The first thing you notice about Lisa is her cowboy boots. Cherry red, spit polished and worn-in just enough, they tell you everything you need to know about the Houston transplant’s cooking: It’s bright, approachable, comes from the West and will linger in your memory for days afterward. To bring some welcome variety to the winter kitchen, we invited the James Beard Award winner to our Manhattan headquarters in Chelsea Market to make Chicken Spaghetti, one of her favorite dishes from her latest volume, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. Make this simple and comforting recipe in your own kitchen with help from Lisa’s step-by-step how-to.
“I guess I’m a baking nerd,” says Dorie Greenspan with a sly smile. The award-winning cookbook author is standing in the middle of Food Network Kitchen, whisk in hand and talking about her latest book, Baking Chez Moi. “I’ve come to think of myself as a baking evangelist. I want people to have the satisfaction of making something themselves. So when I write, I try to imagine I’m talking to a newbie.” Dedicated to the home cooking she delights in during the four months a year she spends in Paris, Greenspan’s newest book is friendly and approachable, straddling both the high (Bubble Éclairs) and humble (Chocolate Chip Cookies). Her Custardy Apple Squares are an ideal mix of the two, and Greenspan happily demonstrated how to whip them up during her visit. “I love this recipe,” she says. “It’s so easy, so unfussy, so French.” Follow Dorie’s step-by-step how-to to make them at home.
For many sweets lovers, Greenspan’s name is synonymous with one thing above all: amazing cookies. So we couldn’t let her go without asking her to share a few of her best cookie tips, too. Here’s what we learned. Read more
For thousands of us, fall is the real season of renewal, when back-to-school planning encompasses everything from freshly sharpened pencils to visions of easier, tastier — and saner — mealtimes. If those visions are starting to blur a couple of weeks into the new routine, take heart and meet Katie Workman. The mother of an 11- and a 14-year-old, she is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket.
The book’s frank and funny tone, elevated comfort food and down-to-earth suggestions for involving kids in the kitchen have endeared Workman to legions of fans (and helped spawn a sequel due out next summer). Last month, she stopped by Food Network Kitchen in New York’s Chelsea Market to make her Taco Night tacos and dish on late-night cooking, the one kitchen tool she can’t live without and annoying food habits all parents should avoid. Here are some questions and answers from our conversation, plus three family-friendly recipes worth incorporating into your repertoire right now. (For more on Katie’s visit, check out The One Recipe: Katie Workman’s Taco Night Tacos.)
by Michelle Park
There is arguably no other American cooking tradition quite as lore ridden as barbecue. This month, we’ve handpicked two cookbooks devoted to that mouthwatering marriage of meat and smoke that will urge you to partake before summer officially ends. The first is one of the most-classic books we have on the subject, and the second is sure to become one.
The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, James A. Beard and Helen Evans Brown (1955)
When navigating something as American as barbecue, who better to turn to than quintessential American cooks? A little antiquated on some fronts, pheasant being less common than it used to be, The Complete Book still has much to offer anyone entering the foray of outdoor cooking — something tells me corn pudding and grilled sausages won’t go out of style anytime soon. Inside, you’ll find a handy guide of times and temperatures for nearly every cut of meat you can put over a fire. True to its title, the book also dedicates entire chapters to tried-and-true sauces, marinades, appetizers and sides to round out your all-American feast — each, of course, matched with its ideal meat pairings. At once authoritative and approachable, this book is the trustworthy friend you’ll consult before any cookout. The American palate may have since graduated beyond French dressing, but we think this book is here to stay.
Turn basic flatbread into a quick dinner on the grill: Brush lavash, pocketless pita, naan or other flatbread with oil and grill until marked. Flip, top with cheese and let melt, then remove from the grill and top with arugula, tomatoes, corn or other fresh vegetables, or add some prosciutto or ham. Avoid traditional tomato sauce though — it can make the bread soggy.
Photograph by Justin Walker
Pickling isn’t just for veggies. Slice any relatively firm fruit like strawberries, grapes, peaches or cherries, then cover with vinegar (balsamic, sherry or white wine), add some sugar and salt and let sit 10 minutes. Drain and add to a salad, like Food Network Magazine’s Pickled Strawberry Salad (pictured above), or serve on grilled meat.
Photograph by Justin Walker
If you’re cooking outside and need a stovetop, put a cast-iron skillet or other ovenproof pan right on the grill. Try making a quick sauce for meat this way: Drain your marinade into the pan and bring it to a boil while the meat cooks.
Hearty greens like kale, chard and collards are delicious in salads, but you’ll want to soften them so they aren’t so tough and chewy: Thinly slice the leaves and toss them with dressing (choose one that contains an acidic ingredient, like vinegar or lemon juice, which acts as a tenderizer). Let the greens sit, dressed, until they soften, about 10 minutes.
Next time you’re making rice, grits or other grains, add some flavor to the cooking liquid. Throw in fresh herbs, dried chiles or a cinnamon stick and let steep a few minutes before adding the grains. Food Network Magazine used a rosemary sprig to infuse the polenta in this weeknight pork dinner (pictured above). If you’re using several ingredients, tie them together with kitchen twine or unwaxed floss so you can easily pull them out later.