Behind the Scenes: On Set with Food52

 

To anyone who’s ever scrolled through the Food52 site, or drooled over their gorgeously minimalist Instagram feed, the Food52 offices feel strangely familiar. Decorated in neutral colors with beautiful details (subway tile, bead board, leather chairs) and filled with natural light, it’s a pretty dreamy workspace. And this was before we even saw the bar!

 

No, really, check out this bar!

 

Elegant yet comfy, interesting but accessible, and, above all, fun: This is the aesthetic that Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders of the site, cultivate on Food52 and in their office—and it makes total sense once you meet these culinary besties.

 

They finish each other’s sentences, poke fun at their habits (both detest super-loud restaurants), and trust each other on matters great and small—for instance, Hesser checked her makeup in the mirror, but waited until Stubbs said it looked good before heading on set.

 

Their mission these days? To make it easier for people to eat good, interesting food, even on weeknights.

 

In their story in the April issue of Rachael Ray Every Day and in their latest book, A New Way to Dinner, they outline their make-ahead strategies to eat well on busy nights without going crazy. Says Stubbs, “cooking this way is so much more efficient, so you can focus on the important things.”

 

With scrumptious recipes like Spaghetti with Make-Ahead Meatballs, Salad with Creamy Anchovy Dressing and Rhubarb Shortcakes, it won’t take much convincing.

 

Pick up the issue to learn more, and to score a discount code for 20 percent off kitchenware from their online store!

 

By Cecily McAndrews


6 Twists on Gremolata

Gremolata might sound fancy, but the Italian herb mix is simply fresh parsley, garlic and lemon zest finely chopped together—kind of like pesto and even easier to make. The fragrant condiment is traditionally sprinkled on rich osso buco, aka braised veal shanks, but it can brighten up all kinds of dishes, from pasta to fish to roast chicken. You can start with our classic recipe, or try these fun riffs. They’re an easy way to add a fresh zing to all kinds of dishes—even sweet ones.

 

Try classic gremolata on Garlic Chicken with Red Onion & Toasted Bread

 

Green-olata

Chop it up

Lime zest

Cilantro

Minced jalapeño

Sprinkle it on

Tacos, guacamole or any Tex-Mex dish

 

Gremolata Piccata

Chop it up

Orange zest

Chopped capers

Minced basil

Sprinkle it on

Grilled fish, roasted vegetables, grilled chicken breasts

 

The Californian

Chop it up

Meyer lemon zest

Minced radish

Minced chives

Sprinkle it on

Deviled eggs, seared steak, salad greens

 

Main Squeeze

Chop it up

Orange zest

Minced green olives

Minced garlic

Sprinkle it on

Roasted cauliflower, couscous, chicken cutlets

 

Dessert-olata

Chop it up

Grapefruit zest

Minced crystallized ginger

Minced mint

Sprinkle it on

Toasted pound cake, lemon sorbet, Greek yogurt


Behind the scenes: Rach’s acting debut!

Rachael is used to being in front of the camera (after all, she’s been hosting TV shows for more than 10 years), but she recently got to try out her acting chops while guest staring—as herself—on Freeform’s Young & Hungry. Of course, she was a total natural!


Photo courtesy of David M. Russell/The Rachael Ray Show

The segment, filmed at Rach’s studio, featured characters Gabi and Sofia (played by Emily Osment and Aimee Carrero), who were on the show to promote their just-launched food truck in San Francisco. We got to watch in amazement as Rach came out and nailed her lines—on the first take. She didn’t even have to carry her script around for backup! And she improvised a little, taking cover behind a stove when Gabi went nuts over some nuts (you’ll understand when you see the episode).

Photo courtesy of David M. Russell/The Rachael Ray Show

 

Because the show’s stars were on Rach’s turf, she treated them to her over-the-top green room treats. “She personally delivered pork bahn mi sandwiches and peanut cabbage salad,” gushed Osment. “It was the best,” Carrero agreed, pointing out that the best they can usually hope for is a deli plate of meat and cheese.  

Photo courtesy of David M. Russell/The Rachael Ray Show

Catch Rach on Young & Hungry on March 9 at 8 PM EST.

 

By Lisa Freedman


The Pastry School Diaries: Confessions of a Chocoholic

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences! 

After the past few lessons about making chocolate confections, I will never look at a chocolate bar, truffle or bonbon the same way.

The art of making chocolate is one that requires patience, expertise and creativity. Once melted over a double boiler (to prevent burning), you need to constantly watch over chocolate like it is your most prized possession—it can’t get too thick, too thin, too hot or too cold. Just a few degrees off and your chocolate becomes dull or does not set.

