by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, January 20th, 2012
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 20th, 2012
Come January, I’m ready to hunker down. Finally clear of the holiday frenzy, I crave slow evenings, mulled cider and the occasional quiet dinner party with a few friends.
Late-winter entertaining is a whole different beast from the string of holiday parties that stretch out across November and December. Now’s the time for slow-cooked, rich braises and stews that need nothing more than a glass of red wine to feel complete.
Last year, I spent most of this first month making oven-roasted beef stew. The year before, I revisited a braised turkey leg dish that I grew up eating out of my grandmother’s oval aluminum pot. This year, I can’t get the idea of pork posole out of my mind.
In the past, I’ve made green posole with a tomatillo puree, which is wonderfully mild and flavorful. Wanting to try something new, I determined that January 2012 is going to be focused on getting Rachael Ray’s recipe for Red Pork Posole just right.
Before you start braising, read Marisa’s tips »
by Gaby Dalkin in Recipes, January 19th, 2012
New Year’s healthy eating resolutions are all the rage right now, and countless conversations suggest how we should eat to start 2012 on a wholesome note. Included in many good-for-you lists is one tiny food that packs a huge healthful punch: quinoa, pronounced (KEEN-wah), which is loaded with protein, fiber and magnesium.
Though it is smaller than rice, barley, farro and bulgur, quinoa looks like a grain, thanks to its neutral coloring and hard exterior. However, it is actually a seed that originates from the cousin of the spinach plant. When cooked, these seeds expand rapidly and significantly, become tender but chewy and expel spirals that boast the slightest crunch. When using quinoa, it’s important to rinse it thoroughly before boiling, as it’s often coated with saponins that are bitter and need to be removed.
After cooking in liquid — water or chicken broth are most common — quinoa becomes light, fluffy, nutty and the ideal canvas to showcase intense flavors, rich textures and your favorite veggies, meats and sauces. Give this super seed a try, using Food Network’s five best quinoa recipes and let us know what you think of it.
Get the top five quinoa recipes »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, January 19th, 2012
Now that the holidays are officially over and most of us are in cookie detox mode, it’s time to bring on the lighter appetizers for fun get-togethers you might be throwing. I’m a huge fan of Spinach Artichoke Dip. It’s one of those classic comforting appetizers and it’s perfect for these midwinter gatherings I’ve been throwing. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that fun and simple soirees have to go away. I’ve been having friends over for casual midweek dinners and introducing them to new lightened-up recipes.
This Spinach Artichoke Dip from Ellie Krieger is the perfect example. You’ll never guess that this recipe is lightened up because it’s still super flavorful and just as addicting as its full-fat cousin. Plus, it would be an excellent addition to your upcoming Super Bowl menu. I made a few changes to spice things up a bit more and make it extra delicious. My favorite mix-in wound up being the addition of pepper jack cheese — it gave the dip an extra kick.
Get Gaby’s lightened-up version »
by Victoria Phillips in Community, Recipes, January 18th, 2012
Mmmm … Nothing says good eats like soy residue.
Except that in Chinese cooking, it really can. And you very likely have enjoyed that soy residue. Many times and in many ways.
We’re talking about hoisin sauce, a classic ingredient for sauces — both for dipping at the table and basting during cooking — in China.
Hoisin is a thick, dark red-to-brown sauce that blends sweet-spicy-savory flavors, a profile not all that different from ketchup. It is made from the leftover mash of fermented soy beans produced when making traditional soy sauces. That mash is combined with sugar, chiles, garlic, vinegar, salt, sometimes five-spice powder and either flour or cornstarch (to thicken).
Though hoisin is widely used on grilled meats (as a barbecue sauce) and in dipping sauces, it’s best known for a starring role in Peking duck and moo shu pork.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 16th, 2012
This week, Small Kitchen College and The Naptime Chef are teaming up to host a Slow Cooker Challenge and Giveaway. So what do college cooks and moms have in common? They’re both extremely busy. We couldn’t agree more.
Winter is the perfect time to get cozy in the kitchen with a slow cooker. The ultimate time-saver, throw everything in one pot before heading off to work or class, and dinner’s ready by the time you get home.
Skip the canned stuff and try Robin Miller’s Minestrone Soup With Pasta, Beans and Vegetables (pictured above). It’s a well-rounded meal full of zucchini, spinach, carrots and cannellini beans. Garnish with fresh basil for even more flavor.
