Listen, sometimes the last thing that is going to happen is a run to the supermarket. And whether the temp is hovering over the single digits or you just can’t bring yourself to mobilize for another trip to the store, that shouldn’t prevent you from whipping up a solid meal. Next time a supermarket run just isn’t in the cards, look to pantry staples like dried pasta, canned tomatoes and more for a killer meal that’s ready on the fly. Here are five back-pocket pasta recipes that absolutely always have your back.
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The 87th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles this Sunday night, and while you may not be able to score a coveted ticket to the ceremony, there’s no reason you can’t roll out the red carpet at home and make like you’re famous by indulging in awardworthy eats and drinks (even if you happen to be in fuzzy sweatpants instead of a skintight gown). From bubbly Champagne cocktails and easy crostini to tender short ribs, rich chocolate cupcakes and more, Food Network’s ultimate collection of Oscar Sunday specialties is brimming with 5-star flavor, and it’s deceptively simple to pull off.
If movies equal popcorn, then there’s no better way to kick off an evening of reviewing the best in big-screen dramas than with a bowl of Pepped-Up Popcorn (pictured above). Our Food Network Kitchen’s next-level recipe yields a trio of tastes: a savory pick with nutty Parmesan, plus chili powder-dusted and chocolate-coated snacks as well. If you’re feeling more classic than creative, however, dig into Food Network Magazine’s tried-and-true Theater-Style Buttered Popcorn for a traditional salty, crunchy bite.
When it comes to simple side dishes, no vegetable takes the cake quite like potatoes; they’re easy to make in a hurry, endlessly comforting and sure to please even the pickiest eaters at the table. While a classic baked spud is a go-to preparation, a bit of mashing, slicing and dicing, plus indulgent additions like butter and cream, will transform the humble potato into a hearty staple. And no one knows that better than The Pioneer Woman, who has more than a few potato picks in her ranch recipe arsenal. Read on below to get Ree Drummond’s top-five takes on potatoes, including a cheesy twice-baked version and scalloped beauties studded with ham.
5. Perfect Potato Salad — Packed with sweet pickles, hard-boiled eggs and fresh dill, Ree’s easy potato salad features a mix of mayonnaise and mustard for extra tang. Follow her lead and mash the spuds to achieve a fluffy base.
4. Scalloped Potatoes and Ham — “The thinner the better,” Ree says of slicing the potatoes for her big-batch casserole. She layers these fine spuds with chopped ham, a thick, buttery onion sauce and plenty of gooey Monterey Jack cheese to create a stick-to-your-ribs side.
As a mom of four small kids, I love dinners you can cook once, then use again in a new way later in the week. I call them “2 Dinners in 1,” but today I’m sharing how to be a suppertime overachiever. No two dinners here. Nope, this strategy is a bona fide three-in-one timesaver. After roasting a classic chicken and vegetables, you’ll serve chicken breasts and some of those veggies for a family-friendly meal. Dinner two will be legs and thighs in a simple casserole, and finally on night three, you’ll put leftovers to work in a whole delicious stock. Here’s your game plan for making it work.
Dinner #1: Easy Lemon Roasted Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes (pictured above)
- Use the largest bird you can find, then slather a quickie vinaigrette — I like olive oil, thyme, fresh lemon juice and zest, plus salt and pepper — on both the chicken and vegetables. Be sure to double the amount of vegetables, so you’re cooking another dinner’s worth of carrots and potatoes (plus any other vegetables you like, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and so on), and cook them on a separate baking sheet. And if you don’t have enough lemon vinaigrette for the second pan, just use olive oil with salt and pepper.
- Cut up the breasts for dinner, using Alton Brown’s method for carving a turkey, and remove each breast in one large piece before dicing it up to serve. (P.S. Ina Garten does this for chicken too.)
- Serve just the chicken breast and roasted vegetables with a nice loaf of crusty bread and soft salted butter. Reserve everything else — and I do mean everything, including the bones!
You know the classics: chicken pot pie, chicken Parmesan … and the meaty list of comfort food favorites goes on. So what’s a vegetarian to do in the depths of winter when there’s no end of snowstorms in sight? These recipes are hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
1. Chickless Pot Pie (pictured above)
Trisha Yearwood’s vegetarian take on chicken pot pie is easy to make, thanks to store-bought pie crust and a whole host of veggies you might already have on hand. Plus, if you’re looking to avoid dairy, you’ll be glad to know this recipe swaps in almond milk in place of traditional dairy.
Mixed reactions would best describe the kids when they heard they would have to bake treats featuring pate a choux in Episode 3 of Kids Baking Championship. Some revealed they hated the dough, whereas others were excited to be taking on something they loved. It’s safe to say most of us viewers were wondering how these kids even knew about the French pastry dough used to make cream puffs (profiteroles), cheese puffs (gougères) and éclairs, among other treats (including the towering croquembouche).
The kids went about the challenge and created some of the most-impressive baked goods. The judges’ criteria came down to mostly flavor profiles — although there was the occasional issue of too large versus too small a puff.
If you’re up for a challenge, and if you consider yourself as advanced as these kids, here are some recipes to get you started baking with pate a choux, including sweet and savory renditions, just as was asked of the kid bakers. See how well you can survive the challenge at home. And if you happen to produce some “ungainly” results, as Duff Goldman commented, eat the evidence!
You know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.
Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal (pictured above). Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.
Successful and satisfying dinners don’t have to require many ingredients or take a lot of time to prepare. In fact, some of the most tried-and-true standbys come together in mere minutes with everyday essentials from the pantry, including crowd-pleasing pastas. Just a box of noodles and a fuss-free sauce are all it takes to pull off tonight’s family meal, and when you use Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon (pictured above), you don’t even have to cook the sauce.
Ready to eat in only 17 minutes, Giada’s bold pasta stars a raw sauce of rich, chewy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy green olives and plenty of fresh basil. For easy prep, she opts to whirl these go-to fixings in the food processor alongside a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness and a heavy handful of nutty Parmesan cheese. There’s no need to cook the sauce, as the heat of the just-drained pasta will gently warm the tomato mixture as they’re combined.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, tomorrow’s all about indulgent, no-holds-barred eats, drinks and celebrations, especially in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras takes on an over-the-top culture all its own. If you can’t make it to the French Quarter to take part in the annual parades or dress up in the signature purple, green and gold colors, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are by recreating classic NOLA-style classics right at home.
Piled high with layers of Italian deli meats and cheeses and a hearty layer of briny, tangy olive-pepper salad, Jeff Mauro’s Monster Muffaletta (pictured above) serves as a hearty base in your stomach to soak up whatever it is you’ll be drinking all day. But perhaps best of all, this big-batch sandwich is a no-cook standby that can be assembled and ready to eat in only 10 quick minutes.