Food Network users have spoken: traditional, tried-and-true recipes are best. From classic comfort food and seafood to Italian and Mexican favorites, Food Network’s top 10 main dish recipes of 2011 are as diverse as they are flavorful. Make a New Year’s resolution to bring a few of these family-friendly dishes to your table in 2012.
10. Spaghetti alla Carbonara — A silky, no-cook egg and Parmesan combination coats each noodle and perfectly complements crispy pancetta pieces in this Italian classic.
9. Oven-baked Salmon — Ready in just 20 minutes, this heart-healthy meal features lean salmon filets, simply seasoned and baked until cooked through.
8. Beer Can Chicken — Grill this chicken standing up, balanced atop a half-empty beer can and resting on its legs.
7. Crab Cakes — Paula’s crab cakes boast a golden, crispy exterior and tender crab with fresh vegetables and a Worcestershire-mayonnaise mixture inside.
6. Chicken Enchiladas — Tyler mixes shredded chicken with chipotle chiles and corn and bakes it in tortillas with enchilada sauce and cheese.
Read more »
This is a time of the year when my drinking rules and all “house” policies go out the window. I want something new. I will drink a cocktail through the cocktail hour and the dinner party instead of switching to wine. I sip smoky, tabacco-y scotch. I indulge in a snifter of brandy. Sometimes I mix drinks. Here are a few I’m enjoying this year for New Year’s.
I really like this flavor — it rides the perfect line between bitter and sweet. It goes well with salty snacks or with a full meal. Make sure everything (including the glasses) are as cold as possible.
Get Alex’s cocktail recipes »
Like so many others, when the new year approaches, I begin to entertain thoughts of healthier eating. I imagine spending all of December 31 sweeping out my refrigerator and pantry, getting rid of the crackers, chocolate (even the baking kind) and oozy cheeses, and replacing them with kale, flax seed meal and dried beans.
Most years I don’t actually tackle such extreme measures. Instead I just take steps to add a few more virtuous items to our regular menu. Come January the number of leafy greens found in my kitchen will outnumber the cheeses (sadly, not the case at the moment) and I’ll start packing more lunches for my husband and me.
One way that I fill our lunch bags is with homemade soup. I cook up a batch at the beginning of each week and portion it out into microwave-safe containers each night before I go to bed. That way it’s easy to grab come morning. These soups are often bean and vegetable based. Some weeks I do a black bean soup from dried beans; other weeks I stick to pantry basics like canned white beans and boxed stock.
Recently I’ve been making a simple Lentil Soup using Alton Brown’s recipe as my guide. It makes a generous amount, is incredibly cheap to make (good if you’re watching your wallet as well as your waistline) and can happily simmer on the back burner on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. All these things make it perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start simmering, read these tips »
On New Year’s Eve in my house, there exists no particular ritual as one year comes to a close and another is ushered in, apart from popping champagne at midnight, that is. However, various countries and cultures practice habits of their own to mark the occasion and to celebrate the year, particularly by eating certain foods in the hope of securing a bit of luck in the months ahead. Epicurious featured an article detailing New Year’s food traditions around the world and explained the origins of them. Check out below various customs of eating Lucky Food for the New Year and find corresponding recipes so you can bring these practices into your home.
For many, pigs represent progress and growth in life, so pork dishes are common on New Year’s menus from Cuba to Austria. Food Network Magazine offers a Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (pictured above) that is sure to feed a crowd and takes just over an hour to prepare. Sautéed cremini mushrooms, fresh parsley and crispy bacon are wrapped inside a lean, butterflied tenderloin, then grilled until thoroughly cooked.
More lucky New Year’s recipes »
Food Network Kitchens has come up with its annual list of the top trends that will define 2012 in food. Check out one of the trends here, then visit Food Network’s Healthy Eats and Cooking Channel’s Devour for the rest of the list.
Mustard in its many forms — from condiment to vegetable, spice to cooking oil — is about to get its moment. Heat is hot, and this multifarious member of the cabbage family represents a vast, underexplored source of culinary heat. Look for sharp, peppery Indian mustard oil, spicy-salty Sichuanese pickled mustard greens and pungent-sweet Italian fruit mustards. We’re all about to learn that this genuinely global ingredient is much more than a hot dog condiment.
