By Carolyn Menyes
Today Show: How to Cook Garlic
Cooking garlic can certainly be tricky, as one Today Show viewer certainly knows. For the Spillin’ The Beans segment, one woman told Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis: “I can never get garlic to cook right, it either gets too burnt or not cooked enough.” The two Food Network chefs offered their advice to the concerned viewer.
Bobby Flay advised chopping the garlic into a paste and adding kosher salt to make the substance more abrasive. Throw the mixture into some olive oil, and it will simply melt away!
Giada De Laurentiis wasn’t about getting her fingers that dirty (or smelly) and offered her alternative, learned from here mama. Simply peel and smash the clove, cook it in olive oil for two minutes, then remove. Giada wasn’t about eating the garlic itself, but this method certainly gets that delicious flavor in any dish.
Today Show: Making The Perfect Grilled Cheese
For those who are sick of two slices of American cheese in between two slices of Wonder Bread and salted butter, the chefs offered some tasty alternatives.
The right Italian cheese was the first major step for Flay. Fontina has the perfect soft texture and nutty flavor to make for a positive gooey sandwich experience. Add some bacon and tomatoes onto some Pullman loaf (a white bread, ideal for sandwiches). Butter can go either on the bread itself or on the griddle, cover the sandwich so the cheese melts and put on some protective gloves to turn it. Voila!
Ever the Italian chef, Giada chooses a Panini press and Panini bread for her grilled cheese. Her version is a little on the sweet side: some Brie cheese, chocolate chips, arugula (to satisfy her need for green), taleggio cheese, pear and honey. The hosts had been eating it all morning, and thought the combination may sound odd, it’s apparently delicious.
Today Show: Perfect Pasta Salad
Bobby Flay himself tweeted at Giada De Laurentiis asking for help to bring pasta salad out of the side dish realm and to the front and center of any party.
Giada began by explaining how to cook the pasta (she uses Fusilli): no oil in the water, lots of salt and a little al dente. She warned against making the pasta too crunchy, as that is obviously undesirable in a melt-in-your-mouth dish like pasta salad. After cooking the noodles, strain the pasta but do not rinse it, in order to keep the starch. Then put the pasta on a sheet pan to cool.
Pasta salad is nothing, of course, without the ingredients that really make it zing. For her version Giada adds: smoked turkey, asiago cheese, red peppers, provolone cheese, green olives, salt and pepper. A light red wine vinegar and a splash of lemon will complete the dish, but the chef noted not to dress the salad until 10 minutes before serving time.