We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2012, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today, we’re exploring plums.
Nothing says summer like plump plums, bursting with juicy sweetness at every bite. From yellow to green to red to purple, hundreds of plum varieties exist and it’s hard to resist enjoying them straight from the market. But when they do happen to make their way into your kitchen, uneaten, a plum-stained dessert is the perfect way to impress your friends and family any night of the week.
Before you get cooking, be sure to choose plums that give slightly to palm pressure, avoiding cracks, soft spots or brown discolorations.
Hosting a barbecue? Finish on a sweet note with easy-to-make grilled plums. Try Bobby’s Grilled Plums With Spiced Walnut Yogurt or Rachael’s Balsamic Glazed Grilled Plums With Vanilla Ice Cream. Either way, grilled plums — and grilled fruits of all kinds — will quickly become a summer staple.
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“Knee-high by the Fourth of July.” That’s the saying farmers go by when they’re judging the success of their corn crops. Well July Fourth has come and gone, which means it’s high time to enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ labor.
Though nothing is better than picking up a sweet corncob and chomping into as the warm butter drips down your chin, there are other ways to cook and enjoy this summertime classic. Pair corn off the cob with in-season ingredients and let it shine among other fresh, simple flavors. Check out three of Food Network’s favorite corn-based recipes below, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy corn.
Food Network Magazine’s summer-fresh pasta of Pappardelle With Corn (pictured above) is a light but satisfying dinner that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. To prepare the sauce, sauté sweet grape tomatoes with butter, garlic and tender corn kernels, then toss with pappardelle noodles — long, flat, wide ribbon-shaped pasta — and add fragrant scallions, nutty Parmesan cheese and basil. The recipe calls for chicken broth, but you can substitute vegetable in order to maintain a meatless meal.
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This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and the star of this weekend’s spread is a selection of sweet fruit cobblers.
Light, warm and oozing with fresh flavor, cobblers are like pie’s younger sibling — they boast a tender fruit center and buttery pastry topping, but they’re far quicker and easier to prepare, as they don’t depend on the rolling of finicky dough. In fact, most cobbler toppings are made by simply dropping a crumbly flour-butter mixture atop the filling. Though you can make cobblers with whatever fruit is your favorite, we’re particularly excited about summertime varieties that celebrate the best tastes of the season. Check out Food Network’s top five fruit cobblers below, each a winning addition to your weekend cookout menu.
5. Mixed Berry Cobbler – A bit of orange zest helps to brighten the flavors of the berries without adding an overly citrus taste.
4. Blueberry and Nectarine Cobbler – Food Network Kitchens mixes in a dash of instant tapioca to its filling to offset the juice of ripe berries and prevent a soggy dessert.
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This Saturday marks France’s answer to the Fourth of July, Bastille Day. If you can’t make it to Paris to catch the fireworks over the Seine, unleash your inner Francophile at home with a French-inspired feast. Some of our favorite classics — like cheesy onion soup and rich beef bourguignon — don’t exactly lend themselves to balmy July temperatures, but our Food Network stars have plenty of summer-appropriate recipes with French flair.
Ina Garten, who has an apartment in Paris, loves to put her own spin on the dishes she enjoys there, like this Zucchini Gratin from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook. Melissa d’Arabian, whose husband is French, creates lots of recipes inspired by France that always have her no-fuss, affordable touch. Bobby Flay trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, so even though he’s the king of all-American burgers and anything grilled, many of his recipes are rooted in France.
Mix and match some of their French-inspired favorites
My mother hates barbecue sauce. She won’t touch it on ribs, chicken or burgers, and can’t bear even the faintest whiff of barbecue potato chips. Her dislike is actually a point of contention in my parents’ marriage, since my father adores the stuff and once even went so far as to invest in a friend’s sauce company.
Ever the peacemaker, I’ve spent my adulthood searching out ways to create tasty grilled chicken that makes my entire family happy (in recent years, I’ve also had to work my husband’s distaste for dark meat into the chicken equation). It has to be entirely unrelated to a traditional ‘cue sauce while still being flavorful enough to turn my dad’s head away from his beloved Mr. Brown’s.
To that end, I’ve made batches of yogurt-marinated chicken breasts, a mountain of teriyaki chicken legs and even whole birds bathed in olive oil, lemon juice and rosemary and cooked under a clean cast-iron skillet.
Always on the lookout for ways to keep our summer cookouts interesting, when I spotted Bobby Flay’s recipe for Red Chile Buttermilk Chicken, I had a feeling it would be another variation that could potentially please the hearts and minds of my many persnickety family members. He has you whisk a number of spices into four cups of buttermilk, pour it over a bunch of chicken pieces and then let it sit for a while in the fridge. Once on the grill, the chicken pieces are cooked indirectly until just cooked through. The finished chicken is intensely moist and tender, nicely flavorful and shockingly easy. Plan a cookout and make it your Weekender soon.
