Thursday, October 29, 2015

Food Network’s Most Saved 50 Recipes Of All Time

Plus MY Favorite Recipe In The Entire Universe
PLUS A Shoutout To Paula 

You can thank me later. The Food Network website does NOT make it easy to take a quick look at their list of top Fifty Most-Saved Recipes. In fact, they make it IMPOSSIBLE to see it all at the same time. Soooo, I went through the tortuous process of clicking through a FIFTY PAGE slideshow to make this list of recipes with links for you to peruse.

I’m a sucker for stuff like this. I like to compare other people’s favorites to my own. That’s also the fun thing about thumbing through recipes - the next great one is just around the corner. (AND with the online equivalent, hardly any thumbs are necessary.)  Go to the end of this post for MY favorite recipes of all time.

Without further ado, here are the Food Network’s top recipes. (AND I won’t be annoying like they are. I’ll list the top one first!)

No. 32 Beatty's Chocolate Cake (from Ina)

YAY! An Ina recipe is NUMBER ONE, although she doesn’t have the most recipes on this list. Pioneer Woman is in first place with 14 recipes.

Number Of Recipes By Chef (or host)
Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond – 14
Ina - 11
Giada - 10
Trisha and Tyler - 4 each
Alton - 2
Ellie Krieger - 1
(I know that doesn’t add up to 50. There were a few random ones thrown in for fun.)

Here’s the breakdown by type of recipe:
14 Chicken recipes
12 Pasta recipes (with 4 Mac and Cheese recipes)
6 Seafood recipes – 4 Shrimp, 2 Fish
6 Dessert recipes
5 Meat recipes

I guess this tells us that, most often, people are searching the Food Network website for what to make for dinner and chicken is at the top of their list.

Notice anything else? Obviously this is a list of CURRENT Food Network chefs and hosts, but it does seem a little strange that there isn’t ONE Paula Deen recipe here. In the past, she had always dominated lists like these. In 2007, she had the top recipe, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, plus 46 others out of the top 100. In 2009, her Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup was the second most popular recipe. And she had the second and seventh most popular “Main Course” recipe in 2011. (Just saying, she was a pretty glorious part of the Food Network’s past.)

If I had to choose my favorite Food Network recipe, it wouldn’t even be close. I don’t follow it exactly or even closely anymore, but it gave me the inspiration to make such a delicious, always popular and never routine dish that I love it AND its creator. Ina’s Roasted Vegetables with Orzo takes top billing for me.

If I were to pick my all-time favorite recipe from anywhere or anyone, I could do that easily too. And I know there are thousands (millions?) of people who would agree with me. The Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella wins hands down for best recipe. It has everything – It’s salty and sweet, easy to prepare, can be done ahead of time, great for every day and excellent for company. What else could anyone need?

What’s on the top of your list of best recipes – from the Food Network or otherwise?


Anonymous said...

Chicken Marbella -- I had forgotten about that recipe! I remember freezing it unbaked (after marinating) in a pyrex dish and then baking it a week later from the freezer. A perfect dinner party dish.

Thank you for your heroic effort in putting this together. It is interesting that there's no Paula, no Mario Batali, etc. When I occasionally search the site for a recipe I'm always amazed at how many names I don't recognize. Not to mention the recipes that don't appear to have aired on a show but were created for the network -- with the caveat that they hadn't been tested.

Interesting about the distribution. I'm rarely impressed when I see Pioneer Woman, although I guess there's an appeal if you're cooking for a family since hers is inescapable on the show. Plus she somehow manages to transcend her obvious wealth in a way that Giada and Ina don't.

Sue said...

Hi Tom!
I never froze Chicken Marbella uncooked. I would just make it a day ahead if I had to, but that's a great idea.

You made me remember someone else who is left off this list and still a vital member of the Food Network family - Bobby Flay! And, you're right, there are a lot of "Food Network Kitchens" recipes on their website. I love when they basically say cook this recipe at your own risk, because we haven't tried it.

I love your comment about PW. So elegant and perfectly phrased.

drsatine said...

Dear Sue,
I just discovered your blog and plan to visit often. I'm not much of a cook but I'm a pretty avid FN viewer and have lots of opinions about what I'm seeing and no longer seeing on the network--at least from my perspective.

