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Making Chipotles at Home

Making Chipotles at Home

Mike Stines Reports

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The Chile Harvest, Part 2

The Chile Harvest, Part 2

Drying, Smoking, Powders, and Spice Blends

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 The Childucken Experiment

The Childucken Experiment

Chile Inside Chile Inside Chile

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Fall Into Spicy Soups

Fall Into Spicy Soups

Soups Are the Elegant Side of a Chef’s Kitchen

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Hatch Me If You Can

Hatch Me If You Can

Harald Zoschke Reports

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Africa: A Continent of Chiles

Africa: A Continent of Chiles

An Excerpt from Precious Cargo

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The Mongols are Coming!

The Mongols are Coming!

Sharon Hudgins Reports

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The Day of the Dead, with a Menu

The Day of the Dead, with a Menu

Celebrations of Family and Friends

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Paprika: Hungary's Red Gold

Paprika: Hungary's Red Gold

Sharon Hudgins Reports

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  • “You Have to Be Able to Play the Game” — Alton’s After-Show 22 Oct 2014 | 7:58 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    To survive — and thrive — on Cutthroat Kitchen, it’s not enough to be able to work quickly under pressure or to deliver a well-seasoned plate; chefs must be able to strategize their every move, budget their $25,000 bank account and bid productively with three rounds of competition in mind. Fans saw what happened when a contestant didn’t take that approach during tonight’s Heat 3 of the Superstar Sabotage tournament. For Chef Johnny Iuzzini, it didn’t matter how much he spent during Rounds 1 and 2 so long as he advanced to Round 3, while Chef Eric Greenspan frugally saved his money for charity — until the last round, when Chef Johnny was forced to compete with only $100 and Chef Eric was armed with a full $25,000.

    “Once you’re down to $100, you can’t fight back. It doesn’t matter how good you are,” Alton Brown revealed to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s latest After-Show. “This is a game, and you have to be able to play the game. And if you walk into a final round with a $100 bill in your hand, you’re going to have a really tough time winning regardless of how good you are.” Thanks to the force of his full funds behind him, Chef Eric was able to saddle Chef Johnny — a famed pastry chef — with a duo of sabotages during the lemon bar test, and that maneuver ultimately set up Chef Eric for the win. “Eric said it was just now even,” Alton told Simon of their Round 3 matchup.

    Click the play button on the video above to hear more from Alton and Simon, and see how the all-stars fared in the midst of battle.

    Don’t miss Heat 4 of the Superstar Sabotage tournament on Wednesday at 9|8c, and tune in to Cutthroat Kitchen on Sunday at 10|9c.

  • Spicy Foods That’ll Make You Scream (Just in Time for Halloween) 22 Oct 2014 | 1:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    This month the only thing scarier than those spooky Halloween decorations your neighbors put out every year is the thought of your mouth on fire. There are the brave few who subject their taste buds to peppers of all kinds and those who need more palatable levels of spice. No matter your preference, these recipes might have you reaching for a glass of milk once you’re done (and yes, that really works!).

    1. Giada De Laurentiis’ Spicy Mint Beef (pictured above)

    Thanks to the heat of two to three Thai chiles (such as prik kee noo) or serrano chiles, Giada’s skillet stir-fry is not for the faint of heart. Stir in whole fresh mint leaves before serving to balance the fiery kick.

    2. Jalapeno Margarita

    Watch out when making (and drinking) these cocktails. Fresh jalapeno chiles have extremely hot seeds and veins that you’ll want to remove before slicing and mixing with tequila and orange-flavored liquor.

    3. Alton Brown’s Chili Powder

    Ancho chiles, cascabel chiles and arbol chiles come together in Alton’s homemade powder that can be stored in a sealed container for up to six months. Sweet ancho chiles are balanced by spicier cascabel chiles, which have a nutty flavor and medium heat, and arbol chiles, which can be blazingly hot. 

    4. Chile-Lime Cucumbers

    Turn this crunchy vegetable into a spicy snack with the addition of two chili powders: dried arbol chiles and dried guajillo chiles. The sharp guajillo chiles have a smoky flavor that will balance the intense heat of the arbols.

    5. Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa

    Despite their fruity aroma, habaneros are actually the hottest peppers you can buy in many supermarkets. Bobby Flay adds just one teaspoon of finely chopped habanero pepper to his tomato salsa that’s the perfect topping for fish tacos.

    Is your mouth already watering? Find out what really cools your palate (milk, honey) and which solutions will have you still scrambling to cool down your tongue.

    More Spicy, Fiery Foods

    Your Chile Cheat Sheet

  • Umami Noodles with Five Spice Sauce 22 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Umami Noodles
    Of all the five tastes, umami is the most mysterious. Technically speaking, the savory flavor comes from glutamic acid. Less technically speaking, when added to recipes, umami makes a dish taste yummy (which is the actual English translation of Japanese name).

    But while umami is most commonly associated with high-sodium, bottled products — like soy sauce, miso paste, and kimchi — here’s the tastiest secret of all: Mother Nature makes it too. Those magical glutamates are also found in mushrooms, meat, seaweed, and even green tea. So when your taste buds crave a savory oomph, try swapping out the salty options for fresh sources of umami. And to get started, try this Umami Mushroom Noodle dish, complete with Five Spice Sauce. If you want to even more flavor, add in umami-rich shrimp and ground pork or beef for a multiplied umami effect.

