All Posts In In Season

Sensational Stuffed Peppers

by in In Season, August 21st, 2013

Turkey and Rice Stuffed PeppersIf you ask FN Dish, red, yellow and green peppers do much more than add color to your plate. With crunchy thick walls and a juicy-sweet disposition, the hollowed-out veggies are meant for stuffing: with grains, meats, veggies or all of the above. These smooth-skinned beauties are not only brimming with antioxidants, they also invite a slew of possibilities.

This week, perfectly in-season bell peppers have every reason to make it to your table — especially when they’re bursting with all kinds of good things. Need some inspiration for your next stuffed sensation? FN Dish has you covered.

Giada adds an Italian flair to her Orzo Stuffed Peppers by using the short-grain pasta, while her Stuffed Baby Peppers — with pancetta, ricotta and Parmesan — work as creamy bite-size appetizers.

Chile Rellenos, Spanish Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers and Food Network Magazine’s Cajun Stuffed Peppers each stay true to their roots while remaining unanimously satisfying.

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Creamed Corn Succotash with Cotija — The Weekender

by in In Season, Recipes, August 16th, 2013

Creamed Corn Succotash with CojitaThe first 25 years of my life, I ate fresh corn just one way: It was shucked, boiled until tender and slathered with butter. And while that’s a delicious way to handle the sweet corn of summer, I’ve learned during the last decade that there are many other ways to do it justice.

It was a batch of grilled corn that first opened my eyes to corn’s flexibility. I was at a cookout and a friend set shucked and lightly oiled cobs on a hot barbecue and kept turning them until the kernels were speckled and golden. Topped with mayonnaise and a little grated cheese, it was transcendentally good.

Once the corn floodgates were open, it was a quick trip to corn salads, salsas and chowders. Really, the only thing I’ve not done with corn is make jelly from the corncobs (a traditional Southern preserve).

This summer, the corn has been particularly abundant, and we’ve been getting a dozen or more ears each week at our farm share pickup. I’ve done every one of my regular preparations, and still, there’s more. Happily, I’ve recently discovered another recipe to add to my repertoire. It’s Bobby Flay’s Creamed Corn Succotash with Cotija, and I can’t stop eating it.

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10 Audacious Guacamole Add-Ins — Summer Fest

by in In Season, August 14th, 2013

Pear and Pistachio GuacamoleIt’s odd to think of a day when the avocado’s utensil of choice wasn’t the tortilla chip. But how many times have you ventured to the produce section with guac on the brain, only to find that the avocados would work better as baseballs? Don’t fret — now that avocados are in season, all of your guacamole plans can come to scoopable fruition. And with all of these ripe avocados on hand, FN Dish expands upon the Purist’s Guacamole with all kinds of inventive add-ins. We know: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But these renditions will awe and inspire guests with the very first scoop.

1. Papaya: Add the diced tropical fruit for unexpected texture and sweetness. Food Network Magazine’s Spicy Papaya Guacamole cuts sweet with spicy using mashed habanero peppers.

2. Corn: Roasted Corn Guacamole and Food Network Magazine’s Southwest Corn Guacamole are literally popping with Southwestern goodness. Broil or roast your corn before sliding the kernels into the guacamole.

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Fresh Peach Cake — The Weekender

by in In Season, Recipes, August 9th, 2013

Fresh Peach Cake - The WeekenderA ripe peach is one of the true joys of late summer. When they’re in season, I buy at least five pounds at a time from my Saturday morning farmers market. Through the course of the week, I slice them over yogurt for breakfast. Come lunchtime, I heap them on toast with a little fresh ricotta and mint. When I’m on my own for dinner, I tumble them into a bowl of greens with crumbled feta (my husband doesn’t dig fruit in salads). Just before bed, I’ll grab one as a snack and eat it messily over the sink.

However, despite my best efforts, there are sometimes a few stray peaches left at the end of the week that are starting to get slightly too soft to be eaten raw. That’s when I turn to baked goods. There are all sorts of transcendent peach-based quick breads, tarts and scones out there, but there’s a particular cake that’s claimed my heart this summer: Ina Garten’s Fresh Peach Cake.

Before you start baking, read these tips

Eggplant, No Forks Necessary — Summer Fest

by in In Season, August 7th, 2013

Eggplant Ricotta BitesIt’s the vegetable to be gushed over at brunch and the one worth of recipe swapping at book club. And if it’s on the menu with the Parmesan descriptor attached, all bets are off — we’re ordering it. Sturdy yet tender, filling but wholesome, the eggplant is the king of meatless for a reason.

Though it works as a standup main course, the following dishes speak to eggplant’s versatility as we transform it into easy, hand-held starters. Each of these small bites helps to ring in a meal with flair. Call them finger foods, call them bite-size — either way, compact eggplant appetizers are a lovely way to kick off dinner.

To start, Giada’s Mini Eggplant Parmesan are reminiscent of the classic dish, though they’re not engulfed in tomato sauce and cheese. That way, you can pick them up with your hands for easy eating. Similarly, Food Network Magazine’s Eggplant Ricotta Bites (pictured above) are crispy and to the point. Each circle is topped with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkling of diced tomatoes.

