by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, October 20th, 2011
by Heather Ramsdell in How-to, October 17th, 2011
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 »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, October 13th, 2011
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 »
by Mark Oldman in Drinks, How-to, October 7th, 2011
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 »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, October 7th, 2011
“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 »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, September 29th, 2011
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 »
by Heather Ramsdell in How-to, September 27th, 2011
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 »
by Melanie Rehak in How-to, September 23rd, 2011
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish or a food item. They can’t re-formulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it. This week’s question will help readers keep their produce longer.
Question: How can I keep fruits and veggies fresh until I use or cook them? I bought corn on the cob on Tuesday and by Friday, it had lost its moisture and taste. How do I extend the life of my produce? — Beth Patterson-Grinavic Kiessling
Find out the answer to Beth’s question »
by Marisa McClellan in Entertaining, How-to, September 22nd, 2011
As a veteran mother of a picky eater who’s now five and a half, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to navigate the dinner table without either giving in to his demands or failing to nourish him properly. At certain points over the years I’ve left the table in order to take a deep breath in the other room, left the table to lie down on my bed for a moment in a quiet place where no one is saying “Yuck!” over and over and again while waving his napkin in the air, and left the table to work on the book I ended up writing about, yes, my picky eater and my own love of food and cooking. In fact, sometimes excusing yourself is the best way to deal with it. When it’s not, here’s a list of tips that I’ve discovered — through a lot of trial and error, needless to say — that make mealtime as painless as possible.
Get Melanie’s ten tips for picky eaters »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, September 22nd, 2011
At least once a month, my mom calls strictly to talk potlucks (we talk every couple of days, but these potluck calls are different from our regular, rambling conversations). We discuss what she has in her refrigerator, the produce that’s currently coming out of the garden and if there’s any theme for the potluck that she and my dad are scheduled to attend.
Over the years, we’ve created massive couscous salads, wintertime braises that can be made for cheap and salads constructed from shaved zucchini and mint. Though I can’t offer my potluck consulting services to everyone out there, here’s what I have in mind when dreaming up dishes with my mom.
Five must-have tips »
Mirin is all about getting sauced.
Because that’s where Japanese cooking wine really shines — in sauces.
But first, a misconception. The wretched American product known as “cooking wine” probably has you reluctant to try anything similar.
Relax and prepare for a delicious discovery. They are nothing alike.
Though once sipped similar to sake, today mirin is exclusively a cooking wine. The clear, viscous liquid has a clean yet intensely sweet-salty flavor.
Mirin-Marinated Short Ribs With Shiitakes and Egg Noodles »