Mozzarella & Ham in Carrozza
This is a classic Roman dish that is somewhere between flattened mozzarella sticks and a grilled cheese sandwich. Actually it reminds me very much of one of my favorite combinations, grilled cheese and tomato soup, but in this case, the soup is tomato sauce. I always associate that classic combo with one of my favorite after-work hangouts, the Blind Tiger Ale House, here in NYC. They have a ton of great beers from around the world. Since this is an Italian dish, I would recommend trying to find an Italian beer. Italy actually has the most vibrant craft beer scene in the entire world, after the U.S. Some of these beers can be hard to find and sometimes a little pricey, but you'll be greatly rewarded for searching them out. One of my favorites is the Del Borgo Re Ale; it is a spicy malt and slightly hoppy beer. It is robust and showcases the Italian zeal for creating unique craft beers based on classic styles.
Peek inside Lucy Liu's green room as the star takes the backstage food quiz!
Stuffed Eggplant and Chicken Parm with Tomato-Basil Sauce
It’s an Italian-American feast with stuffed eggplant and chicken parm! These are great classic dishes that offer a ton of flavor and home-style goodness. For me, this stuff is total comfort food. With a dish like this and good friends and family, you can elevate a humble wine to a great experience. That being said, this is not the dish to open up your best bottle of wine, but something that is simple and delicious. I would try a Chianti, but not from the heart of the area, but from the Chianti Classico district, where the wines can get full and rich. Get one from one of the other subregions, like Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Senesi or just straight up Chianti DOCG. One of my favorite, more simple Chiantis, is the Farnatella Chianti Colli Senesi 2010. It is under $15 and made by a great producer, Felsina. It offers a lot of what the more expensive producers do, but in a more straightforward and approachable package.
Lucy Liu wants to spread the word about Heinz's Micronutrient Program, to help fight malnutrition in children around the world! Watch the video for details.
What's Vampire Diaries' star Nina Dobrev's favorite food, the dish she'll never eat, and the treat she was recently surprised to taste and enjoy? Find out as the adorable star takes the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz"!
Buttermilk Fried Chickenwiches
Nothing is better than fried chicken and champagne…nothing! It is my favorite pairing. There is something about the way that the bubbles enhance the chicken flavor and clean up the grease on your palate that make it the best pairing ever. However, since we're doing sandwiches I'd like to pair a champagne-style wine, (one that it made with the second fermentation in the bottle) but one from a less fancy place than Champagne: Cava. Try the Raventos "De Nit" Cava. For under $20, you get all that great bisquity and yeasty complexity with the bright acidity and minerality of champagne at half the price.
Emeril Lagasse recalls the first meal he ever cooked.
Get the details about Gretta's $50 look:
Dress: Old Navy - $15.49
Shoes: Target - $9.98
Earrings: Target - $2.98
Necklace: Old Navy - $4.99
Sunglasses: Forever 21 - $5.80
The Office's Craig Robinson takes the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz" and shares the one dish he misses most from his childhood in Chicago!
Spring Chicken and Vegetable Soup
In the spring, the first vegetables to come out are all green, like the peas, favas, asparagus and green onions. This soup makes good use of the bounty of the season. A traditional pairing would be the bright green flavors of Sauvignon Blanc. However, I'd stay away from the intense grassy character of New Zealand SB and I think you can find better value than Sancerre (even though I do like a good Sancerre!). Let’s go off the beaten path here and try a Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli like Giampaolo Venica's or a Loire Valley, or one that is close by to Sancerre, like the Domaine de Villargeau-Coteaux du Giennois – it has all the crisp, mineral character of Sauvignon Blanc, but with a much lower price.
Head backstage with the star as he takes the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz!"
Hilary Duff heads backstage to take the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz" and has a pretty surprising answer when asked to reveal the most unusual food she's ever tried!
Get the details about Gretta's $50 look:
Dress: H&M - $10
Shoes: Payless - $14
Earrings: Old Navy - $1.99
Bracelets: Kohl's - $2.40
Belt: Target - $3.33
Kevin and Dani Jonas take the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz" and share their favorite foods, the foods they can't stand, and the weirdest things they've ever eaten.
This seems like a perfect brunch-time dish and my favorite brunch cocktail is the mimosa. But I don't want just a standard orange juice and cheap Prosecco mimosa. I like to make them more personal and unique. I was hanging out with some chef friends from Texas and Chef Tim Love was telling me about how he loves to drink grapefruit juice with tequila and it’s a common drink in Texas. At the time I was putting together our cocktail program at L'Artusi, we were just opening for brunch service and I thought, wow, it would be great if we did a mimosa based on this Texan drink. So I came up with the Texas Mimosa. It is a little stronger and bolder than your normal mimosa and not quite as sweet, but it is delicious.
The Texas Mimosa
1.5 ounces blanco tequila
2 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
3 ounces citrus bitters (optional)
Dry sparkling wine
Add the first 3 ingredients to a cocktail glass. Top with sparkling wine and give a light stir. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.
Sliced Steak Tacos with Bloody Maria Salsa
Gabe Thompson is the Executive Chef of all my restaurants as well as my business partner. He's from Texas and loves Michelada cocktails. He's been talking about them lately, so it made me think of this drink to go with Rachael's steak tacos. The best part about this drink is that it is customizable; if there are some ingredients you don't like, leave them out. If you want to spice it up with some jalapeños, soy sauce, cilantro, whatever, then go for it!
2 juiced limes plus 1 lime wedge
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 light Mexican beers such a Negro Especial or Dos Equis XX
2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
Fresh pepper to taste
1) Using the lime, make a rim around the mouth of two glasses.
2) In a shallow plate, add kosher salt and paprika. Stir with a fork to combine.
3) Take the glasses and rim in the salt/paprika mixture.
4) Add Ice to the glasses.
5) In a cocktail shaker, add beer, hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice and stir well. Strain into glasses
6) Garnish with fresh pepper and lime wedges.
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