is stuffed to the brim with its namesake. You want a bacon sandwich? You got it. Feel a hankering for a bacon salad or, uh, bacon-flavored whiskey? Absolutely. Want to spend an inordinate amount of money on a bacon-tasting menu that features all manner of artisanally cured pancetta.

That’s only scratching the sow-rface (sigh.) The restaurant’s menu is packed to the gills with bacon. If you are addicted to the stuff, you are gonna want to head to NYC pronto.

Fancy Super Bowl Snacks Made with Convenience Store Ingredients

So the big game is finally upon us, and you, like many other people in this country of football (the American kind, that is), are out to watch it in style — on television, in the comfort of your favorite bar or living room. And as everyone knows, it’s not just about gathering around a flat screen with a couple of brewskis to make the game more exciting, it’s also about the snacks that are served and consumed, in a great American tradition on par with Thanksgiving.

Let’s say that, for whatever reason, you’ve found yourself playing last-minute host for a Super Bowl party, and you don’t have time to do a big supermarket run. Have no fear. All you need to do is hit your closest gas station convenience store — where we bought all the ingredients for these Super Bowl snack recipes, which are as tasty as they are convenient. Just be sure to make a lot of them; they might be gone before the first commercial break.

Check out 10 Super Bowl Snacks Made with Food You Can Buy at a Gas Station

Erik Trinidad is a food and travel writer, and the author of the cookbook parody Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended, based off his popular food humor blog.

Meatless Monday: Game-Day Food

The Super Bowl is just a few days away, and if you haven’t planned your game-day spread, get rolling with a DIY taco bar. The concept is quick and easy, and it lets guests pick their favorite flavors. Though meaty fillings are the go-to, you can keep it all-veg with grilled zucchini, sauteed mushrooms and roasted eggplant, or this recipe for cauliflower and lentil tacos. Jason Wrobel, the host of How to Live to 100, favors the two ingredients for their high nutrients and flavor-absorbing powers. Topped with a heaping spoonful of guacamole – Jason adds cumin and cayenne – these tacos are so hearty and fresh, they’ll even score with the meat-lovers.

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Traditional Lunar New Year Dishes and Their Significance

The Chinese Lunar New Year is January 31. For Cooking Channel’s Luke Nyugen, that means cooking fantastic food with his family, everyone wearing red, and wishing for prosperity and luck. In this web-only video, Luke shows you what he cooked with his family to celebrate last year and why:

Check out more web-only videos with Luke Nyugen celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Watch Cooking Channel all day on January 31 to celebrate Chinese New Year with Ching-He Huang and Easy Chinese from 7am to 4pm ET, Restaurant Redemption from 4pm to 8pm ET and Ching’s Chinese New Year special at 8pm ET.

This Seven-Course Pizza Features Appetizers, Mains and Dessert

It’s often been said that pizza is a whole meal unto itself. After all, if you down three or four slices as you marathon episodes of Law and Order on Netflix, you aren’t exactly looking for soup or ice cream afterwards. One restaurant, however, has taken the notion of “pizza as meal” and taken it to the extreme.

A restaurant in Lebanon called Al Sanior has a menu item called The Patriot. This gigantic pizza is a full seven-course meal all by itself. That doesn’t mean you’d just eat enough to comprise a seven-course meal, rather it’s a pizza cut into seven sections, each one a different course. There’s a series of appetizer courses, featuring spiced breads and fermented yogurt. There’s several entree courses, including pepperoni and cheese; ground beef; and sheep milk cheese and olive oil. Finally, there’s a dessert course that includes a chocolate and mozzarella creation that sounds decadently strange.

All told, The Patriot can feed up to 20 people. How much does all of this pizza splendor cost? Around 15,000 Lebanese pounds, or 10 bucks.

Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure

World Figure Skating Hall of Famer Brian Boitano has medals for reaching new heights (Google clips of his signature jump, the Tano Triple). In that spirit, he’s vaulting up to the beautiful hilly town of of Favale di Malvaro, Italy — where his family originated — to search for his culinary roots. His plan is to learn the secrets of what makes northern Italian cuisine so amazing and use them, along with local ingredients, to put his spin on some simple Italian recipes like Bruschetta, Testaroli with Basil Pesto, Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Grilled Steak with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Peach Tiramisu, Sauteed Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Pancetta, Shrimp Scampi with Chickpea Mash and Trofie with Basil Cream Sauce.  Then he’ll show you how to bring it all home on his new special Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure premiering tonight at 8pm ET. This info will be far more serviceable then knowing who won Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Watch Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure Sunday, January 26, at 8pm ET.

Get more of Brian Boitano’s Best Recipes

Best Ways to Use Citrus Right Now

For most of the year, I like to eat fruits and vegetables that have been grown locally. But if I can say one thing about January, it’s that it’s a hard time of year to be a locavore in the northeast. Root vegetables and cabbage are pretty much the only things I can get that were grown in Vermont right now, which is why I love that it’s also citrus season. In Spain, California and Florida, citrus fruits are at their peak. The juicy yellow-, orange- and pink-fleshed lemons, oranges and grapefruit, respectively, are like a ray of sunshine in the middle of a dreary winter. While my favorite way to enjoy citrus has to be popping the easy-to-peel, ever-so-sweet clementines and satsumas like they’re candy, I also like to use citrus in recipes. Here are some of my favorites right now:

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