Move over, meat. There’s a new star player in the kitchen, and I’m not talking about leafy greens. Recently, firmer cheeses — such as halloumi, Indian paneer and Finnish bread cheese (leipäjuusto) — have been getting a lot of attention in the culinary world. And it’s for good reason: Magically, they keep their shape when heated. Their high melting points and low acid content make them perfect for grilling and frying, which gives them that oh-so-desirable crispy brown crust (like in Michael Symon’s Watermelon and Halloumi, pictured above). These melt-and-flow-resistant cheeses also star as a meal’s main ingredient more readily than their silky counterparts. Here are a few ways to experiment with these cheeses at home.
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Things got off to a sticky start in Episode 3 of All-Star Academy when Mimi attempted her first caramel sauce and Chef Curtis nearly lost his cool. “Pull it off the heat right now! Now!” he bellowed to the home cook from the sidelines. But it was too late. “It’s burnt,” he declared. “Take that caramel sauce [away]. I don’t want to see it.” Fortunately, Mimi was able to shift gears and come up with a whipped cream for her apple crumble that judge Elizabeth Falkner later deemed “awesome.” You might not be so lucky — or have the ingredients for a different topping on hand. To create smooth, buttery caramel the first time around, try the following tips.
1. Gather your ingredients before you start cooking: Caramel can go from silky and sweet to burnt and acrid in less than a minute. With your mix-in ingredients (cream, butter or water) prepped and measured, you can add them at just the right moment to stop the cooking.
Macaroni and cheese isn’t exactly begging to be transforming; the classic version, with its sharp cheddar bite and golden-brown topping, is, of course, one of the best comfort foods ever. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be dressed up to become an even more wow-worthy version of itself. Enter: Creamy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese.
The gooey richness and subtle spice you love in jalapeno poppers is baked into Food Network Kitchen’s indulgent mac and cheese (pictured above), a big-batch casserole that’s impressive enough to make for guests yet easy to prepare in less than an hour. In addition to tender sauteed fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos are mixed into the smooth cheddar-Gruyère cheese sauce for especially bold flavor — but don’t let the fear of too much heat scare you. The chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain that the result is simply “pleasantly spicy.” Before baking, blanket the dish with buttery panko and fresh jalapeno slices to guarantee a crispy, crunchy topping.
Whether you grew up finding smushed PB&Js in your lunchbox or you’ve graduated to enjoying Jeff Mauro’s next-level version (it’s fried!) as a grownup, there’s no denying that peanut butter and jelly are simply better together. But that doesn’t mean the only way to enjoy these fan-favorite spreads is by slathering them on two slices of spread. From layered dessert bars and filled cupcakes to cool, creamy milkshakes, read on below for seven of the ultimate ways to mash up PB&J.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (pictured above): Ina smoothes a sweet jam (she opts for raspberry, but you can use any flavor) atop a buttery peanut butter crust before finishing the bars with third and fourth layers: creamy peanut butter frosting and chopped nuts for welcome crunch.
St. Patrick’s Day revelers are known for wearing green, covering themselves in shamrocks and celebrating to excess. And if there’s one thing an excessive celebration requires, it’s sustenance. When planning the meal for a group gathering, keep the theme of the day going by making an entirely green feast, from start to finish.
Though you’ll probably want to save dessert until the end, a showstopping cake (prepared in advance and waiting for you at home) like this Green Velvet Layer Cake (above) is absolutely essential. Green food coloring turns the layered cake into a stunning emerald centerpiece that’s topped with fluffy buttercream frosting.
Food can bring back so many different memories from childhood — family meals around the dinner table, weeknight dishwasher duties, Mom’s failed attempt at homemade sushi — but it’s hard to beat the comforting tastes and memories that come with a slice of meatloaf. Let’s face it: Meatloaf is basically a giant meatball, and no one is mad about that. Juicy ground meat and soft veggies only get better with a big dollop of that classic, sweet sauce. But just like every other classic dinner, there are tons of new spins on the original recipe, like vegetable-packed versions and even meatloaf muffins. Read on for some new ideas on how to take this hearty classic to the next level.
Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (pictured above)
There’s bacon on top — need we say more? If the bacon doesn’t sell it, the tomato relish will. It’s got all of the classic flavors of a meatloaf sauce, but with some fresh ingredients and great texture. Everything comes together for a sweet, salty, tangy feast.
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! On this green-as-can-be holiday, many of us consider eating corned beef to be as mandatory as drinking green-tinted beer and attending St. Paddy’s Day parades. But what do you do if you’re lucky enough to have corned beef leftovers? Especially if you’ve invested hours in making your own meat at home, you better bet that your efforts should stretch way beyond March 17. Luckily, future iterations of this salt-cured staple do wonders even after the holiday has passed, with the deli-counter meat bringing a robust, salty flavor to everything it joins.
1. Forgo pepperoni and use corned beef as a pizza topping.
Instead of digging into a plateful of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes with a fork and knife, pile those ingredients over yeasty homemade dough for Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza (pictured above). Top it with a triple threat of Monterey Jack, Parmesan and mozzarella for a cheesy and creative post-holiday slice.
We’ve nearly made it to spring, and after the treacherous winter seen from coast to coast this year, it’s about time to celebrate with a piece — or two? — of cake. While springtime cakes surely are indulgent, they’re not heavy like the meaty chilis and casseroles of winter, and each is packed with refreshing colors and flavors. Go ahead, treat yourself to a weekend of dessert decadence with these best-ever takes on cake from Ina Garten, The Pioneer Woman and more of your favorite Food Network chefs.
Strawberry Poke Cake — True to its name, this buttermilk-laced cake (pictured above) boasts plenty of poked holes in the top so the ruby-red strawberry gelatin can gently seep into it. After chilling the cake in the refrigerator, “let it sit out to warm up a bit while you whip the cream for the topping,” explain the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen.
This St. Patrick’s Day, honor the Emerald Isle by indulging in any one of these minty-green milkshakes. They’re refreshing and festive, and best of all, your blender will bear the brunt of the prep work. There’s never been a sweeter way to show off your Irish pride.
St. Patrick’s Day Mint Shakes (pictured at top)
A milkshake is only as good as its ingredients, which is why it’s worth splurging on high-quality ice cream for this indulgent treat. Combining peppermint extract with the vanilla ice cream gives the drink an extra-refreshing minty flavor that you wouldn’t get from using regular mint chip ice cream.
Mashed, baked, fried and roasted potatoes get a whole lot of love, but, in our eyes, the unsung hero of the spud side genre is a bubbling casserole dish of decadent scalloped potatoes, hot and fresh out of the oven. Load up on the cheesiest and creamiest scalloped potato recipes, from classic to unconventional.
Look, it doesn’t take rocket science to get why Tyler Florence’s top-rated Scalloped Potato Gratin (pictured above) hits the ground running with over 500 reviews. It’s all about his technique, as the thin-sliced potatoes go from raw to soft and delicious when baked in a casserole dish with thyme- and nutmeg-infused heavy cream. In the end, the inside of the dish is tender while the top gets that perfectly crispy effect that’ll have you reaching for seconds.