by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, October 5th, 2012
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 4th, 2012
I bought my first cast-iron skillet in my early twenties. I didn’t have much of a budget for cookware in those days and all the advice I read said that cast iron was the best bang for my buck. All I really knew is that I didn’t want to deal with flimsy, peeling, nonstick pans anymore.
I was initially a little nervous about introducing cast iron into my kitchen, because I’d grown up with a mother who hated cast iron with a passion. She thought it was too heavy, fussy to care for and entirely unsanitary (because you’re not supposed to scrub it with soap. My mother is a firm believer in the power of a good, sudsy scour).
When my parents got married, she actually got rid of my dad’s beloved collection of cast-iron skillets. Forty-two years later, those long-gone skillets continue to be one of the few bones of contention in their marriage.
With this history, it’s understandable that I was uneasy about my own cast-iron purchase. Turns out my anxiety was entirely unwarranted. I fell hard for that first skillet, so much so that I added several others to my kitchen in short order. If my husband tossed out my skillets, I do believe it would be grounds for divorce.
Before you heat your skillet, read these tips
by Allison Milam in In Season, Recipes, October 3rd, 2012
School is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week this fall FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.
It’s 4 p.m. and your child has just walked in the door from school. He’s hungry — really hungry — because he ate lunch hours ago. What do you feed him? It needs to be satisfying, of course, but not so filling that he won’t want to eat dinner. Instead of reaching for bags of salty chips and sugar-laden drinks, prepare for him a healthful after-school snack.
The Hummus Trio from Food Network Kitchens (pictured above) takes only 10 minutes to make and is a good-for-you alternative to creamy, cheesy chip dips. Made with just blended chickpeas, tahini and fresh lemon juice, the top bowl of hummus is a light and smooth no-fail classic. The bottom two bowls are dressed-up versions of the original, one featuring nutrient-rich spinach and soft artichoke hearts, the other pine nuts and sweet peppers. This snack in particular is ideal to offer if you’re feeding kids of different ages or with various tastes, as almost everyone will find their favorite flavor. Serve the hummus with crispy pita wedges, pretzel sticks and fresh vegetables, and watch your kids enjoy easy, delicious dunking.
Keep reading for more after-school recipes
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Recipes, October 3rd, 2012
Let’s talk spinach. It’s the green at the center of family dinner dramas and the barrier to many kids’ elusive desserts. More often than not, kids just don’t want to eat their spinach. And if we’re getting down to it, who can blame them? When spinach exits the freezer as a rock-hard rectangle and is defrosted into a soggy mess, who’s going to be down for a side of that?
Now that we’ve made it to October, things start to look up for spinach because each leaf is crisply in season.
We’re all about the classics like Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip. But sometimes you have to level with the little ones, the picky eaters and the greenaphobes sitting around your dinner table. Who knows, maybe incorporating spinach into their lives little by little could mean straight Creamed Spinach this time next year. When you want to savor this green — and satisfy the whole family — look to Food Network’s spinach-stuffed recipes to make everyone happy.
If a recipe asks for the frozen kind, go ahead and swap in the fresh stuff. This time of year there’s no need to defrost. Go for baby spinach to reduce stem clipping, too. That way, spinach can melt into your meals in the best way possible.
Get more spinach recipes from family and friends
by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 1st, 2012
I feel we always discuss the seasons relative to what fruits, vegetables, fish and meat we are buying and eating. But to me, the seasons are just as much about how I feel. I want that blueberry pie in July at the beach and a lentil soup while wearing a fisherman’s sweater in February. One other thing I want this time of year, with pretty much everything and anything, is some béarnaise sauce. It’s a classic with poached eggs, but equally great with French fries, steamed fish, a simple steak or even some raw fennel for dipping. Have you ever tried it with wedges of oven-dried tomatoes? Or a bowl of steamed clams? Tackling a classic, iconic sauce like this at home can be daunting, but it’s really pretty simple and the taste is uniquely delicious. I make it close to when I intend to eat it and keep it by the stove, warm, until ready to serve.
I always learned to make it with clarified butter, but here I make it with gently melted regular butter. This is also a good place to splurge on some nice butter or even a type of butter you have never had before. Something about the eggs with the vinegar and herbs meandering through makes the butter flavors come to life. It almost tastes more like butter than butter by itself!
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by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 30th, 2012
Now that fall has officially arrived and the temperatures are starting to dip, it is time to dig into the rich, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that we have gone without all summer long. One of those hearty meals is risotto, an Italian-style rice dish featuring any combination of vegetables, herbs, cheeses and more. If you’ve never made from-scratch risotto, know that it takes a bit more TLC than your average weeknight meal, but that the results, the tender-firm rice, smooth sauce and comforting taste, are well worth the extra few minutes of cooking.
Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom and Squash Risotto is packed with in-season butternut squash, a mix of dried and fresh earthy mushrooms and plenty of nutty Parmesan cheese. The secret to this risotto is the mushroom broth, made by steeping mushrooms in hot water and adding to the liquid a bay leaf and fragrant cinnamon. When the rice is slowly cooked in the broth, it creates a thick, starchy sauce that’s deliciously creamy. Before serving, shower the risotto with additional cheese and season to taste.
by Katie Allen in Recipes, September 29th, 2012
The 2012 Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich, Germany, last week with a parade and ceremonial tapping of the kegs before this two-week-long celebration of all things beer and brats began. While you may not be able to plan a last-minute jaunt to Germany to experience Oktoberfest firsthand, you can bring the festival’s best eats and drinks stateside with Food Network’s Oktoberfest menu inspired by some of the many tents and food halls found throughout the event.
Let’s talk bratwurst, a German sausage and one of the must-have meals at Oktoberfest. Though you can buy this hot dog look-alike already cooked, it’s also sold raw, and is often served alongside potatoes or sauerkraut. Inside the Burtschers Bratwursthüttn tent at Oktoberfest, bratwurst and a host of other sausages are paired with any number of beers. Food Network Magazine’s Bratwurst With Potato Cakes (pictured above) is an easy-to-make meal that celebrates traditional German flavors. Hearty bratwurst is sautéed for just a few minutes and served with crispy sauerkraut-potato cakes and a tangy mixture of mustard and sour cream.
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, September 28th, 2012
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
A baked potato is a Food Network essential for dinner. We got creative by using leftovers in our kitchen refrigerator, and the final products were all relatively healthy, delicious and filling.
First, start with the classic version
by FN Dish Editor in Recipes, September 27th, 2012
Ask someone about their favorite rainy-day meal and chances are they’ll share with you childhood memories of eating tomato soup and grilled cheese on a chilly, drizzling Saturday afternoon. It’s a classic combination in our culture, though it’s one that I didn’t personally try until I got to college.
My parents weren’t trying to deprive me; the truth of the matter is that if they’d tried to serve me tomato soup during my fledgling years, I would have looked at them with absolute horror. I spent the bulk of my first two decades desperately trying to avoid tomatoes in their many forms. They were particularly egregious when raw, but I wasn’t interested in large amounts of any tomato-based substance. Tomato soup would have immediately reduced me to tears.
By the time I was 18, however, and away at school, I was beginning to open up a little to tomatoes. I don’t know if my palate had changed or if I was generally more mature in my approach to food, but slowly I started to understand the tomato’s many virtues.
Now I’m all in when it comes to tomatoes, and I particularly love a good bowl of tomato soup. In my book, there’s no tomato soup recipe better than Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. It’s been my go-to version since I first made it more than eight years ago. It starts by instructing you to roast three pounds of plum tomatoes and finishes with four cups of fresh basil leaves. It is deeply flavorful, and while not as silky smooth as the canned kind, still goes incredibly well with a grilled cheese.
Before you start roasting your tomatoes, read these tips
by Hedy Goldsmith in Recipes, September 27th, 2012
Butternut squash is a fall favorite. Try one of these top five recipes that are filled with classic autumn flavors from Food Network chefs.
5. Beef and Butternut Squash Stew – This stick-to-your-ribs stew is perfect for a chilly fall day. Lots of chunky vegetables, along with the beef, make it hearty enough for a one-pot meal. Serve with crusty bread alongside.
4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad With Warm Cider Vinaigrette – For a salad full of fall flavors, serve roasted butternut squash on top of baby arugula with a few shavings of nutty Parmesan cheese.
Get the top three recipes
I’m just a kid at heart. Some of my fondest memories of being a chubby kid were all based on eating junk food. Prepackaged little cakes, movie theater popcorn and candy were my best friends. Cracker Jacks — with its secret little toy — made me very happy. Actually, popcorn anything makes me giggle with delight. I have been known to forgo a meal in order to justify eating a large bucket of salty buttery corn.
Fast-forward to today. Always thinking about my past, I re-create versions of all my favorite childhood treats.
In my new book, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors, on bookshelves in just five days, I toss buttery, salty popcorn with rich melted chocolate and peanuts for a quick, rich and amazing treat (recipe below).
Halloween was (and still is) my favorite holiday. I remember competing with my big brother Steven to see how much candy we could gather. As kids, we would dump overfilled candy-laden plastic pumpkins on to a bed sheet covering the carpet in our living room. At the end of the night, we’d count up all the pieces of candy and, based on sheer volume, declare a winner. Hands down, my favorite was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Mom would let us keep a few and take the extra to work — or so she said.
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