We started off easy with mendiants, which are rounds of melted chocolate that are piped onto a baking sheet and topped with a variety of dried fruits, nuts, spices and other flavorings.

 

We then moved on to rolling truffles. We made a wide assortment, from maple-bourbon, to green tea, to caramel to strawberry.

 

 

Finally, we learned how to make and fill bonbons, which was the most time consuming and temperamental process out of them all. The results were gorgeous, though.

 

 

I’ve enjoyed learning about chocolates because of all the different flavor possibilities: you can add so many different sweet, savory, spicy and tangy ingredients to your product—chocolate really is like an blank canvas.

 

I want to know: What’s your dream chocolate combination?

 

Check back next week for more sweet tales!


How to Host Happy Hour for Less

Be your own bartender with a top-notch, five-bottle home bar that lets you make pretty much any popular cocktail and costs only $100. We’ll drink to that!

 

Five spirits experts share the bottles that deliver the best bang for your Benjamin. Try these pro picks to make your living room the best bar in town!

Rum

Plantation 3 Stars White Rum ($18 for 750 ml)

“This is one of my favorite white rums for any budget. An aged blend of Caribbean rums, it adds hints of tropical fruit to any drink, especially a daiquiri.” —Blair Reynolds, owner of bar and restaurant Hale Pele in Portland, OR 

Another great pick

Boozy Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum will wake up a mai tai—or any tiki drink. ($19 for 750 ml)

 

Gin

Citadelle Gin ($25 for 750 ml)

“Leave it to the French to come up with a delightfully flavorful gin. (No wonder: it’s made with nearly 20 herbs, roots, spices and flowers.) It pairs particularly well with citrus. One Tom Collins, please.” —Paul Clarke, author of The Cocktail Chronicles 

Another great pick 

Juniper-heavy Gordon’s London Dry Gin is a steal, and ideal in a gin and tonic. ($13 for 750 ml)

 

Tequila

Pueblo Viejo Blanco ($18 for 750 ml)

“This blanco tequila (which isn’t aged) is distilled in a traditional way. It has a citrusy, earthy flavor that shines in a margarita.” —Courtenay Greenleaf, corporate beverage director at Rosa Mexicano restaurants 

Another great pick 

Spicy Cimarrón Blanco offers fresh agave flavor. ($20 for 750 ml)

 

Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka ($21 for 750 ml)

“Corn-based Tito’s is one of the most bright- tasting, clean vodkas around—which is why it’s so delicious on the rocks or in a martini. I also love that it’s from Austin, my hometown.” —Christina Cabrera, bar consultant at San Francisco’s Barbarossa Lounge 

Another great pick

Crisp Gruven Handcrafted Vodka, made from wheat and rye, is a cocktail go-to. ($11 for 750 ml)

 

Bourbon

W. L. Weller Special Reserve ($18 for 750 ml)

“I don’t make cocktails with anything I wouldn’t drink on its own. This bourbon has a sophisticated sweetness balanced by a fiery kick, which makes it great neat and in a mixed drink.” —Michael Neff, bar director at NYC’s Holiday Cocktail Lounge 

Another great pick 

Aged in charred oak barrels, Jim Beam Black is just as complex as pricier bourbons. ($22 for 750 ml)

 

By Joshua M. Bernstein; Photography by Aaron Dyer

 


30 Reasons to Eat Your Veggies

Getting your daily dose of vegetables can sometimes feel like a challenge, but Recipe for Success is making that challenge a fun one! Every March, the foundation initiates Veg Out!, a call to action to eat 30 different vegetables throughout the month. Recipe for Success has created a ton of resources to help make eating your veggies easy and enjoyable. You can find recipes, local farmers markets and events, and their veggie tracker sheet and app makes remembering to eat your veggies super simple.


But wait—there’s more! If eating your veggies weren’t rewarding enough, you’ll have the chance to win a ton of awesome prizes along the way! Including a chance to win a set of the Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Enamel Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware. For more information on how to enter, click here.

Photo courtesy of Rachael Ray Store 

Looking for some veggie inspiration? Here are some of our favorite hearty and healthy recipes that are perfect for the season.

Creamed Roasted Red Pepper & Kale Penne

Carrot Soup with Ginger & Thyme

Sicilian Tuna-and-Potato Salad

Paella-Stuffed Squash


The Pastry School Diaries: Get in Shape!

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences! 

