All Posts By Andrea Albin

Andrea Albin has been obsessed with cooking and food since she was a little girl. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in film studies, she decided to pursue her culinary dreams and moved to New York to attend the French Culinary Institute. She began her career by honing her cooking skills in some of Manhattan’s top restaurants, and then transitioned into the world of food media. Over the last 5 years, she has worked as a food stylist, recipe editor, tester, and developer. Before joining the Food Network team, Andrea worked as food editor at Gourmet magazine until it folded in 2009.

Behind the Booklet: 50 Easy Appetizers

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, November 27th, 2012

50 easy appetizers
Hors d’oeuvres and appetizers are often the best part of a meal to me. Maybe it’s because finger foods are just more fun to eat or because they’re usually paired with a cocktail. When Food Network Kitchens were coming up with ideas for 50 Easy Appetizers (page 166) for the November issue of Food Network Magazine, the possibilities seemed endless.

Recipes below

Behind the Booklet: 50 Things to Make With Apples

by in Food Network Magazine, November 16th, 2012

50 Things to Make With ApplesWhen the Food Network test kitchens first conceived of the “50 Things to Make With Apples” booklet from the October issue of Food Network Magazine (page 160), we thought we would use apple in all its forms, including applesauce and cider.

Ultimately, we decided to only include recipes with fresh apples — but I had already developed this easy recipe for cider-glazed bacon. You’ll be amazed by how much of the cider flavor actually comes through. And if you want to take it over the top, use the bacon to make a BLA — a BLT with sliced apples instead of tomatoes.

Simmer 1 cup apple cider down to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Lay 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon on a rack on sheet tray; brush with half the cider; bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping and brushing again halfway through.

Pan-Fried Sweet Plantains

by in Food Network Magazine, November 10th, 2012

Sweet Plantains with Cilantro Rice
In the Mexican Fish Supper weekend dinner from Food Network Magazine’s October issue (page 132), I created a recipe for a quick Cilantro Rice with Sweet Plantains (pictured above). To make things even easier, I call for frozen fried sweet plantains. They aren’t quite as good as homemade, but they’re pretty good and very easy to prepare.

If you have a little more time and a few plantains on hand, make your own. Make sure your plantains are extremely ripe — even bordering on mushy. If they’re not, the results will not be as yummy or gooey as you really want them to be because the natural sugars inside the plantain haven’t fully developed.

Keep reading for the recipe

Tomatoes With Pickled Red Onions

by in Food Network Magazine, September 28th, 2012

Tomato Caesar Salad With Bacon-Parmesan Crisps

The September issue of Food Network Magazine is chock-full of tomatoes. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes, Tomato Caesar Salad With Bacon-Parmesan Crisps (pictured above) and Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches are just a few of the must-try tomato recipes in the issue, but I’d like to add one more to your list: my ideal tomato salad.

It’s nothing more than sliced tomatoes and quick-pickled red onion dressed in a little of the pickling liquid and some good olive oil, but it’s incredible any day of the week. The acidity of the onions complements the tomatoes without overpowering them, while the body and slight sweetness of the olive oil round everything out.

Get Andrea’s recipe

Convection vs. Conventional Ovens — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, September 25th, 2012

conventional oven
Twice a month we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: My question is about convection ovens vs. conventional ovens. Do recipe bake times need to be altered in any way if the oven used is a conventional oven? I feel as though most recipes I try from experienced cooks are made in convection ovens and I wondered if it made a difference if my oven is conventional.  – K. Stroh

Find out the answer

Try a T-Bone Pork Chop

by in Food Network Magazine, August 9th, 2012

T-Bone Pork Chop

The T-bone pork chop is the perfect cut for grilling. Also called the “center cut” or “pork loin chop,” it’s immediately recognizable by the T-shaped bone running through it — much like the beefsteak of the same name. It’s mostly juicy loin meat, with a little bit of lean but tender tenderloin meat, and a nice amount of fat to impart lots of moisture and flavor. But the most important component is the bone itself, which does a lot to keep the chop from drying out as it cooks.

When you brine these chops, you end up with an even juicier cut. The chops in Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Pork Chops With Plum Ginger Chutney (pictured above) are brined in a mixture of water, sugar, salt, gin, vermouth and various spices. The botanical flavors of the booze really complement both the pork and the plum chutney. For your next barbecue, leave the boneless cuts at the store and try the T-bone instead. We promise you’ll be licking your chops.

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Break the Mold: Gelatin Watermelon

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, August 6th, 2012

Watermelon Gelatin
Each month, Food Network Kitchens chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Dreaming up gelatin desserts for the July/August issue proved no easy feat: We wanted the bites to be fresh and elegant, yet whimsical and maybe a tiny bit kitschy (a concept we jokingly referred to as “jell-egance”).

The gelatin squares on page 90 of the July/August issue have a sleek modernist edge, but they originally started as a kid-friendly trompe l’oeil dessert (pictured above). We used the rind of a sugar baby and mini chocolate chips to give them their fun watermelon look.

Re-create it at home by pouring and setting the watermelon gelatin mixture in the hollowed-out half of a sugar baby watermelon. Make sure it’s completely set before cutting it, then apply the chocolate chips just before serving so they don’t turn to mush.

Read more

Season the Rim: How to Make Flavored Salts

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, June 28th, 2012

Perfect Margarita
Dress up your margaritas with flavored salt. A bold flavor on the rim is a fun, easy way to gussy up a classic. In a recent issue of Food Network Magazine you’ll find three awesome variations, but I wanted to share one more favorite that we didn’t have room for this time around: a mixed-berry salt.

The tartness of the freeze-dried fruit goes perfectly with a margarita. And of course, feel free to experiment with whatever fruits you like!

Read more

Perfect Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, June 14th, 2012

Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs
In the June issue of Food Network Magazine, I put my own spin on fried chicken and eliminated what I think is the worst part of making the much-loved dish at home: the frying part. My kitchen always ends up spattered with oil. Not to mention, disposing of all the oil is a big pain.

To make this recipe, I took a technique I learned for making Italian chicken spiedini (essentially skewered chicken). Instead of deep frying, you coat chicken kebabs in bread crumbs and then grill them for a crispy, crunchy crust.

It took a couple of tries, but the natural fat in the chicken literally fries the bread-crumbs as they grill.  You get the best of both worlds — the crispiness of frying and the smoky taste of grilling. Just make sure to keep the heat of your grill on medium so the chicken doesn’t get overly charred.

Try it: Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs

Get more cookout ideas from Food Network Magazine

Behind the Booklet: 50 Tacos

by in Food Network Magazine, May 23rd, 2012

tacos
Coming up with 50 of anything for Food Network Magazine’s monthly 50-recipe booklet can be daunting — in the past, the booklet has featured 50 things to make with bacon, 50 brownies and 50 grilled cheeses — but this month, Food Network Kitchens tackled taco night.

The 50 Tacos booklet is full of fun new ideas you can whip up in no time. For instance, tucked into the Chicken Tomatillo recipe (No. 14) is an incredibly easy tomatillo salsa. It’s just 32 words long and as easy as can be, but I promise you it’s a killer salsa that is just as delicious in hot chicken tacos as it is served with tortilla chips.

Puree 1 pound fresh husked tomatillos with 1 jalapeno, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup each chopped onion, cilantro and water.  Fry in 2 tablespoons oil until thick.

And of course it’s not the only one. There are tons of great salsas all throughout these recipes. Explore, find your favorites and mix and match to create your own tacos, nachos and more!