by Marisa McClellan in In Season, July 12th, 2013
by Allison Milam in Entertaining, In Season, July 10th, 2013
Of 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.
Before you start cooking, read these tips
by Heather Ramsdell in In Season, July 8th, 2013
A good tomato sauce, a piping hot slice of margherita pizza, the iconic tomato soup — all of these are made possible by the juicy tomato. Tomatoes add richness to any number of home cooked dishes, whether roasted until the skin falls off or stewed into a multipurpose sauce. Though tomatoes have worked their way into our everyday lives, today we’re viewing them from a different angle. When you’re entertaining this summer, showcase the sophisticated side of the tomato, in all of its in-season glory.
As an appetizer, have guests smear Food Network Magazine’s Spicy Tomato Jam and goat cheese on a fresh baguette. Or create mini pizzas for a bite-sized starter. Giada De Laurentiis uses a cookie cutter in her recipe for Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil, which will disappear the moment they’re set out.
Imagine slicing into Food Network Magazine’s picturesque Heirloom Tomato Pie (pictured above), with its red and yellow hues amplifying any main dish it meets. Or in Food Network Magazine’s savory Tomato Cobbler, fresh dough and a rich tomato filling reach bubbling perfection together in the oven.
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by Marisa McClellan in Entertaining, In Season, July 5th, 2013
I went to the farmers’ market to get strawberries. I thought I might have missed their short season, but they were in fact there. And then, as if I were somewhere I might never visit again, I suddenly needed everything else there, too.
I hadn’t thought of tea radishes or pink or icicle radishes either — or purple, yellow or white spring onions, carrots, herbs, peonies, tiny, odd lettuces — or shell peas. I didn’t need snap peas, but there they were, tight in their skins, like a bin full of miniature blimps. I wanted to see them again, so I took a picture. The farmer said I could even taste one. Almost involuntarily, I found myself unfurling a bag from the roll and stuffing some in.
The less common the vegetables were, the more I suddenly needed them. And now that I already had to carry a bag, there wasn’t much reason not to quench my drought of fresh chamomile flowers, or to fill the now obvious garlic-scape chasm in my life. I pressured a nearby stranger who claimed not to know what to do with radishes to drag them through butter and dab them in salt, and later saw her headed to the register with three bunches.
by Allison Milam in In Season, July 3rd, 2013
Each summer I choose a salad that will become my go-to barbecue and party contribution for the season. One year I spent three months making variations of potato salads (my husband really liked that year). The next time around, I declared that it was to be the summer of slaw and ended up shredding cabbage, carrots, beets and kohlrabi well into the fall. The year I got married, I was all about quinoa salads.
I find that I really appreciate having a particular genre of salad to work with each year, as it gives me some structure (always a good thing in a busy life), but also allows me to explore the many different varieties that each kind of salad embodies. There’s a great deal of pleasure in trying on different combinations and seeing how the various flavors mix and marry.
Recently I decided that the summer of 2013 is going to be all about panzanella. This is a traditional Italian salad that stars cubes of toasted stale bread and often features tomatoes and a variety of other crunchy, savory things. It can be made with grilled vegetables, sweet potatoes and even chicken or tofu (I do love a salad that can become a full meal).
Before you start cooking, read these tips
by Allison Milam in In Season, June 26th, 2013
Nibbling corn on the cob has its perks, but you already knew that. This hand-held side is as easy as boiling water, smearing butter and going in for a bite. If you ask FN Dish, corn is a cornerstone of the great American barbecue, and it need not be fiddled with.
But as it turns out, things get a lot more interesting when the corn is shaved right of that cob, and Food Network’s fleet of killer summer corn salads are proof.
For a true summery flavor, kick up the grill. Bobby Flay’s Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chile and Cotija marries charred, sweet kernels with the most aromatic ingredients around. In this Grilled Corn and Chipotle Pepper Salad, all that’s left to do is combine all the ingredients after the corn finishes grilling. Plate these salads next to Tyler Florence’s Carne Asada for a grill-reliant, outdoor meal.
Ina Garten’s Fresh Corn Salad (pictured above) places corn on a pedestal, bringing it together with nothing more than an effortless vinaigrette, diced red onion and fresh basil leaves.