 

Our final unit (eeek!) of classes is all about the finer side to pastry arts: sugar molding, chocolate work and cake decorating. While I definitely consider my baking style to be on the rustic (read: imperfect) side, I’ve very much enjoyed learning about these techniques so far.

 

We started out learning how to make sugar showpieces. You know, those things you see on cooking competitions, that when the chefs move them from their table to the judging station your heart pounds in anxiety that they’re going to drop the whole thing.

 

 

Despite their name, these “sugar” showpieces are actually made out of isomalt, an almost-as-sweet sugar substitute that is resistant to humidity and crystallization, two very important factors when it comes to making one of these. We simply melted the isomalt on the stove, added edible paint and poured it into large silicone molds. Once the shapes were hard enough to pop out of the molds, you can use a small amount of melted isomalt to fasten the pieces together, or a blow torch works, as well. We had creative liberty in how we colored and assembled our pieces, and as stressful as the process seems, it was really quite fun.

 

Next, we learned the process behind making chocolates from bean to bar. Creative Director Michael Laisksonis has become our school’s master chocolatier, importing beans from all over the world and scratch-making his very own chocolate. The process is a long one and a labor of love, but the final product is completely worth it.

 

A brief, visual representation of the bean-to-bar process

Now that I’ve gained an appreciation for the art of chocolate making, find out what happens when I try my hand at rolling and filling truffles next week!


Make Wolfgang Puck’s Oscars Menu at Home!

The celebs may have a busy day night ahead of them come Academy Awards time, but celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will be even busier. Every year, his team caters the official Oscars after-party, the Governors Ball. And while the party may be exclusive to the stars and VIPs of Hollywood, you can recreate a lot of the dishes at home! So grab your favorite spot on the couch, turn on the red carpet pre-show and nosh your heart out. Here’s a peek at the dishes on Wolfgang’s menu this year, plus our easy ways to make them yourself:

 

Governors Ball menu item: Root Vegetable Chips

Our version: Baked Veggie Chips

Read more


Chrissy Teigen’s Artichoke, Spinach & Buffalo Chicken Dip is What Snack Time Dreams are Made of

We said it in our March issue and we’ll say it again—Chrissy Teigen’s got some serious cooking cred!

The model, TV host and mom-to-be can now add cookbook author to her resume, with her newest release of Cravings.

We got a sneak peek of the book and we promise that every page will have your mouth drooling and your stomach rumbling.

To give you a little taste of Teigen’s recipe repertoire, consider making her Stretchy Artichoke, Spinach, and Buffalo Chicken Dip for your next party. Teigen promises, “every single bite is the heaven we hope exists.”

SERVES 6 to 8

PREP TIME: 20 mintutes

TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes

for the CHICKEN

1⁄2 cup Cholula hot sauce

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

 

for the DIP

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (see Note)

2 (14.5-ounce) cans water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed dry (see Note), and chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3⁄4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano or 1½ teaspoons dried

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup blue cheese crumbles

Spiced Pita Chips (recipe follows), for serving

 

MARINATE AND COOK THE CHICKEN: 

In a medium bowl, combine the hot sauce, melted butter, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, toss to coat, cover, and marinate for 2 hours at room temp or up to 8 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, place on a baking sheet, and bake until just cooked through, 14 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, shred with your hands or 2 forks into bite-size chunks. Leave the oven on for the dip.

 

MAKE THE DIP:

Coat an oval ceramic 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, artichokes, mayo, mozzarella, Parm, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in the shredded chicken. Spread the dip into the baking dish and dot with the blue cheese.

Bake until golden and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with the pita chips.

note: To really get the extra liquid out of the spinach and artichokes, pile them in the center of a big clean kitchen towel and roll up the towel. Twist the ends toward each other and keep twisting until you’ve wrung out as much liquid as humanly possible!

 

spiced PITA CHIPS

MAKES 32 CHIPS/ SERVES 6 TO 8

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 pitas, cut into 8 wedges each

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, cayenne, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Add the pita wedges and toss gently to coat. Spread in a single layer on 2 baking sheets and bake, tossing once, until the wedges are browned and crisp at the edges, but still very slightly soft in the center (the chips will harden as they cool), 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness of pita). Note: If you like a crunchier chip, bake for a few more minutes, until there is no softness in the center.

Cool completely before serving.

 

Reprinted from Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. Copyright © 2016 by Chrissy Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers,  an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


11 Reasons to Embrace Citrus Season

You may not think of winter as the most vibrant of seasons when it comes to produce, but citrus is sweeter and juicier than ever. Cozy up to these bright dishes with pops of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Cold and flu season, who??

Lemon-Pistachio Cheese Ball

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