    Umami Mushroom Noodles with Five Spice Sauce
    Serves 2
    Active Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 35 min

    1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
    4 ounces no-salt-added udon or soba noodles
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
    2 small bunches bok choy, ends removed with leaves washed and separated
    Sesame oil
    2 cups shimeji mushroom, roots discarded and mushrooms separated

    Place the shiitake mushrooms and 3 cups of water into a medium-sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then lower heat, cooking for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, bring another medium-sized pot of water to boil and add the noodles, cooking according to the package. Drain and rinse with cold water and then divide equal amounts between two bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sesame oil over each bowl of noodles and use your hands or a fork to mix until combined. Set aside.

    In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the mushroom broth with the cornstarch, rice vinegar, Chinese five spice, and garlic powder. Mix until there are no clumps and set aside. This is the slurry for your sauce.

    Heat a large wok or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy leaves and 1/4 cup of water, allowing them to quickly steam until the leaves are soft but still vibrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the bok choy from the pan and divide theleaves between the two noodles bowls.

    Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the hot pan and then add the shimeji mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Divide the mushrooms between the two noodle bowls.

    Finally, separate the shiitake mushrooms from the mushroom broth, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan and then, while whisking, and the slurry. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes, adding more warm mushroom broth as needed to get desired sauce texture (runny or thick). Divide sauce evenly between the noodle bowls and serve while warm.

    Sodium Content: Shiitake mushrooms: 2mg per mushroom; Bok choy: 9mg per leaf.

    All sodium counts based on the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference release 26.

    Jessica Goldman Foung began the blog SodiumGirl.com to capture her adventures in a low-sodium life. She regularly writes about salt-free flavor tips and ingredient swaps. Her first cookbook was Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, and she is currently working on her second, to be released in 2016.

  • Spring Break in Miami: Tickets on Sale Now for the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival 22 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThough the chill of fall air might be welcome relief now after a stifling summer, come February you’ll have likely turned a cold shoulder to the frigid temperatures and be ready to warm up in the sun. Enter: The South Beach Wine & Food Festival. For four days, you can escape the slush and snow and join your favorite Food Network stars and chefs for a long weekend at the beach celebrating all things eats and drinks.

    2015 will mark the 14th year of the festival in Miami, and this year’s events, running from Feb. 19 through Feb. 22, are expected to be bigger than ever. Favorites like Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine and Anne Burrell will be on hand to host walk-around tastings, elegant sit-down dinners, late-night parties and interactive meals alike, all while mingling with fans and enjoying the flavors of Florida.

    Tickets are on sale now — buy yours today to guarantee your spot at marquee events like Burger Bash, The Q, Medianoches & Mixology, and more. Here are some of the events where you can find your favorite chefs.

    Thursday, Feb. 19
    Tacos After Dark Hosted by Aarón Sánchez

    Friday, Feb. 20
    Amstel Light Burger Bash Presented by Schweid & Sons, and Hosted by Rachael Ray
    A Dinner on Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hosted by Amanda Freitag, Peter Boulukos and Chris Miracolo
    Mix It Up with Morimoto & Friends

    Saturday, Feb. 21
    Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution Presented by Creekstone Farms, Hosted by Guy Fieri and Curated by Josh Ozersky
    Medianoches & Mixology Hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli
    Touché Dinner Hosted by Robert Irvine and Carla Pellegrino
    Bobby Flay’s Caribbean Heat

    Sunday, Feb. 22
    Farm to Table Brunch Presented by Whole Foods Market Hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian, Julie Frans and Friends
    Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine Hosted by Marc Forgione
    Brunch Hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and Andrew Carmellini

    Check out FN Dish’s insider coverage of the top events during the 2014 festival:

    Alex Guarnaschelli Celebrates Bella Cucina Beach Eats Meet Comfort Food 2014 Burger Bash Winners: Michael Symon and Shake Shack Iron Chef Marc Forgione Leads DIY Lobster Dinner Watch: The Best of the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

  • Portable Espresso Maker Delivers a Shot of Caffeine with a Few Quick Pumps 22 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    MinipressoYou’re sitting in your office, your car, a hotel room or the middle of nowhere, or you’re on a biking or camping trip — or heck, you’re just lounging around at home — and you crave an espresso, bigtime, but you’re too far from a fancy machine to make you one. What do you do?

    A startup industrial design firm in Hong Kong, Wacaco, is now offering a new way to answer that question: a small, hand-powered portable espresso machine that allows people to “pull their own drink on the go,” the Minipresso.

    According to the Minipresso website, the cleverly designed DIY machine extracts at 116 psi, which, the site says, “is exactly the pressure produced by traditional piston-driven espresso machines.” Temperature has also been carefully considered. “Minipresso produces at ambient condition (75 degrees F), an espresso at perfect temperature (152 degrees F in cup) with a nice compact and persistent crema on top,” the machine’s makers maintain.

    As for the process, you just measure out the coffee and tamp it (the included measuring scoop doubles as a coffee tamper), pour hot water into another section of the machine, put the sections together, pump and — voila! (There’s also a version that uses a Caffitaly capsule instead of ground coffee.)

    “The whole process is much easier and faster than to inflate a bicycle tire with a hand pump,” Wacaco insists. Although a video displaying the process shows a serving of espresso being pumped with just one hand, two-handed pumping is recommended.

    The product, which measures a little less than 7 inches in height and weighs less than a pound, also promises to be easy to clean and made only with health-safe materials. Shipping is expected to begin in early 2015, but $39 preorders (a discount off the usual price of $49), which does not include shipping fees, are now being taken via the Minipresso website.

    The proof will ultimately be in the pumping, but the Minipresso really looks like a caffeine-addicted camper’s dream come true.

    Photo courtesy Minipresso

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