Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and next Tuesday will be a little bit sad even for those of us who are not going back to school. So take full advantage of these last few days and send your summer off on a winning note. If you haven’t made these watermelon tequila shot skewers yet, now’s the time. Eat as much fresh corn and zucchini as you possibly can. Host a last-minute barbecue with tips for super-fast grilling. Or savor summer memories with these nostalgic tastes.
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There are some ingredients that just scream luxury. Think of these ingredients as examples: caviar, lobster, truffles and Champagne. While we may know small bits of information on these products, if pressed for more info, we might struggle to give a detailed description of what they are, where they come from and what makes them so special (and so expensive).
This new feature will put on a spotlight on some of my favorite luxury ingredients. But I hope that when you read these articles, you will be inspired to seek out the best of the best and discover why your favorite Food Network chefs love them so much.
What are morels?
Everyone has a list of their own favorite ingredients, but there is one item that I know will bring a teary look of appreciation to just about every chef I encounter, and that is the morel mushroom. So much so that when I reached out to Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli for her opinion of the morel, she referred to it as the “sacred mushroom.”
By Teri Tsang Barrett
Here’s a fun (and probably healthier) way to use mini doughnut molds. To get through these dog days of August, make pretty individual ice rings to cool down and brighten up glasses of punch at summer parties. Read more
Vinegar isn’t just for salad dressing. While a classic vinaigrette might get most of the attention in the kitchen, vinegar adds a perfect sour note in a lot of instances.
Vinegar is one of the essential ingredients in hot sauce. So while the grill’s still sizzling, get in on the homemade condiment trend by using white vinegar in this red-hot sauce.
Make a perfect mop sauce for ribs, chicken thighs or pork chops.
Use it as a fry topping: Malt vinegar on French fries is a British tradition (that’s where the whole salt-and-vinegar potato chip thing comes from). For an extra hit of tang, this recipe has you soak sliced potatoes in vinegar before frying.
We have reached part three of our series on summer slow-cooking. You can catch up on part one and part two. So far, we’ve found a way to keep our kitchen cool by turning off that oven, and we’ve found a great trick for cooking bone-in and tougher cuts of meat. So for part three, I want to share how to cook items that complement what you are making on the grill (which is most likely meat, fish or some other protein). So for my final benefit (sniff!):
You can easily cook larger quantities of accompaniments that go well with whatever you have on the grill. Read more
ICYMI — I am sharing the joy of using a slow cooker as a companion to your outdoor barbecue. This is part two of a three-part series, but don’t worry, you can catch up quickly by reading here. We’ll wait. You back? Good. Wasn’t that cool? Baking in your slow cooker? Who knew, right? But let’s set the cobbler aside for a moment and get to our next function of the handy slow cooker in the world of summer barbecues. When I think of outdoor grilling, I think of MEAT. So for my next benefit:
You can precook bone-in or tougher meats for better (and easier!) results on the grill.
Steak is not like other foods; it is sufficient in itself, or very nearly so. Add salt and heat (fire preferably), and you have something no culinary sleight of hand can improve on. Does a steak need a recipe? Heck no. But recipes abound, and with them come all manner of tips, tricks and techniques, most of which diminish your likelihood of cooking a great steak. Read more
Summer is the season of spontaneity — when a passing neighbor can become a last-minute dinner guest, and the plump tomatoes and zucchini you picked up at the market turn into the centerpiece of brunch. And when it comes to go-with-the-flow entertaining, there’s nothing better than a grill: It’s fast, cleanup is a snap, and practically everything tastes better with the smoky, crispy char you can get only from a fire. The following supermarket staples make it easy to improvise at the grill, no matter if you’re cooking T-bones, plums or potatoes. Stock up and you’ll be prepared, whatever the mood brings.