There are some dishes that are emblematic of a culture. Fried chicken is as Southern as kudzu and sweet tea. Lobster defines the food of New England, and chili peppers speak to Southwestern cuisine. There are many others to consider, but red beans and rice, a true Creole classic, means Louisiana country cooking. Like many of the best recipes from simple food, red beans and rice is made up of humble ingredients that, after a slow simmer, are transformed into a sustaining, nourishing bowl of down-home comfort.
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While host Alton Brown didn’t offer the chefs any pancake shortcuts during yesterday’s Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage, he’s giving one to fans in the form of his “Instant” Pancake Mix (pictured above), a go-to recipe that lets you do most of the hands-on work in advance and keeps work simple when you’re ready to cook.
Better than the boxed stuff you buy from the supermarket, Alton’s DIY mix comes together with only a few pantry staples, like flour, baking soda and salt, and, perhaps best of all, it keeps for up to three months and yields as many as three batches of pancakes. Keep it on hand for when you want a stress-free morning meal, and when you’re ready to enjoy, stir in eggs, buttermilk and butter to create the ultimate quick-fix breakfast.
I am of the firm belief that one of the best things you can do for yourself is spend an extra hour or two in the kitchen over the weekend. You can use that time cooking up a meal to have on hand for a busy weeknight, or stir together a treat to make your family feel a little extra special.
Sometimes, that weekend kitchen time isn’t even about cooking. Often, it’s simply a moment to clear out the fridge of anything past its prime and sketch out a plan for how to best use what remains.
And that’s what The Weekender is about: doing yourself the kindness of investing a little bit of your weekend in the kitchen with an eye on the coming week. There will be tasty dishes, tricks for getting your kitchen in order and little things you can do to make meals during the workweek as painless as possible.
This weekend, consider the humble meatloaf. It’s a great make-ahead meal, because it reheats beautifully (consider making two and stashing one in the freezer), works just as well in a sandwich as on a dinner plate and, for picky eaters, goes down easy with a generous dollop of ketchup.
If you perk up at the mere mention of roasted garlic when reading a menu, you are not alone. Roasting fresh garlic tames its sharp bite, leaving behind cloves that are soft, golden and aromatic. Learn how to roast garlic at home, and see the ways that this rousing flavor can be incorporated into your favorite dishes:
1. Mashed Potatoes: Whether it’s a part of your imminent Thanksgiving menu or served up on a weeknight, Ree Drummond’s ultra-creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (pictured above) uses a whopping minimum of three whole heads of garlic.
2. Chicken: Serve Melissa d’Arabian’s Roasted Garlic Clove Chicken with bread to mop up the sauce and spread the softened garlic. She opts for chicken thighs, which are extra-juicy and flavorful.
3. Chili: For a fast dose of garlicky flavor, Melissa quick-roasts cloves in the microwave. Her recipe White Chili with Quick-Roasted Garlic for Food Network Magazine comes with garlicky, spicy spoonfuls of chicken, navy beans and spinach.
4. Soup: Every spoonful of Guy Fieri’s Roasted Garlic Soup with Asiago Crostini centers around our favorite ingredient. It uses six whole heads of garlic, and gets a velvety smoothness from heavy cream.
5. Bread: After roasting whole garlic cloves in the oven until soft, squeeze the garlic out of its skin onto crusty, grilled bread for Roasted Garlic Bruschetta.
Even if you hardly find yourself craving sugar during the day, it seems that nearly everyone develops a sweet tooth come Halloween time, and with only a few weeks left until Fright Night, it’s not too early to indulge in scary-good tricks and treats. From creamy chocolate to the rich flavors of caramel and the chewiness of candy corn, there are surely Halloween-inspired eats to please every palate. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five spooktacular treats from The Pioneer Woman, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and more chefs.
5. Candy Corn Popcorn Balls — With a mix of sweet and salty tastes, these candy-studded snacks are ideal for kids’ parties and adults-only bashes alike. Plus, they’re ready to eat in only 25 minutes.
4. Spiced Caramel Roulade with Ginger Cream — The secret to this comforting dessert is rolling the cake on a sugar-dusted towel, which will help the fragrant cinnamon-laced cake roll easily with a fluffy ginger filling inside.
