This week the contestants on Chopped Junior were faced with some interesting beverage ingredients in the mystery baskets, like cream soda in the appetizer round and horchata for dessert. In case you’re not familiar with horchata, it’s a super-refreshing Mexican drink that is made from rice, sugar and cinnamon. The rice is soaked in water and then blended with sugar and sometimes almonds into a very fine pulp. It’s then strained, mixed with water and served chilled, usually over ice.
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Craving both cookies and pie? A classic crumb bar is just what you need! It’s got a tender, sweet cookie base, real fruit filling and a chewy crumb topping. More portable than pie and more satisfying than a cookie, I’d say a crumb bar with a tall glass of milk would even make a pretty good breakfast (if there were any leftovers from the day before, that is!). Read more
Even if you have lofty ambitions for a healthier 2016, a decadent splurge is OK every once in a while. Everything in moderation, we say. Our only provision: Make sure it’s insanely tasty. If you broke your resolution for a stale doughnut or a sad hamburger, was it really worth it? Here’s our list of splurgeworthy treats that you’ll love and won’t feel guilty about (they’re too good!). So go ahead and treat yourself.
You might have the willpower to skip the shortstack swimming in maple syrup, but it’s nearly impossible to say no to sprinkle-speckled birthday pancakes with cream cheese frosting. Don’t even try.
When you take away the meat from a sandwich, you want to be left with more than just a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread to guarantee a hearty sandwich. Fresh vegetables, bold spreads and a mix of textures are all key to turning out a satisfying meal, and Food Network Magazine’s Portobello-Chickpea Wraps deliver on all fronts.
In place of a beefy filling, this easy-to-make recipe stars earthy portobello mushrooms, which become tender and full of concentrated flavor when roasted with sweet onions and herbs. Roll them up in a lavash with a smear of smashed chickpeas and tangy balsamic vinegar, plus a duo of creamy cheeses and peppery arugula, then quickly bake the wraps so the bread toasts and the cheese turns gooey. To keep the meal simple and fresh, round out the sandwich with a quick-fix salad of simply dressed arugula, juicy tomatoes and more chickpeas.
Sometimes recipes billed as one-pot meals can mislead you. With most pasta dishes, for instance, sure, you can make the sauce from start to finish in one pot and then stir in the cooked pasta, but you’ve still got to boil the pasta somewhere, and that somewhere is another pot that needs to be cleaned. Then you need to strain the pasta – does a colander count as a third pot? Sigh.
Thus we bring you the true one-pot pasta dinner. This revolutionary method of pasta preparation allows you to skip the separate boiling and throw the dry noodles right into a pot with the other ingredients. As it cooks, the pasta’s starch helps the sauce thicken simultaneously. Food Network Kitchen created a version with fresh tomato sauce and a spin on classic mac and cheese, both with magical results. Try one for yourself tonight and you may never bother with two-pot pasta again. Read more
You never really outgrow Tater Tots. The fried shredded potato balls are french fries’ crispier, fluffier cousins, and they’re hard not to love. So the next time you pass them in the freezer aisle, treat yourself. Grab a bag and turn the crunchy potato snack into some serious party grub.
The January/February issue of Food Network Magazine includes five amazing reimagined dishes featuring Tater Tots. Even Tot haters (yes, they exist) approved all the dishes. You can find them below, along with other genius recipes developed in our kitchen.
Top fried shredded potatoes with bacon, cheddar and a drizzle of spicy Sriracha mayonnaise and friends and family will hardly need any convincing. Make this dish for game day or serve it for dinner — you can’t go wrong.
While chicken breasts often steal the fuss-free-dinner show, there’s another star piece of chicken that’s deserving of the spotlight: chicken thighs. Not only does this cut of chicken turn out moist and juicy every time, but it’s also an economical one to buy, which the co-hosts of The Kitchen dished about on this morning’s Savor the Savings episode. When grilling season returns in the summer, it doesn’t take much more than simple seasonings and a quick char to guarantee flavorful chicken thighs. But when the weather isn’t so sunny, stick with Katie Lee’s and Geoffrey Zakarian’s anytime recipes below for bold results.
Ready to eat in a hurry, Katie’s Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry (pictured above) features the packaged ramen noodles you know and love — but dressed up. In place of the usual seasoning packets, which she simply discards, Katie relies on a double-duty mixture of soy sauce, grated ginger and a splash of white wine vinegar to deliver tangy results. This bold mixture will be both the marinade for the chicken and the base of the sauce for this fuss-free stir-fry, which Katie serves with cool lime wedges and Sriracha for a punch of heat.
If there was ever a secret weapon in the kitchen, your trusty slow cooker is it. With its ability to transform tough, often cheaper meats into tender, fall-apart mains of greatness, it’s no wonder that this hands-off cooking vessel is a wintertime staple. The key to using a slow cooker to its utmost potential is setting it all up in the morning, letting it do its thing and coming home later to a full-fledged, perfectly executed meal. Simply clear some space on your countertop, prep your ingredients and crank on that slow heat for delicately cooked, no-fork-necessary preparations for pork, beef, chicken and turkey.
Ingredients like brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika and tomato paste make Food Network Magazine’s Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches the easiest way to get the coleslaw-topped sandwich favorite even in the dead of winter. Cooked low and slow for hours on end, pork shoulder gains all the quintessentially smoky vibes of barbecue without ever entering an actual smoker. For more takes on slow-cooker pork, pile it into tortillas for Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos or make your own slowly cooked meat for homemade Cuban sandwiches.
Hitting the mountain this season? Getting ready for a day of skiing or snowboarding can be more grueling and time-consuming than the act itself, with having to track down gloves and goggles and standing in line for rentals and tickets, not to mention breaking a sweat yanking on the godforsaken boots. The pre-skiing morning can be so jam-packed that you might forget to pin down lunch, meaning your ski break will undoubtedly entail overpriced, fried foods that’ll weigh you down for your afternoon runs. This winter, do things a little differently by packing easy-to-make, energizing foods that’ll get you back on the mountain fueled up and ready to go, with a few extra dollars in your wallet to boot.
Amp up the comfort factor of your go-to pasta suppers by doing more than boiling water and tossing the finished product in sauce. These colder-weather months call for baked pasta recipes — and lots of ‘em — to get you through the winter. Pile your next pasta dish into a casserole dish, top it off with cheese and let it all come to bubbling, crispy-on-top heights in the oven. These five stick-to-your-ribs baked pasta dinners prove that the final baking step takes your pasta favorites over the edge.
It’s no surprise that Baked Ziti is one of the first baked pasta dishes to come to mind. Loaded up with meat (this time, ground beef and sausage), tomato sauce and a three-cheese combo (Parmesan, ricotta and mozzarella), Ree Drummond’s cheesy and kid-friendly casserole has everything you’d want, all in one dish.