All Posts By Allison Milam

Mashed Spring Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 24th, 2013

Chive and Garlic Mashed PotatoesA lot of our favorite spring sides come mashed — or smashed, depending on your word-choice preference. This week we’re zeroing in on a texture for side dishes that makes for good eating — and easy chewing. Some mashed dishes entail a ricer or the back of your fork. Others are mashed in a more casual sense. All of these dishes, however, involve a certain level of deconstruction.

When it comes to smashed spring peas, the British know what’s up. Go for Jamie Oliver’s Minty Mushy Peas, which will work as a hearty, vegetarian side. Though he opts for frozen peas, we all know the fresh ones are ripe for the mushing. Rachael Ray adds creamy, slightly sweet cheese to her Smashed Peas and Ricotta Cheese recipe.

This last recipe is not mashed in its entirety, but it shows how mashed ingredients fit into bigger pictures. Tagliatelle With Smashed Peas, Sausage and Ricotta Cheese by Giada De Laurentiis uses the pulverized pea for its creamy, filling and subtly sweet attributes. The spicy sausage counteracts the mild peas and cheese, creating a pasta side ready for any night of the week.

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Go Raw With Shaved Salads — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 17th, 2013

Carrot, Date and Fennel SaladIt seems that spring is finally gracing us with its presence. Good thing we didn’t hold our breath, eh? In celebration of the season, bolt to your nearest farmers’ market — or produce section — for some fresh, fresh, fresh produce.

Here’s the catch: rather than zapping these veggies with heat, reach for a trusty kitchen tool instead: the mandoline. With its thin-slicing capabilities, this gadget converts veggies into some sensational no-cook sides. But be sure to watch yourself — this tool is seriously sharp. (Don’t have a mandoline? A standard vegetable peeler will work just fine too.)

Summer Squash Carpaccio by Food Network Magazine is vibrant and vital as we progress into the warmer months. Here ribbons of yellow squash and zucchini are thin but perky as they marinate in a simple lemon vinaigrette with herbs and grated pecorino.

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Good Grains Make for Balanced Meals — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 10th, 2013

20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce by Food Network MagazineFixing a bowl of raisin-laced quinoa and calling it dinner just won’t do. Yes, many wholesome grains are packed with protein and all that good stuff, but they’re that much better when things are kept balanced. With this fleet of recipe combinations, your grain-based sides are not just an afterthought; they’re a fluid and integral part of your meal.

A Tupperware of some-sort-of-quinoa-salad may be all the rage at lunchtime these days, but quinoa is much more exciting when it’s transitioned to the dinner table. Food Network Magazine‘s Spice-Rubbed Pork With Quinoa and its Scallops With Citrus and Quinoa are both sophisticated and relatively light, and the grain itself is prepared very simply.

Couscous works wonders when combined with shellfish. Sandra Lee whips up a homemade basil-walnut pesto for her Shrimp Scampi Over Pesto Couscous, and Food Network Magazine’s Greek Shrimp and Couscous integrates the grain with a sauce brimming in tomatoes, fennel and feta. The chefs in Food Network Kitchens aren’t kidding with this 20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce (pictured above) — this dish comes out quick. Store-bought Greek yogurt and hummus make for an easy dipping sauce when blended, while the whole-wheat couscous is studded with dried apricots.

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An Ode to the Oven — Sensational Sides

by in Family, Recipes, April 3rd, 2013

Roasted Fennel With TomatoesThink about it — your oven has done a lot for you this season. It’s seen pies and casseroles, pot roasts and big birds. It’s gotten you through holidays and frosty nights. Let’s not even mention all the cookies and cakes. But soon enough, you’ll be trading your boots for shorts and your oven for the grill. It’s just how the cycle goes.

This week, as you get your hands on some of that fresh spring produce, keep that faithful oven of yours in mind. It roasts veggie after veggie to sheer perfection, making certain your sides are simply sensational.

When asparagus meets the oven, it doesn’t need much else. Food Network Magazine’s pristine Roasted Asparagus calls upon nothing more than toasted pine nuts and lemon to accentuate its earthy flavors. Ina Garten’s Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, on the other hand, is luxurious and the perfect mate to a sumptuous steak.

Though Roasted Carrots may scream fall, this recipe by Food Network Magazine uses lemon, red onion, cilantro and spices to inject a seasonal flair. Add a dose of green for Roasted Carrots and Peas, ensuring that the vibrancy of the season shines through. Here’s a good tip: It’s a good idea to parboil hard veggies like carrots so the finished product comes down without a crunch.

