All Posts By Allison Milam

Pickles Past the Jar — Summer Fest

by in In Season, July 24th, 2013

Homemade Spicy Dill PicklesOn their own, in-season cucumbers are cool and refreshing. But when it comes to the fine art of pickling, arguably no other veggie does it better. Cold, refreshing and satisfyingly crunchy, pickles spike burgers with acidic crunch and pickle spears are a barbecue necessity. Before reaching for the jar, remember that pickling is actually a relatively simple science and you can do it to a whole slew of vegetables.

Today FN Dish is zeroing in on the cucumber and considering cuke creations that push way beyond the standard dill.

Let’s start simple with quickest of the quick. True pickles take some time to come to fruition, but Rachael Ray’s Quick Pickles take a mere 15 minutes to come together. Tyler Florence’s Quick Sweet Pickles run a little longer — though not long at all — at four hours.

Alton’s Dill Pickles are the most iconic. Patience is key here; you’ll have to push your pickle craving back a bit for it to undergo the transformation. Alton’s calls for both fresh dill and the seeds, so the end result will likely resemble the pickle of your childhood. For pickles that don’t pucker, Alton’s Kinda Sorta Sours run the middle ground.

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Cool Watermelon Drinks — Summer Fest

by in Drinks, In Season, July 17th, 2013

Watermelon SlushiesYou don’t need us to tell you it’s hot. We’re officially occupying the dog days of summer, and there’s no escaping — or is there?

When you post up after a long day, arm your wet bar with a little something different: the cooling qualities of watermelon. There’s no better ingredient to better your summery cocktails, with the fruit’s natural sweetness and refreshing water content. Though all of these drinks employ the same fruit, they each revive in a different way, running the line between iced and frozen, alcoholic or virgin, traditional or eccentric. If these don’t cool you down, nothing will.

Everyone loves a good cocktail. Today FN Dish is slurping the iconic ones, this time with a watermelon twist. With light rum, fresh mint leaves and a big squeeze of lime, the Barefoot Contessa’s Watermelon Mojito is best enjoyed curled up on a beach chair. As for Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon Sours, sour mix, lime and fruit-flavored liqueur punch up each slurp.

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Tomato Recipes Worthy of a Dinner Party

by in Entertaining, In Season, July 10th, 2013

Heirloom Tomato PieA good tomato sauce, a piping hot slice of margherita pizza, the iconic tomato soup — all of these are made possible by the juicy tomato. Tomatoes add richness to any number of home cooked dishes, whether roasted until the skin falls off or stewed into a multipurpose sauce. Though tomatoes have worked their way into our everyday lives, today we’re viewing them from a different angle. When you’re entertaining this summer, showcase the sophisticated side of the tomato, in all of its in-season glory.

As an appetizer, have guests smear Food Network Magazine’s Spicy Tomato Jam and goat cheese on a fresh baguette. Or create mini pizzas for a bite-sized starter. Giada De Laurentiis uses a cookie cutter in her recipe for Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil, which will disappear the moment they’re set out.

Imagine slicing into Food Network Magazine’s picturesque Heirloom Tomato Pie (pictured above), with its red and yellow hues amplifying any main dish it meets. Or in Food Network Magazine’s savory Tomato Cobbler, fresh dough and a rich tomato filling reach bubbling perfection together in the oven.

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Off the Cob Salads — Summer Fest

by in In Season, July 3rd, 2013

Ina's Fresh Corn SaladNibbling corn on the cob has its perks, but you already knew that. This hand-held side is as easy as boiling water, smearing butter and going in for a bite. If you ask FN Dish, corn is a cornerstone of the great American barbecue, and it need not be fiddled with.

But as it turns out, things get a lot more interesting when the corn is shaved right of that cob, and Food Network’s fleet of killer summer corn salads are proof.

For a true summery flavor, kick up the grill. Bobby Flay’s Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chile and Cotija marries charred, sweet kernels with the most aromatic ingredients around. In this Grilled Corn and Chipotle Pepper Salad, all that’s left to do is combine all the ingredients after the corn finishes grilling. Plate these salads next to Tyler Florence’s Carne Asada for a grill-reliant, outdoor meal.

Ina Garten’s Fresh Corn Salad (pictured above) places corn on a pedestal, bringing it together with nothing more than an effortless vinaigrette, diced red onion and fresh basil leaves.

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Favorite Shelled Pea Sides — Summer Fest

by in In Season, June 26th, 2013

Creamy Spring Peas and PancettaPeas are good popped straight from the pod, but they’re even better with a little TLC. Here at Food Network, FN Dish is lining up our top pea sides, each popping with a whole lot more than color. Sweet peas, garden peas, English peas, whatever you choose to call ‘em — these babies are bright, light and in-season.

