Thursday, September 2, 2010

Visit with Ted Allen from the Food Network & Simple Labor Day Tips!

Recently I attended a blogger event hosted by Cascade Complete Pacs where I ate some great food, met some other wonderful bloggers and had the chance to meet and talk with Ted Allen from the Food Network! It was a great time and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to attend and to learn some very interesting tips that Ted Allen recommends himself.  We were greeted with a Ted Allen's new cookbook of 100 smart, simple recipes called "The Food You Want to Eat".

I've been flipping through the cookbook and literally all the recipes are so simple! They are perfect for creating and cooking on a smaller budget with simple ingredients. He also had some great simple tips on ways to make your Labor Day party fun and enjoyable! I'm planning on using them too:)

Here are some of the tips Ted Allen recommends for your Labor Day:

1- BBQ'ing is a great idea! Helps to get out of the apartment.
2 - Need to get a glass of wine in someone's hand in the first 5 minutes they are there. (I'm assuming this means any type of drink, if someone doesn't drink alchohol). It says you're done working, welcome!
3- Playlists, you need to have some kind of music playing.
4- Dimmers are good, nothing sets an ambiance better than setting the lights.
5- Rolling clothes racks. They are a great way to hang coats, that way the keys don't fall out when they are thrown on the bed.

When I asked him what his favorite simple recipe was he chose page 102, and here it is for you!

Salmon with tomato vinegarette

You will need:
For salmon:
Olive Oil
2 pounds of salmon filet with skin (wild is the best in my opinion, thats me talking not Ted!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

For tomato vinegarette:
1 medium shallot sliced
red wine vinegar (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 pint cherry tomatos (cut in half)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup canola oil (I would just use another 1/3 cup olive oil, again me talking not from the book!)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Preheat Oven to 425.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven safe frying pan over a medium high flame. Sprinkle the salmon with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. When the oil is hot, add the fillets, skin side up and cook without messing with them at all, until they move easily when you shake the pan, about 3 minutes. If you pull them off before they're ready, the browned layer will stick to the pan and you'll lose the beautiful crust. Now turn the salmon and stick the pan in the oven. Roast until just cooked through, 6-8 minutes.

In medium bowl stir shallot, vinegar, capers, tomatos and salt. Let that stand while you cook the salmon, then add olive oil, canola oil, parsley, basil, cumin and pepper.

When the salmon is cooked, remove it to serving plates with a spatula. Add the vinegarette to the pan, put it over medium heat and bring just to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to pick up the browned bits off the bottom. Cook around 2 minutes, until the tomatos are soft. Spoon over the salmon and serve.
(from Ted Allen's cookbook)

And when I asked Ted what his favorite frugal & simple recipe was, he recommended a classic, rice and beans!

He also said that he purees some foods and freezes them! We got to talking about tomatos and how great that is to be able to puree tomatos with spices and freeze them in bags! Great way to preserve the freshness for the winter!

A few restaurants in the city that I learned about that I really want to try now, are the "Brooklyn Flea" and "Bark". They are super into sustainability, being all natural and being cheap! Which I love! So hopefully we'll get to go there one of these days soon.

We were given some Cascade packs to try. Sometimes when I use a box of dishwasher cleaner, I put too much in, or not enough and have to fun the dishwasher again, with the little packs you won't lose any dishwasher powder, which in the end saves money!

Cascade is hosting Cascade Food Mergers where they host a collection of the tastiest and hardest meals to clean!  You can go and cast your vote if you'd like or get Ted Allens recipes for the messiest dish! We even got to try one, his macaroni and cheese! Yummy!!

It was great to attend the event and meet Ted and some new bloggers:)


  1. always fun to meet new bloggers and get cool stuff! yay you!

  2. thanks Sara! It was really cool to meet other bloggers and get some great tips! I had never thought of doing things like putting a glass of wine in a guests hand within the first 5 minutes they are visiting...i'm trying that with my sister and bro in law this weekend!! :)although that might just result in us getting tipsy early!

  3. Um was the mac and cheese like Martha's? I love love love the idea of putting a drink in someone's hand asap,, I totally do that! I'm always like 'hi what are you drinking!" hahaha

  4. Awesome Nik Nik!! I love him!! I;ll totally try the salmon recipe!


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