Similar to Southern-style grits, traditional Italian polenta is made from dried corn and churns out rich and creamy results after simmering for a while in liquid, often water or stock. Many classic recipes feature a how-to for making polenta from scratch, but the process can be challenging to tackle on a hectic weeknight. Luckily, most grocery stores now sell prepared polenta in firm, chilled tubes, and these go-to conveniences make easy time-savers when you’re in a hurry.
Food Network Magazine relies on premade polenta to prepare its simple recipe for Polenta With Fontina and Eggs (pictured above) in only 40 minutes. After making a basic tomato sauce with garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, add sliced, seared polenta discs to the same pan, crack some eggs on top and finish with grated fontina cheese. Just a few minutes in the oven is all it takes to set the eggs and melt the cheese, delivering a hearty, one-skillet supper that the whole family will enjoy.
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No matter how hearty a lunch they may have had, when the clock strikes 4 pm, it’s hard for kids — and kids at heart — not to want an afternoon snack. Instead of settling for everyday chips or candy on account of convenience, give them homemade versions of traditional munchies like granola bars and crackers or creative takes on classic picks that include fruit and milk and are a cinch to prepare. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite snack recipes below, then browse Food Network for more ideas on cooking for kids.
While some boxed granola bars are so chock-full of chocolate and cookies that they seem more like desserts than snacks, Ina’s Homemade Granola Bars (pictured above) boast a subtle sweetness without disappointing on flavor. She combines old-fashioned oats, crunchy almonds and coconut with a trio of dried fruits to create a five-star pick that’s deliciously easy to eat with little hands. The key to making Ina’s recipe is prepping the buttery vanilla honey; this simple mixture will help the ingredients stick together and allow the bars to hold their shape.
Dust off those slow cookers and Dutch ovens. This week, we’re breaking down the most comforting stew recipes by protein. When simmered low and slow, even the toughest meats transform into soft, no-knife-necessary morsels. In the end, the theme here is gentle cooking, and just about any ingredient will do.
Oftentimes, when a stew hankering hits, it’s of the beef genre. Paula Deen’s Old-Time Beef Stew is deeply rich and ultimately classic. Food Network Magazine’s zesty Slow-Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew is over-the-top with a hit of hot sauce.
Sausage may not necessarily require low-heat cooking for its finer side to emerge, but Food Network Magazine’s Sausage-and-Vegetable Stew and Shrimp and Chorizo Stew are savory and heartening.
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Just like flowers and perhaps a glass or two of champagne, chocolate on Valentine’s Day is a must. This year, however, instead of resorting to store-bought candies, try making simple red velvet desserts for you and your special someone to enjoy together. Boasting a subtle cocoa taste instead of an overpowering punch of chocolate flavor, red velvet treats pair naturally with smooth cream cheese frosting, and their distinct crimson color just can’t be beat when it comes to a red-themed holiday like Valentine’s. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top-five red velvet recipes below to help you prepare easy-to-love favorites that will have your sweetie swooning in no time.
5. Red Velvet Swirl Brownies — Before baking Sunny’s brownies, gently run a knife tip through the decadent layers of red velvet batter and sweetened cream cheese to achieve an attractive swirled topping.
4. Red Velvet-Cherry Cake Roll — The secret to executing this can-do cake is rolling it while it’s still supple and warm. After it’s cooled, unroll it and stuff with an almond-laced cream cheese frosting before gently rerolling the cake and serving.
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Tofu often gets a bad culinary rap—and rightfully so. When eaten on its own, plain tofu can be quite boring and doesn’t taste like much of anything. When given an intense flavor boost in the form of bold sauces or complementary ingredients, however, it takes on rich, enjoyable flavors and becomes a go-to substitute for meat in countless traditionally beefy dishes, like meatloaf, meatballs and burgers.
In Food Network Magazine‘s recipe for Spaghetti and No-Meat Balls (pictured above), extra-firm tofu is incorporated into a mixture of garlic-laced mushrooms, sauteed onions and a pinch of red pepper flakes, which adds a hearty punch of flavor without a lot of fat. Together with breadcrumbs, the tofu binds the blend together so that it can be rolled into two-bite no-meat balls. A quick pan-fry turns the balls a deep golden-brown hue and gives them a slight crust on the outside. After simmering them in a light tomato-basil sauce, toss the nonmeatballs with your favorite kind of pasta for a family-friendly dinner than can be prepped in less than an hour.
