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Happy 4th Birthday, Cooking Channel!

Oh, how the time flies: Today, Cooking Channel turns 4 (!!), and it’s wild to think how much we’ve grown over the last several years. We launched in 2010 as a network (and website) filled with passionate Food People seeking to explore the unconventional, dig into global cuisines and uncover hidden gems. And now that we’re past our toddler years, we can look back on our bounty of new shows and stars, Web-original video series, growing recipe library, and unique food and lifestyle stories, knowing we’ve done just that.

And yet we’ve only scratched the surface. This year, we launched our Adventures in Cooking package: a collection of fun weekend cooking projects for the curious cooks and food geeks who dominate the Food People sector. (We’re talking fermenting kimchi, making bacon from scratch and crafting some seriously creative cakes.) We dug into Dumplings Around the World in honor of the Olympics, made magic fairy dust out of pizza and pastrami (OK, spice mixes that taste just like pizza and pastrami), mashed up your favorite comfort foods and gave you the most epic game plan, ever, for your Super Bowl or game-day party. Speaking of parties: We continue to share the best tips, decorating ideas and recipes for all your entertaining needs. From a last-minute holiday cocktail party to a casual Mediterranean summer fete, our Party in Five series has you covered.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: G. Garvin’s Dining In


On Road Trip with G. Garvin (tune in tomorrow, 5/21, at 9pm for the Season 3 premiere), host Gerry (“G.”) Garvin travels the country finding the best Southern cuisine — in and outside of the American South. But when he’s off the clock and not on the road, G. prefers to spend time at home in Atlanta, where he loves preparing intimate meals for friends and family. In his book Dining In, G. shares that love of entertaining with readers, showing them how simple tricks can be employed to give easy recipes a bit of a gourmet edge.

To G., difficult does not necessarily mean better, and ambiance, plating skills and the wine you serve alongside your meal are deemed equally important. He shares his tips on mastering these hosting skills in the book’s introduction before diving into his approachable recipes that are chaptered by ingredient type (pasta, chicken, meats, seafood), cooking styles (braises, grilling) and some niche passions (gourmet sandwiches, oodles of desserts). G. arms readers with more than 150 recipes to prove to them that preparing a special meal at home can be more rewarding — and more celebratory — than eating at any restaurant. Likewise, everyday meals (such as the simply prepared fish tacos featured above) can be prepared in under 30 minutes, trumping takeout and letting fresh ingredients shine through.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: Debi & Gabriele’s Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen

Extra Virgin Cookbook As any fan of Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin knows, for stars Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, a great passion for food and their love for one another are intimately intertwined. Their new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen (on sale May 6, 2014), paints a road map of their romance through recipes – the fried squash blossoms Gabriele made for Debi on their first date; the farro salad Gabriele’s mother made for Debi upon their first meeting – offering as many glimpses into their warm lives as authentic Italian dishes. As Debi puts it in the book’s introduction, in “meeting and falling for Gabriele, I discovered how much great food also comes from a desire to feed the ones you love.”

As their story goes, Gabriele introduced Debi to the fresh, produce-driven dishes and rustic cooking style from his native Tuscany, and together they celebrate a bicoastal, bicontinental fusion of Tuscan influence, California freshness and Debi’s New York heritage in their cooking. They happily spoil loved ones (most especially daughters Evelina and Giulia) with inspired, flavorful meals and encourage viewers (and now readers) to do the same. Start with the Heirloom Tomato Caprese shown on the cover, and make your way through to understated Mascarpone and Amaretti Cups for dessert. The chapters are cleanly organized in the order you’d consume the dishes: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Salads, Meat, Fish and so on (Gabriele is such a fan that risotto has its own dedicated section) so you can easily mix and match courses in your own Tuscan buffet.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Birthday Cake + Doughnuts

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the past several weeks, we’ve revealed the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

