Space food used to be about freeze-dried ice cream and Tang. Now it’s all about the humble spud.
I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite grain, farro. Similar in taste and texture to barley, this hearty Italian ingredient is prepared just as you’d make rice, by boiling it, and is a culinary blank canvas of sorts — you can pair it with countless other flavors, just as you can quinoa or couscous. While you can indeed make a batch of farro while you’re planning the week’s meals on Sunday and count on it starring in simple salads for a few days thereafter, you can also turn the heat up on farro and serve it in a hot casserole, as Giada De Laurentiis has done in her recipe for Farro with Cheese and Herbs.
Guess who just got their tax refund back? If the answer is you, then … way to make the rest of us all jealous! The odds are that you weren’t expecting this surprise check in the mail, so the question to follow is obviously how you’re going to put it to good use. Here’s what we’re thinking: food — but just not any kind. Use this extra cash flow to make an over-the-top meal that you wouldn’t normally splurge on unless it were a birthday, anniversary or some other important date (because, you know, budgets are a thing).
Amp Up Mac and Cheese with Lobster
Mac and cheese, whether from the box or homemade, is one of those creamy, comforting recipes that can be as frugal as you want it to be. Luckily, in honor of your refund (cha-ching!), you deserve nothing less than Ina Garten’s Lobster Mac and Cheese from Food Network Magazine (pictured above). Stir plump morsels of sweet lobster into a killer creamy blend made with Gruyère, extra-sharp cheddar and a hit of nutmeg. Because, let’s be honest, when you just got your refund, are you going to take your mac and cheese any other way? We didn’t think so.
No stranger to the role of judge or competitor on Cutthroat Kitchen, Richard Blais is a bit of an evilicious die-hard (he did win Round 1 of the latest Superstar Sabotage tournament, after all). And on tonight’s new episode, he proved his dedication in the most-permanent (or at least a permanent-looking) way: a Cutthroat Kitchen tattoo. The name of the game this week was breakfast, and for this special episode both host Alton Brown and Richard, who was the guest judge of the day, donned themed bathrobes as they doled out and critiqued contestants’ morning meals. And when Richard pulled back his own fuzzy robe, he revealed a shockingly realistic tattoo of the show’s logo on the left side of his chest.
You know that tequila and lime pair well together in your favorite boozy drinks — margaritas, anyone? — but, believe it or not, these crisp, fresh flavors can star in surprisingly healthy dinners as well. In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ina Garten uses the liquor and the citrus juice, along with bold chili powder, to make a simple marinade for chicken breasts, which she quickly grills until tender and juicy. Bonus: Ina notes that the chicken can be served hot or at room temperature, so you can take your time as you work on sides to round out the meal.
As you look ahead to warm-weather cooking, check out Food Network’s Let’s Grill! board on Pinterest for recipe ideas and smoky inspiration.
Get the Recipe: Tequila Lime Chicken
It’s spring! Are you jumping up and down and dancing in circles and howling at the moon like I am? No?
… Really? Just me, huh? OK.
Well, now that it’s spring, I feel like eating a smidge lighter. Not too much lighter … don’t get sad. But something slightly more springy and festive and moon-howly (yes, it’s a thing). And, on top of that, there’s BREAD here. Oh sure, now you’re dancing.
French toast: bread, eggs, milk or cream. That’s it, right? Right … technically. But the world of French toast goes beyond those basic ingredients, and what results when you add even more flavors and textures — or even dress up the three staple ingredients — can be downright indulgent and worthy of both breakfast and dessert. On this morning’s all-new “secrets” episode of The Kitchen, the cast revealed little-known tricks for upgrading some of your favorite dishes and common pantry items in new, bold ways. Enter French toast. By using extra-special bread, making a creamy custard with warm spices and finishing the dish with sweet toppings, the co-hosts transformed this go-to dish into a next-level winner.