food network recipes

Grill It! with Bobby Flay Premieres Saturday, May 30th at 10:30am

Originally published May 25, 2009.

SEASON PREMIERE

Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Premieres: Saturday, May 30th at 10:30am – SEASON PREMIERE!
“Burgers with Bobby”
Bobby may be an Iron Chef, but when it comes to our favorite grilled foods, he loves a burger. Bobby and his guest, Giselle Raymond, a cook for TV and film crews, go beyond the same old burger and bun with her outrageous Onion 3-Way Burger and Bobby’s juicy Cheyenne Burger drenched in tangy BBQ sauce. On the side, the burger’s favorite accomplices: onion rings and fries.

Grill It! is filmed in Los Angeles.

ICA: Mason vs Morimoto

Tonight senior Iron Chef Morimoto has his hands full in Battle: Skirt Steak as Chef Sam Mason (formerly of Tailor in New York City) comes a callin’.  Host Alton Brown is on hand with judges Michael Ruhlman, Jeffrey Stiengarten and The Office’s Kate Flannery.

On his Independent Film Channel series Dinner With the Band, Chef Mason tests the limits of adventurous eating by cooking for the hottest names in Indie Rock.   Mason’s rock and roll demeanor (punk hair, tattoos) makes him the perfect host for the cutting edge guests and their eclectic palates.

Sam’s culinary background began at Johnson & Wales University but graduation saw him leaping the pond to work at Ladurée in Paris for Pierre Hermé .  Back in the states Mason honed his craft working for Jean-Louis Palladin, then as pastry chef at Union Pacific, Atlas and Wylie Dufresne’s WD-50.  Mason’s latest project is a yet to be named “sophisticated and mature” restaurant in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Mason was named one of the 10 Best Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design in 2005 and was nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2006.  He is known for blurring the line between savory and sweet so expect the unexpected out of the flashy, inventive challenger.

Wikipedia on skirt steak:

The term skirt steak refers to two cuts of beef steak, one from the plate and one from the flank. Both are long, flat cuts that are prized for flavor, but are tougher than many other steak cuts. Both types of skirt steaks are used identically.

In the United States, the NAMP (North American Meat Processors Association) designates all skirts steaks with the meat-cutting classification 121 (NAMP 121).[1] NAMP 121 is subdivided into the outer (outside) skirt steak (NAMP 121C) and the inner (inside) skirt steak (NAMP 121D).

The outside skirt steak is the trimmed, boneless portion of the diaphragm muscle, which is attached to the 6th through 12th ribs on the underside of the short plate. This steak is covered in a tough membrane that should be removed before cooking.

The inside skirt steak is a trimmed, boneless portion of the flank. Inside skirt steaks are trimmed free of fat and membranes.

My Summer Reading List: The Man Who Ate Everything

Originally posted on September 3, 2009.

The unifying theme of the books on my reading list has been the narrative – my life in food. Ruth Reichl’s journey from awkward youth to renowned food critic (Tender at the Bone), Anthony Bourdain’s autobiographical “adventures in the culinary underbelly” (Kitchen Confidential) and the article that turned into a career change and then a best selling book (Heat) for former New Yorker editor Bill Buford. This cannot be said of Jeffrey Steingarten’s The Man Who Ate Everything.

In 1989, Steingarten was just your run-of-the-mill Harvard power-lawyer working for an average, everyday Manhattan mega firm when he was offered the position of food critic for Vogue magazine. I knew this from watching Iron Chef: America, where he is the curmudgeonly judge with an opinion about everything. I also knew that The Man Who Ate Everything was both a James Beard Book Award Finalist and a Julia Child Book Award Winner. But before he could assume his new post, he had to agree to eat everything. No small task for a self-proclaimed finicky eater.

The Man Who Ate Everything, unlike the other books on my list, is a collection of essays about food. Some are related to one another and even in chronological order; most are neither. When reading, one is left with two impressions about Steingarten’s skill as a essayist: he is a brilliant investigative writer and he is damned funny. He takes little information at face value, preferring to research all information on any given subject. He was one of the first to observe the contradiction between the French fat-laden diet and France’s astonishingly low occurrence of heart disease, now known as the French Paradox.

Steingarten does not hesitate to punch holes in long accepted beliefs on diet and nutrition, after all he does far more research than many of the so-called experts. Often he takes the USDA to task for their lack of knowledge on health issues. More importantly, he underscores that though they have not done their homework, they still issue doctrine about what homo sapiens should and should not consume.

Among the myths he debunks are the unfounded beliefs that salt, alcohol or cholesterol cause heart disease. For instance: The French Paradox cannot be dismissed. It should have been noticed decades ago. And its contribution is to encourage researchers to discover the many other common causes of heart disease besides the saturated fat in our diets. The French Paradox is an embarrassment only to those nutritionists and physicians who had refused to recognize the obvious. We have known for some time that half of all heart attacks occur in people with average or low cholesterol, and that half of all people with high cholesterol never have heart attacks.

In addition to providing much fact-based insight, the author also does a wonderful job of painting pictures with words. His journeys to Italy, France, Asia and Tunisia leap off the page with metered narrative, but he is also very proficient (as Iron Chef: America fans can attest) at dry wit and one liners:

Miguel de Cervantes once wrote, “La major salsa del mundo es la hambre,” the best sauce in the world is the hunger. Cervantes had obviously never tasted ketchup.

I have little doubt that I will read this book again and again as it is packed with knowledge and wisdom. I am grateful that Steingarten traded jurisprudence for food writing. The world is lousy with lawyers and has precious few gastronomic writers.

Next I will conclude my summer reading list with Michael Ruhlman’s The Making of a Chef.

My Summer Reading List: The Making of a Chef

Originally posted on October 7, 2009.

Ok, so astrologically Summer ended two weeks ago but I had a busy September.  Besides, we’re still knocking out 90 degree days here in L.A. (Lower Alabama).  The final book on my list is Michael Ruhlman’s landmark work The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America.  Rulhman’s mission?  Infiltrate the CIA.

The award-winning food writer went about documenting life as a student at the most prestigious culinary school in the world through first-hand experience.  Ruhlman attended classes, took exams, cooked in campus restaurants and even braved blizzards, and he translates it all beautifully to the written word.

Deftly the author guides the reader through Chef Pardus’ Skills class, echoes Chef Coppedge’s mastery of the baking arts and vividly describes the Odin-like majesty of President Ferdinand Metz.  Most importantly the prose gives one an accurate feel for the sacrifice and stress associated with studying at the Culinary.

A reoccurring theme throughout each kitchen is a dependency not on recipes but rather on ratios.  Each new chef/instructor hammers home the importance of ratios.  So much so that now I am ready to order Ruhlman’s latest best seller named, coincidentally, Ratio.

My journey through some of the great food tomes this summer was done because I felt I was lacking a theoretical and academic foundation to go with my 23 years of practical experience.  After reading these books, especially The Making of a Chef I am reminded of a great line from the movie Good Will Hunting, “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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