Trisha Yearwood entertains family and friends in her backyard all summer long. The Grammy winner is a pro at making big-batch recipes that will feed a hungry crowd. From ribs to chicken, follow her easy solutions for summer recipes that’ll be sure to satisfy your group.
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When I was a young reader, one of my favorite series of books was the one by Maud Hart Lovelace. It featured the characters Betsy, Tacy and Tib in the early days of the 20th century. The books started when the girls were just 5 years old and went straight through to the early days of their respective marriages.
In those later books, Tacy tells Betsy that she should have a “company meal” to avoid stress when having friends over for dinner. While much about this series might be seen as charmingly dated, I actually think that the concept of a well-practiced and delicious meal designed for sharing is a good one.
During the winter months, my personal company meal features chicken and ricotta meatballs, braised kale and some cheesy polenta. Either I ask my dinner companions to pick up something for dessert or I bake off some of the cookie dough I keep in my freezer.
That all changed once I took them a step further, beyond the reheat-and-eat approach. I cooked more white rice than expected one night, and discovered a few days later that cold, cooked rice is the best kind to use for making a tastier homemade version of Chinese takeout.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient catfish. They determined that its sweet, flaky flesh was perfect for frying, and in this case, the fish doesn’t get fried in just any kind of breading. Using pulverized corn tortillas in this Tortilla-Crusted Catfish Po’ Boys recipe is not only a good use for leftover tortillas from taco night, but also a great way to add lots of texture, more than you could ever get from breadcrumbs. A mixture of buttermilk and Cajun-seasoned flour functions as the glue. Serving the catfish as po’ boy sandwiches is the perfect Southern twist and a great way to enjoy a fun meal with the family.
It’s no secret that chicken breasts are perhaps the ultimate ingredient workhorses: They do double duty between lunch and dinner, afford themselves to easily reheated leftovers, stand up to nearly every cooking style and pair well with the flavors of countless cuisines. Because this culinary superstar is so versatile, it’s a blank canvas that can be customized to your family’s favorite tastes and whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. But chicken breasts are also easy to deem bland, which is why it’s important to dress them up so they take on the bold flavors of marinades, spice rubs, sauces and toppings. Check out Food Network’s top-five chicken breast dishes below to find classic and creative picks from Guy, Ina, Bobby, Melissa and Rachael.
5. Chicken Breasts with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives — Guy makes a pocket within each of his chicken breasts and stuffs them with Mediterranean-inspired flavors before finishing them with a lemon-sun-dried tomato sauce and crumbled feta cheese.
4. Lemon Chicken Breasts — With a five-star rating and more than 500 user reviews, Ina’s fail-proof chicken is baked in a succulent mixture of lemon juice, white wine and herbs. Perhaps best of all, it’s a good-for-you meal that can be ready to eat in only one hour.
While burgers, hot dogs and barbecue may be classic picks on Memorial Day, there’s no reason to forgo a Meatless Monday today, as it’s indeed possible to enjoy the tradition of grilling without indulging in meat. The secret is to swap in a different hearty ingredient in place of the usual beef, chicken or pork. Enter cauliflower. Every bit as hefty as a hunk of meat, cauliflower stands up well to high-temperature cooking, so it can be cooked on the grill, and it’s a natural pairing for bold flavors, which makes it easy to dress up with spice rubs and seasonings. Plus, if you slice a head of cauliflower into thick-cut steaks instead of tiny florets, the results are satisfying enough to be served as a main dish for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for Grilled Cauliflower Steak with Israeli Couscous and Olives (pictured above) is an all-in-one dish that’s both simple to make in a hurry and packed with plenty of tastes and textures. The key to this recipe is the harissa-olive oil mixture that’s rubbed onto the cauliflower before cooking; the warm spice infuses the vegetable as it cooks, and what results is tender, smoky cauliflower every time. Because the cauliflower cooks in throwaway foil wrapping, cleaning up the grill is a cinch. Serve the vegetable with a simple side of lemon-ginger couscous studded with raisins and tangy feta cheese, and finish each plate with green olives and a squeeze of bright lemon juice.
With the unofficial start of summer just days away, it’s officially time to head outside and take advantage of warmer temperatures, and for many, that means moving the cooking and eating to the outdoors. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared go-to tips for packing easy picnics, explaining that that these meals don’t have to be elaborate to be enjoyable. All it takes is a little planning and, of course, fuss-free foods to pull off a memorable celebration.
As you start planning your first outdoor meal of the season, FN Dish wants to know: What do you consider the one must-have plate at your picnic? Do you prefer simple finger foods like meat-and-cheese platters, just as the co-hosts do, or do you opt for heartier fare like juicy fried chicken? Is it all about the sides, like potato and pasta salads, or do you reach for the sweet treats alone? Cast your vote in the poll below, then read on to find some of Food Network’s favorite picnic essentials.
If there is any one point that marks the beginning of the backyard barbecue season, it has to be Memorial Day. The official start of summer may be the solstice on June 21, but summer really starts Memorial Day weekend. It’s the kickoff of afternoons spent tending burgers and ribs on the grill, enjoying lazy picnics in the park — before it gets too hot — and supper under the stars. Food just tastes better when served outdoors on a beautiful evening. Our senses are alive and we are more engaged. On my deck I have the very same picnic table my mother’s family used when I was a child. It essentially serves as our dining room table in the spring and early summer. Dining alfresco is one of the true joys of the season. Add a slab of ribs and you’ve got summer front and center. Read more
Memorial Day weekend is upon us and with it, the unofficial start to the summer season. Pull out the bathing suits, unearth the citronella candles and light the grill, for it is time to celebrate warm weather and long days.
Because grilling is so deeply associated with this time of year, those of us without outdoor space can sometimes end up feeling just a little bit left out of the fun. So as a longtime apartment dweller, I’ve developed a handful of techniques to compensate for my lack of porch, patio or yard. If you’re in similar straits, hopefully these tricks will help you cope.
The first thing to do is get yourself a grill pan. It’s nice on the stovetop (though if you don’t have good ventilation, you might set off your smoke detector), but I find that it’s even better when used in the oven. I will often roast a butterflied chicken on a grill pan in the oven in order to get some nice crosshatched marks on my bird.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient almond butter. Traditionally a satay is made with peanut butter, but the chefs wanted to prove that almond butter makes a great substitution, with a slightly nuttier, richer flavor. In this Almond Chicken Satay recipe, the almond butter gets combined with coconut milk to create a tasty sauce for seared chicken breast, snap peas and rice noodles. Try this unique take on the classic Thai dish for dinner tonight.