NBC cuts ‘The Chopping Block’

According to Vanity, NBC has chopped “The Chopping Block” off its primetime schedule, effective immediately. The decision to yank “Block” comes after the show posted an unappetizing 0.9 rating and 2 share among adult 18-49 — and just 2.6 million viewers overall.

Too bad, I kinda liked the show.

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Top Chef Season 5 Tour

The Top Chef Tour started yesterday March 27. 2009  in New York City. There are 23 seperate events scheduled. Unfortunately the tour does not stop in Austin, but does hit Houston and Dallas.

Hopefully H4M will be able to attend one of these two stops.

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Top Chef: Masters

Bravo has announced a new series – Top Chef: Masters. It looks promising, it will pit 24 top chefs, real top chefs, in a format similar to the original series. Food journalist Kelly Choi will serve as the series’ host, and renowned restaurant critic Gael Greene, culinary expert James Oseland, and food critic Jay Rayner will serve as judges. It will be very interesting to see how these chefs handle “Judges Table”. No air date has been set at this time, still, I’m salivating in anticipation.

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Baba Ganoush

Also spelled Baba Ghanoush, Baba Gnush, Babaganoush, among others. A great grazing dish for parties or appetizer.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds (2 to 3 small) firm eggplant
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon
1 lime
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
3 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup pine nuts,
2 bags pita crisps

Prep:

Roast pine nuts at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Juice lemon and lime.

Directions:

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

Use fork to thinly prick eggplant. Bake eggplant at 450 degrees until inside is soft, approximately 20 minutes. Cut eggplant in half length-wise. Remove pulp from skin and discard skin. Add pulp to food processor and mix until creamy. Add salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, juice, parsley, and tahini to the eggplant and mix thoroughly. Salt to taste. Plate the mixture in a 2-3 cup bowl. Hand mix the pine nuts in to the mixture. Place bowl on a serving dish and surround with pita crisp.

Use:

Though Baba Ganoush could be made as a side dish or entree, it is more common as an appetizer or dip. Make guest aware that it contains nuts as some people may be allergic.

Variants:

Other types of chips may be substituted for the pita crisp.

Notes:

The three ingredients that are the most difficult to find are the pine nuts, tahini and pita crisp. If you can by the pine nuts in bulk. They are rather expensive and there is no reason to get more than the required amount. The tahini will be found in or near the spices or in a Greek/Mediterranean area of the grocery store. The pita crisp will be found in chip section or rarely with the crackers.

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Root Beer Glaze

Root beer glaze is a simple glaze that I’ve found works well with either chicken or pork. It is extremely simple to make and adds a sweet glaze to your dish.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup root beer.
1 1/2 cub veal stock

Directions:

Simmer the root beer and stock in a small sauce pan on medium-low heat until reduced to 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Approximately 1 hour. The more you reduce it the thicker the glaze.

Use:

Drizzle or brush the glaze on you protein, most commonly chicken or pork.

Variants:

Substitute beef or chicken stock for veal stock
Substitute beef, chicken, or veal broth for a lighter glaze.

Notes:

Veal stock or broth may be difficult to find.

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