All Posts In Recipes

Dandelion Greens — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, March 26th, 2012

dandelion green cornbread
Let’s get the hard part out of the way. This week, I’m suggesting you eat something most people spend the better part of their adult lives trying to eradicate from their lawns: dandelion greens. Not the flowers or stems or the puffy white seeds kids love to blow (thereby complicating your eradication efforts).

Just the long, green leaves that grow toward the base of the plant.

While we know it better as a weed, since prehistory the leaves of this plant have been gathered and consumed around the world.

Americans have been cooking with them for many years. In fact, Fannie Farmer included them in the first edition (1896) of her classic cookbook.

The taste is a bit of a cross between arugula and kale — slightly bitter and robustly peppery. They are about a foot long with a saw-tooth edge.

Get the recipe for Cumin-Dandelion Green Cornbread

Easy Appetizers — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 26th, 2012


A no-fuss appetizer that dresses up any get-together, crostini are two-bite toasts that can be topped with any number of creative or classic ingredients, such as rich cheeses, sweet roasted vegetables, olives and more. In just 10 minutes, you can prepare Food Network Magazine’s Asparagus Crostini (pictured above), which features toasted baguette slices spread with creamy ricotta cheese and finished with vibrant asparagus and fruity olive oil.

To complete your pre-dinner snack spread, serve Sandra’s Sun-Dried Tomato Artichoke Buttons, made by topping artichoke bottoms with soft roasted tomatoes, a mini mozzarella ball and pesto, or Alton’s Citrus Marinated Olives from Food Network Magazine. He submerges green olives in a lemon juice-red wine vinegar mixture with spicy red pepper flakes then refrigerates them before serving.

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.

Moroccan Chicken With Shredded Cabbage and Tahini Sauce on Pita — The Weekender

by in Recipes, March 23rd, 2012

moroccan chicken with shredded cabbage
One of the things I love about living in Philadelphia is the fact that the city has a deep well of secrets. No matter how many years I log in the City of Brotherly Love, I find that there’s always something new to discover.

In the neighborhood just north of South Street, there’s a Moroccan restaurant that you’ll never find on your own. Hidden behind an unmarked door, you walk off a residential street and into a world of lush fabrics, pillowed benches and low tables set with brass trays.

I’ve eaten there a few times since a friend first helped me find that hidden door. I love every part of the experience, from the ritual of washing hands to the fact that the meal moves slowly. However, most of all, I love a chicken dish they serve. Baked in phyllo dough, it’s highly spiced with ginger and cinnamon. The outside is dusted with sugar, so that you get sweet, savory and spicy all in a single bite.

Though it’s been years since I’ve had that chicken, I still crave it. However, a meal that lasts 2 1/2 hours doesn’t fit into my schedule as easily as it once did. I’m in that stage of life where most of my friends have small children, and though I love dining with my husband, you really need a group to make the most of a meal like this one.

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Springtime Produce

by in In Season, Recipes, March 23rd, 2012


Spring is officially here, which means that it’s time to embrace the light, colorful, fragrant bounty this season has to offer. Whether you’re growing your own fruits and vegetables or simply prefer to peruse the produce aisle, the next few months are some of the freshest all year, promising bushels of ripe, sweet goods, such as vibrant asparagus, radishes, ramps and more. Below is Food Network’s list of spring-inspired recipes, each rich with in-season produce that will transform any basic dish into an inspired one.

Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) side dish is a no-fail recipe that delivers simple, satisfying results every time. Crunchy pine nuts, fragrant parsley and refreshing lemon zest are sprinkled atop slender spears before baking the asparagus until it’s warm and tender.

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Gnocchi With Potato Skins — Alex Eats

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, March 22nd, 2012

gnocchi
I have always been a fan of other people’s gnocchi. Somewhat dense and coated with layers of grated Parmesan cheese. My favorites are the ones that taste so intensely (and purely) of potato and provide the perfect companion to many of the spring vegetables I look forward to devouring in the coming weeks. From Swiss chard to the first little parsnips to fava beans to baby spinach, gnocchi makes them all taste even better than they do on their own. After many bad batches, I settled on this recipe as my absolute favorite. Like pancakes, your first batch may not be your best.

