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Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen Returns To Cooking Channel

One year ago I sat down for a conversation with Nadia G of Bitchin’ Kitchen.  The resulting interview was one of the most entertaining I’ve ever done.  Nadia knocked me out with her authenticity, energy and positivity.  That’s why I was thrilled when I got the following press release from the Cooking Channel:

Season Two of Original Series Premieres Wednesday, November 2nd at 10pm ET/7pm PT and Delivers Nadia G’s Fresh Take on Haute Cuisine with a Side of Stiletto-Sharp Wit

Nadia G Bitchin' KitchenNEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2011 –  Cooking Channel returns to the wildly popular world of Culinary It-Girl Nadia G this November, with a second season of the comedy-cooking show Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen slated to premiere on Wednesday, November 2nd at 10pm ET/7pm PT.  Just as skilled in strutting in stilettos as wielding a meat cleaver, Nadia brings her savvy chef know-how and rock star attitude to the series while sharing recipes and cooking tips for both beginner and seasoned at-home cooks.

With themes from “Bitchin’ Booty Camp” offering healthy dishes for staying in shape, and “Girls Night In” for a decadent evening with cocktails, to “Getting the Romance Back” for couples who want to reignite the magic, Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen serves up platefuls of killer food and wicked entertainment.

In the second season premiere, “(Dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night,” Nadia throws a make-your-own pizza party and shares her family recipe for Rustic Pan Pizza from scratch.  She whips up her childhood favorite Potato Pizza with Onions and Herbs, and follows it up with a masterpiece Pizza with Salami di Genoa, Calamita Olives, Pecorino and Fresh Spinach.  After the leftover dough is fried to make Fritelle with kid-friendly Chocolate Nougat Fondue, Nadia riffs on family dynamics and embodies the rock-star fantasy most parents had to abandon along the way.   After the premiere of her “Flavor of the Week” music video, Nadia is joined by her cast of food correspondents – Panos, The Spice Agent and Hans.

Nadia G has a sharp wit, killer style and can cook up a storm in three-inch cherry heels.  She looks at the funny side of everyday situations and turns them into occasions worth celebrating – with great food and big laughs.  Focusing on accessible haute cuisine, fresh organic ingredients and a hands-on approach, Nadia’s recipes are rooted in the Casalinga-style Italian cuisine she grew up with and infused with the culinary influences of her beloved hometown Montreal.

Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen began as the short web program “Bitchin’ Kitchen.” The series was a runaway success winning numerous awards such as Favorite Mobile Series, Hottest Emerging Brand in Canada and a nomination for Brand of the Year 2009.  In 2010, the series had its television premiere on Food Network Canada and Cooking Channel.  Nadia G is also releasing a new book “Cookin’ for Trouble” (Ballantine), which will be available beginning October 25th.

Now check out Nads in her new music video singing “Flavor of the Week.”

Review: Chef Todd Mohr’s Web Cooking Classes

In my career I’ve reviewed cookbooks, TV shows, countless products and even a movie but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to review a service.  Chef Todd Mohr’s Web Cooking Classes are the key to people who want to improve their cooking prowess without investing time and money in culinary school.  Well, think of this as a virtual cooking school.

One of the first things that Chef Todd teaches is independence from recipes.  Very few chefs use them.  Todd draws a great coloration between cooking and music saying, “Recipes don’t work.  What other art form has a strict set of instructions?  Cooking is an art form.  A recipe will not teach you to cook any more than sheet music will teach you to play the piano.”

According to the web site:

If you are using recipes, Food TV, magazines, cook books, or online cooking videos to learn to cook and get dinner done …and if you’re serious about not only learning how to create amazing meals, but in understanding the simple yet powerful basic cooking methods that will enable you to cook everything – then keep reading!

If you are interested in a proven system for learning what you need to know to cook like the professionals, without the expense or time investment of formal education, and having it laid out for you in a step-by-step approach that cuts through all other cooking information you’ve seen, then you’re in the right place because I’m about to spill the beans on the simple Chef Secrets that will enable you to quickly master the most important skills anyone can possess for home cooking.

Todd is a fellow iFood publisher and asked me to take his service for a spin.  Here’s what I found:

The web site itself is minimalist with few bells and whistles and maybe a touch clunky to navigate.  But that stuff is just window dressing.  The value is in the contents.  I’ve been cooking professionally for nearly 25 years and in just a few minutes I learned things I never knew.

There are all manner of learning tools available including several instructional videos that teach you to “burn your recipes” in order to cook instinctively.  That is how chefs cook, instinctively.  I have literally dozens of two inch thick cookbooks yet I almost never cook from them.  On the few occasions that I do open one it isn’t to use a recipe but rather as a resource.  Alton Brown says he cooks pot roast at this temperature for this long but Julia Child recommends this temperature for this long.  Both recommend using chuck roast but I prefer beef cheeks.  What I look for is a guide rather than a rule.  Rules are for squares.

Mohr’s cooking classes teach everyone how to cook like chefs do.  The material on the web site is not the tired old 4 ounces of this and 2 ounces of that but rather they are tools to help you hone the chef that lives within us all.  To paraphrase Kuan Tzu, “Give a man a recipe and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to cook and he eats for a lifetime.”

It is true that you cannot teach instinct, you either have it or you don’t.  You can be the best trombone teacher in the world (and for the record I am at best top 5) but if the student doesn’t have the instinct to play trombone it just will not work.  Since all humans have to eat to survive we are all born with the instincts.  Further more if you prefer one recipe over another for a particular dish then guess what?  You have good instincts.  All you need to do is use them to your advantage.  That’s where Chef Todd Mohr’s Web Cooking Classes come in.

Currently they are offering a free 15 day trial of their services.  With Easter dinner just around the corner the timing is perfect for you take Chef Todd’s classes for a test drive.  Click HERE to give it a whirl.

Here’s Chef Todd laying down a taste of his cooking philosophy, dig it.

How To Carve a Turkey

It’s the holiday season and many of you may be carving a turkey for the first time for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  The folks at the Washington Post put together a great video to walk you through the process.  Here it is:

Don’t forget if you have questions about cooking a turkey, you can call the “Butterball turkey talk line,” at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372).

Here’s a chart to use for cooking times:

Turkey Roasting Chart (for 325 °F)

Plane Turkey:
8 to 12 pounds – 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds – 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds – 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds – 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds – 4 1/2 to 5 hours

Stuffed Turkey:
8 to 12 pounds – 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 14 pounds – 3 1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds – 4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds – 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 pounds – 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

For stuffed turkeys – the stuffing should reach an internal temperature of 165 °F.

If you are interested in frying a turkey (it’s fantastic but also quite dangerous) then here is the video to watch from Food Network chef and resident food scientist Alton Brown:

Sunny Gnaws a Naga

Food Network hostess Sunny Anderson tries a Naga chili.

The Naga (or Bhut Jolokia) is a chili designed my botanists in India to be even hotter than the Habenero, the hottest chili found in nature.  To give you an idea of the scope we are talking about the Jalapeño rates 2500-8000 Scoville units, the Serrano kicks a cool 10,000–23,000, the Tabasco checks in at 30,000–50,000 and the aforementioned Habenero rates 100,000–350,000.

The Naga has been engineered to have between 855,000 and 1,075,000.  That’s over 100 times hotter than the classic Jalapeño.  Watch as Sunny discovers this for herself.  Keep in mind that she is lover of Caribbean food and often cooks with Habenero and Scotch Bonnet.  If you are stupid enough to try this a word to the wise – nothing diffuses the heat better than dairy so have a gallon of whole milk at hand and spit – don’t swallow.

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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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