by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, December 9th, 2011
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2011
Soup and bread are one of the most natural pairings I know. Truly, what goes better with a bowl of warm, belly-filling soup than a roll, hunk of baguette or even just a slice of basic, buttered toast?
The trouble I so often run into is the fact that I buy lovely loaves of bread to go with my batches of soup and inevitably end up chucking the last third of the loaf as it’s gotten too stale to be eaten. For someone who tries to keep the grocery budget in check and prevent food waste, this can be an awful blow.
Happily, there is an answer to my bread-waste issue and it’s found in (another) pot of soup. For centuries now, frugal Italian cooks have been reviving those day-or-two-old bread ends by adding them to the soup kettle. They work to thicken the soup, give it a silky consistency and generally manage to transform a humble vegetable broth into a sturdy, substantial potage.
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, December 8th, 2011
Nothing brings people together around the holidays quite like good food and drinks. Whether you’re hosting a Saturday night cocktail party, an after-work soiree or a casual get-together with your friends, a few festive cocktails, bite-sized snacks and good cheer are all you need to ensure your gathering goes off without a hitch. Food Network Magazine caught up with Chopped host Ted Allen and asked him what makes his Holiday Happy Hour such a success.
Instead of sweating it out over the stove, Ted suggests making simple dishes that can be cooked in the oven instead. “And serve a few dishes that work at room temperature. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time eating and drinking with your friends,” he says. As for drinks, Ted prefers crimson-colored Due Campari Nuovo cocktails from Food Network Magazine, complete with bubbly prosecco and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Secrets to his holiday entertaining »
by Victoria Phillips in In Season, Recipes, December 7th, 2011
Most people consider polenta a restaurant food. Because as good as this creamy, cheesy Italian staple is, few of us have the hour needed to crank it out.
But hidden on the grocer’s shelves is a shortcut that can help get polenta on your dinner table any day of the week in minutes: prepared polenta. Which is different — and far better than — a related product known as instant polenta.
But first, some polenta basics.
Polenta is a traditional starch in Italian cooking, an alternative to pasta, rice and potatoes that pairs deliciously well with robust sauces and meats.
Polenta is made by slowly simmering and stirring cornmeal with chicken broth or water. It’s usually also seasoned with Parmesan cheese and butter.
Get the recipe for Spicy Pork With Polenta »
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Chef, Recipes, December 6th, 2011
Turn winter squash into a simple snack with curry powder and butter. Whether you’re partial to acorn, buttercup, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti or turban, this quick recipe from Food Network Magazine showcases the fruit’s plump, soft flesh.
When shopping, the firmer the squash the better. Winter squash’s thick skin allows for longer storage times (as long as you keep it in a cool, dark place and don’t refrigerate). Don’t forget to watch out for blemishes or moldy spots.
A great source of iron, riboflavin and vitamins A (more than summer squash) and C, this Curried Winter Squash is so addictive don’t be surprised if you eat it all in one sitting.
More squash recipes from our friends & family »
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 5th, 2011
Kohlrabi comes from the German words “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” (turnip). It tastes like a slightly peppery mixture of turnip and radish with a pinch of Brussels sprout. The bulbs are at their best when they’re around the size of a baseball or softball. If much bigger, they tend to have a tougher texture. I found that both light green and purple kohlrabi don’t taste dramatically different. Maybe the purple was a touch sweeter? You be the judge. How do you eat it?
Raw: The simplest choice. Simply peel the outer layer of skin off with a vegetable peeler and grate the kohlrabi raw over a salad.
Get my dressing recipe for a crisp kohlrabi salad »
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, December 2nd, 2011
No longer just a sweet breakfast treat, crepes can be filled with decadent, savory fillings perfect for lunch or dinner. Here, these light, fluffy pancake-like crepes are made with hearty buckwheat flour and stuffed with sautéed spinach, wild mushrooms and fresh thyme. For a simple weeknight supper, prepare citrus shrimp or sweet onion fillings and let everyone build their own perfect crepes.
For a quick side dish, serve Giada’s rustic Tomato Vegetable Casserole. Baked with potatoes, yams, ripe tomatoes and creamy Parmesan cheese until the vegetables are tender, this dish is warm and comforting.
Get the recipe: Buckwheat Crepes 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.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 2nd, 2011
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, there’s no way to deny it: The holiday season is here. I, for one, welcome the onslaught of parties, cookie exchanges and evenings spent shopping and wrapping gifts. There’s something so joyful and cozy about the many moments of celebration that will be folded into the next four weeks.
With so much packed into so little time, there’s never been a better time for project cooking. It’s just good sense to invest a few minutes over the weekend in a pot of something filling that can be quickly reheated for dinner one night and lunch the next day.
What’s more, in this season of entertaining, having a recipe tucked in your repertoire that is simple enough to prepare but sufficiently elegant to add to the buffet at your holiday open house is a very good thing.
Right now, I’ve found that the recipe that checks all these boxes is Ina Garten’s Chicken Bouillabaisse. It comes together in just a few steps, and dirties just a plate, a Dutch oven and a food processor or blender. The bulk of the time the recipe demands is hands off. You can relax (or prep that next batch of cookie dough) while the oven does the work and fills your home with warming scents. All this and more is what makes it perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start browning your chicken, read these tips »
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, December 1st, 2011
The beauty of the slow cooker is endless. With this trusty, must-have kitchen gadget, you’re able to create bold dishes in just one pot, achieve flavors that normally require constant monitoring without the time-consuming commitment to them, and can essentially let it do the cooking for you. For a taste of the slow-cooked life, try our easy recipes below that can be quickly prepped in the morning and enjoyed at night.
This veggie-friendly Slow-Cooker Squash Stew from Food Network Magazine is perfect for an easy Meatless Monday main dish or healthy lunch any day of the week. Leafy Swiss chard, hearty butternut squash and chickpeas combine to create a warm, comforting stew, while a final squeeze of lemon juice brightens up the bowl.
Cooking Channel’s Kelsey Nixon uses her slow cooker to simmer seasoned pork shoulder in a tomato sauce with brown sugar, chili powder and cumin for her Slow Cooker Shredded Pork recipe. After a few short hours in the slow cooker, the pork becomes fork-tender and has adopted the spicy flavors of the sauce. Pile the pork atop a lightly toasted bun for instant sandwiches or serve with Food Network Kitchens’ Cornbread to enjoy a barbecue feast.
More slow-cooker showstoppers »
by Victoria Phillips in In Season, Recipes, November 30th, 2011
First lesson of Indian cooking: Not all brown powders are curry powder.
Second lesson: Don’t confuse heat and warmth, especially in Indian cuisine, as they are wildly different concepts.
Third lesson: Indian cooking is a deliciously inexact science. Embrace its freewheeling approach and all of your cooking, Indian and otherwise, will be better.
And all of that is why I want to introduce you to garam masala, a widely available yet little used (in the U.S.) seasoning blend from northern India. Like so many Indian spice blends, there is no set recipe for garam masala. The ingredients can vary tremendously by region and cook. But in general, it usually contains a mix of spices that are at once sweet and warming — coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and black pepper.
Get the recipe for Smashed Garam Masala Potatoes »
As November comes to a close, serve one last bright meal that channels summer and casts away the soon-to-be-winter chill. Beets are not only pretty, but this versatile root vegetable can be easily thrown into a quick salad.
When shopping, choose beets that are firm and have smooth skin. Small or medium-sized beets are often more tender, while their color can range from a garnet red to white.
Serve a Beet and Apple Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine as an easy starter. Apples and sugar give this dish a natural sweetness, while endive and walnuts add some crunch.
More beet recipes from family and friends »