When whimsical dishes like these are on the menu, playing with your food is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. The fun factor will get even the pickiest eaters excited to make these recipes — and eat them! Fortunately for the rest of the family, these meals and snacks are also mighty tasty.
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Watch any episode of Chopped and you’re bound to find one competitor who’s blender-happy — he or she will puree anything, oftentimes most of the basket ingredients, into a dish. Although that isn’t always the best method for impressing the judges, sometimes it works, as in the case of the recipe in this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge. The chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose frozen french fries as the basket ingredient, and they wanted to transform them without the typical frying, so this French Fry and Scallion Soup was born. It’s a comforting potato soup in half the time, because you’ve just skipped the peeling and cubing.
It’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next three weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.
Here are ways you can sneak a little peanut butter into your midday meal: lunch. And don’t forget to check out last week’s breakfast post here.
1. Instead of a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, try it with a touch of peanut butter with Bobby Flay‘s Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Butter recipe (pictured above).
Chicken, burgers, brats and barbecue may be all the rage on Labor Day, but you don’t have to forgo your plans for Meatless Monday on account of the holiday. Celebrate the day with a hearty, satisfying cookout starring tofu instead of traditional meats. If you’ve never before cooked with tofu, know that while its flavor is plain on its own, tofu can easily adopt the bold tastes of marinades, rubs and sauces. Plus, extra-firm tofu is hearty enough to stand up to high heats, so it’s a go-to pick for grilling on this unofficial last day of summer. Try featuring it with barbecue sauce, in tacos or in a next-level take on the classic banh mi sandwich.
Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi (pictured above) is both easy to make and packed with tastes and texture, boasting layer upon layer of earthy mushrooms, fresh produce and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. The secret to flavor in this sandwich lies in the marinade for the mushrooms and tofu, as this sweet and tangy combination features fresh garlic and hoisin sauce. Once the mushrooms are charred and nearly tender, and the tofu slightly smoky, serve them on a toasted roll and finish with a refreshing salad of cool cucumbers and carrots. Be sure to add a mixture of mayonnaise and Sriracha to the roll for a punch of flavor and subtle heat.
Whether you’re craving a treat to pair with your morning cup of coffee or you want to indulge in a comforting dessert, look to doughnuts to satisfy your sweet tooth once and for all. These tried-and-true beauties are endlessly versatile, and while you may have enjoyed them only from the local bakery, they’re indeed possible to master at home. Start with a classic recipe for the batter, then dress up the doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar coatings, rich frostings or simple syrups for dipping. Check out Food Network’s top-five doughnut recipes below to find sweet inspiration from The Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and more Food Network chefs.
5. Apple Cider Doughnuts — Think of these easy-to-make doughnuts as dressed-up versions of the ones you likely enjoyed at the apple orchard. They’re laced with cinnamon and freshly made applesauce, and they boast a sweetened apple cider glaze.
4. Homemade Glazed Doughnuts — Follow The Pioneer Woman’s lead and let the batter chill overnight before frying it into doughnuts and doughnut holes. Once they’re ready, Ree Drummond dips them into a comforting vanilla glaze for tried-and-true results.
When I was a child my grandfather would sometimes barbecue a whole hog to mark the end of summer. He was a honest-to-goodness country boy and knew what he was doing with a pig and a pit. The huge beast was split and slowly cooked on a metal grate set over a pit of gray cement blocks above glowing embers. My grandfather would make a basting mop out of a bent pecan branch and white cotton rags, patiently basting the pig with a potent broth of vinegar and salt, letting heat and smoke slowly transform that pig into our Labor Day feast. My sister, the cousins and I would run around in the nearby yard, begging to stir the coals or add split pieces of oak, absolutely anything to be near this unusual scene that utterly transfixed us. To this day, I can close my eyes and hear the sizzle of the fat as it dripped on the white-hot coals.
It’s almost time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next four weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family. We’re starting with the most-important meal of the day: breakfast.
Nuts rarely make it out of dessert territory, but when you think about the great texture they offer, then you might realize how well they can work in savory preparations, like this recipe in this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge. Hazelnuts are getting their due, chosen by the chefs of Food Network Kitchen as the basket ingredient for this week. Besides the texture, hazelnuts have a sweeter flavor — unlike, say, walnuts or almonds. We’re not saying this recipe will take the place of your favorite jar of hazelnut-chocolate spread, but it might be a dinner contender. The pulverized hazelnuts in this Hazelnut Chicken recipe along with extra-crispy panko breadcrumbs will become your new favorite breading for fried chicken.
Are your kids inspired by the tiny chefs on Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off and the impressive contenders from Chopped Teen Tournament? Then it’s time to let them get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Food Network Kitchen came up with these easy, satisfying and safe dishes to get them started. Everyone (including parents!) will enjoy eating the final products, like these fun Taco Cheeseburgers.
Little kids can help tear the cheese and measure the salsa, while big kids can help shape and season the beef patties and shred the lettuce. Everyone can assemble his or her own taco.
Aside from boiling a pot of water for noodles, pasta doesn’t necessarily require the heat of the stove or oven, as sauces can come together with little more than some stirring or blending. And during the dog days of summer like these, that’s indeed welcome news, on account of the scorching temperatures outside. While pesto may be the most-common no-cook sauce, tomato sauces, too, can be served raw, especially at this time of year when tomatoes are at their ripest — and sweetest.
Melissa d’Arabian lets seasonal tomatoes shine in her recipe for light and fresh Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda (pictured above). The star of this fuss-free supper is a simple yet bold combination of seeded tomatoes, briny olives, salty capers and fragrant mint; after incorporating these go-to ingredients with bright orange zest and olive oil, let their flavors marry for a bit, then top them with just-cooked noodles. The heat of the pasta will gently cook the salsa-like tomato mixture to create a warm, satisfying plate, finished with grated Parmesan for added flavor.