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Sweet and Savory Trend: Monkey Bread

by in Recipes, November 19th, 2013

Overnight Monkey BreadLast week we noticed how much Food Network fans loved our monkey bread post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. So to keep this delicious shareable treat trending, we rounded up three more monkey bread recipes for you to snack on, starting with Alton’s Overnight Monkey Bread. Alton makes his buttermilk yeast dough from scratch and slathers it with a buttery brown sugar mixture that’s flecked with rosemary and raisins. Prep this sweet and savory stunner the night before a big holiday brunch and you’ll have a stress-free and satisfying pastry ready in no time the next morning.

Sticky Monkey Bread: Food Network Magazine’s recipe boasts a thick homemade caramel sauce that oozes between each ball of dough. Spiked with dark rum, the caramel sauce forms a crackly outer crust and mingles perfectly with a layer of toasted nuts.

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Italian Eggplant Gnocchi Bake — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 18th, 2013

Italian Eggplant Gnocchi BakeFor most, the goal come dinnertime is to serve your family a healthy, satisfying meal, something that offers a main element plus a vegetable side or salad. But between limited time to shop for ingredients and the need to get food on the table quickly, offering a complete, well-rounded meal can be difficult. Enter the all-in-one dinner. Boasting built-in vegetables, it’s easy to serve your kids a hefty portion of nutrition for the night, as it’s already incorporated. Stir-fries are timeless one-pan suppers that can be customized to whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand, as are casseroles, which often come complete with every element of the meal.

Food Network Kitchens offer a family-friendly casserole that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight with their recipe for Italian Eggplant Gnocchi Bake (pictured above). While homemade gnocchi can be tedious to prepare, especially on school nights, store-bought gnocchi promises convenience without sacrificing flavor. Pick up a package to star in this 55-minute dinner, laced with tender sauteed eggplant, prepared roasted garlic tomato sauce and just a pinch of red pepper flakes for subtle heat. Once the ingredients have been combined, cover them with a layer of creamy provolone cheese and bake the casserole for just a few minutes until the cheese becomes deliciously gooey and golden brown.

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Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 15th, 2013

Cauliflower Mac N Cheese - The WeekenderWhen I was growing up, macaroni and cheese was a very special treat. The only time the boxed version made an appearance at our table was on the rare occasion when my parents went out in the evening and left us with a baby sitter. The sitter was given strict instructions to serve it with carrot sticks and glasses of milk, which dampened the joy of dayglow pasta just a little.

It wasn’t until I went away to college that I discovered two things about macaroni and cheese: It is dead simple to make from scratch, and if you stir in some kind of vegetable in with the pasta, you can call it a complete meal.

Once I was living off-campus and had a real kitchen at my disposal, I had my way with the world of mac and cheese. My roommates and I made cheesy shells with cheese, stirred ribbons of zucchini in with leftover spaghetti noodles, and we even did a batch of smoked salmon and cream cheese mac and cheese once for a brunch potluck. They were all tasty dishes that left me with a healthy respect for the power of cooked pasta and a quick batch of cheese sauce.

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Reinvent a Middle Eastern Classic with Turkey for a Spin on Tradition

by in Recipes, Shows, November 13th, 2013

Sausage FalafelChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week’s Chopped: Thanksgiving episode, the competitors found turkey sausage, rutabaga, green bean casserole and honey-baked ham in their appetizer round baskets. Nearly each competitor decided to make a hash with the ingredients, and most succeeded, except for one, whose execution suffered. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is turkey sausage, which is an ingredient that’s great cooked on its own but even better when it’s taken out of the casing and incorporated with other ingredients to make an entirely new dish, like this Sausage Falafel with Romaine and Yogurt Sauce. This variation on a Middle Eastern classic is a great way to introduce your family to different flavors and cultures.

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Vegetarian Sides for Thanksgiving — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 11th, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy ShallotsWhether you’re planning to prepare an entire vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving or you’ll be cooking for just a few meatless eaters amid demanding carnivores this year, it can be tricky to keep the entire table happy. After all, the centerpiece of most Turkey Day dinners is the juicy, crispy-skinned bird, and if you remove the turkey, you’ll want to replace it with something equally hearty and comforting. The key to pleasing both meat eaters and vegetarians alike on Thanksgiving is offering an array of satisfying side dishes, as they’re a naturally must-have element of the feast that nearly every guest will crave. Most traditional sides, like mashed potatoes, casseroles and stuffings, are naturally vegetarian, and if they’re not, they can be made meatless simply by swapping in vegetable broth or stock for the chicken variety. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving sides below to find easy-to-prepare classic recipes worthy of the fall feast.

