All Posts In How-to

Improve Tomato Paste

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, October 2nd, 2012

Tomato paste

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

To tame the super-concentrated flavor of tomato paste, cook it in a pan with some oil and other aromatic ingredients like garlic, onion and spices — it will develop a great earthy flavor after a few minutes. Stir the paste with a wooden spoon while cooking so it doesn’t burn.

(Photograph by Marko Metzinger/Studio D)

Convection vs. Conventional Ovens — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, September 25th, 2012

conventional oven
Twice a month we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: My question is about convection ovens vs. conventional ovens. Do recipe bake times need to be altered in any way if the oven used is a conventional oven? I feel as though most recipes I try from experienced cooks are made in convection ovens and I wondered if it made a difference if my oven is conventional.  – K. Stroh

Find out the answer

Soften Your Corn Tortillas

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, September 24th, 2012

Corn Tortillas

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Steam corn tortillas in the microwave so they stay pliable and don’t split under the weight of taco fillings. Wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels or a damp kitchen towel, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a microwave-safe resealable plastic bag (keep the bag open to vent). Microwave until warm and flexible, about 1 minute.

(Photograph by Christopher Testani)

Which Wines and Oils Do I Use When Cooking? — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, September 15th, 2012

red and white wine
Twice a month we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: I’m just not wine-smart — I don’t know a dry wine from a non-dry one. It sure would be helpful if the chefs would say what kind of wine they’re using in a recipe, not brand specific, but if it’s a Chardonnay or a Merlot. And when they speak of using a finishing oil on their food, what does that mean? – Karen Shelton

Answer: Don’t stress about what kind of wine to cook with. It’s pretty straightforward: If it tastes good in the glass, it’ll taste good in the dish. As a basic rule of thumb, think white wines for delicate flavors like shellfish or most vegetables. Use red wines for robust flavors in red sauces and braised meats.

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Fry Like a Pro

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, September 12th, 2012
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Fried Zucchini and Mozzarella

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Next time you’re battering food for frying, make sure the flour or cornstarch thoroughly coats your ingredients before you dip them in batter or egg because batter tends to slide off bare spots. Dip food in the flour a second time, then tap or shake off any excess before battering so it doesn’t clump in the fryer.

Try it: Fried Zucchini and Mozzarella (pictured above)

Don’t Stop Grilling: Pat LaFrieda, Jr. Says There’s Great Barbecue Beyond Labor Day

by in How-to, September 6th, 2012

beef and pork ribs
We firmly believe that grilling season doesn’t have an expiration date, yet so many of us cover our barbecues and smokers once a chill hits the air. We’re not alone in feeling this way. The “Magician of Meat,” Pat LaFrieda, Jr., also agrees with us. We caught up with him and asked him about grilling beyond Labor Day and if there are any differences you need to be aware of.

Just like wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no, are there similar rules with barbecue?
If you pack up your grill for the winter after Labor Day, you are no longer a member of the LaFrieda family. Grill all winter — the colder it is, the more you will appreciate the food coming off the grill.

Is it true that food takes longer to barbecue in cooler weather? Why?
It’s not completely true. If you heat up the grill a few minutes earlier than usual you’ll be good to go.

Make it the year of barbecue

Bake Pizza in a Flash

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, September 4th, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Keep pocketless pitas on hand to use for quick weeknight pizzas, like Food Network Magazine did for these Philly Cheesesteak Pizzas (pictured above). They’re easy to customize, so everyone will be happy. Just arrange the pitas on a baking sheet, cover with toppings and cheese, and broil until the cheese melts. You can keep leftover pitas in the freezer — just warm them under the broiler before adding toppings.

Baking in the Clouds

by in How-to, September 1st, 2012

high altitude baking
Living at sea level, I’ve never given much thought to recipe adjustments needed when baking at higher elevations. A dear friend of mine (a seasoned pastry chef), Tweeted that she was nervous about baking in the clouds — it was a cry for help. I was happy to chime in and give her thin-air solutions.

First things first: Boiling water temperature is not universal. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F. At 10,000 feet above sea level, it drops to 195 degrees F. Go figure.

If we understand why cakes fall during cooling, fixing the problem becomes easy.

Follow me: the higher up you go, air pressure decreases, which causes leavening agents in baked goods to react too quickly. Liquids also tend to evaporate at a quicker rate. This causes cakes to fall and be dry.

Find out how to make the perfect high-altitude cake

Seed Your Tomatoes

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, August 28th, 2012

Seeded Tomato

Hot tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Taste your tomato seeds before using them in a dish: Sometimes the seeds are bitter and can overpower subtle flavors, like the summer squash and wax beans in Food Network Magazine‘s Fettuccine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese. If your tomato has bitter seeds, place them in a strainer along with the pulp, then press out and use the juice only; discard the seeds.

(Photograph by George Doyle/Getty Images)

What Can I Do With Unripened Fruit? — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, August 24th, 2012

unripened bananas
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: “Is there a way I can use fruit that is not quite ripe yet?” — Kathleen Sefchick Dixon from Facebook

Answer: If you can wait a day or two, many fruits (such as bananas, pears, peaches, kiwis, tomatoes and avocados) will ripen quickly when stored in a brown paper bag, and even faster if you add a ripe apple or banana to the bag.

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