One of the Food Network's most exciting shows is Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. Each week, the grill king challenges a cook or chef at his or her specialty; the dishes include hot dogs, quiche, sticky buns, buffalo wings, chicken tikki masala, or Kentucky hot browns. Bobby Flay's Throwdowns! recreates those hard-fought competitions in words, pictures, and, not least, more than 100 recipes, but it also adds a new dimension: It provides both competitors' recipes for several dishes, thus allowing you to cook and judge yourself! One throwdown that everybody wins.
A famous chef walks into an eatery and says, "Hey, prepare your signature dish and let's see if I can make a variation worth televising." That, in essence, is the concept behind Throwdown! the Food Network reality show that premiered in 2006, the fifth of seven Flay vehicles to appear on the network. This companion volume is one part recap and one part cookbook. For true fans of the show, Flay recounts each episode in his trademark cocky prose ("I heat things up with Jamaican jerk jockey Nigel Spence") and in doing so provides a tasty travelogue of eateries, from Asian dumplings at the Good Fork in Brooklyn, N.Y., to chile cheeseburgers at the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, Tex. Whether by accident or by design, his cook-off lineup is a treasure trove of comfort food. Meatloaf, mac 'n' cheese, wings, lasagna, cupcakes, and matzo ball soup are all in the battle: 51 items in total, with Flay and a competing chef each providing their own recipe, for a total of 102 recipes. The author has never met a dish that he didn't want to sauce, and this proclivity is much in evidence, including a black pepper vinegar sauce over pulled pork and a balsamic glaze over a roasted vegetable meatloaf. (Oct.)
Flay (Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes), who can also be seen on Food Network's Boy Meets Grill and Iron Chef America—here writing with his assistant and frequent coauthor, Banyas, and Food Network sous-chef Garron—covers seasons one through seven of Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Recipes (e.g., Bobby Flay's Peach-Blackberry Pie, Terri Wahl's Red Velvet Cupcakes, and Sohui Kim's Pork and Chive Dumplings) include photos, an introduction to the episode, and both Flay's and his competitors' recipes. This part fan book, part cookbook will appeal to those who watch the show. With a ten-city tour and national publicity—expect demand.
Read an Excerpt
Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch and Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream
Makes 1 (10-inch) pie
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, cold
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
11/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
11/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for the top
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream (recipe follows), for serving
1. To make the cinnamon crunch, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine the flour, oats, muscovado sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor, and process a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until combined. Pat the mixture evenly into a 4-inch square on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Keep the oven on.
3. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until combined. Press evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie plate. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake until light golden brown and firm, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
5. To make the filling, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, both sugars, and the molasses together in a medium bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk in the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla seeds or extract. Strain the mixture through a coarse strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the butter.
6. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, pour the pumpkin mixture into the shell, and sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top. Bake until the filling is set around edges but the center still jiggles slightly when shaken, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
7. Cut the pie into slices and top each with a large dollop of whipped cream and some of the cinnamon crunch.
Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream
1¼ cups heavy cream, very cold
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon, to taste
Combine the cream, vanilla seeds, maple syrup, and bourbon in a large chilled bowl, and whip until soft peaks form.