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Chinese New Year celebrations are filled with time-honored traditions, fun festivals and superstitious beliefs, but the one thing that connects all of them and brings everyone together is the food. But it’s not just any food — it’s good luck food.
The dishes served during Chinese New Year, which lands on February 10 this year, are eaten because of what the ingredients signify or sometimes what the Chinese names can mean. You’ll find seafood, chicken, duck, pork, sausage, noodles and lots of vegetables on the traditional menu. These foods can symbolize abundance, prosperity, togetherness, wealth and more.
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For the last month, my husband and I have been trying to clean up our eating habits (things got dire toward the end of December). We’ve increased our intake of fruits and vegetables and have eased way back on baked goods and dairy products (oh cheese, I have missed you!).
These efforts have had the biggest impact on our weekend mornings. Instead of making pancakes or waffles as a Saturday morning treat, there have been a goodly number of vegetable-filled omelets and piles of oven-crisped turkey bacon. Those options are delicious, but not particularly satisfying when you’re craving a sweet treat.
This last Sunday, as a way to reward us for a month of virtuous eating, I made an oven-baked puffed pancake. You warm a skillet in the oven with a bit of butter set inside to melt and then whip up a quick, egg-rich batter in the blender. Once the butter is foaming, you pour some of it off into the batter, reblend quickly and then pour the smooth batter into the hot skillet.
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Just like the everyday hamburger, sloppy joes are blank culinary canvases, easily adaptable to your family’s favorite flavors and the current stock of ingredients in your refrigerator. Whether you make them with ground beef or turkey, tomato or Buffalo sauce, Italian seasoning or cayenne pepper, sloppy joes provide hearty, comforting dinners that make winter mealtime a cinch. This weekend, ditch the canned stuff and try fresh, family-friendly varieties instead from some of your favorite Food Network chefs like Rachael and Jeff. Our top five sloppy joe recipes below are simple to prepare on even the busiest of weeknights, and with classic and creative interpretations of the tried-and-true, there’s a sloppy sandwich below to please every palate.
5. Buffalo Turkey Sloppy Joes — Pile a buttery ground turkey-hot sauce combination and creamy blue cheese topping between soft rolls to create Buffalo-style taste and texture in sandwich form, without any wings.
4. Italian Sloppy Joes — Made with a trifecta of ground meats — beef, pork and veal — the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro’s, garlic-scented sloppy joes are served on crusty hero rolls with slices of provolone cheese and pickled vegetables.
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Chicken: It’s probably up there with “mom” as one of your first words. And there’s good reason for that. It’s simple and versatile, lean and easy to do in a hurry. More often than not, chicken is relegated to the weeknight spot and to redundant preparations. Well if it’s up to us, our faithful chicken deserves a little something more. This week, run down the line of our feistiest chicken recipes. Because hey, who says comfort food has to come from a casserole dish (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?
A deep bowl of sultry curry has always been known to do the trick. Check out Aarti Sequeira’s Green Chicken Curry recipe, which comes steeped in cilantro, ginger and garam masala.
The Super Bowl may be in the past, but whose wing craving ever truly subsides? The Neelys’ Spicy Fried Wings from Food Network Magazine go perfectly with curling up on the couch after a long day at the office.
Grab a head of iceberg lettuce and get swaddling. Rachael Ray’s Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps are do-it-yourself at the dinner table and a low-carb way of having fun with the fam.
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If you’re stuck in a dinner rut, try introducing simple, comforting fondue to your weekday recipe repertoire. Packed with deliciously soft, creamy cheeses, Food Network Magazine‘s Perfect Fondue (pictured above) recipe is a must-try for both first-time fondue makers and experienced cheese-melters alike.
The beauty of this recipe is that you get to pick what cheese is used based on your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand. If you have cheddar left over from game-day nachos, use that, but if you happen to be cooking for a cheese monger, it may be best to melt a creamy Brie or Gouda instead. No matter which cheese — or combination of cheeses — you choose, just add it to a garlic-rubbed saucepan simmering with white wine and lemon juice and finish with a few tablespoons of flour. This binding flour will help thicken the fondue and ensure that the end result is deliciously thick and creamy. Served alongside an array of dippers like crusty bread, fresh or roasted vegetables, grilled polenta and French fries, this 10-minute recipe is the ultimate in complete, go-to dinners. Although a fondue pot may add to the wow factor of presentation, it’s not necessary to pull off a successful dish; a standard slow cooker set to low will do the job just as well. To maintain a meatless meal, skip the meaty dippers like meatballs and prosciutto.