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by Jennifer Perillo in How-to, In Season, June 19th, 2013
Peas are good popped straight from the pod, but they’re even better with a little TLC. Here at Food Network, FN Dish is lining up our top pea sides, each popping with a whole lot more than color. Sweet peas, garden peas, English peas, whatever you choose to call ‘em — these babies are bright, light and in-season.
Your classic mashed potatoes are revisited in this Tyler Florence recipe for Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon and Pearl Onions, and serve as a solid side to a grilled steak.
Food Network Magazine‘s Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta (pictured above) comes with three doses of peas: shelled English peas, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Spring Peas with Dates and Walnuts utilizes the same pea trilogy, but this time integrates a natural sweetness from the dried fruit.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, June 19th, 2013
When strawberries start popping up at the farmers’ markets, that’s my signal to get jamming. The window for enjoying sun-kissed, sweet berries here in the Northeast is far too short. Learning to preserve is one way to extend the season — and add much-needed variety come January, when we’re knee-deep in apples and pears. Berries are just the beginning of it all, though.
Preserving is a way to stretch the life of your fruits and vegetables. You can choose short-term storage, by making jams that will stay fresh for a few weeks in the fridge, or pickling, which lasts a few months. This is a good way to get your feet wet and master part of the technique needed for long-term storage.
by Allison Milam in In Season, May 15th, 2013
These days, the containers of blue and red berries stacked on produce shelves might be the most difficult thing to decline. Especially when they’re so in-season, so plentiful and so perfectly sweet. Of course, berries do wonders layered in a trifle, baked into a cheesecake or scattered in a fruit salad. But today, we’re focusing on one specific utilization of the berry: its hand in breakfasts. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries — you name it. They’ve each got a place in the first — and oh-so-important — meal of the day.
First things first, let’s talk parfaits. They make for layered, well-rounded breakfasts you can eat all week long, whether you switch them up or not. Ellie Krieger’s Muesli Parfaits are filling with a good dose of nutty crunch. This recipe for a Berry ‘Nana Oatmeal Parfait laces oats and vanilla almond milk into the mix. And if you want to get really creative, Food Network Magazine‘s Strawberry-Shortcake Parfait Pops transition the breakfast favorite into a refreshing dessert.
by Lauren Miyashiro in In Season, Recipes, May 14th, 2013
We dig it on our pizza, require it on our burgers and have even been known to melt it on our fries. It’s cheese, the well-loved ingredient that gets a whole lot richer when things are heated up. In these side dishes, cheese isn’t simply an afterthought to be dashed on top. It’s an integral part, giving things a creamy, rich edge in all the right ways. Tune into our roster of cheesy, decadent sides — each recipe is complete with a good showing of spring vegetables.
Due to Arborio rice’s natural starch content, risotto on its own has a creamy quality. But, according to Ina Garten, you simply can’t have risotto without the Parmesan. Her veggie-packed Spring Green Risotto comes together with freshly grated Parm and smooth, rich mascarpone. In the spirit of spring, Ellie Krieger’s Garden Risotto has a garden variety, with peas, asparagus and baby spinach.
Think of Food Network Magazine’s Spring Shells and Cheese (pictured above) as a grown-up mac and cheese — with its mature fix of veggies, too. Zucchini gives it a nice crunch, while spinach slides in for some good green. Or unload a batch of spring peas into this creamy Four Cheese Pasta With Peas and Ham by Food Network Magazine.
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Although I try a variety of recipes and techniques, my baking repertoire is largely reflective of my unyielding craving for chocolate. I appreciate most types of desserts, but my search for the best chocolate chip cookie and most fudgy brownie tends to dominate my kitchen agenda. Come spring, however, my sweet tooth changes. Instead of dreaming of all things cocoa, I find myself wanting desserts like Rhubarb Pie, Lemon Bars and Strawberry Shortcake.
You can’t go wrong with Strawberry Shortcake. Ruby red strawberries, fluffy whipped cream and straight-from-the-oven cream biscuits are stacked together to create the ultimate springtime treat. Even if you don’t consider yourself a baker, this recipe is a breeze. Effort and time required for measuring and mixing is minimal.
While my friends will never turn down a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, I’m pretty sure this sweet and tart dessert came as a pleasant surprise. There’s a reason strawberry shortcake is so popular at parties and special occasions: It’s downright tasty. But really, any day is a good day for this homey dessert. All you need is good company and you’ve got yourself a reason to head to the store for strawberries.