Before you marinate your chicken, read these tips
The beginning of summer means a few things, but maybe the most important is that it’s the beginning of backyard barbecues and potluck parties.
I’m sure quite a few of you are hosting parties this summer and even more of you are planning to attend some fun soirees like graduation parties, birthday parties and classic Sunday suppers. I don’t know about you, but I love showing up to a party with something delicious in hand. And that something delicious has to also be something that can handle a trip in the car to a friend’s house in the summer heat.
One of my go-to potluck style dishes is this Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Ellie Krieger. The original recipe calls for almonds, but I like to give it a nice salty kick and replace the almonds with feta. It gives the dip a smooth and creamy consistency, which makes it perfect for some serious pita chip dipping. Not to mention it’s easy to bring to a friend’s house, and I can promise that your friends will become addicted to this dip as I am — they’ll be begging you for the recipe.
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Similar to a calzone, sandwich pockets consist of a light, delicate dough that’s filled with any number of sweet or savory combinations and baked in the oven. Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets (pictured above) are an easy, cheesy dinner solution that can be made in just 35 minutes. To prepare, roll out store-bought bread dough, stuff with a vegetarian mixture of blanched broccoli, sour cream, shredded cheddar and chives, and then bake until the pastry is crispy and golden brown. Check out this step-by-step photo gallery to find out the best way to fold the dough and prevent ingredient leakage. These hand-held beauties are a sure-fire way to get picky eaters to enjoy veggies, so try experimenting with other good-for-you fillings.
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This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s dishes are all about seafood.
One of the easiest pieces of seafood to grill, salmon is a versatile, healthful fish that requires little cooking or prep time. It’s sturdy and firm enough that it won’t fall apart on the grill, yet it’s tender, flaky and mild in flavor. To make Food Network Magazine’s Moroccan Grilled Salmon(pictured above), marinate center-cut salmon fillets in a yogurt-garlic-cumin mixture and cook them for just a few minutes on each side. The plain yogurt will keep the fish moist and add subtle richness to its taste. Serve this dish with an Italian-style starter of crispy fried squid and a side of Crab Boil Potato Salad (pictured right), made with in-season corn, succulent crabmeat and fresh lemon juice, to complete your seafood spread.
Get the entire menu
When I was 7 years old, my parents’ best friends opened a frozen yogurt business. Their store took plain yogurt and swirled in different fruits, bits of candy and sauces to make your ideal frozen treat. To a kid, having this kind of access to dessert was magical, and my sister and I would regularly beg to be taken to the shop on weekends and summer evenings (where they’d give us extra toppings and overflowing cups of yogurt).
Sadly, the flow of frozen yogurt soon ended when my family moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore. Not only did we leave our friends’ shop behind, the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest wasn’t nearly as welcoming to frozen yogurt as Southern California; frozen yogurt suddenly became quite hard to come by.
Still, thanks to that early conditioning, I’ve had a lifelong affinity for frozen yogurt. I’ve enjoyed the recent resurgence of shops selling the stuff in six or eight flavors, but I always wonder exactly what they’re putting in there to make it taste just like white chocolate or strawberries and cream.
Recently, with these concerns about what I was eating, I decided to try my hand at making my own frozen yogurt. I dug around for a recipe that used simple ingredients and found this one for Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from the Neelys. It features Greek yogurt, blueberries, lemon juice and just enough sugar to cut the tartness. It’s so tasty, it takes me right back to the frozen yogurt of my childhood and is perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start blending your berries, read these tips
Peanut butter and jelly. Spaghetti and meatballs. Burgers and fries. Some things are just better together, including tomatoes and mozzarella. Whether you enjoy them atop pizza, with pasta, on a sandwich or in a salad, there’s no denying that ripe, juicy tomatoes and creamy, smooth mozzarella cheese complement each other perfectly. This summer, take advantage of in-season from-the-vine tomatoes and prepare them in a classic style: caprese.
Italian caprese salads are most traditionally eaten raw, with just a handful of uncooked ingredients: slices of sweet tomatoes and smooth mozzarella cheese, hand-torn basil, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s a rustic dish but one that shines when you use the freshest ingredients. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s best five caprese salad-inspired recipes, each a unique twist on the classic dish. Check them out below, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy tomatoes and mozzarella.
5. The Neelys’ Caprese Tart – Gina and Pat arrange slices of tomatoes and mozzarella atop pesto-brushed puff pastry and bake it for just 15 minutes to create a fuss-free appetizer.
4. Baked Panzanella Caprese – Transform the seasonal panzanella salad into Giada’s warm, baked plate by layering slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, tangy balsamic and chopped garlic and topping with thick-cut bread.
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