by Virginia Willis in Recipes, May 16th, 2014
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, May 16th, 2014
From the familiar blue box to gourmet eight-cheese combinations, we can’t seem to get enough of mac and cheese. It may be the be all and end all of down-home comfort food. It’s rich, flavorful and satisfying — friendly and familiar but never dull. It’s a great, classic choice for dinner parties and a vegetarian dish that leaves even the carnivores contented. Almost everyone loves it. Creamy and cheesy, there simply aren’t many foods more comforting than homemade macaroni and cheese.
There are two primary formulas for making all-American macaroni and cheese: the bechamel or custard method. Bechamel is a white sauce made by stirring heated milk into a butter-flour roux. This white sauce can be thin, thick or somewhere in the middle. The thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of butter and flour to milk and varies according to what you are using it for: for example, thin for soup, medium-bodied for casseroles such as mac and cheese, and thick for souffles. The medium white sauce is probably the most common. The proportions for a thin sauce are 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk, a medium sauce uses 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour, and a very thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each. Bechamel is a very useful sauce in the kitchen, far beyond mac and cheese.
by Allison Milam in Recipes, May 15th, 2014
I know that by springtime most people think that we should be done with casseroles and one-pot dishes. But even in May there is occasionally a chilly, dreary day where nothing quite fills the bill like a good casserole.
One such dish that I like a lot this time of year is Rachael Ray’s Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf. It’s light, bright from the lemon juice, and comforting.
It’s also a handy one to have in your repertoire, because it’s one of those dishes that can be either more or less intensive, depending on how much time and commitment you want to invest. You can either poach a chicken for the meat and broth, or you can pick up a fully cooked grocery-store bird and use a bit of boxed stock. Both ways work and will result in a delicious Weekender.
by Joseph Erdos in Recipes, Shows, May 14th, 2014
When it comes to favorite sides, FN Dish is on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s work of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.
Day 1: Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.
Day 2: Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 13th, 2014
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient Mexican chorizo. Unlike the Spanish variety, Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage that requires cooking. In this Southwestern Sloppy Joes recipe it’s browned with garlic and onion and then cooked with tomatoes for a very flavorful and just-as-sloppy rendition as the classic joe. Once your family has a taste, they’ll keep coming back for seconds and thirds — and they might even request this over the classic recipe the next time.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 12th, 2014
While turkey usually takes center stage come Thanksgiving, this family-friendly meat is worthy of a starring role all year long, as it’s surprisingly simple to prepare — especially when it’s not being roasted whole for a holiday — and endlessly versatile. Just like chicken, turkey is a culinary blank canvas that pairs well with nearly all flavors and ingredients, and there’s no shortage of ways to prepare it, from fried to sauteed to simmered. To get new ideas for using this go-to protein, check out Food Network’s top-five easy-to-do turkey dinner recipes from the Neelys, Tyler, Ina and more chefs.
5. Turkey and Quinoa Salad — A complete meal in a bowl, this good-for-you salad boasts fluffy toasted quinoa, herbed turkey cutlets and a colorful combination of tomatoes and cucumbers.
4. Turkey Sausage and Peppers — The key to this recipe lies in the two-part cooking process for the sausages. After broiling them until golden brown, simmer them in a bold saute of peppers, fennel and tomatoes until juicy, and finish with fragrant basil.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, May 9th, 2014
Whether you maintain a meatless diet just one day a week or adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle, eggs are surely a welcome addition to your meat-free menu, as they’re versatile, packed with protein and, perhaps best of all, quick to prepare. Because there are multiple ways to cook eggs, you can incorporate them into nearly any meal — even lunch and dinner. The next time you make fried rice, try serving sunny-side up eggs atop the dish to add substance, or bake eggs in tomato sauce for a rustic Italian supper.
Food Network Kitchen sticks with a scrambled centerpiece in its fuss-free recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta and Broccolini (pictured above). While this 20-minute meal is a cinch to prepare, it’s a dressed-up version of the everyday scrambles you likely ate as a child; instead of calling for American cheese, this recipe incorporates rich ricotta to create a creamy taste, and it swaps in vibrant Broccolini in place of traditional peppers and onions. It’s important to stop cooking the eggs once they’re set to yield tender, fluffy results every time. Finish the eggs with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and serve with bread to round out the meal.
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, May 9th, 2014
While working on my first cookbook, I got into a squabble with my editor over a recipe title. I had created a grits casserole recipe called “Funeral Grits,” and my Harvard-educated, California-residing editor was appalled. She said no one would want to cook something associated with a funeral. I countered her argument, noting that a bowl of grits after a funeral would evoke comfort, not sorrow.
Who wouldn’t want a bowl of creamy, comforting grits when feeling sad? Comfort food means safety, satisfaction and simplicity. Grits are easy to prepare, can be a main meal or a side dish, will hold for hours in a low oven and reheat wonderfully as leftovers, even in the microwave. I’m suggesting this Grits Casserole for Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch. It’s easy enough that Dad can help the kids make it the day before or that morning. And, worst-case scenario, if the lady of the house has to cook her own Mother’s Day Grits Casserole, it can be made ahead by her too! Read more
by Allison Milam in Recipes, May 8th, 2014
Mother’s Day is always a touch bittersweet for me because I live a country away from my own mom. I moved to Philadelphia from Portland, Ore., in my early 20s, intending to stay just a couple of years. Instead I made friends, went to grad school and eventually met my husband. As much as I miss the West Coast, Philly has become home.
So these days I celebrate Mother’s Day by packing up a box of goodies, shipping it to my mom and scheduling a Sunday morning Skype date so I can “be” there while she opens it up.
The distance doesn’t stop me from planning an imaginary Mother’s Day meal. (Other people play fantasy sports. I fantasy meal plan.) To start, I’d put out some softened chevre, a few baguette rounds and a jar of rhubarb chutney. The main event would be a roast chicken with lemon, and with it I’d serve Ina Garten’s White Bean and Arugula Salad, good crusty bread from a local bakery and some broiled asparagus.
by Joseph Erdos in Recipes, Shows, May 7th, 2014
On a lazy weekend morning, whether you set an alarm or not, what better way to wake up than with melted cheese stringing from a pan to your plate? FN Dish is down for cheesy dishes all day long, but some of our favorite cheesy sides are a match made in heaven for eggs, sausage, toast and more. Especially with these recipes on your plate, you can bet a weekend brunch featuring cheesy sides is in the works.
Peeling and shredding potatoes can be a process, especially when you wake up hungry. Buy frozen hash brown potatoes — pre-peeled and shredded — to satisfy a last-minute potato craving. Easy Cheesy Potato and Sharp Cheddar Hash is so crispy and good that you won’t need ketchup.
This Southern staple is made that much better when a cheesy trinity is involved: Food Network Magazine’s Bruleed Cheese Grits are rich with a blend of cheddar, Gruyere and gouda. Placing the grits in the broiler at the very end leaves the cheesy top nice and bubbly.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient spiral ham. But instead of using the ham in the most-conventional way, say baking it or even cubing it, this recipe takes it to the Chopped-like extreme: The ham gets pulsed in the food processor, basically deviling it and turning it into a creamy pate that is sauteed and combined with beaten eggs to make this Deviled Ham Frittata with Jalapeno and Scallion Relish. A layer of sharp cheddar is sprinkled on top before the skillet goes into the oven. This dish is ideal for a spring brunch with family and friends — and you’ll have everyone guessing as to the secret ingredient that makes it so flavorful.