All Posts In How-to

Glazing Vegetables — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, How-to, November 3rd, 2011

thanksgiving vegetables
When glazing your vegetables, add a touch of butter and sugar with a pinch of salt. The sugar and butter add shine to the glaze. Aromatics like herbs, ginger or citrus zest will add some zing.

Follow this guide to learn how to make your veggie side dish extraordinary, then watch our how-to video.

Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving side dish recipes.

Stuffing Changes Everything — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, How-to, November 2nd, 2011

cornbread stuffing
Stuffing your turkey changes the way you should cook the whole bird. You’ll want to make sure the stuffing and the turkey reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees F at the same time. Watch Alton’s complete video for more tips.

Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving stuffing recipes and tips.

Creating Smooth, Rich Gravy — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

by in Holidays, How-to, November 1st, 2011

homemade gravy
To create a smooth, rich gravy for Thanksgiving, gradually ladle the hot broth into the flour mixture, whisking constantly (this is key, or your gravy will be lumpy). Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the gravy simmers gently.

Try making: Ina Garten’s Homemade Gravy recipe

Food Network Magazine shows you how to make the perfect gravy in seven simple steps (photos).

 

Fresh Ginger — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, October 28th, 2011

ginger orange chicken cutlet recipe
People have been eating it for thousands of years, yet still no one can tell me why it should be peeled. So I don’t peel it, and neither should you. “It” being fresh ginger, the gnarly brown root that lives among the grocer’s Asian produce. And the flavor is so much better than dried — you must get to know it.

Most of us think of ginger as the powder in the spice cabinet and use it mostly for baking. In Asia, where ginger originated, it’s more a savory ingredient. That’s because fresh ginger packs tons of warm, pungent, peppery flavor that works so well with meats and vegetables.

Though they can be used interchangeably, the flavor of fresh ginger is more pronounced than dried, sporting heavy citrus, even acidic, notes. In Asia, fresh ginger is an essential part of numerous classic dishes, including stir-fries, soups, sauces and marinades, as well as Indian curries.

Ginger-Orange Chicken Cutlets »

Agave Nectar — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, October 20th, 2011

agave bbq roasted chicken
Finally — a way to enjoy agave without the hangover!

That’s right: Agave nectar, the current darling of the alternative sweetener world, is made from the same plant that is used to produce tequila. And it goes down so much easier (squeeze of lime and dash of salt are optional).

But let’s start with some basics. Agave nectar (sometimes called agave syrup) is an amber liquid that resembles honey, but has a cleaner, sweeter, even fruitier flavor. Not long ago it was mostly unheard of in the U.S., existing primarily in the backwaters of the natural foods world.

In recent years, it has evolved into a booming $200 million industry. Suddenly, it’s being used in everything from ketchup and barbecue sauce to baked goods and ice cream. And don’t even get me started about the cocktail scene.

Agave-Barbecue Roasted Chicken »

Do Cakes With Cream Cheese Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

by in How-to, October 17th, 2011

cream cheese frosting
This question tends to pop up at least once during our weekly “Ask the Editor” Facebook chats: Do cakes with cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated? With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a great time to explore and answer this question. From Paula’s Pumpkin Bars to Giada’s Spiced Apple-Walnut Cake With Cream Cheese Icing to the classic Red Velvet Cake, it’s hard to escape cream cheese frosting’s creamy goodness.

So does it need refrigeration?

Food Network Kitchens answer the question »

Sage — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, October 13th, 2011

fried sage parmesan penne pasta
It’s hard to not love an ingredient that loves fat.

And that’s exactly what sage does — it partners up perfectly with foods rich in oils and fats. So why not give it a try? It’s nearly the holidays and time to indulge.

Actually, that’s part of sage’s problem — and why it has a relatively low profile in American cooking compared to other savory herbs, such as basil and oregano.

While we think of all manner of uses for other herbs in all seasons, we tend to pigeonhole sage as a Thanksgiving herb suited mostly for stuffing and turkey.

But the richly peppery-rosemary flavor of fresh sage can more than earn its keep year round. You just need to know how to use it.

Fried Sage and Parmesan Penne »

How to Taste Wine — Outsmarting Wine

by in Drinks, How-to, October 7th, 2011

how to taste wine
“I’m not good at wine,” is the sheepishly exasperated refrain I always hear. “I just don’t get all those things — the plums, the oak, the butter — that stuff experts talk about.”

My response: You’re not alone and frankly I just don’t know how some enthusiasts detect things like tomato leaves, sweaty saddle and other exotica in their fermented grape juice. There are, however, useful descriptors that many experts use, like oaky, crisp and soft, that can help you communicate to store clerks and sommeliers what kind of wine you really like. Here are three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary.

Three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary »

How to Use Coconut Milk — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, October 7th, 2011

coconut lime chicken tacos
Who knew coconut milk could be so confusing?

It shouldn’t be. At heart, it’s a delicious liquid made from coconuts (duh!) that can effortlessly add an exotically creamy richness to so many meals.

Except that grocers sell about half a dozen different products that go by the same or very similar names. And they aren’t interchangeable.

So let’s start with what coconut milk isn’t.

Coconut water is a hip new drink that is made from the liquid inside coconuts. Drink it, but don’t cook with it.

Coconut milk beverage is a sweetened drink made from coconut milk and sugar. It’s usually sold in boxes alongside the soy milk.

Coconut-Lime Pulled Chicken Tacos »

Star Anise — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, September 29th, 2011

cinnamon star anise sugar syrup
Pretty to look at, but what do you do with it?

That about sums up how most of us feel about star anise. And that’s why it’s mostly been relegated to the backwaters of spice cabinets in the U.S.

What most people don’t realize is that star anise actually is a deliciously potent spice that can do amazing things for your cooking, especially for meat.

But first, the basics. Star anise is the fruit — yes, fruit — of an evergreen tree native to southern China (where most of it still is produced).

When dried, that fruit resembles a 1-inch, rust-colored star, usually with six to eight points. Each point contains a small, shiny seed.

Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Star Anise Sugar »

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