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Best 10 Side Dish Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 28th, 2011

Roasted Brussels SproutsWhat’s a burger without fries? Fried chicken and no greens? A lonely steak without a baked potato? Side dishes aren’t merely second string players of a meal, they often complete the dish and can be as impressive as the main event. Check out Food Network’s top 10 side dish recipes of the year and cook up a few to balance your favorite mains.

10. Red Beans and Rice — Fresh herbs and a pinch of cayenne add flavor and subtle spice to Emeril’s Creole-inspired dish.

9. Collard Greens — This traditional southern side is the ideal accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.

8. Broccoli Salad — Broccoli, onions, raisins and sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing to create a veggie-packed salad in just 15 short minutes.

7. Sauteed Kale — Olive oil and sliced garlic bring classic Italian flavor to this leafy green dish.

6. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes — Alton uses starchy russet potatoes to yield a smooth and creamy mashed mixture, laced with fresh garlic and nutty parmesan cheese.

Get the top five recipes »

Best 10 Comfort Food Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 27th, 2011


Whether it’s a bit chilly outside, you’re feeling a little blue or it’s been just that kind of day, sometimes you simply need a dish of pure, unadulterated comfort food. Find our top 10 comfort food recipes below and cook up a few to salvage any rainy day.

10. Chicken Fried Steak — Beef, not chicken, is breaded, fried and later topped with a creamy thyme gravy.

9. Fettucine Alfredo — Silky heavy cream, nutty parmesan cheese and butter add texture and flavor to this timeless Italian dish.

8. Braised Short Ribs — After simmering in a red wine-tomato sauce, the short rib meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.

7. Southern Fried Chicken — Ready in fewer than 25 minutes, this traditional chicken features Paula’s blend of House Seasoning: salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

6. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — This gamed-day dip is a go-to appetizer pick, featuring tangy sour cream and spicy red pepper flakes.

Get the top five recipes »

Best 10 Dessert Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 26th, 2011


Hope you’ve saved room for dessert. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 dessert recipes of the year that will finish any meal on a sugary note. Bake up a batch of 2011’s best today and celebrate the sweetest dishes of the year.

10. Pumpkin Cheesecake — Bake a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling atop a crumbly graham cracker crust to create this family favorite.

9. Pumpkin Pie — Not just a holiday dessert, pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollop of whipped cream.

8. Zucchini Bread — Fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and subtle spice to Paula’s 5-star dish, made with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.

7. Cream Cheese Frosting — Equal parts butter and cream cheese offer a tried-and-true taste to this favorite frosting, often featured with red velvet goods.

6. Southern Red Velvet Cake — This triple-layer beauty is frosted with a smooth cream cheese topping and dusted with crushed pecans.

Get the top five recipes »

Mushroom Pie With Pear Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 26th, 2011

Think of this as a meatless beef wellington. Ready in just 45 minutes, this easy but elegant dish features portobello mushrooms, muenster cheese and breadcrumbs baked inside delicate, flaky pastry. To achieve a glossy golden crust, brush the dough with a beaten egg before baking. Serve with peppery arugula and slices of fresh pear for a light side dish to balance the hearty, savory pies.

Get the recipe: Mushroom Pies With Pear Salad from Food Network Magazine.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Lamb Ragu With Mint — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 23rd, 2011


One of the basic truths of cooking is that there are as many pasta sauces out there in the world as there are home cooks. I grew up eating my mom’s long-simmered sauce that was bursting with zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. My husband grew up eating a more basic marinara, studded with rounds of sausage (my younger self would have been very jealous that he got to avoid so many of the veggies).

These days my sauces tend to shift with the seasons. During the summer I like to prep an uncooked sauce of chopped tomatoes, torn basil, olive oil and salt. But as the days get shorter, I opt for thicker, heartier ingredients that have the ability to warm the kitchen and keep bellies satisfied.

