Beat-the-Heat Chilled Summer Soups

by in Recipes, July 21st, 2016

When summer temperatures spike and the air conditioning can’t begin to cut the heat, the very last thing you want to do is turn on an oven or sweat over a fiery grill. Instead, beat the heat with chilled summer soups, which are not only delicious and instantly cooling, but even improve when given a little time in the fridge for the flavors to meld. Make a big batch of soup showcasing fleeting summer produce such as tomatoes, corn, cucumbers or berries, and start enjoying the fleeting tastes of summer by the spoonful.

If you could capture summer in a bowl, it would be Ree Drummond’s Gazpacho (pictured above). First, she blitzes Roma tomatoes together with garlic, red onion, cukes, celery and zucchini. Then, she drizzles in olive oil for richness and body, vinegar for tartness, and hot sauce for kick. But it’s Ree’s garnishes that take this dish to the next level: Sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, minced hard-boiled eggs and grilled shrimp make each bowl a satisfying meal. Read more

3 Sweet Ways to Use Avocados in Dessert — Chopped Junior

by in Recipes, Shows, July 21st, 2016

Avocado PieBy Angela Carlos

On this week’s episode of Chopped Junior, judges marveled at the contestants’ skills at transforming mystery basket ingredients into culinary revelations. In the entree round, Ethan’s perfectly seared branzino received a nod from judge Chris Santos, and the sense of balance in Tara’s crema sauce, which topped her boar tacos, left a lasting impression on the discerning judge.

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If You Cook Any Corn This Summer, Make It One of These 5-Star Recipes

by in Recipes, July 21st, 2016

Fresh Corn SaladThe words “summer” and “corn” just go together. And there’s good reason for that. Fresh summer corn is a true emblem of this warm-weather season, when your time is best spent nibbling it right off the cob in all of its char-marked glory. Before it’s too late, run down the line of our best corn recipes, each raking in 5-star ratings from our corn-loving fans.

A flash of cooking, a punch of vinegar and a scattering of red onion and fresh basil are all it takes to elevate summer’s bounty to the glory that is Ina Garten’s Fresh Corn Salad, a dish worthy of more than 200 reviews and a 5-star rating.

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The Smollett Family Is Serving Up Family Fun and Recipes in the New Series Smollett Eats

by in Shows, July 21st, 2016

Smollett FamilyAlthough the Smollett siblings may be most well-known for their acting and musical talents, they reveal another side to their creativity in their new series: cooking for and entertaining family and close friends. Premiering on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 12:30|11:30c, Smollett Eats gives fans a peek into the siblings’ food-filled lives. Whether it’s putting on a themed kids’ birthday party, throwing a late-night cookout or hosting a pop-up dinner, the Smolletts are up for celebrating with food. On the show, Jake, the family chef, is joined by his brothers, Jocqui, Jojo and Jussie, and his sisters, Jazz and Jurnee. The six siblings prove that a family that cooks together stays together, and where there’s food, there’s love.

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Exclusive Interview with Past Star Winner Aarti, Who’s Back for the Finalists’ Last Presentations

by , July 21st, 2016

Food Network StarIt was just a few years ago that Aarti Sequeira secured her future as a Food Network Star, besting her fellow finalists to earn the Season 6 crown. Now, with incomparable been-there-done-that wisdom and an acute realization of what the remaining Seas...

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“This Is Like a Ballet of Pain” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, July 20th, 2016

It’s not often that that Cutthroat Kitchen judges get to choose their own poison, so to speak, when they drop by Alton’s After-Show (usually that’s host Alton Brown‘s job). But tonight Antonia Lofaso enjoyed the freedom to select which sabotage she’d be saddled with. Alton explained that they’d be prepping lobster rolls together — literally, that is — and it was up to her to opt to do so in a giant stockpot alongside Alton or in a harness tethered to him. Ultimately she chose the harness, and we’re glad she did, because what resulted as they both put signature spins on lobster rolls was diabolically hilarious — not to mention downright delicious.

