by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, June 9th, 2014
by Maria Russo in In Season, Recipes, June 7th, 2014
Pasta can be the ultimate comfort food — digging into chewy, succulent pieces of flour mixed with exciting sauces like carbonara and pesto provides a soothing experience that is akin to snuggling in with your favorite blanket. Still, the scorching summer weather can leave you wanting to ditch the heavy, piping entrees and opt for something a bit lighter and cooler. Bring on the pasta salad.
In this Mediterranean Pasta Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchen, the heavy pasta sauce is replaced by a tangy dressing infused with vinegar and mustard. The salad is then topped with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olives, oregano and a spicy pepper called pepperoncini. To add even more flavor to the dish, two types of cheeses are used to bring the flavors together — traditional creamy feta cheese and a more modern pungent Romano cheese. The combination of the two gives a hearty feel to an otherwise light and cool dish.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, June 6th, 2014
Along with longer days and warmer nights, late spring and early summer ushers in an abundance of ultra-fresh produce. From tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries to colorful squash and bell peppers, there’s no shortage of fruits and vegetables during these warm months, and one of the best, most-versatile items to enjoy is a bright, ripe tomato. Simple pastas and salads are classic picks for putting the tomato to work, but these juicy bites can go beyond the basics as well, as The Kitchen co-hosts showed off this morning with their takes on stuffed tomatoes. Read on below to get 15 ideas and recipes for taking tomatoes to the next level, and learn how to celebrate these beauties all summer long.
1. Perhaps the most-traditional use for tomatoes, a pasta-ready sauce is a must-have in every recipe arsenal. Master Alton’s Tomato Sauce recipe this summer, and keep coming back to it when you need a satisfying meal. He starts off by baking the tomatoes to add a subtle sweetness to the sauce, then processes them through a food mill to achieve a smooth texture.
2. Just like pasta sauce, salsa is also a no-fail way to put tomatoes to work. Instead of picking up jarred salsa, try Marcela’s speedy homemade version instead. Her Roasted Tomato Salsa is made with just a handful of ingredients, and it features a single serrano chile, which offers manageable heat.
3. Whether you need a last-minute potluck addition or an elegant appetizer, The Pioneer Woman’s party-perfect Bruschetta (pictured above) is a timeless favorite, made with colorful grape tomatoes and a splash of balsamic.
by Allison Milam in Recipes, June 5th, 2014
Blueberries are the Disney version of summer fruit, round and gentle like a bouncing sing-along ball. They bring to mind fingers stained purple-blue, fruity tarts, pies and cobblers, and warm, fresh-from-the-oven muffins. I love eating them fresh out of hand as a snack, with creamy, healthful yogurt to start my day — or perhaps topped indulgently with freshly whipped cream to end it! Blueberries are good and good for you, a veritable summer delight. Read more
by Allison Milam in Recipes, June 5th, 2014
We’ve all grown accustomed to accepting everything from juicy pineapple rings to crunchy romaine with grill marks. But why should you stop there? Push beyond the realm of hot dogs and hamburgers by getting ahold of some veggies that are shockingly good on the grill. Here’s a list of favorites — and then some.
Now that the grill is involved, your beet salad game will never be the same. Just as you do before roasting, wrap beets in foil with a little olive oil before getting ‘em on the grill. Once they’re soft, your reinvented beets will possess an earthy, smoky sweetness that the salad bar just can’t touch.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 4th, 2014
The need for a roster of packable desserts is real in the summer months, especially when the name of the game is outdoor eating. When the dinner grub is covered at a friend’s backyard barbecue or your picnic menu is missing that last sweet course, you need something that you can move from point A to point B with limited spillage and fuss. That means ice cream sundaes and other temperamental desserts are out, and Food Network’s go-to make-and-take treats are totally in.
Food Network Magazine’s Blackberry Summer Pudding Cake (pictured above) may not look transport-friendly, but fear not. After pouring juice over it, carry this classic British dessert in its container to your final destination and remove it just before serving.
by Joseph Erdos in Recipes, Shows, June 4th, 2014
From picnics and graduation parties to weekend cookouts and the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, summer’s all about leisurely get-togethers, and for those you need simple, tried-and-true dishes you’re sure will feed a crowd. Burgers, hot dogs and barbecue are go-to main dishes, but when the focus is on traditional sides, macaroni salad reigns supreme. This easy-to-fix favorite is a crowd-pleasing classic, and it can be prepared ahead of time and served when guests arrive. Check out Food Network’s top-five macaroni salad recipes below to find next-level renditions from Rachael, Guy, the Neelys and more Food Network chefs, then browse more side dish selections ideal for grilling season.