With the holidays looming and houseguests streaming into town, a pot of filling pasta sauce is just the thing to make those big family dinners a bit easier. Right now my go-to recipe is one from Giada De Laurentiis for Lamb Ragu With Mint.

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Quick Christmas Morning Brunch Menu

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 23rd, 2011

It’s Christmas morning: There are a few half-eaten cookies and an empty glass on the table next to the tree, the kids are ripping open presents and Dad has been videotaping the entire event for hours. This is surely not the moment to worry about what to serve for breakfast. This year, instead of resorting to cereal and cocoa (though there’s nothing wrong with either!), serve a simple brunch featuring hearty dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or less and will leave the family full until dinnertime.

What better way to spread Christmas cheer than with Food Network Magazine’s light and fluffy Almost-Famous Cheesecake Pancakes (pictured above). Chunks of creamy cheesecake are incorporated into a classic pancake batter and each flapjack is cooked until golden brown and topped with a sweet strawberry sauce, featuring fresh berries and strawberry jam. Top each stack with a dollop of whipped cream — because it is Christmas, after all, and New Year’s diets don’t start for another week.

More Christmas morning brunch recipes »

Best 5 Christmas Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 23rd, 2011

Old-Fashioned HamThis Christmas, serve up a little holiday cheer in the form of crowd-pleasing recipes the whole family will enjoy. We’ve complied Food Network’s top five Christmas recipes below; prepare them all for a weekend’s worth of festive favorites and holiday classics.

5. White Chocolate Holiday Bark — Dried cranberries and pistachio nuts add color and texture to this sweet snack, perfect to give as a last-minute gift.

4. Baked French Toast Casserole With Maple Syrup — Prepare Paula’s indulgent casserole the night before and bake on Christmas morning for an easy brunch favorite.

Get the top three recipes »

Hominy — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, December 22nd, 2011


Hominy is one of those foods you might think you’ve never tried, yet almost certainly have. Or at least a close relative of it.

That’s because the ingredient that starts as hominy can end as many different dishes across many cultures, from Mexican pozole to Southern grits to the corn nuts down at your neighborhood bar.

But first, the basics.

Hominy is the name given to whole corn kernels, usually white, that have been cooked in a lye or lime solution to remove their thick hulls. The result is a tender, somewhat bulbous kernel with a chewy texture and a clean, corn flavor.

In Latin America, these kernels are used most often in soups and stews such as pozole, a highly seasoned stew of hominy, pork and chili peppers.

The Southern staple known as grits follows a similar path. In this case, the hominy is dried after processing, then coarsely ground. The resulting meal then is cooked with water or milk to a porridge-like consistency similar to polenta.

Get the recipe for Pulled Chicken and Hominy Stew »

Alex Makes: Skillet Potato Cake

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 21st, 2011


The skillet potato cake is a lot like a potato gratin and, in my opinion, easier than making a lot of individual latkes. It has tremendous flavor and goes really well with other lighter dishes that adorn your holiday table. Let’s face it: Who doesn’t love a scoop of some kind of potatoes this time of year? I love to give people what they want. Last week, while I was cooking at my restaurant, we were making various sauces for pasta and all I could think of was a simple tomato sauce. This potato cake serves the same purpose.

Get Alex’s Skillet Potato Cake recipe »

Best 5 Hanukkah Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 20th, 2011


No menorah lighting is complete without a few snacks to mark the occasion. This year, switch up tradition and try our top five Hanukkah recipes below. Each is quick and easy to make and boasts classic holiday tastes.

5. Apple Cider Doughnuts — A pureed red apple-apple cider mixture gives these doughnuts their sweet, seasonal flavor, while a cider glaze and cinnamon-sugar topping adds extra decadence and decoration.

4. Challah Crowns — This dense but light egg bread is scented with warm honey, sprinkled with poppy seeds and baked until the crust achieves a glossy, golden hue.

Get the top three recipes »