Combining the freshness of vegetables with the stick-to-your-ribs comfort of the holiday, green bean casserole is a timeless Thanksgiving pick, and Ellie’s lightened-up version — Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots from Food Network Magazine (pictured above) — proves to be light and meatless without sacrificing flavor. She mixes string beans and garlic-thyme mushrooms into a thick sauce with nutty Parmesan cheese, then bakes the casserole with sweet fried shallots until the top is golden brown.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Stuffings

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 6th, 2013

Sourdough Bread StuffingSecond perhaps only to the centerpiece turkey on Thanksgiving, stuffings and dressings are some of the most-craved and comforting dishes on your Turkey Day table. Whether you stuff your bird or not, these bread-based casseroles are both simple to prepare and versatile enough that you can suit them to your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand. If you’re cooking for a few vegetarians this year, a naturally meatless stuffing will surely please them and your meat-eating guests alike. And if you happen to find yourself with a few extra carrots or celery stalks, put them to good use in a stuffing, as vegetables of all kinds work well with nearly all types of bread bakes. Check out Food Network’s top-five stuffings below to find celebration-worthy recipes that you’ll want to add to your Thanksgiving menu.

5. Homemade Three-Meat Stuffing — Packed with chopped hard-boiled eggs, bell peppers and olives, this pork-, beef- and sausage-based stuffing boasts more meat than it does white bread and will feed up to a whopping 14 people.

4. Holiday Cornbread Stuffing — Follow the Neelys’ lead and take advantage of a deliciously simple shortcut: store-bought cornbread stuffing mix. Pat and Gina combine this ready-to-go good with crispy bacon and crunchy pecans for texture, plus fresh vegetables and herbs to round out the dish.

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Spiced Coconut Pot Pies for Cold-Weather Comfort

by in Recipes, Shows, November 6th, 2013

Curried Pot PiesChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week’s Chopped: Redemption, four former competitors returned to the Chopped kitchen to try their luck again with mystery basket ingredients. In the dessert round, two chefs faced off and cooked with bubble tea, papaya, coconut butter and chocolate-covered bananas. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is coconut butter, which takes a savory turn in this recipe for Curried Pot Pies. Serve these personal-size pies to your family for a comforting dinner on a chilly fall day.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 4th, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash LasagnaWhile some vegetarian lasagnas consist of little more than pasta with everyday tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, there are indeed ways to dress up the family-friendly casserole to take advantage of bold flavors and seasonal ingredients. Instead of traditional marinara sauce, for example, experiment with no-cook pesto or a creamy cheese sauce, and incorporate fresh produce like good-for-you cauliflower, earthy mushrooms or bell peppers for added taste and texture. Food Network Magazine follows suit in its top-rated recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (pictured above), a hearty pasta bake made with in-season squash and comforting bechamel sauce.

The trick to making this lasagna lies in its assembly. After roasting butternut squash with onions until it’s sweet and tender, begin building the layers of ingredients: first, a sage-laced cream sauce, then noodles, more sauce, a trio of Italian cheeses and finally the prepared veggies. This pattern will continue until the casserole dish is nearly overflowing with fall-fresh flavors and rich cheesiness, at which point you can bake the lasagna until it’s warm, bubbly and browned on top. Once the lasagna is cooked, it’s best to let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving; this will help the sauce thicken and ensures that the pasta keeps its shape instead of oozing out when sliced.

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Waffle It: 12 Favorite Foods Totally Transformed with a Waffle Iron

by in Recipes, November 1st, 2013

Waffle obsession is upon us. It started when Leah Brickley, a Food Network Kitchens’ recipe developer, made French toast in a waffle iron. It was so good, with the perfect ratio of crispy and crunchy to creamy and eggy, that FoodNetwork.com’s editors questioned why waffling isn’t the standard method of preparing French toast. Why isn’t this on brunch menus across the country? We wondered. And then: What else can we waffle?

Waffle mania ensued. Sure, there were some misses — which we’ll share with you in a later post — but Leah and team came up with a dozen waffled recipes that just might best the originals (you should have seen the Iron Chef America crew, passing by tastings and doing double-takes at the creations). Check the waffles out in our gallery, then break out the waffle maker to make these awesomely easy (and quick!) breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. Happy waffling!

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Reasons to Love Quince

by in Recipes, October 31st, 2013

Reasons to Love QuinceIn The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan posits that some plants beguile us into domesticating them. Apples, tulips, potatoes — they appeal, Michael claims, to fundamental human needs, and so we propagated them, ensuring their survival. They are ubiquitous now not by chance, but by design, both ours and theirs.

Quince, it seems, missed this evolutionary mandate. In fact, quince seems to have taken the opposite tack, stubbornly refusing to play nicely with modern cooks. Always pressed for time, if we cook at all, we’re unlikely to choose a fruit that cannot be eaten raw — it tastes like a mealy, sour apple. They can be difficult to peel, harder to cut and noncommittal about cooking times — 20 minutes one day, it seems, an hour another (yet mine, though slightly underripe, cooked pretty quickly).

But we genuinely think quince will indeed make you happy once you give it a try. We made our recipes as easy as possible. (Honestly, look at other recipes online. Once you tackle finding and prepping the quince, it demands very little in the way of special ingredients or fancy technique — stewing, baking, roasting, some sugar, some alcohol, maybe some spices.)

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