Though birthday cake is traditionally round, layered and bedecked in colorful icing, these days, it seems that any pastry punctured with candles — from soft cookie cakes to icebox pies — can stand in for the classic at celebratory festivities. At the same time, “birthday cake” has become a popular flavor at ice cream shops and in packaged consumer goods, interpreted across the board as an intense vanilla with frosting and sprinkles. For this week’s ultimate and final mash-up, we’re rethinking birthday cake — from a shape and flavor perspective — by combining it with the dessert superstar of the moment: the doughnut.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Meatloaf + Lasagna

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

One thing that makes comfort food give you the warm fuzzies is the memories it evokes. Because the recipes that hail from our mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens are some of the heartiest we’ve known. Case in point: meatloaf and lasagna, the subjects of this week’s throwback fusion, wherein we rival your family’s retro recipes.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Mac ‘n’ Cheese + French Onion Soup

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

When we think of comfort food, the first things that come to mind are soup, cheese and pasta. It’s even better when a dish combines the filling, warming bounty into one awesome dish. Thus mac and cheese — the ultimate high-brow/low-brow craveable pasta — and French onion soup (those cheesy crouton-topped crocks) form this week’s melty mash-up.

Continue Reading Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Mac ‘n’ Cheese + French Onion Soup

Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Cheesecake + Carrot Cake

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

In this second installment, we’re taking on two desserts that might not seem like natural — until you realize their shared reliance on cream cheese. Carrot cakes are best when smeared with a crown of cream cheese icing as thick as the cake itself, while cheesecakes are, well, made out of sweetened cream cheese. To tango with these tangy desserts, we had to get a bit creative.

Continue Reading Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Cheesecake + Carrot Cake

Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Caesar Salad + Pizza

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways.

The funny thing about mash-ups is that inevitably one of the foods is going to be more dominant. For example, if you wanted to mangia bene Italian-American-restaurant style, you might combine your pizza pie with a creamy Caesar salad. But does the salad get sprinkled on top of the pizza, or do you saddle the salad with little pizza-shaped croutons?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

Continue Reading Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Caesar Salad + Pizza

Cookbook Giveaway: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Cooking Channel fans and Devour readers are well-acquainted with Zoë François’ fanciful baking and dessert creations — from showstopping holiday cakes to everyday sweets — and the helpful step-by-step guides within each of her posts. And while Zoë’s recipe library on Cooking Channel contains grilled buns and quick breads, you might not know that one of her greater passions — and fodder for multiple cookbooks — is traditional bread baking.

New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Cookbook

On sale this week, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook is the revised and enhanced version of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the 2007 brainchild of CIA-trained Zoë and co-author Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., combining their culinary and scientific strengths. Born of a discussion during their kids’ music class, Artisan Bread aims to empower readers to bake bread daily by “mix[ing] enough dough for several loaves and stor[ing] it in the refrigerator.”

This revolutionary concept drew a sizeable audience, making Artisan Bread a best-seller and resulting in the creation of artisanbreadinfive.com, a destination for new recipes and photographs and a hub for a community of bread bakers. The questions and comments that arose in this forum fueled additional cookbooks, and now, the revision of that first successful endeavor.

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British Recipes That Are Perfect for a Royal Baby Welcome Meal

While eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Royal Baby and placing our final gender bets Now that we know that Will and Kate have brought a little prince into the Royal family, Cooking Channel staffers have been thinking about the celebratory meals the Duchess and Duke will enjoy once they’ve returned home with the new babe. And though their dinners probably won’t consist of the most classic British recipes, it occurs to us how many of these silly-named foods would be fitting for any “welcome to the family” meal. (What can we say? We’ve got Royal Baby on the brain. We’re excited it’s a boy.)

Bubble and Squeak (shown above) is the perfect any-time-of-day meal to mimic the cooing and crying a newborn baby is bound to do. The dish —  given its name due to the silly sounds it makes while cooking — was originally made from the leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. But the fried root vegetable and bacon cakes are so delicious, they’re worthy of making from scratch. Top the savory assortment with a fried egg to make it a meal.

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