In 2012, condiment mustard will be made from scratch (it’s so easy) by more home cooks and chefs, mustard seeds will be pickled and scattered over all things rich and porky; mustard oil will move beyond Indian (and Korean and Chinese) kitchens, becoming a common cooking and seasoning oil (it makes a great salad dressing); and the greens, so healthy and so long neglected, will be next year’s kale.
More Top Food Trends of 2012:
There’s so much pressure to have fun on New Year’s Eve that it’s easy to find yourself overpaying at a restaurant or bar for the right to experience tepid beer, viciously thumping music and the crush of overindulging strangers. Happily, you can easily outsmart this New Year’s outcome by having the kind of home bubbly celebration described here:
Bubbles of Any Kind: Whether it’s real Champagne from France or one of the less expensive types I call “bubbly stunt doubles” — Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain — bubbles are the cornerstone of a home New Year’s celebration.
Throughout the Night: The key is not to save the bubbly for the midnight ball drop, but to drink it throughout your festive night. A lighter-style blanc de blancs Champagne (from white grapes) works perfectly as an appetite-stoking aperitif or with lighter bites, such as Ted Allen’s Crudo on the Half Shell. But a richer, people-pleasing Prosecco or American sparkler would provide a cleansing lift to entrees such as Alex Guarnaschelli’s Oven “Fried” Pizza.
Learn how to saber a bottle like a pro »
Several thousand years ago, people discovered that exposing fish to intense amounts of salt and smoke was a great of preserving the catch for later.
Today, our smoking techniques are considerably more refined, and we do it more for flavor than as a means of preservation.
Which makes it a shame that more people don’t think to reach for smoked fish as an effortless way to add gobs of flavor to the foods they love.
But first, a primer on smoked fish. There are two ways to smoke: cold and hot. Salmon, trout, haddock and mackerel are the most common choices.
In cold smoking, the fish are brined in a heavy salt solution, then exposed to cool smoke (85 degrees F max) for up to several days, then frozen to kill parasites.
Get the recipe for Smoked Trout Noodle Soup »
This weekend, whether you’re hosting a huge bash, an intimate dinner party or just watching the ball drop in your pajamas, ring in 2012 with dressed up eats and drinks to celebrate the New Year. We’ve gathered Food Network’s top five New Year’s Eve recipes, so your final hours of 2011 will be filled with hearty appetizers, simple snacks, special cocktails and more.
5. Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp — These bite-sized sweet and savory shrimp are sautéed with bright pineapple chunks and crispy bacon slices.
4. Brie En Croute — As easy to prepare as it is impressive looking, this crowd-pleasing appetizer features smooth brie and cinnamon-scented walnuts baked inside a store-bought puff pastry until the dough is golden brown.
Get the top three recipes »
The season’s usual hues are red, green, silver and deep blue, but this December HGTV’s Color of the Month is glamming it up with grape. It’s a juicy pick to add to our palates and this beautiful berry color is among my favorite shades.
You may be thinking of a particular recipe that bears this color, something with grapes or wine. Sure, I love the sweet and tart orbs, but this grape-toned dish of Sauteed Cabbage and Apples by Melissa d’Arabian is my go-to comfort food. Delightfully, it does include a generous splash of red wine. My mom’s version, which I called “the purple cabbage stuff,” is a staple in my family, requested at Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday dinners.
Read more »
Bobby shares some holiday fun facts and lets us in on his New Year’s resolution:
FN Dish: How can cooks be less stressed during the holidays?
Bobby Flay: Cook from within yourself at your skill level. Don’t try to conquer the world with your holiday meal.
FN Dish: What’s your favorite holiday food memory?
BF: One Christmas morning I tried to find a turkey because the Cornish game hen I had planned to cook had gone badly.
FN Dish: What do you cook just when it’s just you?
BF: Homemade nachos with a white American cheese sauce.
FN Dish: What’s your 2012 New Year’s resolution?
BF: To reopen my restaurant in New York City, Bolo. It’s time. It’s like a broken heart that I need to mend.
Read more »