I feel we always discuss the seasons relative to what fruits, vegetables, fish and meat we are buying and eating. But to me, the seasons are just as much about how I feel. I want that blueberry pie in July at the beach and a lentil soup while wearing a fisherman’s sweater in February. One other thing I want this time of year, with pretty much everything and anything, is some béarnaise sauce. It’s a classic with poached eggs, but equally great with French fries, steamed fish, a simple steak or even some raw fennel for dipping. Have you ever tried it with wedges of oven-dried tomatoes? Or a bowl of steamed clams? Tackling a classic, iconic sauce like this at home can be daunting, but it’s really pretty simple and the taste is uniquely delicious. I make it close to when I intend to eat it and keep it by the stove, warm, until ready to serve.
I always learned to make it with clarified butter, but here I make it with gently melted regular butter. This is also a good place to splurge on some nice butter or even a type of butter you have never had before. Something about the eggs with the vinegar and herbs meandering through makes the butter flavors come to life. It almost tastes more like butter than butter by itself!
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Now that fall has officially arrived and the temperatures are starting to dip, it is time to dig into the rich, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that we have gone without all summer long. One of those hearty meals is risotto, an Italian-style rice dish featuring any combination of vegetables, herbs, cheeses and more. If you’ve never made from-scratch risotto, know that it takes a bit more TLC than your average weeknight meal, but that the results, the tender-firm rice, smooth sauce and comforting taste, are well worth the extra few minutes of cooking.
Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom and Squash Risotto is packed with in-season butternut squash, a mix of dried and fresh earthy mushrooms and plenty of nutty Parmesan cheese. The secret to this risotto is the mushroom broth, made by steeping mushrooms in hot water and adding to the liquid a bay leaf and fragrant cinnamon. When the rice is slowly cooked in the broth, it creates a thick, starchy sauce that’s deliciously creamy. Before serving, shower the risotto with additional cheese and season to taste.
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The 2012 Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich, Germany, last week with a parade and ceremonial tapping of the kegs before this two-week-long celebration of all things beer and brats began. While you may not be able to plan a last-minute jaunt to Germany to experience Oktoberfest firsthand, you can bring the festival’s best eats and drinks stateside with Food Network’s Oktoberfest menu inspired by some of the many tents and food halls found throughout the event.
Let’s talk bratwurst, a German sausage and one of the must-have meals at Oktoberfest. Though you can buy this hot dog look-alike already cooked, it’s also sold raw, and is often served alongside potatoes or sauerkraut. Inside the Burtschers Bratwursthüttn tent at Oktoberfest, bratwurst and a host of other sausages are paired with any number of beers. Food Network Magazine’s Bratwurst With Potato Cakes (pictured above) is an easy-to-make meal that celebrates traditional German flavors. Hearty bratwurst is sautéed for just a few minutes and served with crispy sauerkraut-potato cakes and a tangy mixture of mustard and sour cream.
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Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
A baked potato is a Food Network essential for dinner. We got creative by using leftovers in our kitchen refrigerator, and the final products were all relatively healthy, delicious and filling.
First, start with the classic version
Ask someone about their favorite rainy-day meal and chances are they’ll share with you childhood memories of eating tomato soup and grilled cheese on a chilly, drizzling Saturday afternoon. It’s a classic combination in our culture, though it’s one that I didn’t personally try until I got to college.
My parents weren’t trying to deprive me; the truth of the matter is that if they’d tried to serve me tomato soup during my fledgling years, I would have looked at them with absolute horror. I spent the bulk of my first two decades desperately trying to avoid tomatoes in their many forms. They were particularly egregious when raw, but I wasn’t interested in large amounts of any tomato-based substance. Tomato soup would have immediately reduced me to tears.
By the time I was 18, however, and away at school, I was beginning to open up a little to tomatoes. I don’t know if my palate had changed or if I was generally more mature in my approach to food, but slowly I started to understand the tomato’s many virtues.
Now I’m all in when it comes to tomatoes, and I particularly love a good bowl of tomato soup. In my book, there’s no tomato soup recipe better than Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. It’s been my go-to version since I first made it more than eight years ago. It starts by instructing you to roast three pounds of plum tomatoes and finishes with four cups of fresh basil leaves. It is deeply flavorful, and while not as silky smooth as the canned kind, still goes incredibly well with a grilled cheese.