Antonia and Alton agreed that the Connecticut-style lobster roll preparation, which features butter instead of mayo as the binder, is the way to go, but tonight Alton opted for mayonnaise “to contrast,” he explained. After Antonia toasted her bun, Alton oh so gingerly scooted the duo over to his station to work on his lobster. Sure enough, no sooner did Alton get a handle on his prep did Antonia shimmy them back to her table. “This is like a ballet of pain,” Alton noted as they did an impromptu two-step in the kitchen. After what Alton called “a completely neutral Bob” joined them for tasting, the Bob wordlessly deemed Alton’s to be the best of the day — which didn’t actually come as a surprise to Antonia. “It’s true. It’s the mayonnaise. I didn’t put any salt. I’m a failure,” she proclaimed in a series of heartbreaking culinary admissions. And for Alton, that was music to his ears. “Best day ever,” he said.

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Why There’s a Hole in the Center of Your Spaghetti Spoon

by in News, July 20th, 2016

Why There’s a Hole in the Center of your Spaghetti SpoonPop quiz! The hole in the center of your spaghetti spoon/ladle serves what nifty purpose? A) to seamlessly strain your pasta water; B) to gaze through for a new pasta-rific perspective on life; C) to measure out a perfect single serving of spaghetti.

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How to Stock Your Vacation Rental: A Week’s Worth of Meals on a Budget

by in Family, Recipes, July 20th, 2016

Zucchini PaniniWhen planning a vacation, one of the top reasons to opt for a house rental instead of a hotel is for access to a full kitchen while you’re away from home. It’s much less expensive (goodbye, 18 percent gratuity on every meal and drink!) and if you love to cook, it’s pretty fun. That said, the post-arrival trip to the grocery store can quickly turn into a nightmarish spend fest without some advance planning. Here are tips on how to smartly stock your rental kitchen with a single trip to the grocery store that won’t break the bank.

Tip #1: Plan your meals.
I have found that some of my go-to meals at home just aren’t feasible on vacation. Making my family’s favorite meatballs, for example, would require me to purchase breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seed and several varieties of herbs — ingredients I always have at home, but might not use again during my vacation stay. Try to stick to recipes that have relatively few ingredients, such as this Zucchini Panini and our other 5-Ingredient Summer Recipes.

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3 of a Kind: Cooling Port Cocktails

by in Restaurants, July 20th, 2016

Fig and Walnut Julep

By Amanda Marsteller

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

When most people think of port, they picture a cold-weather drink consumed fireside. But Portugal’s sweet fortified wine doesn’t have to be relegated to winter; its complexity is equally enjoyable in summer months. Those signature dark-fruit flavors have been harnessed in classic all-weather cocktails since the 1800s, even making an appearance in Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks (widely regarded as the first American cocktail manual). Port has recently begun experiencing a resurgence in popularity with modern bartenders, who are rediscovering the powerful effects of this potent wine. Bearing hints of chocolate and cinnamon, port adds rich depth to any mixed drink. This season, innovative bartenders are incorporating it into summer sours, tiki drinks and other cooling cocktails.

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6 No-Cook Pasta Sauces That Take the Sweat Out of Dinner

by in Recipes, July 20th, 2016

Here at Food Network, we’re constantly dreaming up new ways to survive summer heat waves without relying on cold salads for every meal. Our best solution so far? No-cook pasta sauces. And it’s not just because they reduce the amount of time spent cooking over heat — though it is a huge plus. It’s because a good, raw sauce must add up to more than the sum of its parts. In most cases, that means the absolute freshest and most perfectly ripe ingredients. From light, clean-tasting pesto to juicy tomato sauce with olives and mint, here are six of our favorite ways to dress up pasta in the summertime.

Basil Pesto
When it comes to no-cook pasta sauces, basil is king. This simple, seasonal mixture of basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and salty pecorino comes together in just five minutes in your food processor, no flame required. Even though it feels like a shortcut recipe, it certainly doesn’t taste like one.

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