5. Bacon and Egg Macaroni Salad — Rachael starts with balsamic vinaigrette-topped macaroni and adds crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs and pimentos for welcome texture and added flavor.
4. Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham — Ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, this go-to picnic favorite features a classic ingredient combo — peas and ham — and the flavors are combined with a tangy mustard-sour cream topping.
by Debra Puchalla in Recipes, June 4th, 2014
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient lavash. When this pita-like Middle Eastern bread is crisped up in the oven, it makes a great addition to salad, taking the place of croutons. The Italians have panzanella, a bread salad, but in Middle Eastern cuisine there’s fattoush, a salad made with flatbread. But in this Faux-toush Salad with Lavash, there’s a lot less of the bread and more of the lettuce for a modern spin on the recipe. And there’s grilled chicken breast to round everything out. This would make a healthy lunch to take to the office, or even a light dinner. You’ll definitely find exotic flavors in this dish with honey, lemon and sumac.
by Nikhita Mahtani in Recipes, June 2nd, 2014
While on photo shoots, I’ve bumped into a beer can chicken or two. But I’ve never actually cooked one at home. I am, therefore, somewhat of a grill-season fraud. Last summer “beer can chicken” (with and without hyphens for any of you copy gurus who are wondering) was Googled tens of thousands of times. But not at my house. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with having a beer out back. But every time I see the resulting pictures of beer can chicken — chickens standing or sitting awkwardly and ridiculously on domestic cans or even imports — as if waiting for someone to hand them beers, toes pointing, flailing, kicking or squatting — I can’t help but laugh at how odd they look, and I move on to chops, steak or salmon. Their accoutrements, spice rubs, glazes and flurries of herbs, help doll them up. Yet a beer can chicken’s crossed legs, uncrossed legs, stretching arms and stoic stance don’t make me hungry; they make me think, randomly, of yoga. See above for a visual reference, wherein a stately beer can chicken looks to be moving toward seated meditation, a pensive, quieting pose that conjures warm breezes and calm waters — and a generous spice rub.
Still, there’s a smart reason such food images are shot the way they are. If the food stylist platters the meat or carves the bird, then the picture doesn’t sell the “why” of the recipe: the beer. Placing the chicken on a can of beer allows air to circulate around the bird and hence gives it crisp skin all over, a major plus, and devotees of the Cult of Beer Can Chicken claim the results are juicy and more flavorful. You can insert a debate on beer brand here, folks. (And then go ahead and argue, as Mr. “Meathead” did two years ago on Huffington Post, about whether the method is good anyway.) In the meantime, I am not waiting for New Year’s this year for resolutions: I resolve to win summer. And that starts with stretching into Sun Salutation, getting past chicken poses, crossing the road to get to a six-pack and grilling beer can chicken. After all, what could be bad about drinking a little beer and cooking out? Namastasty.
Check out my top 5 favorite beer can chicken poses, after the jump.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, May 30th, 2014
While you might think that summer barbecues mean saying goodbye to your intentions to go meatless, thanks to their offerings of rich, juicy beef and grilled chicken, think again. Burgers don’t always have to be made of meat – in fact, vegetarian fillings like lentils and corn can make delicious patties that are simply bursting with flavor.
Food Network Kitchen skips the patty making with a Grilled Portobello Burger with Onion Jam (pictured above). The mushrooms infuse an earthy flavor and chewy texture into the dish, and are steeped in a delicious marinade of olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and thyme, while the horseradish-and-yogurt cream adds a touch of creaminess on top. However, the real star is the onion jam – wine, honey and red wine vinegar combine with the saltiness of red onions to offset the spicy horseradish and add a combination of tastes to the dish.
Although it’s pasta-based, old-fashioned Easy Macaroni Salad is pretty far away from anything that might remotely be considered Italian. Only in Middle America would something made of pasta and mayonnaise be considered a salad. Believe me, Rome, Georgia, and Rome, Italy, are more than just a few miles apart. Instead, consider the deli cases all across the U.S. that have mini-tubs and buckets of this lined up like soldiers and at the ready for afternoon picnics and summer suppers on the deck. Macaroni salad is all-American Down-Home Comfort. Moms and dads are also quick to go to this to recipe to accompany BBQ chicken or burgers on the grill. And we all know that store-bought is fine, but homemade is nearly always better. Read more