In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, get ready to reignite the age-old debate of what really makes a taco a taco. Many will argue that it’s all about the tortilla, while others claim it’s the filling that counts. And, of course, there are the endless topping options, including avocado, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. But let’s not forget the essential herbs and spices that lend a taco its sought-after savory quality. With hints of garlic, onion, chili powder and sometimes cumin, this aromatic blend is synonymous with Mexico’s signature hand-held treat. With the right spice combination, you can have taco-flavored anything. (Think taco pizza or taco potatoes.) Try switching up your Cinco de Mayo menu with any of these clever takes on the authentic Mexican flavor.
All Posts In Recipes
While you may be familiar with adding a punch of heat to traditional savory favorites like tacos — both hard-shelled and soft-shelled — as well as chicken, on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen the co-hosts shared three new ways to feel the sweet burn in sweet treats. To key to ensuring that spicy ingredients don’t overpower a dessert is to balance those flavors with naturally sweet ones, which Sunny Anderson, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee demonstrate in their must-try recipes. Read on below to see how they do it.
It takes only three ingredients to make Sunny’s Paprika Ganache, boasting the smoky heat of Hungarian paprika. After just a few minutes of resting together, the warm cream will melt the spice-spiked semisweet chocolate and the mixture will be ready to stir until smooth.
Remember tuna salad from when you were growing up? Or if you’re like me, remember tuna salad from lunch 20 minutes ago? I have to tell you: I still absolutely dig me a good tuna salad. The kind I’ve been making for sixish years now isn’t just your (yawn) boring ol’ canned tuna mixed with mustard and mayo. Oh, no, pigeons. This adult version’s rocking stilettos and a hot-pink wig!
Actually, that sounds awful.
But before we get to the adult version, I’ve also included a cool, classic variant for your kiddies. I kept the binder pretty neutral, but instead of mayo, I swirled in a bit of Greek yogurt to lighten it up a bit. They won’t know the difference. Tell them elves made it. It’s also loaded with a hint of mustard, and fresh celery and apple, which I feel like all kids like, right? Again, just tell them elves made it. And ignore how many commas were in that sentence.
Now for the deluxe version. Again boasting a touch of Greek yogurt, it’s also laced with fresh lemon juice and curry powder — what? I also threw in some chopped almonds, fresh parsley, a bunch of red grapes and minced celery to boost the antioxidants. But I took out the stilettos and hot-pink wig because that was weirding me out.
Who are we kidding? You probably aren’t on the edge of your seat waiting for peas to come in season. That’s because, as far as frozen fare goes, peas are the king, requiring little defrosting before you can toss them into a dish and start eating. Still, even if that lifestyle works for the rest of the year, springtime is the time to get your fresh pea fix. In the spirit of the season, we’ve got quite a few ways for you to put these little green gems to use. Most of these recipes call for the frozen alternative, but you can make your dishes worthy of springtime by swapping in the fresh stuff to your heart’s content.
When a need for pasta salad arises, Ina Garten’s Pasta, Pesto and Peas (pictured above) is the freshest way you can make it. Toss the pasta with homemade pesto and be sure to swap in fresh peas for frozen for that extra pop.
Breakfast for dinner is always a fun way to mix things up, but what about having dessert for breakfast? Besides those few times you ate chocolate cake on a Saturday morning, it’s probably not something you think of often. But with pastries like warm, sticky cinnamon rolls and apple turnovers stuffed with syrupy filling, it’s definitely possible to satisfy your sweet tooth before 10 a.m.
Strawberry Muffins (pictured above)
Make these beauties over the weekend and have a quick breakfast to go during the week. Whether you eat them at room temperature or heat them up with a little pat of butter, they’re sure to give you the right dose of sweetness.
Everyone knows about salmon’s health benefits (salmon is a good source of Omega-3 fats – those are the healthy ones), and about its extreme deliciousness (anyone who’s had grilled salmon, cedar-plank salmon or Buffalo-style salmon knows what I mean). It’s also easy to cook and almost everyone likes it. So why don’t you keep your kitchen stocked with the stuff so you can make salmon any night of the week? Oh, right, because it’s perishable, it takes up a lot of space, and it can be a little pricey.
Or maybe not.
Forget about the soggy, egg-logged pieces of French toast you may be used to, because with the help of these best-ever breakfast recipes, you can turn out a hearty morning meal that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. In terms of flavor in your French toast, that largely comes from the custard in which the bread soaks. While a sweetened vanilla mixture is perhaps the most classic, you can dress up the original to include fresh citrus, like Ina Garten does, or add melted chocolate for next-level richness, as is the case in Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe. Read on below for these how-tos, plus more creative French toast picks.
Challah French Toast — Consider this your ultimate French toast workhouse recipe. Ready to eat in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch breakfast (pictured above) is made with thick-cut challah bread and becomes rich and moist thanks to a soak in a citrus-laced vanilla custard. When it comes to toppings, stick with classic maple syrup, or opt for raspberry preserves and a dusting of sugar — or pile on all three fixings for a decadent finish.
While breakfast for dinner may be part of the usual suppertime routine in many homes, you most likely look to a standard stack of pancakes or a platter of eggs and bacon to get the job done. But the options for morning meals at dinner indeed go beyond the traditional. Think Food Network Kitchen’s cinnamon-scented Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs laced with nutty Gruyère cheese, or the Scrambled Egg Subs (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.
Instead of featuring scrambled eggs alongside toast, this quick-fix recipe has them stuffed inside buttered hot dog buns for a heartier dish. The secret to turning out soft, fluffy scrambled eggs — and not tough, dry ones — is to not overcook the eggs. Here the eggs come together over medium heat, so they’re not scorched right away, and only when they’ve begun to set is it time to add the fresh herbs and melty cheese, like Havarti or Muenster, for over-the-top gooeyness. A handful of fresh scallions in the eggs promises a subtle, welcome bite, while a cool side salad of radishes and celery rounds out the fuss-free meal in a hurry.
Every afternoon was the same at my house: tired kids running around, alternately asking for snacks, playing and fighting. I was distracted in the kitchen trying to get a fresh meal on the table — something that didn’t come out of a sack and something that would nourish us. Then I discovered how to use my freezer to cook dinner.
Now when I’m prepping dinner, I can double (or split) it into two portions, one for now and one for later. Not every recipe will cooperate, but these family-friendly dishes work beautifully for just such a job:
Honey-Mustard Chicken: If you try nothing else, try this one that our kids love. Chicken thighs (or breasts) bake in a simple sweet sauce; double the recipe and throw half into a baking dish for dinner and the other serving into a zip-top bag bound for the freezer. Serve both over your favorite grain to soak up all that juice.
Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables: A one-pot meal brimming with fresh veggies like zucchini, summer squash and peppers sounds perfect for spring, but Giada’s penne goes the extra kid-friendly mile with two kinds of cheeses. Prep the entire recipe and pour into two pans (or double it for large groups); cook one pan and cover the other with foil for the freezer.
From shortcake and pie to fruit salads and parfaits, this ruby-red berry is the star of some classic desserts. While no one can deny the appeal of traditional combinations — like strawberries and rhubarb, or strawberries and whipped cream — this versatile fruit pairs well with infinite other ingredients. Here are a few unexpected flavor combos to help you experience strawberries in a whole new light.