2010 was the year comfort food reigned, and soothing culinary classics filled the Food Network airwaves -- not to mention the stomachs of many a satisfied viewer. With the cultural and culinary zeitgeist leaning heavily towards simplicity, artisan craftsmanship and soothing nostalgia, Food Network's 2010 recipes tended to feature back-to-basics techniques and down-home dishes.But, of course, this being 2010, there were also a few recipes more notable for their virality than anything else. For example, Sandra Lee's Channukah Cake -- a monstrous concoction of good intentions and hilariously bad execution, made momentarily famous in the blogosphere for how bad it was. Of course, no matter what the recipe, viewers tuned in to watch Food Network's famous chefs in record numbers in 2010, making it even more popular than ever. And, making many a home cook -- and their friends and families -- very happy.
Alton Brown's Baked Mac + Cheese
What's more comforting than mac and cheese? Alton Brown's reassuring witticisms as he teaches you how to make the perfect Panko-breaded mac and cheese casserole. This recipe exemplified all the culinary trends of 2010 -- soothing comfort food with a gourmet (but affordable) twist. Throw in Alton's helpful hints, and a few dashes of paprika, and you've got a fancier version of this classic, creamy treat. No blue box required.
Ina Garten's Roast Chicken
Ina Garten is a master of making intimidating culinary techniques totally approachable. Maybe it's her calm voice, or the fact that her Hamptons kitchen has magical powers (seriously, dishes don't ever seem to get dirty there.) Whatever it is, Ina is the best Food Network personality to tune into when you want to learn professional tips and tricks in an approachable way (sorry Anne Burrell, but your magic hair is no match for Ina's magic kitchen).In 2010, Ina tackled the ultimate test of a cook's culinary mettle - the perfect roast chicken. This dish is one of those iconic meals every home cook wants to have in their recipe arsenal. And, Ina's roast chicken recipe from 2010's Back to Basics episode is so good, it pretty much guarantees that you'll be a master of this must-have meal by the time you're done watching it.
Alton Brown's Bonfire Of The Vegetables
2010 was also the year that the greening of food became a big part of the nation's culinary conversation. From the first Iron Chef episode of the year, in which chefs competed to make the best use of veggies from the White House garden, to numerous trends like meatless Mondays and flexitarianism, veggie recipes sprouted up all over the culinary world, and all over Food Network in 2010. This is one of the best ones, featuring the timeless -- and tasty -- combo of grilling, veggies and Alton Brown's wordplay.
Sandra Lee's Channukah Cake
In the words of Serious Eats, this cake is "An angel food cake filled with marshmallows, covered in blue frosting, and decorated with strands of fake pearls. You don't have to be Jewish to know that by serving Sandra Lee's Star of David angel food cake, you have failed." And, indeed, this cake was an epic fail in every way.Except, of course, in the virality department. In fact, its sheer absurdity -- and the fact that the domestic goddess used non-kosher marshmallows on a Channukah cake -- gave this particular concoction its very own fifteen minutes of fame on the blogosphere in December of 2010. Much like the miraculous oil Channukah is meant to celebrate, the cake's fame lasted far longer than it should have. Fortunately, the bloggers eventually found her Kwanzaa cake, which stole the spotlight right out from under this big, blue monstrosity.