Timing is everything when you are salting vegetables. To get crisp, browned veggies like the mushrooms in Food Network Magazine‘s Skillet Chicken and Ravioli (pictured above), salt them at the end of cooking — after they’ve browned. To get soft, saucy vegetables like caramelized onions, add salt early on: It draws out moisture, which helps break them down.
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Try a salty spin on an old ice cream-truck favorite, the Choco Taco. Fill taco shells with softened vanilla ice cream and freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Melt 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave, then stir in 6 tablespoons chopped butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup. Dip the tacos in the chocolate, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and let harden, about 2 minutes.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
I have to admit that the April booklet, 50 Salad Dressings, was a crowd favorite in the Food Network Test Kitchen. As much as we love indulging in chicken wings, macaroni and cheese and all the other delicious dishes we’ve recently covered in our 50 Booklets, it was a welcome change to have tastings that involved salads and vegetables. We love greens in any form and what’s great about these recipes is that they aren’t just for lettuce: They can also be drizzled over steamed asparagus and sauteed broccoli rabe, or used for dipping steamed artichoke leaves. Here is an extra dressing recipe that didn’t make it into the booklet, but is a favorite of mine. It gets a complex, floral flavor from chamomile tea and has a slight sweetness that goes really well on sturdier, slightly bitter greens like frisee and escarole.
Creamy Chamomile: Steep 2 chamomile tea bags in 1/4 cup hot cider vinegar 10 minutes; cool. Blend vinegar with 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 large egg in a blender; gradually add 1/2 cup vegetable oil until creamy.
There are so many good choices in the canned tomato aisle now. We used fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles to spice up the Greek Meatball Stew in the May issue of Food Network Magazine. Fire-roasted tomatoes also add a great smoky flavor to marinara sauce. Or buy canned cherry tomatoes and crush them in a saucepan for a slightly sweet, chunky pasta sauce.
Bread pudding and French toast are like first cousins. Traditionally one is dessert and one is breakfast, but they really are more alike than they are different: Both are made by soaking (preferably stale) bread in a milk and egg mixture and cooking it until slightly crisp on the outside and lusciously custardy on the inside.
In the April issue of Food Network Magazine, you’ll find five delicious French toast recipes, each made with a different type of bread and a different flavor profile. Some of them, like the Rum French Toast a la Mode (pictured above), can easily double as dessert without a change. My personal favorite, the Baked Croissant French Toast, can be tweaked just a bit to skew it further toward the dessert realm (although it’s pretty decadent as it is!). Simply swap out the plain croissants for chocolate croissants and double the sugar in the custard. You’ll have an over-the-top dessert bread pudding. I like to top it with a little sweetened whipped cream, the marmalade sauce from the recipe and a little extra chocolate sauce for good measure.
Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms From Tin Angel Café
This cafe and art gallery was one of Kelsey’s favorite hangouts after she graduated from nearby Brigham Young University (she now lives in New York full-time). Stuffed mushrooms, filled with peppers, onions and shrimp, was her go-to dish. “I’ve been meaning to re-create something similar at home,” she says. And she should: They come and go from the menu!
$6.50; 365 West 400 South; thetinangel.com
Some of us in the test kitchen think sardines get a bad rep: They’re so often overlooked and sometimes even unfairly vilified. So we decided to hide them in Food Network Magazine‘s Sardine Salad Sandwich (pictured above) on page 66 of the April issue, adding heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B12, iron and potassium to a lunchtime staple. (Bonus: Sardines are also very low in mercury.) This sandwich is so quick and delicious — we even fooled our own tasters into thinking it was tuna.
We also love adding sardines to our delicious Classic Nicoise Salad on page 150, or throwing chopped sardines into tomato sauce while it simmers and serving it over pasta.
Tell us: What’s your favorite way to eat sardines?
Next time you make burritos, try these construction tips.
1. Layer the fillings horizontally across the lower half of your tortilla (not the middle), starting with absorbent ingredients like rice. Put the cheese against something hot like meat or beans so it will melt.
2. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and tuck it under the filling.
3. Fold in the two sides.
4. Tightly roll up the burrito.
(Photographs by Christopher Testani)
Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include a stuffed cupcake (winning name: “Heart of the Batter“), a cheese puff tower (“Mount Chevrest“) and even a stuffed popover (“Puddin’ Pops“). In the March 2013 issue, we asked readers to dream up names for these cheese fries (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:
Web of Fries