by Marisa McClellan in Entertaining, In Season, September 27th, 2013
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, In Season, September 26th, 2013
Though I adore the strawberries, plums and peaches of summer, by the time fall rolls around each year, I am ready for apples. To me, they are a sign of cooler weather, cozy evenings and a slightly slower pace of life.
When they’re in season, I often buy apples by the half bushel. One of my favorite local orchards offers an amazing deal at our Sunday farmers market. You can fill up an entire crate of apples for $20. It means that they’re able to move a mountain of apples and I feel like I’m getting a bargain. The only trouble is that I then have 20+ pounds of apples to eat, use and preserve.
And so, I get to sorting and cooking. I fill up one whole crisper drawer with the best-looking apples for eating whole or slicing to dip in peanut butter (that is one of my all-time favorite snacks). I make applesauce, apple butter and little jars of honey-colored jelly.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, September 26th, 2013
It’s officially fall. I know this not because I went shopping and saw Christmas decorations this weekend (although I did), but because I’ve seen the numerous Facebook photos of people posing with their first pumpkin lattes of the season. Meanwhile, I barely managed to get the requisite first day of school photo posted of my actual children, let alone of a cup of coffee. So if I am to believe Facebook and Twitter (I do), then autumn has arrived somewhere in the United States. I take that on faith, however, because I’m living in a heat wave without the benefit of air conditioning in either my home or office. People are raving about the joys of wearing a cardigan, while we are taking cold showers and standing under the ceiling fan to cool down before we crawl into blanket-less beds at night. We are not seeking out and photographing steamy drinks.
But I have a love affair with all things pumpkin, and it lasts all year long. I’ll open a big can, freeze half and stick the rest in the fridge to fortify muffins, thicken a soup or make a smoothie. It’s full of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and a few grams of protein — a veritable nutritional bargain at 50 calories a serving. (I remind us all that this is squash. We drink squash with our coffee. I love America.)
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by Allison Milam in In Season, September 18th, 2013
When apple crisp, apple crumble, apple pie and all things apple start flooding your recipe wish list, you don’t need to look at the calendar to know that fall is right where we want it. Apples are the stars of this coveted season — and rightfully so. We lug them by the bagful from the produce section and, sometimes, we even trek to the nearest farm to do the picking ourselves.
As the old adage goes — say it with me now — “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Instead of relegating apples to dessert, start strong by incorporating crisp, juicy apples into your breakfast regiment — or add them to the brunch table if you’re sleeping in. These apple recipes make any morning meal a celebration.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, September 11th, 2013
This week, FN Dish is trading in the grill-kissed ears of corn and pitchers of iced tea for the comforting dishes of early fall. And, hey, who’s complaining? To ring in the crisp air, pumpkin lattes and all that screams fall, we’re turning to the potato to reintroduce our favorite seasonal recipes.
As an ingredient, the potato straddles the line between french fry and mashed potatoes, so it’s the perfect ingredient to usher us into these first days of fall. Each of these potato dishes will remind you of all that we’ve been missing. Many are rich — and all are comforting.
When pureed, potatoes make for a mean soup. Smooth and filling, Ina’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup is nice and elegant, and it works as the idyllic dinner party starter. Food Network Magazine’s Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup is perfect for a special family meal, especially during those first few weeks of the school year. As for Alton’s Leftover Baked Potato Soup, leftover baked potatoes are reborn in a soup that’s silky, luxurious and super rich.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, September 4th, 2013
You know when you have a good batch of grapes on your hands. Each sphere of green or red deliciousness is firm — never bruised — and comes down with an almost audible burst before flooding your mouth with sweet, tart lusciousness. They typically require little intervention; we’ll pop ‘em straight from the fridge or zip them into baggies for easy eating.
Well get this: Grapes are perfectly in-season right now, so they’re extra crispy and juicy. With this in mind, FN Dish is ringing in Wednesday by showcasing some seriously grape-forward recipes. This time, grapes go way beyond PB and J with the crusts cut off.
Let’s face it, grapes are meant to mingle with cheese. Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Sweet Roasted Grapes simmers the fruit in honey until syrupy, keeping the spherical texture of grapes for a different cheese mate. Next, Food Network Magazine’s Grape-Walnut Conserve is bright and zesty when smeared on a cheese-donned baguette, especially with its merging of orange zest, raisins and lemon. And though tapenade is typically made of chopped or pureed olives to spread on bread, Food Network Magazine turns to fresh, juicy grapes for a sweet Cheese Plate with Grape Tapenade that’s fit for the most elegant dinner party.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, August 28th, 2013
Beets may be available year-round, but there’s good reason to hoard each ruby-red root this month. Sure, these magenta beauties are known for their pronounced health benefits, but that’s not why we eat them. Beets have a profound, earthy sweetness that takes some thought to tease out, and from June through October, you can bet that beets are at their most tender state.
This season, breathe life into your beets by balancing the sweetness with a dose of unanticipated acidity. Whether you use sour fruit to make a marinade or as a full-blown ingredient, a wash of tartness can do a sweet beet some serious good.
1. Balance with Oranges: Fresh oranges do so much for beets. In addition to showcasing the obvious color, Food Network Magazine’s Warm Beet-Orange Salad (pictured above) unites supple roasted beets with the citrus fruit’s charming acidity. On the other side of the spectrum, its No-Cook Beet-Orange Salad use thinly sliced chioggia or golden beets for a dish that’s raw, fresh and invigorating.
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by Marisa McClellan in In Season, August 23rd, 2013
Gone are the days of shriveled, dried figs — at least for now. The plump, sweet orbs — actually flowers inverted into themselves — are now lusciously in-season, meaning they’re ready, willing and able to make your table’s acquaintance.
But there’s a catch with figs: Supple, soft and picked when ripe, the fruit is as fragile as a porcelain vase, and the journey home from the grocery store is enough to leave your little figs burst and bruised. Leaving them on the counter for a day or two also reveals the fruit’s intense perishability. The moral of the story: One must act fast when fleeting figs are involved.
With this looming expiration date in mind, FN Dish rounded up the ways to cook and bake figs into our favorite recipes. That way, they’ll disappear as they should.
When the alarm goes off, Food Network Magazine’s Nutty Fig Toasts are your only fighting chance of getting out of bed — yes, Monday too. The multigrain toast, ricotta cheese, roasted nuts and cushy fruit are steps above the cereal bowl.
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by Allison Milam in In Season, August 21st, 2013
Every August, I spend a few weeks going a little bit crazy for ratatouille. There is something magical that happens when you combine eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, garlic and whatever herbs you happen to have around.
Part of the reason I’m so fond of this late-summer dish is that it’s one I grew up eating. My mom often made it when we were young with produce straight from the garden. Sometimes she served it chunky, but more often, she’d push it through a food mill and call it soup. It’s funny how much more willing we were to eat it when it was smooth and without any visible bits of veggie.
My Grandma Bunny was also a huge fan of ratatouille. She frequently made it in a large skillet, topped it with a layer of grated Parmesan cheese and popped it under the broiler until the cheese bubbled and browned. Served with chicken thighs marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil, it was regular dinner for our extended family.
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by Marisa McClellan in In Season, Recipes, August 16th, 2013
If 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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The 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.
Before you start cooking, read these tips