Bananas are one of the most-versatile ingredients out there. Of course ripe bananas make a satisfying snack all on their own (even better with some peanut butter). They’re a key smoothie element and a favorite topping for hot or cold cereal, and once they’re speckled and overripe, banana bread comes calling. But that’s just a slice of what bananas can do. Food Network Kitchen used bananas plus two other simple ingredients in five genius recipes that transform the all-purpose fruit into entirely new dishes. Watch the video to see how to make these ridiculously simple and fun banana treats. Read more
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Across the country in recent years there’s been a renaissance of all things Southern, and chefs everywhere from New York City to Portland are offering Southern dishes in their restaurants, cafes and food trucks. Some are more successful than others. Topping grits with pimiento cheese or coating chicken in red velvet crumbs doesn’t make something Southern. Yes, there is a lot of Southern food that is fried, but Southern food is about more than just fried chicken and fatback. Traditionally, Southern cooking was actually a vegetable-based cuisine. We have nearly a 12-month growing season in most of the South. This is the fertile land of peaches, green beans, tomatoes, okra and corn. My newest cookbook celebrates the healthy and wholesome side of Southern cooking. Here, I am sharing with you a handful of iconic Southern ingredients and delicious ways to use them, from my newest cookbook, Lighten Up, Y’all! Read more
No need to order takeout when it’s easier — and cheaper — to make your own. Thinking Thai? Try my take on Curry Mee. Translation? Asian comfort food in a bowl. My recipe for coconut chicken noodle soup spiced with curry will soothe your Thai cravings — and you’ll have dinner ready in less time than it takes to wait for the doorbell to ring. Mexican sound good tonight? My spicy chipotle shrimp with arroz verde is so good you may never dream of ordering in again.
You may think of plastic-wrapped trays of chicken breasts as the most-boring item in your supermarket’s refrigerated section, but perhaps that view is on the stunted side. This week we’re running down the line of our favorite chicken comfort foods, pitting classic recipes against new creative takes. With fresh spins on chicken pot pie, chicken piccata and more, it’s safe to say that good ol’ chicken breast has a whole lot more to offer than you might think.
1. Chicken Pot Pie
Classic Comfort: Odds are, you’ve plunged a spoon into a dough-topped chicken pot pie to scoop up the decadent, creamy chicken-and-veggie filling. Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie (pictured above) is the most-classic recipe of them all, complete with a from-scratch pastry dough topping that comes out of the oven golden.
Chicken pot pie may get most of the credit for being a savory twist on a classically sweet idea (fruit filling + buttery crust), but shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie, as it’s sometimes known — can play the meaty pie game too. Instead of a biscuit or pastry crust like the chicken version, however, traditional shepherd’s pie is topped with … wait for it … a thick blanket of creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Combined with the warm and hearty filling featuring ground meat and bright vegetables, these hefty potatoes guarantee comfort food. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five takes on this satisfying supper from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Alton Brown and Melissa d’Arabian.
5. Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie — The secret to this fuss-free recipe is opting for frozen potato tots in place of the usual mashed potato topping. “Using potato tots instead not only saves you time but makes for a crispy topping that’s a nice contrast to the beef filling,” the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain.
4. Melissa’s Shepherd’s Pie — Boasting layer upon layer of flavor, Melissa’s bacon-laced beef filling is simmered in a bold beer broth before being topped with tangy garlic mashed potatoes and gooey cheese.
If a Jew has ever been jealous of a Christmas tree or an Easter egg hunt, think of Purim as the time the tables are turned. It’s the holiday that hinges on fun — and lots of it. Treated as the Jewish equivalent of Halloween, when you pull on a costume and take part in all kinds of, ahem, “revelry,” Purim marks a celebration of the Jews rising above the villainous ruler Haman during biblical times. Beyond all the partying, ringing in this holiday also calls for the baking of Hamentaschen: triangular pastries filled with traditional poppy seeds or jam. The name harks back to Haman himself, and each doughy pastry signifies the corners of his hat (or, depending on whom you talk to, his ears or his pockets).
Whether you’re Jewish or not, fold up your own filled cookies in honor of this joyous holiday, and remember that the custom of gifting food (mishloach manot) is a big one on Purim, so bake enough for fellow revelers — or co-workers, teachers and friends.
It’s no surprise that salads sometimes get a bad rap for being boring; after all, a plate of lettuce and a drizzle of dressing isn’t exactly a satisfying meal. The key to making a salad, especially a meatless one, hearty is layering flavors and textures. While traditional mixed greens are a go-to pick for lettuce, try swapping in arugula or endive to experiment with new tastes, then pair them with bold mix-ins like fresh vegetables and filling proteins, like eggs or nuts. When it comes to dressing, ditch the bottled stuff in favor of a DIY mixture — most vinaigrettes come together in mere minutes with ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Food Network Magazine’s Grapefruit-Arugula Salad (pictured above) is full of color and crunch, as it’s brimming with peppery greens, plus fresh celery and endive for a mix of crispness. While fresh grapefruit segments promise a refreshing bite, the next-level walnuts, baked with a cumin-brown sugar coating, offer a welcome smoky sweetness and a hefty crunch to round out the meal. Before serving, toss the salad with a creamy yogurt-based vinaigrette laced with lemon juice for even more citrus flavor.
There are four small kids in my house right now, and I’m going to make dinner for all of them. Like I do (nearly) every night. But in order to make all these fresh meals, the ones that the kids like, that my husband enjoys and that I feel good about serving, there are going to be some shortcuts made. Like there are (nearly) every night. Here are a few of my secrets for getting it all done.
1. Use That Netflix Subscription to Your Full Advantage: There is no shame in putting on a video for the kids while you cook dinner. That gives you 22 minutes to get something accomplished while the kids bliss out. Tip: Just be clear ahead of time about how MANY videos or how LONG they’ll be watching. My kids go crazy if they think I’m pulling the plug prematurely. The last thing you want to start dinner with is mutiny.
2. Repurpose Leftovers with Confidence: On the incredulity scale, “This again?” is about a 9.5 at the dinner table. There’s also this: As a food blogger I’m constantly testing new recipes. Sometimes things are a hit, and sometimes they’re not. Either way, I love having a second life planned out for dinners like London broil (which later becomes a pot of beef stew), roasted chicken (which shows up again in a casserole) or meatballs that start out on pasta and end up on sub sandwiches. Sometimes the second time is a charm.
You don’t need to speak with a delightful drawl or live in a house with a wraparound porch to tuck into some serious Southern comfort. In fact, Trisha Yearwood’s Southern Comfort Potluck menu should be next up on your roster no matter where you call home. Complete with a few unexpected twists, these down-home favorites are notable for their convenience — and then some. Let us list the ways!
Almost nothing is off-limits when I bake. I let my mind go in many places and see where it lands. Often, it’s in the freezer.