Before you start roasting your tomatoes, read these tips
Butternut squash is a fall favorite. Try one of these top five recipes that are filled with classic autumn flavors from Food Network chefs.
5. Beef and Butternut Squash Stew – This stick-to-your-ribs stew is perfect for a chilly fall day. Lots of chunky vegetables, along with the beef, make it hearty enough for a one-pot meal. Serve with crusty bread alongside.
4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad With Warm Cider Vinaigrette – For a salad full of fall flavors, serve roasted butternut squash on top of baby arugula with a few shavings of nutty Parmesan cheese.
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I’m just a kid at heart. Some of my fondest memories of being a chubby kid were all based on eating junk food. Prepackaged little cakes, movie theater popcorn and candy were my best friends. Cracker Jacks — with its secret little toy — made me very happy. Actually, popcorn anything makes me giggle with delight. I have been known to forgo a meal in order to justify eating a large bucket of salty buttery corn.
Fast-forward to today. Always thinking about my past, I re-create versions of all my favorite childhood treats.
In my new book, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors, on bookshelves in just five days, I toss buttery, salty popcorn with rich melted chocolate and peanuts for a quick, rich and amazing treat (recipe below).
Halloween was (and still is) my favorite holiday. I remember competing with my big brother Steven to see how much candy we could gather. As kids, we would dump overfilled candy-laden plastic pumpkins on to a bed sheet covering the carpet in our living room. At the end of the night, we’d count up all the pieces of candy and, based on sheer volume, declare a winner. Hands down, my favorite was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Mom would let us keep a few and take the extra to work — or so she said.
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Where were you the first time you ate a kale chip? Sitting on the couch watching reruns? Mingling at your foodie friend’s last dinner party? After a lifetime of guilt-inducing potato chip munching, there’s something pretty eye-opening about digging your fists into a bowl of solid kale chips. Salty, crispy and undeniably addictive, each one triggers that same sensation as the potato variety without the, well, bodily consequences.
Now that we’re inching into fall, each leaf of sturdy kale is in season and as pristine as ever. Use this to your advantage. As the weather gets colder and our food gets richer, going with the smart snack is probably a noble choice.
With just a drizzle of olive oil and a crack of sea salt, it’s easy to make homemade kale chips. Trust me, Food Network Magazine’s Kale Chips (pictured above) aren’t rocket science, but if you’re looking to get inventive, we’ve got just the thing for you.
Kale chips come in many forms, just like your favorite bag of potato chips. Accentuate the classically sea-salted with Guy Fieri’s Crispy Kale Chips With Lemon, which adds a shot of citrus and some crushed red pepper. Or churn up a Lemon Mayonnaise that serves as a perfect match for a dip-bound chip.
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Just when you think that there’s no way to improve upon the classic beauty of a traditional grilled cheese sandwich, Sandwich King Jeff Mauro puts his royal spin on this all-American favorite.
Made with in-season produce, richly flavored onions and plenty of cheese, Jeff’s Squash, Manchego and Balsamic-Onion Grilled Cheese (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a next-level sandwich that’s as comforting and deliciously gooey as the original. The secret to this grilled cheese is the balsamic-laced onions. Be sure to let them cook slowly on a low temperature for about 30 minutes so that they can concentrate their taste and become soft and sweet.
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This Sunday night marks one of television’s biggest nights of the year, as the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards air live from Los Angeles. Hollywood’s most popular TV stars will glam up their looks and strut their stuff on the red carpet before taking their seats to find out which actors and shows have achieved outstanding performances on the small screen in the past year.
Even though you may not be in L.A. to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities, you can still cheer them on from the comfort of your living room. Create a camera-free version of the red carpet at your house and host an Emmy-watching party with your friends, complete with a menu of award-winning eats and drinks inspired by your favorite shows. Check out Food Network’s star-studded spread below, then tell us what you’ll be munching on during the Emmys.
Kick off the celebration with a batch of Ina’s pretty-pink Pomegranate Cosmos (pictured above) as a nod to Girls, that show you love to hate. These five-minute cocktails are a girl’s best friend, made with a mixture of vodka, orange liqueur and fruity pomegranate and lime juices. Best of all, you don’t need a shaker to prepare them — just add the ingredients to a pitcher, refrigerate and pour into chilled glasses.
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