All Posts By Alex Guarnaschelli

Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

Alex Eats: Fresh Corn

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2011

fresh corn on the cob
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

It’s hard to beat the taste of corn bought from a roadside stand — just driving past a cornfield makes my mouth water. I imagine taking the corn off the grill and watching the butter melt over the kernels — the salt, the first bite. Nothing beats it. Here are some of my favorite tips for purchasing and preparing corn:

1. I always pick corn where the husk clings tightly to the cob; they are the most freshly picked. Similarly, I avoid buying cleaned corn wrapped in plastic or trimmed on both ends for “easier” eating. They tend to be dry and less fresh. The more “whole” you buy your vegetables, the better.

Find out how to grill corn after the jump »

Alex Eats: Radishes

by in Recipes, July 19th, 2011

easter egg radishes
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

I love the sharp, mustard-like bite of radishes and I almost put them in the spicy food category. Let’s face it, when up against such voluptuous supermarket contenders like corn, asparagus and tomatoes, you have to ask yourself, “Why buy them?” For many reasons. Here’s one: Daikon and watermelon radishes are sweet and very juicy. They have an amazing texture, adding a low-calorie, flavor-packed punch to any salad. The more common types, Breakfast or Easter Egg radishes, are more peppery. I love mixing them with fresh chiles or topping a steak or fish with slices of radish (or roasted whole) for a change of pace.

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Alex Eats: Fresh Peaches

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, July 12th, 2011

fresh peaches
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

What is it about a peach that is so seductive? They look so juicy to me. When I see them in any market, they shout to me, “Hello! Over here. Dig in!”

But how do you pick out a good one?

1. Don’t be seduced by the brilliant red color that covers a large part of the fruit. That will change from variety to variety of peach. It is actually the yellow or white areas where you should seek a rich color. A deep yellow hue tells the story of a good peach.

Learn how to pick the perfect peach »

Alex Eats: Strawberries

by in Recipes, July 5th, 2011

strawberries
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

I love that the strawberry plant is a member of the rose family. There are so many things you can do with strawberries during the season, both sweet and savory. If you have a few strawberries in the back of the fridge, try boiling them with sugar and a splash of sherry vinegar to make jam for toast or a glaze for duck breasts or pork loins. You can also purée them in the blender — mix with sugar, lime juice and some chilled seltzer water for a refreshing summer spritzer. Below is a simple recipe I like making when I get home from work with some really great strawberries.

Get Alex’s Strawberry Tart recipe after the jump »

Alex Makes: Homemade Vegetable Stock

by in Recipes, June 28th, 2011

vegetable stock
alex guarnaschelliEvery week Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

Why make vegetable stock? That has been a question I’ve asked myself for years, until I gave it some thought. I find when I make vegetable soups, I turn to butter or cream for thickness — I wanted another option. Why not vegetable stock? Unlike meat stocks, they don’t need long-term cooking to bring out their flavors. Vegetable stocks are a cheap date. Here are a few rules I follow:

1. Avoid any really strong herbs (i.e. dill or an abundance of rosemary) or vegetables that may have a bitter skin (i.e. squash or rutabaga). Mushroom scraps are gold to me (don’t forget to wash them first).

Read the rest of Alex’s tips and get her recipe »

Alex Eats: Cheesy Biscuits

by in Recipes, June 21st, 2011

cheesy biscuits
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

You know how a recipe can be sentimental because you remember the first time you made it or the first time you ate the result? This recipe was one of the very first things I ever made in a professional kitchen, but before I was making it, I was eating the results hot every day out of the oven. While working at Larry Forgione’s An American Place, the biscuits would come out of the convection oven in the back of the kitchen just a few minutes before dinner service.

What is it about the smell of baked goods that turns us into homing pigeons? It was like I could sense they were ready all the way over in the pantry area where I was preparing salads. I would sneak to the back and standing in front of the warmth of the oven, break the biscuit in half and drop a little pat of butter inside.

Get Alex’s recipe for these cheesy biscuits »

Alex Eats: Fresh Oysters

by in Food Network Chef, June 14th, 2011

oysters
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

I always think an oyster is completely submerged in water all of the time. On a recent boat ride through a little inlet outside Charleston, S.C. I learned that isn’t always true. As the boat ripped through the water, I noticed some unusual-looking plants adorning the shoreline. When the boat slowed, I got a closer look at these “plants.” They were actually oysters, one growing virtually on top of the other, like a 50-car pileup on the freeway. They were rooted in the sand, but due to the low tide, some were submerged and others not.

The skipper of our boat, Joe, a South Carolina native, saw me staring and pulled the boat over to the edge of a small beach area. “Put those boots on,” he instructed with a knowing grin. He handed me a pair of electric-green boots and I pulled them on slowly as he passed me an oyster knife. We crouched over the oysters and gently pulled a few loose. They were covered in grit, but they were still beautiful. I pried the top shell open and tasted the oyster (and its ridiculously fresh liquid) as if it were my first. It was so cold! Joe grinned, “Pretty good, eh?”

Better than you could ever imagine.

Read Alex’s tips for oysters and get her recipe after the jump »