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5 Unsung Sides of the Summer Peach — Summer Fest

by in In Season, July 31st, 2013

Rosemary-Mustard Pork with PeachesCan you believe it’s already August? With this sultry month come many lovely things — most importantly, the ripe, in-season peach. As we transition from the inaugural crates of summer strawberries, these golden kaleidoscopes of gold and red are so juicy they dribble down your chin. And with a velvet fuzziness on the outside and an ambrosial sweetness on the inside, peaches are deep summer’s most lusted-after loot.

Peak peaches deserve to be the highlight, the reason everyone’s at the table. That’s why FN Dish has assembled a list of the finest peach recipes. These unconventional dishes run the gamut and show us all the pretty peach is capable of — and, goodness, are they good.

1. Your mother wouldn’t be happy with us, but let’s start at dessert, the most iconic peach player of all. We all love Peach Cobbler, but unconventional desserts like Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Cookies, Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake and Food Network Magazine’s Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake will raise eyebrows. Even something as simple as Food Network Magazine’s Hot Peaches and Cream can show the tender peach in all its glory.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Corn Muffins — The Weekender

by in In Season, Recipes, July 26th, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Corn MuffinsWhen my husband was little, he and his brother went to spend the night at their aunt’s house. The next morning, she made pancakes for them. Scott thought that the pancakes were studded with chocolate chips, so took a giant stack. Turns out they were filled with blueberries.

Because he wasn’t mentally prepared for blueberries, he spit out the first bite in surprise and yelled “yuck.” His aunt was mightily offended and despite his protestations, made him eat the rest of the stack. He has not touched a cooked blueberry since.

What this means practically is that when I’m cooking and baking for the two of us, I take care to avoid making things that involve blueberries (it’s the nice thing to do). I dearly love a blueberry baked good, however, and so at least a couple times a summer, when blueberries are in season, I make up some treat that my friends and neighbors might like so that I can have all the enjoyment of it without eating the whole thing on my own.

Before you start baking, read these tips

Pickles Past the Jar — Summer Fest

by in In Season, July 24th, 2013

Homemade Spicy Dill PicklesOn their own, in-season cucumbers are cool and refreshing. But when it comes to the fine art of pickling, arguably no other veggie does it better. Cold, refreshing and satisfyingly crunchy, pickles spike burgers with acidic crunch and pickle spears are a barbecue necessity. Before reaching for the jar, remember that pickling is actually a relatively simple science and you can do it to a whole slew of vegetables.

Today FN Dish is zeroing in on the cucumber and considering cuke creations that push way beyond the standard dill.

Let’s start simple with quickest of the quick. True pickles take some time to come to fruition, but Rachael Ray’s Quick Pickles take a mere 15 minutes to come together. Tyler Florence’s Quick Sweet Pickles run a little longer — though not long at all — at four hours.

Alton’s Dill Pickles are the most iconic. Patience is key here; you’ll have to push your pickle craving back a bit for it to undergo the transformation. Alton’s calls for both fresh dill and the seeds, so the end result will likely resemble the pickle of your childhood. For pickles that don’t pucker, Alton’s Kinda Sorta Sours run the middle ground.

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Cool Watermelon Drinks — Summer Fest

by in Drinks, In Season, July 17th, 2013

Watermelon SlushiesYou don’t need us to tell you it’s hot. We’re officially occupying the dog days of summer, and there’s no escaping — or is there?

When you post up after a long day, arm your wet bar with a little something different: the cooling qualities of watermelon. There’s no better ingredient to better your summery cocktails, with the fruit’s natural sweetness and refreshing water content. Though all of these drinks employ the same fruit, they each revive in a different way, running the line between iced and frozen, alcoholic or virgin, traditional or eccentric. If these don’t cool you down, nothing will.

Everyone loves a good cocktail. Today FN Dish is slurping the iconic ones, this time with a watermelon twist. With light rum, fresh mint leaves and a big squeeze of lime, the Barefoot Contessa’s Watermelon Mojito is best enjoyed curled up on a beach chair. As for Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon Sours, sour mix, lime and fruit-flavored liqueur punch up each slurp.

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Roasted Apricots with Mascarpone and Pistachios — The Weekender

by in In Season, July 12th, 2013

Roasted Apricots with Mascarpone and PistachiosOf all the wonderful fruit that comes into season during the summer months, apricots are my very favorite. It hasn’t always been this way. When I was growing up, it was nearly impossible to find truly good apricots unless they came from someone’s backyard tree. As those were pretty darn hard to come by back then, I spent most of my formative years eating terrible, mealy grocery store apricots.

Five or six years back, I discovered just how good a locally grown, never-refrigerated apricot can be. Because I know their season is short, I always order at least half a bushel from one of my local growers. (I get the seconds, because they’re so much cheaper and really, who cares about a few bruises and blemishes?)

Once those apricots are in my kitchen, I spend the next week finding ways to use them up. I make jam. I make chutney. I can them in halves in honey syrup. I eat the ripest ones in just a couple greedy slurps. Once I’ve done all my favorite things, there are still more apricots to be used. That’s when I start digging through my collection of apricot recipes, looking for other things that are begging to be made.

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