How to Use Bobby’s Secret Weapon in Your Kitchen

He says this common ingredient helps him win on Beat Bobby Flay.

January 08, 2020
Bobby Flay posing with Spicy Lemon Spaghetti w/ Lobster & Breadcrumbs, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Bobby Flay posing with Spicy Lemon Spaghetti w/ Lobster & Breadcrumbs, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

You might think a professional chef's secret to great cooking is some unattainable ingredient or expensive gadget, but it’s often something you overlook in your own cabinet. Part of the fun of watching your favorite chefs cook on the Food Network Kitchen app is hearing their wisdom from years on the line. While making his Spicy Lemon Spaghetti with Lobster, Bobby Flay casually revealed that the secret to many of his wins on Beat Bobby Flay is a little crunch, often in the form of humble toasted breadcrumbs.

“It’s the way I win a lot on Beat Bobby Flay,” Bobby reveals, noting that breadcrumbs are an easy way to give a dish crunch and texture. “These guys are so good. They are amazing chefs," he says of his competitors, "but when I put the crunch in there, it’s a little extra thing that the judges like.”

For the breadcrumbs on top of this pasta, Bobby combines butter and olive oil in a skillet and adds chopped garlic that he smashes with the side of this knife and a little kosher salt. “The kosher salt works as an abrasive on top of the garlic to help to crush the garlic,” says Bobby. This helps the garlic dissolve into the oil and butter. He then toasts panko-style breadcrumbs until golden brown in spots and then adds a sprinkle of lemon zest. “You want them half and half toasted so that the toasted flavor of the breadcrumbs doesn’t take over,” he recommends.

“You can make these days ahead of time,” he says. “I actually make breadcrumbs for salads also. If you’re making a salad and you toss in toasted breadcrumbs into like a kale salad, it gives it that nice little crunch instead of those big croutons. It works really nicely.”

Search the Food Network Kitchen app to check out his other classes, including Bobby's Steamed Mussels, Bobby's Weeknight Roasted Salmon with Potatoes, Bobby Flay's Chicken Salsa Verde, Bobby's Penne with Tomatoes and Basil and Bobby's Quick Adobo Chicken. Plus, watch Bobby put his skills to the test on Beat Bobby Flay, every Thursday at 10|9c.

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