It takes time to try your hand at this. This recipe, to me, is worth that culinary leap of faith.

Get the recipe

Spaghetti alla Carbonara — The New Girl

by in Recipes, March 21st, 2012

spaghetti alla carbonara
I’m not a natural-born baker. Flour mishaps are all too common in my kitchen to classify me as one. Yet, despite my lack of grace, baking is what I love to do.  My confectionery blunders almost always turn out tasty in the end, and I’ll admit to having a keen eye for good cookie recipes. When it comes to using measuring cups, I don’t feel limited, I feel confident.

Cooking by taste is a whole other story — it terrifies me. I overthink every step and doubts cloud my culinary judgment. How much is a dash of salt, really? How many minutes exactly does it take to roast a chicken?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily admit to my savory successes. Alton’s Skirt Steak is probably one of the best things I’ve ever made and Bobby’s Mesa Grill’s Shrimp With Green-Onion Cilantro Sauce (recipe available in his cookbook) has always been a crowd-pleaser for me. But the problem is that all my second-guessing prevents me from enjoying the process.

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Vegetable Tarte Tatin — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 19th, 2012


Typically made with fruit (apples, pears and peaches work well), a tarte tatin is a French-style dish that boasts seasonal produce baked beneath a light, buttery pastry then inverted to reveal the soft, caramelized fruit on top.

Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable Tarte Tatin (pictured above) is both sweet and savory, featuring alternating layers of gooey caramel and roasted potatoes and parsnips. Garlic, thick-cut onion rounds and sprinklings of fresh herbs and creamy mozzarella cheese are added to the tarte before it is covered with a thin sheet of store-bought puff pastry. The sugary caramel does not overpower the earthiness of the vegetables — it merely brings out their natural sweetness.

Serve this beauty of a dish as a hearty brunch or lunch option or with a Spring Green Salad for a light supper.

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.

Best 5 Chicken Cacciatore Recipes

by in Recipes, March 17th, 2012


Spruce up your usual chicken dinners with this “hunter-style” Italian classic that promises bold, flavorful results every time, thanks to a tried-and-true combination of onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. It is a naturally rustic, easy-to-prepare dish that can be made quickly on a hectic weeknight with everyday ingredients. Check out Food Network’s top five chicken cacciatore recipes, and try cook up one for a simple, satisfying dinner tonight.

5. Chicken Cacciatore — A splash of red wine boosts the full-bodied cacciatore sauce, made with fresh vegetables and thyme.

4. Anne’s Chicken Cacciatore — Anne adds a hint of heat to her rich, tender chicken by sweating onions with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Get the top three recipes

A Chocolate Shamrock Cake

by in Holidays, Recipes, March 16th, 2012

chocolate shamrock cake
While St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday geared toward adults, I think it’s fun to make sure that what I make is also kid friendly.

This cake is a perfect compromise for adults and kids alike. Big people get a decadent piece of cake, while little people take part in a scavenger hunt.

What’s the best part about this cake? Wondering who will get the “lucky” piece or the piece with a four-leaf clover on it.

Learn how to make this simple cake

Polenta Vegetable “Lasagna” — The Weekender

by in Recipes, March 16th, 2012

polenta vegetable lasagna
Until just a few years ago, I thought that all polenta came precooked and wrapped firmly in plastic. When I was in college, my roommates and I would occasionally buy it packaged that way. Once we sawed through the wrapper, we’d cut it into thick rounds and cook those slices in butter until they were crisp and warmed through. Topped with some jarred marinara sauce, we thought it was QUITE the sophisticated meal.

There is nothing wrong with that kind of polenta, but once you taste the freshly cooked kind, all creamy and enriched with Parmesan cheese and a dab of butter, well, there’s no going back. It’s one of my pantry staples, because it can help unify a few leftover odds and ends into a really good meal. My favorite thing to do is top polenta with some pan-wilted spinach and a couple poached eggs. It’s an almost-instant dinner.

I’ve also found that polenta dishes are excellent to share with new parents. They reheat well, last for days in the fridge and are edible comfort for the sleep-deprived.

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