Whether it’s hidden flavors or textures, jolting temperature shifts, or cultural crossovers, surprise is poised to be the flavor of the moment. This plays to our sense of adventure and toys with our expectations. It charts a new direction in novelty: a move beyond the mash-up to something both more subtle and exciting. Surprise plays it close to the vest, offering one thing to the eye or the mind but another to the palate.
• Sweet-savory flip: savory funnel cakes, fish sauce caramel
• Inventive fillings: creative Juicy Lucys, modern tamales
• Crossing cultures: mapo ragu, tofu caprese
• Mass market: cauliflower rice (Green Giant)
Check out more of our forecast of food trends that will shape what you order, eat, watch and read this year.
Gathering ’round the table for a big holiday dinner requires a lot of prep work, and one item tends to get overlooked in the madness of Christmas meal planning: bread. It’s tempting to buy premade canned dough, but aside from the biggest problem — your being terrified when the can pops open before you’re ready — it really takes down the quality of the meal. Don’t settle for store-bought. Try a few of our favorite holiday bread ideas, starting with gorgeous grape-studded rosemary focaccia (pictured above).
Continue Reading 6 Types of Bread to Complement Your Holiday Dinner
Pennsylvania gave us the gift of Philly cheesesteaks, but on the premiere of Cheap Eats Season 2, host Ali Khan may have uncovered an even better sub. During his travels to Pittsburgh, he stumbles upon a sandwich that may blow a Philly out of the water, plus cheesy pancakes, pretzels and tacos. Yes, it is the food lineup of your dreams — watch the full episode for free below to find out where you can indulge in all of it for $30 or less.
Continue Reading Is This Sandwich Better Than a Cheesesteak? Find Out on Cheap Eats
A foolproof way to keep hunger at bay — and ravenous partygoers out of the kitchen — before the big holiday dinner is appetizers, and lots of ‘em. We have plenty of tried-and-true Christmas appetizer recipes to choose from, but the ones that fly off the table the fastest are always ones filled with cheese.
Here are five of our favorites, including crunchy crostini topped with baked prosciutto, apple butter and melted Brie (pictured above) and deep-fried mozzarella bites. The best part? They’re all ready in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to babysitting your slow-roasted prime rib and other magnificent holiday dishes.
Continue Reading Spread Holiday Cheer with These Cheesy Appetizers
Eating well on the cheap. It’s not nearly as easy as just eating on the cheap. And we have 50 years of the fast-food industry to thank for that. Not that I’m opposed to the occasional bag o’ drive-thru, mind you, but the old maxim is still true: You get what you pay for. The truth is we all have our own budgets in mind, and not all $6 burgers are created equal. So let’s look for a moment, beyond the bucks, to what makes food bang at any price point — a happy medium sandwiched in between Kobe dry-aged beef and the dollar menu. Here are my four tips for finding a legit cheap eat:
Figure out if the food/restaurant is “people driven.”
This is kinda like “chef driven,” but it involves a little more on your part than pulling up a website or a Yelp review. Bottom line: Are the people who work at this restaurant proud about the food there? Do they eat there on their days off? Can they list the faves from the menu in, like, no time flat? For most of you, this means gathering intel from your waiter, but don’t ignore the person bussing your table either. And, no, this doesn’t apply to only table-service restaurants. I reviewed a national burger chain ($6 and up) and was floored by how both the ladies taking my order were so down for their employer and the burgers they smashed (that’s a hint). After all, don’t you want happy people — people who genuinely believe that they are worthy of your hard-earned buck — serving your food?
Continue Reading What to Look for in a Quality Cheap Eat
Chef Pasquale grew up in Orsara di Puglia, Italy, and brought his recipes and stories to America. Watch how to make eggplant Parmigiana, meatballs, chicken cacciatore and more like an authentic Italian grandpa with skills from the old country.
Watch how he makes eggplant parmesan like he learned in Italy after the jump and check out the rest of his Cooking It Old School videos.
Continue Reading How to Cook Like an Italian Grandpa
Salvador Dalí. Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí. Courtesy of TASCHEN
Lately it’s been feeling as if we live in a surreal world, from the recent election to newfangled illusory dishes like the raindrop cake. It’s like we exist inside a Salvador Dalí painting. Actually, depending on whom you wanted to win the presidency, you either want to drown your sorrows in comfort food or throw an over-the-top celebration as only a man adorned with a cape, walking stick and upturned waxed moustache like Dalí could. Dalí loved extravagance, and his penchant for opulence is captured in his 1973 cookbook Les Dîners de Gala, which has just been rereleased by TASCHEN. His esoteric guide to cooking has 136 recipes, many illustrated by Dalí, over 12 chapters (one of which is dedicated to aphrodisiacs and another to snails and frogs). Get his timely recipe for Turkey with Roquefort after the jump for a taste.
Continue Reading Enter to Win Salvador Dali’s Cookbook
Thanksgiving is full of wonderful food, family and fun, but before you get to the good stuff, there’s a lot of stress in the kitchen. Help calm things down by preparing in advance many Thanksgiving side dishes that can reheat well. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites — including Haricots Verts with Rosemary (pictured above), which can be served either room temperature or warm — that will keep you from going berserk on Turkey Day.
Continue Reading Thanksgiving Side Dishes That’ll Hold Up to Reheating
Seven seasons in, Unique Sweets is still finding wacky treats across the country. In the premiere episode, our colorful commentators tried savory bone-marrow-stuffed doughnuts and everything-bagel doughnut hybrids at The Doughnut Project in New York, edible cookie shot glasses at Dirty Cookie in California and much more. If you missed any of the sweet action, watch the full episode for free below, and tune in for more on Sundays at 10pm ET.
Continue Reading See Bone Marrow Doughnuts and More Crazy Food on the Unique Sweets Premiere