This is somewhat off topic but since you are discussing recipes, I hope you've had a chance to look at Justin Warner's new cookbook _The Laws of Cooking (and How to Break Them)_. You'll recall Justin was the winner of Food Network Star three seasons ago (before Lenny and Eddie) and was never given a FN show. As far as I know, his appearances have been limited to one special and contestant spots on Triple G and an upcoming Cutthroat Kitchen. Alton Brown was supposed to produce Justin's program but the word at the time was that Alton had other commitments. I assumed adding CK to his ICA workload was the main problem but ICA is now "dormant" (canceled? what a shame) and unless Alton is semi-retired (there also are no more Next Iron Chef productions either), there aren't many good explanations for his continuing failure to mentor a Justin Warner show. The "Alton Brown is unavailable" excuse isn't very powerful anyway--for some reason FN wouldn't find a niche for Justin, who I believe didn't really need much "producing" in the first place. His "alternate" Twitter account is @AngryJustinWarner so he's still pretty hurt and angry about the whole affair.

Back to the cookbook: as I mentioned, I don't cook much. But the organization of Justin's book into "laws" which are sort of paradoxical food pairings and the recipes he associates with each law are just tantalizing! The photos are spectacular and the narrative is fun reading. I have been literally "reading" the book and enjoying it as such. I marvel at the recipes and, again, speaking as a very basic cook (I have mastered the arts of dining out, fetching take-out, using the microwave, doing a bit of stir-fry, and cooking some seasoned meat or seafood in the oven), I doubt there are many I could ever actually prepare although most of the recipe ingredients are not that exotic.

It would be interesting to read your take on the whole Justin Warner debacle (do get the cookbook and give it a review if you're into doing such things.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I am not sure I made any of those. I might have done Ina Garten's roast chicken (is that the one with the bacon covering it? I didn't click through because I hate the FN website). I'm surprised with all the Giada recipes that they didn't have Farmer's Pasta. That's my favorite recipe of hers and it's awesome.

I am sort of saddened by the dominance of the Pioneer Woman. Really? That sort of saddens me.

Sue said...

Hi Jeanne,

No I hadn’t seen Justin’s book, but after I read your comment I took a look at it. I love the concept, especially since I love a lot of the combinations he writes about – what’s better than fat and fruit?

It reminds me of a favorite old cookbook of mine, Ethnic Cuisine: The Flavor Principle Cookbook. Elisabeth Rozin shows how the same cooking methods and ingredient combos are in many different cuisines. For example, sweet and sour recipes are found everywhere from China to Italy to Indonesia. She also covers the flavor principles that make up the dishes of individual countries, as in China with its soy sauce, sherry and gingerroot-based cuisine. Food is such a great way to see the world!

Yeah, the Food Network didn’t give Justin a show, but they did give him a web series Foodie Call. Maybe they’ll find a place for him eventually, but probably not, though…)

I’ve had issues with Alton Brown for ages. I think he thinks the rest of us are really stupid and I wish his recipes weren’t so good! I’ve never found one that didn’t work. Darn!

Hi Rach!

I hated the Food Network website many machinations ago. Now I search for recipes outside of it and usually find what I want.

Ina's Roast Chicken on the list is the one with lemon, garlic and thyme inside. Oh, and it has lots of butter rubbed on it. :-) These seem to be recipes from their most highly promoted chef/hosts and PW is still going strong. She’s also in those Walmart commercials, which keeps her visible.

I have to try that Giada recipe. It looks great!

drsatine said...

In my opinion, Ree Drummond has the personality of a rock. And her recipes always seem to involve opening several cans. But then what can you expect of someone who lives in the Great Wide Outdoors apparently far from civilization (and any fresh food source other than her own garden and ranch)? While I'm wondering, where does she live anyway? And how can FN afford to send a camera crew to her ranch? Why does she merit the Giada/Ina in-home filming treatment when most of the FN pseudo chefs are forced to cook in pseudo home kitchen sets?

Sue said...

Hey Jeanne,
Ree's personality is one thing. It's her cooking that really disturbs me.

PW lives outside Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The start of her celebrity was the astounding success of her blog, which she started in 2006. A few years later, Bobby filmed an episode of Throwdown on her ranch and she won. By the next year, 2011, she was on The Food Network.

"People" love her. I find an occasional good recipe, but I'm not drawn to the whole home on the range bit or the manly-man-doesn't-eat-anything-but-meat schtick of Lance...sorry, Ladd. She doesn't film in a studio, because she has a magnificent kitchen which is as big as a house! And she actually has to DRIVE to it! I don't know when the kitchen was built - If it was pre or post blogging. But if you're going to live in a faraway outpost, I guess it's nice to have.

Abandoned By Wolves said...

I really hate the FN compilation pages, too. Thanks for putting these all in one place in a way that makes sense.

Sue said...

Happy New Year to you! I hope all is well.

I really have no idea what happened to an old fashioned numbered list and why we have to be subjected to a slideshow for everything! Folks would still click on the recipes they're interested in and we wouldn't be pulling out our hair to reach number one. Anyhoo, thanks for taking the time to say hey...