In our house fall means two things: crisp weather and busy schedules. That’s what makes these hearty slow-cooker soups so perfect for this time of year, but that’s not all. Each of these classic soups has a tasty new twist, adding more flavor and richness, which usually means empty bowls (and happy kids) around here.
Turkey Chili: With a hint of chocolate, this mole-inspired chili is a fresh take on a cold-weather classic.
Potato Soup with All the Fixins (pictured above): Start with the humblest of ingredients — potatoes, onions and chicken stock — wait seven hours, then pile on all your favorite baked potato toppings, like bacon, cheddar cheese, chives and more.
Now that it’s autumn, playful outdoor activities abound, such as apple picking. Though it’s fun, it can be difficult to figure out what to do with the surplus of apples you collect. But there’s a Meatless Monday solution to your predicament: put them to use in a fun, fresh dinner. After all, apples are for much more than just dessert! Bobby Flay’s Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette from Food Network Magazine is a crisp and sweet treat for your Monday. In addition to the apples, ingredients like spinach, endive, walnuts and blue cheese give the salad a savory balance, so there’s a flavor for everyone.
This dish requires you to whip up the dressing as well as the salad. For the dressing, you’ll take the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper, and whisk them together. Then, slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
Then, for the salad, mix the apples, spinach, endive, walnuts and blue cheese together. Toss in the vinaigrette and add salt and pepper to season.
No matter how filling a dinner you may have had or how committed you are to going to sleep at an early hour, sometimes when the clock strikes midnight, you find yourself awake and hungry again, and when the late-night cravings hit, it can take all things crunchy and salty or creamy and sweet to satisfy them — even for professional chefs. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast shared go-to recipes for midnight eats (find all of the recipes here), and recently FN Dish caught up with some of the co-hosts and other Food Network favorites to find out what eats they opt for in the middle of the night. From “potato-fried perfection” to “really good pizza” and “tropical fruit,” their answers my surprise you. Read on below to hear from Alex Guarnaschelli, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Amanda Freitag and other stars, find out who admitted to eating what.
Aarón Sánchez: Wine and chocolate
Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s a tossup between a super-spicy fish taco, a hot dog with deep-fried bacon on it or a whole cake of any flavor — but it would have to be layered.
In my family, fall means a trip to the mountains for apple picking and apple cider. We love buying a variety of different kinds of apples — some to refrigerate and keep for eating, some to make jelly, and always, always a couple of pounds of cooking apples for apple pie and crisp. While I adore apple pie, I have to admit that an apple crisp is so simple and easy that it’s my go-to apple dessert. There’s no pastry to make and no dough to roll out, and with a little pep in your prep you can have dessert in under an hour.
Crisps, along with their culinary cousins — crumbles, grunts, brown betties and pandowdies — are all simple, old-fashioned, homey desserts. The desserts in this genre use a streusel-like mixture of flour or breadcrumbs, sugar, warm spices and butter, along with rolled oats and nuts. I especially love to use fresh, in-season Georgia pecans in the fall, but almonds and walnuts are great, too. Crisps are flat-out easy, and everyone loves a piping-hot fruit dessert with a sweet, buttery topping. You can serve the crisp with ice cream, whipped cream, or even creme fraiche for an ultra-indulgent dose of down-home comfort. Read more
In true Cutthroat Kitchen fashion, even the simplest dishes become seemingly insurmountable challenges once Alton Brown‘s evilicious sabotages make their way to the competitors. In this week’s premiere heat of the first-ever Superstar Sabotage tournament, the host turned a breakfast staple — French toast — into a near-nightmare for Round 3 rivals Chefs Michael Psilakis and Aarti Sequiera, as they were forced to make the plate using onion-scented bread and a small conveyor toaster, respectively. But when the mind games end, it turns out that for Alton, all it takes to make his winning French Toast (pictured above) is just a handful of ingredients — no sabotages in sight.
Ready to eat in a hurry, Alton’s fuss-free morning meal is the kind of staple you’ll want to master and make a permanent part of your recipe repertoire. He opts for a mix of eggs, half-and-half and a squeeze of honey to make the creamy custard for his brioche-based French toast. Cook the bread in butter until the slices are golden-brown, and top with sweet maple syrup or fluffy whipped cream for an indulgent finish. Click the play button on the video above to watch him make it.