Your classic mashed potatoes are revisited in this Tyler Florence recipe for Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon and Pearl Onions, and serve as a solid side to a grilled steak.

Food Network Magazine‘s Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta (pictured above) comes with three doses of peas: shelled English peas, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Spring Peas with Dates and Walnuts utilizes the same pea trilogy, but this time integrates a natural sweetness from the dried fruit.

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Wake Up with Berries — Summer Fest

by in In Season, June 19th, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes With Vanilla Bean-Berry SyrupThese days, the containers of blue and red berries stacked on produce shelves might be the most difficult thing to decline. Especially when they’re so in-season, so plentiful and so perfectly sweet. Of course, berries do wonders layered in a trifle, baked into a cheesecake or scattered in a fruit salad. But today, we’re focusing on one specific utilization of the berry: its hand in breakfasts. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries — you name it. They’ve each got a place in the first — and oh-so-important — meal of the day.

First things first, let’s talk parfaits. They make for layered, well-rounded breakfasts you can eat all week long, whether you switch them up or not. Ellie Krieger’s Muesli Parfaits are filling with a good dose of nutty crunch. This recipe for a Berry ‘Nana Oatmeal Parfait laces oats and vanilla almond milk into the mix. And if you want to get really creative, Food Network Magazine‘s Strawberry-Shortcake Parfait Pops transition the breakfast favorite into a refreshing dessert.

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Cheesy Spring Sides — Sensational Sides

by in In Season, May 15th, 2013

Spring Shells and Cheese by Food Network MagazineWe dig it on our pizza, require it on our burgers and have even been known to melt it on our fries. It’s cheese, the well-loved ingredient that gets a whole lot richer when things are heated up. In these side dishes, cheese isn’t simply an afterthought to be dashed on top. It’s an integral part, giving things a creamy, rich edge in all the right ways. Tune into our roster of cheesy, decadent sides — each recipe is complete with a good showing of spring vegetables.

Due to Arborio rice’s natural starch content, risotto on its own has a creamy quality. But, according to Ina Garten, you simply can’t have risotto without the Parmesan. Her veggie-packed Spring Green Risotto comes together with freshly grated Parm and smooth, rich mascarpone. In the spirit of spring, Ellie Krieger’s Garden Risotto has a garden variety, with peas, asparagus and baby spinach.

Think of Food Network Magazine’s Spring Shells and Cheese (pictured above) as a grown-up mac and cheese — with its mature fix of veggies, too. Zucchini gives it a nice crunch, while spinach slides in for some good green. Or unload a batch of spring peas into this creamy Four Cheese Pasta With Peas and Ham by Food Network Magazine.

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Vivacious Pasta Salad Sides — Sensational Sides

by in In Season, May 8th, 2013

Tuscan Pasta Salad With Grilled VegetablesAt this point in the year, we can utter the word “summer” without feeling jipped. May is here, and things are only going to get hotter. That’s why FN Dish is compiling a list of pasta salad sides that are perfect for the warm weather. These recipes are anything but boring, and they also carry their fair shares of spring produce. Spoon a heap next to a grilled protein, pack some in Tupperware for outside eating, or enjoy it at home at your first barbecue of the season. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, we’re all about pasta salad on this May day.

Standard pasta salads are often creamy, but not much else. Go further with Food Network Magazine’s Pasta Salad With Asparagus, Corn and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, which is spiked with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese. American Macaroni Salad, too, is creamy in all the right ways, and it’s crunchy with diced celery and red onion.

The Neelys’ Lemon Pasta Salad nixes the creamy contingency for a lemony Dijon vinaigrette. With radicchio, fennel and baby bell peppers, Food Network Magazine’s Tuscan Pasta Salad With Grilled Vegetables (pictured above) is as bright as they come. Paula’s Italian Pasta Salad is fixed with bow ties and an easy balsamic vinaigrette.

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Kid-Friendly Veggie Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Family, Recipes, May 1st, 2013

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli CasseroleMore likely than not, your kids have better things to think about than garden-fresh produce, bustling farmers’ markets and mindful grocery shopping. But, when they sit down at the dinner table, all that good stuff is what’s for dinner, even if they’re morally opposed to eating their veggies. Use these recipes to get your kids excited about spring produce.

For some, green beans are good eaten straight out of the produce bag. But for those who need a little push, Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole is just as the name implies. Rather than using the store-bought crunchy onions, Alton whips his up from scratch.

Broccoli is typically a no-go for most little ones, but when it’s served up in a style reminiscent of mac and cheese, it’s much easier to sell. With a foundation of rice and a scattering of florets, Sunny Anderson’s Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole (pictured above) does just that.

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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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