Make this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili for a crowd. Chipotle chiles add a smoky heat, while a pinch of ground cloves and a splash of beer keep things interesting.
More slow-cooker recipes »
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, January 13th, 2012
If your New Year’s resolution is to eat smarter in 2012, it’s no secret that fresh fruits, vegetables, substantial proteins and healthful whole grains will become your best food friends this year. For a light meal that is easy to make and incorporates those hearty grains and good-for-you veggies, try serving a few simple yet satisfying salads in place of a traditional, heavy meal. Ditch those basic leafy green salads and opt for ones that boast interesting ingredients and textures.
Food Network Magazine’s Warm Beet-Orange Salad (pictured above) is packed with such in-season eats as tender roasted beets and bright citrus. Toasted walnuts add a welcome crunch to this colorful plate.
More recipes for Meatless Monday »
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 13th, 2012
Though I’m known as something of a baker in my circle of friends, it wasn’t until very recently that I tried my hand at homemade coffee cake. You see, for most of my life, I didn’t really think it was something one could make at home. My experience had taught me that coffee cake was something you bought, packaged in a square white box that was emblazoned with the word “Entenmann’s.”
Part of the reason for this is that I didn’t grow up in a coffee cake household. On those rare occasions that we had a sweet morning baked good, it would be hearty, whole-wheat banana bread or a dense, barely sugared scone. My mother did not approve of cake for breakfast.
The only time I experienced this thing called coffee cake was when we’d visit my grandparents. They bought them regularly and kept them tucked into the space on top of the toaster oven. My grandfather’s habit was to have a small square around 10am, with a second cup of coffee and whatever scientific journal he was reading at the moment. As a perpetual dieter, my grandmother rarely sat down to a full slice, instead picking at the edges and crumbs each time she passed through the kitchen.
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, January 12th, 2012
Though there’s no question it’s been an unseasonably warm winter, the temperatures are finally starting to dip toward average January numbers and we’re once again craving rich, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that fill you up and keep you cozy. Nothing delivers that warmth quite like hearty soups, stews and chilis do. This weekend, cook up some steaming bowls of our favorite comfort foods and share the decadence with your family.
This thick, cheesy Chicken-Corn Chili (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is loaded with protein-rich white beans, tender corn kernels and fragrant herbs. Ground cumin and a jalapeno pepper add flavor and subtle spice to the chili, while a dollop of sour cream offers tang. To save time in the kitchen, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and have the dish ready in just 40 minutes.
Danny Boome’s indulgent Braised Lamb Stew boasts cubes of cardamom-marinated lamb shoulder that are simmered until tender in a tomato-based sauce featuring chickpeas, chewy apricots and refreshing lemon zest.
More comfort food recipes »
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 11th, 2012
Not sure what crème fraiche is or why you should care?
Consider it a relative of sour cream. Except that while both are white, thick and creamy, crème fraiche is the richer, sexier and more talented relative.
Here’s the deal. Like yogurt, sour cream and crème fraiche are dairy products produced thanks to the miracle of beneficial bacteria.
But while yogurt is made by adding those bacteria to milk, sour cream and crème fraiche are made from cream.
So what’s the difference? Sour cream is made from cream that is 20 percent fat; crème fraiche sports an even more succulent 30 percent. That may not sound like a big difference, but it matters in both taste and versatility. That extra fat turns crème fraiche into a kitchen workhorse.
But first, taste. While sour cream tastes, well, sour, crème fraiche is rich and tart. And as a byproduct of the bacteria added to produce it, crème fraiche tends to make other foods taste buttery. But unlike yogurt, crème fraiche isn’t particularly acidic (so it’s not great for marinades).
Get the recipe for Croque Monsieur »
The ultimate bowl of piping-hot comfort food, chicken soup is family-friendly fare at its best. Instead of resorting to the red and white soup can for a quick meal, try Food Network’s top five chicken soup recipes that are both easy to prepare and classically flavored. Serve up a bowl of our best today and bring a little warmth to these chilly winter nights.
5. Hearty Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup — Simmer the broth with a Parmesan cheese rind to add a subtle salty, nutty flavor to this veggie-packed soup (pictured above).
4. Thai Chicken Soup — Made with coconut milk and green curry paste, this Asian-inspired dish boasts a burst of color, thanks to sliced red bell peppers.
Get the top three recipes »