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Out With the Old. In With the New. — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, March 27th, 2013

Lemon-Herb Rice SaladYou’ve heard it all before: Spring is a time for change. It’s a time when we kick off our puffy down coats and swing our windows wide open. It’s also a time when our diets change for the better. But before getting carried away with all the green-as-can-be produce you can get your hands on, use this first stage of the season for some serious spring cleaning, with a special emphasis on that pantry of yours.

This week, Food Network’s combining forgotten pantry items with the freshness of spring produce. Together, these two elements create bright and budget-friendly side dishes.

Those cardboard boxes of pasta sure stock up in the shadowy depths of your pantry. Get that stuff boiled by making one of these spring-forward pasta dishes. Serve Food Network Magazine’s Spaghetti With Snap Peas and Prosciutto alongside a nice chicken breast. Or try Pasta Salad With Asparagus, Corn and Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Food Network Magazine as a cold side for a spring picnic.

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The Most Satisfying Pasta Dishes — Comfort Food Feast

by in Family, Recipes, March 13th, 2013

Food Network Magazine's Skillet LasagnaThere’s a time and a place for classic Italian pasta dishes. You know, the kind where al dente spaghetti is lackadaisically draped over the plate and a few sprigs of basil are planted on top. This time around, we’re digging only pasta dishes that require a sturdy spoon to lift up every last layer. With dishes as comforting as these, it’s hard to believe it all started with rigid pasta. Thank goodness for the great art of boiling water, right?

Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese combines the classic elbow shape with freshly shredded sharp cheddar and hints of paprika and mustard. It’s just what you would expect out of the traditional baked rendition and, man, is it good. If you’re looking to move beyond the quintessential mac, try out Food Network Magazine’s Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. It’s spiked with hot sauce and loaded with store-bought rotisserie chicken.

This collection wouldn’t be complete without a recipe like Neelys Baked Ziti or a good lasagna. For once, the latter isn’t restricted to the casserole dish. Food Network Magazine’s Skillet Lasagna packs all that baked flavor using just the stove. Scattered with ground beef and two types of cheese, Paula Deen’s Baked Spaghetti fixes the strands into melted, bubbly form in the oven.

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Grilled Cheese Goes Beyond Cheese — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 6th, 2013

Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled CheeseWe don’t need to be the ones to tell you there’s no science to a grilled cheese. For a Classic American Grilled Cheese, simply slather slices of white bread with some butter, pile on the American cheese and get it on the griddle. Things start to get more interesting, however, when your ingredient list broadens beyond just one cheese, bringing on a whole new spectrum of flavor.

Let’s start on the grilled sandwich that focuses on the cheese itself: This Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese recipe by Food Network Magazine stacks cheddar, Swiss and American before heating to melted perfection. Forgoing slices, Rachael Ray’s garlic-buttered Grilled 4-Cheese Sandwiches come laden with four shredded varieties — provolone, mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago.

More often than not, the supreme grilled cheese is achieved using two simple ingredients: cheese and juicy tomatoes. Food Network Magazine’s Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese renounces that extra dose of bread, and its Triple Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup pairs the sandwich with its consummate match.

Add meat to the traditional grilled cheese for a well-rounded sandwich. Ina Garten’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine fuses bacon and two kinds of cheese, while its Corned Beef Grilled Cheese comes together with spicy whole grain mustard, grated Jarlsberg and freshly sliced deli meat. Food Network Magazine’s Ham-Taleggio Grilled Cheese counters the salt of the meat with the sweet crunch of green apple.

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15 Takes on Biscuits — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 27th, 2013

Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits from Food Network MagazineHow many times have you clicked on the television to see a family grinning over store-bought biscuits coming fresh out of the oven? You can’t blame them; the biscuits are so hot you can pull them apart. The easy method is all well and good, but whipping up a batch from scratch is the most comforting route of all. For once, stray from your classic Southern Biscuits and tear into one of these many variations.

Consider Paula Deen the biscuit master. Her recipes for Cheese Biscuits, Sour Cream Butter Biscuits and Fried Biscuits go along with any hearty meal, and her Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits are made complete with a sweet edge.

Branch out with Food Network Magazine’s own biscuit concoctions. Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits (pictured above) and Bacon-Cheese Biscuits work wonders along a heaping bowl of chili, while Lemon-Thyme Biscuits and Dill Biscuits With Honey Butter embody the rejuvenating spirit of afternoon tea. The sweetness in Molasses Biscuits jives well with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and fresh thyme. We bet you’ve never had Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits; they’re sweetened with sugar, spiced with nutmeg and spiked with finely grated cheese.

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