Take away all of the culinary creations of the past 10,000 years and what are you left with? Barley. But make no mistake, ancient though it may be, barley is no dino-seed when it comes to versatility in the modern kitchen. Alton shows us how to grind our own grains and turn a handful of hulls into a meal even a caveman could love.
The world may not be flat, but thanks to the tortilla we can enjoy almost anything edible with a quick fold, flip or wrap. Why is it then that so few cooks make their own tortillas at home? Alton hopes to reverse the trend by introducing the average gringo to the virtues of the flattest of flatbreads and the magic of an ancient ingredient called maize.
Aroma can make us hungry, recall a memory and even spark an emotion. But can it help sell a house? Alton Brown hopes to find out as he whips up several tasty breakfast breads in search of the secret scent of real estate success. Find out exactly what the nose knows, including the surprising source of most store-bought cinnamon.
Cube steak: mysterious meat stuff or misunderstood marvel? Alton Brown makes good use of the only meat capable of being "knitted" together in an attempt to bring country cooking home again. The menu may say "chicken-fried," but this is definitely a steak, a steak whose history and hearsay is as interesting as the end results are tasty.
Join Alton Brown as he heads upstream in search of the world's most important ingredient: water. Where does it come from, how is it made safe to drink and how does it get from the source to our kitchen sinks?
In his second exploration of the only ingredient pumped directly into our homes, Alton Brown looks at water from the inside out with the help of a friendly water molecule. Along the way, he explains how water is scrubbed clean before it reaches our homes.
Few fruits are as sweet, succulent or downright sexy as a peach. So why is it so hard to find a good peach at the grocery store? Alton Brown trades commercial convenience for farm-stand flavor and discovers what he’s been missing. Perfect for pies, pastries or peel and eat, orchard fresh peaches are nothing short of a miracle and, come summertime, closer than you might think.
Culinary superstars come in all shapes and sizes, but none is more misunderstood than the much-maligned Southern mystery known as okra. Is it a slimy seedpod or pan-fried powerhouse? Join Alton Brown as he explores this versatile veggie from the inside out, separates the ooze from the "ahs," and turns a bad case of "okraphobia" into a craving for all things okra.
In many restaurants, calamari has replaced onion rings as the deep-fried hors d’oeuvre du jour. So why is it that so many cooks fail when it comes to cooking calamari? Is it too many breadcrumbs or not enough batter? AB ships out aboard a squid research vessel in search of answers to this question and a few good appetizers.
No foodstuff screams American "pop" culture as loudly as popcorn. So why is it that modern movie popcorn tastes more like butter-flavored packing material than actual corn? AB takes a trip to the past to uncover the origins of the tasty treat, reveals the best corn for the job, and leaves no kernel unpopped in his search for the perfect popper.
AB finds himself in a fix when a local cooking club pickets his house protesting the fact that he doesn’t use enough leftovers. Luckily the Mother of Culinary Invention appears to illuminate the way to redemption. The target food: tortillas, and lots of them. A little experimentation later and the kitchen is full of lasagna, masa-tots and a serious platter of nachos.
If salt is a culinary superhero, does that make pepper its sidekick? Or is there more to the peppercorn than meets the eye? After all, most history books place pepper front and center in discussions of commerce, exploration, culture and cuisine. Join Alton Brown as he takes a closer look at the king of spices, goes in search of the perfect peppermill, and examines the peculiar (but delicious) properties of pepper's essential oils.
Whether or not the Pilgrims ate turkey at the first Thanksgiving is debatable, but one thing is not: if they'd had a propane tank and five gallons of hot oil they'd have deep-fried the turkey for sure. Alton Brown takes on the new American tradition of deep-frying the big bird in an effort to prevent future backyard disasters from flaring up. Along the way, he talks turkey flavor and texture to ensure that we all get the most out of our birds, without getting burned.
Join Alton Brown as he explores an alien fruit: the pomegranate. As he dissects this mysterious fruit, AB reveals a variety of applications for all of the pomegranate's juicy goodness and decides that regardless of being way weird, pomegranates are definitely good eats.
Join host Alton Brown as he considers one of the oldest and most versatile players in the pantry, the lentil. Whether it's soup, salad or baked goods, the lentil has more to offer than fiber, minerals, and a steak's worth of protein, a basic nutrient that AB makes a thorough investigation of while the lentil cookies are cooling; yes, we said lentil cookies.
AB breaks down the whole concept of Gumbo, clarifies the differences between Cajun and Creole and explains the importance of the roux this classic dish. After numerous roux failures AB comes up with a foolproof method for making a brick (dark) roux and the perfect gumbo.
Join AB as he shares his favorite weeknight meal, Cornish game hen, with an eye on food safety. From the grocery store to the leftovers, AB shows us how to shop, prep, cook and even grill while providing guidelines and tools for proper food handling and clean up. The reward? A couple of tasty versions of AB’s Cornish game hen that are definitely safe eats.
We could all use some education about true espresso. Join Alton Brown as he explains how the beans, the grind, the machine and the hand make up the essential components.
Alton kicks off his investigation of the vast arena of American Classic dishes with the spinach salad. He examines the recipe ingredient by ingredient tracing the history of how each element became part of the traditional and tasty salad.
Join Alton Brown as he makes a traditional corned beef to rival any deli serving originating in New York City. From selecting the proper cut of meat to pickling or "corning" it, Alton will serve two classic applications: corned beef and cabbage, and corned beef hash.