Will Bobby Flay step in it? The celebrity chef and star of Throwdown! With Bobby Flay challenged home-cook and blogging extraordinaire Ree "Pioneer Woman" Drummond to a special Thanksgiving tête-à-tête. Drummond will have home-field advantage, as Flay traveled to her Oklahoma ranch to face off against her. Who's your money on? The episode will air on the Food Network next Wednesday, November 17, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET. We chatted with Ree about the whole experience. And how she froze Bobby's leftovers and may even serve them at her own Thanksgiving! Just kidding...she thinks.
'Bobby Flay's Throwdown' on Serious Eats
For a very special Thanksgiving-themed episode of Throwdown!, Bobby Flay showed down with Michele Albano of Michele's Pies for a Pumpkin Pie bake-off. As someone who has always preferred pecan to pumpkin when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I have to say that Bobby's pie was the best of both worlds. It had the ideal ratio of pumpkin flavor cut with the warmth of brown sugar and molasses. And I'd be happy eating anything topped with that fantastic Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Crunch.
So far this week we've been featuring the winning recipes from Bobby Flay's Throwdown!, but judging by the caliber of Bobby Flay and his formidable competitors I had a feeling that the losing recipes were worth a try as well. To test my theory I opted to try Bobby Flay's version of Spaghetti and Meatballs, a lighter take on this Italian-American staple that ended up losing out to Mike Maroni's grandma's meatballs.
When Bobby Flay went up against The Pop Shop on a grilled cheese-themed episode of Throwdown! it seemed like the New Jersey soda fountain with a menu featuring 31 varieties of grilled cheese would have the advantage for sure. But...
It's a shame that Bobby Flay had to go all the way uptown to Harlem for his Chicken and Waffles Throwdown! since there was no way he could possibly beat Melba Wilson's. On paper the recipe looks like the work of a mad woman—mustard and buttermilk soaked fried chicken piled on top of waffles made with eggnog in place of cream, all finished with sweet strawberry butter and even sweeter maple syrup, but somehow, when all of the elements come together (and are doused with syrup) it's insane in the most delicious way.
When Bobby Flay decided to tackle mac and cheese for one of his Throwdown! challenges, he set off for Philadelphia to go head-to-head with soul food queen Delilah Widner, of Delilah's. Instead of going the traditional mac route, Flay decided to add a few ingredients from an equally starchy, rich dish, pasta alla carbonara.
On the Cocktails episode of Throwdown, Flay found himself pitted against Tobin Ellis, Vegas bartender extraordinaire. It was one of those challenges where Flay shouldn't have stood a chance but thanks to a consult with cocktail guru Dale Degroff, Flay was able to come up with a rum-based cocktail took the prize. With sweet chunks of pineapple, herbal notes from basil and mint, a spicy ginger syrup, and rich float of coconut cream, The Thowndown Cocktail won the judges over. I mixed up a pitcher of these Throwdown!-inspired cocktails at home—it only took one sip to figure out why Flay was the winner of this challenge. The mix was sweet and tropical, but with enough bright and sour notes to keep it from being cloying.
Like any good food show, watching Throwdown! inevitably leaves you not only hungry but curious as to how the winning and losing dishes taste. For all of you Throwdown! fans out there, Flay along with his support team, Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron have recently released Bobby Flay's Throwdown!, a best of cookbook including recipes from some of the best challenges of the last 8 seasons of Throwdown!, with both winning recipes and the losers side by side. Enter here to win a copy.