Are you watching The Next Food Network Star? Love that show, right along with Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef (which airs its finale tomorrow night). Last year’s runner-up of The Next Food Network Star was Rory Schepisi, with Amy Finley taking the top prize of her own 6-show contract on Food Network. During the series, I was definitely more drawn to Rory’s recipes, along with her personality, more so than Amy’s, and since Amy’s show, Gourmet Next Door, isn’t on Food Network’s current line-up, I wonder if it marks the end of her, and if perhaps Rory should have won instead (note that the final winner was a vote from the viewing public, not Food Network execs).
Last year, I made Rory’s recipe for ribs and they were just the way ribs should be … packed with flavor, juicy and succulent (note to self: look up if succulent and juicy mean the same thing). Once it got down to the last three contestants, Rory, Amy and Jag, one of their challenges involved appearing on Rachael Ray’s daytime talk show and making a dish in a specified amount of time. Rory made a cowboy steak and asparagus, and I remember making a mental note to try the asparagus for one of the unique ingredients she used … sugar.
With the new season of The Next Food Network Star already having two episodes under its belt, I remembered the sugared asparagus recipe today. I had a bunch of near-death asparagus in the fridge and it was the perfect time. I cut back on the ingredients, but OMG, if you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you must. Crispy, sweet, tender and oh so good … and my contribution for tonight’s ARF/5-A-Day roundup. As an aside, if you want to get into watching The Next Food Network, you can catch up on Edible TV. In addition to weekly recaps, we also had the opportunity to interview all the contestants. Now onto what everyone else made for tonight’s roundup.
Sarah from Sarah’s Cucina Bella is up first tonight with some decadent treats, Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins:
I haven’t had hummus in ages, but now Table for Two is giving me a hankering for it. One of my favorite restaurant versions serves it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over it – so good! You can check out Snarkmeister’s unique topping for her version right here:
Although no picture, you can set you imagination to work when conjuring up a visual of Sarah’s Carob Ice Pop. This heat we’ve been having lately is rough, but it’s supposed to cool down a bit tomorrow, thank goodness. Four days of near 100 degree heat is enough for me, thankyouverymuch.
Tracy from Rah Cha Chow is back this week, this time with her Hoisin Barbecue Steak on a Stick with Pineapple Salsa, sounds like perfect beat-the-heat food!
And Renae du Jour finishes us off with her Kebabs, these with Mediterranean flair:
Sugar Grilled Asparagus
Recipe courtesy of Rory Schepisi, The Next Food Network Star
1 bundle asparagus, about 20 spears
1/4 cup olive oil (I used a few tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar (I used less than a 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 orange, zested (I skipped)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Cut the tough ends off asparagus, roll in oil and coat with sugar and salt. Place asparagus on the grill and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Turn asparagus to ensure even cooking. You know the asparagus are done when sugar is caramelized and asparagus are starting to look burnt. Sprinkle orange zest over asparagus before serving.