To add flavor without extra calories, turn to your favorite tea: Steep a bag in water and use that for boiling vegetables, cooking grains or poaching chicken and fish (like in Food Network Magazine‘s Green Tea Salmon). Try all kinds of tea, such as black, mint, chai, chamomile or spice. Just don’t steep the tea bag for too long; the flavor can become bitter.
by Jacob Schiffman
When I lived in Israel my junior year abroad in college, I started noticing that a lot of my favorite foods had a nutty, floral flavor I hadn’t seen before. I found out it was a Middle Eastern spice blend made of woody herbs (usually thyme and oregano, but traditionally hyssop), sumac and sesame seeds. There I saw it mostly on hummus or on flatbreads, but now I love putting it on roasted vegetables or fish (with a bit of honey), grilled chicken or baked eggs at breakfast. There are regional varieties of za’atar (Jordanian has more sumac and Israeli sometimes includes dill); I like the Israeli style, probably because that’s the first one I tried. Whichever one you prefer, let me know what you like to eat it on.
Find it: Look for it in most good grocery stores and any specialty spice shop.
Ranch dressing isn’t just a great salad topper. Try these recipes that use the tangy mix to add some spunk to breakfast and easy snacks.
We love boneless meat for fast weeknight meals, but sometimes bone-in cuts are worth the extra cooking time. The bone prevents overcooking and insulates the meat, which makes it extra juicy and tender. Find a simple method for roasting bone-in chicken breasts in this Chicken and Apple Salad recipe from Food Network Magazine.
The editors, cooks and food-curious experts at Food Network Kitchens are always looking for what’s fun, delicious and next. It’s become a given that food fans, chefs and media types of all sorts look ahead and share their expectations. From their glimpse into the 2014 crystal ball, here’s a not-so-serious, definitely unscientific look at the food trends seen as up-and-coming.
“It’s kind of a wild time in food, full of contradictions,” says Katherine Alford, SVP of Culinary at Food Network. “On one hand people are more adventurous than ever. They’re eating Korean and Szechwan, seeking out crazy-hot ghost peppers, and mixing and matching to make outlandish hybrids of comfort foods. But that’s all balanced with a growing demand for food that matters more to our bodies’ well-being and the planet’s well-being, too.” Recently and still coming, you can see an eclectic mix of comfort food and healthy food, plus local picks as well as far-flung favorites. “In the past few years we’ve upped our spices, eaten more veggies and grown to expect some playfulness on the plate,” Alford says. “With all that, next year I’m keeping my eye on what’s cooking right here in America’s heartland. There is real excitement in the fresh voices cooking there. As for 2014, we hope what we found is inspiring with a little wishful thinking mixed in.” Tell us what you’re looking forward to as the next delicious food on your table in the new year.
Evaporated milk is a great substitute for heavy cream when you want to trim down a recipe: It’s 16 grams of fat and 120 calories lighter per 1/4 cup. Evaporated milk is thick and creamy and it doesn’t curdle when heated the way low-fat milk can. Try it in soup, mac and cheese, or creamed veggies, like in the Chile-Rubbed Steak with Creamed Corn recipe from Food Network Magazine.
(Photograph by Marko Metzinger/Studio D.)
by Susan Vu of Food Network Kitchens
I used to work in a Japanese restaurant and everyone there put shichimi togarashi (a Japanese mix of seven ingredients: two kinds each of chile flakes and sesame seeds, then orange zest, ginger, hemp seeds and seaweed) on everything — even french fries. It’s such a good, all-around condiment. My three favorite food components are heat, acid and crunch, and between the chiles, orange and sesame seeds, this seasoning touches upon all three of them. I put it on roast potatoes right when they come out of the oven, I love to toss blistered shishito peppers with it and a squeeze of lime juice, and it’s a great finisher for seafood too.
Look for shichimi togarashi at Japanese grocery stores or order it online.
Spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg have been used for centuries in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cooking to bring out rich, meaty flavors in savory dishes. Try adding a pinch or two of your favorite baking spice to a rub for meat, or drop a cinnamon stick into simmering tomato sauce. Just remember: A little goes a long way.
Don’t be fooled by the label “Grade A” on a bottle of maple syrup: It’s no better than Grade B. Grade B syrup is darker and has a stronger maple flavor; Grade A is milder. We prefer Grade B for cooking (we used it in a Kale-Sesame Chicken Salad for Food Network Magazine). Both grades are more expensive than the imitation stuff (“pancake syrup”), but real maple syrup is worth the splurge.
(Photograph by Lara Robby/Studio D.)