The Great Harvest Dinner

by , September 20th, 2014

Corn

The air may still be summery (and, in some places, record-breakingly warm), but the bounty of vegetables turning up in farms and gardens can only mean one thing: It’s harvest time. And that is cause for celebration. Ideally, you’d get the whole neighborhood together and do a full-on pig roast, but even for a smaller gathering you can cook up a stellar dinner to showcase the harvest.

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Your Guide to Cooking the Fall Harvest

by in Recipes, September 20th, 2014

Pear-Pecan Upside-Down CakeThe first day of autumn is just days away, and whether you’re preparing to host weekend tailgates or you want to throw a fancy fall soiree, get set for the season by filling up your recipe repertoire with go-to dishes that are both impressive for guests and easy to prepare. When you’re shopping the farmers market or walking the aisles at the grocery store, check out the fresh, in-season produce, like squash, potatoes, greens and pears, and design your menu based upon whatever looks best that day. Check out the party-ready recipes below to find sweet and savory inspiration for your fall cooking, then head over to The Kitchen headquarters to see how the co-hosts kicked off the season on this morning’s all-new episode.

If you think slow cookers are for only meaty chilis and soups, think again, because Food Network Magazine introduced a Pear-Pecan Upside-Down Cake (pictured above) that comes together with the help of the machine. After setting up the pears at the bottom of the slow cooker and topping them with a cinnamon-laced cornmeal batter, your hands-on work is just about finished, and all you have to do is let the cake cook for a few hours. Invert the cake so the pear slices are on top and serve with cool, fluffy whipped cream for a simple-yet-stunning presentation.

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Wizards Invent Spoon That Eliminates Hard to Scoop Ice Cream

by , September 20th, 2014

One of the most frustrating things in life has to be when you demand ice cream right now at this very second but, when it’s taken out of the freezer, it’s simply too frozen to enjoy. How dare those pesky laws of thermodynamics ruin instant gratification party 2K14. You are then faced with two choices: get down and dirty in that tub, chipping away at it until you have something resembling a scoop, or do the unthinkable and put it on the counter and wait. Now there’s a third option and it may be the best one of all. A magic spoon!

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The Roasted Veggie Plan: Foolproof Prep + 10 Creative Uses

by in Food Network Chef, September 20th, 2014

The Roasted Veggie PlanWe all want more time. And we all want to be healthy. So when I develop a strategy that meets both goals, I get excited about sharing it with you. Today I’m sharing my roasted veggie strategy. It’s really quite simple: Bake up a tray or two of veggies on the weekend to stick in the fridge and use for recipes all week. Roasting the veggies brings out the vegetables’ natural earthy sweetness, and it makes them last for days in the refrigerator, which means you can make up a batch of veggies on Monday to use all week for recipes. You can combine veggies freely, making pretty color combinations or simply leveraging whatever happens to be in your crisper drawer. This is my favorite kind of convenience food — one I make myself.

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Scalloped Potatoes — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, September 19th, 2014

Scalloped PotatoesScalloped Potatoes. Potatoes au Gratin. Potato Cheese Casserole. Potato Cheese Bake. Many names describe this mouthwatering, golden-brown, bubbly dish of down-home comfort.

I have a friend who is a personal chef in Atlanta. She told me that she once described a possible menu dish to her customer as a casserole and her customer responded with a slightly disdainful, haughty voice, “Oh, no, our family doesn’t eat casseroles.” Duly noted, my wise friend observed. A few weeks later she thought she’d try again. She described pretty much the same dish, but this time as a gratin. The same customer replied in that same disdainful voice, “No, that’s too far too fancy, our family doesn’t eat gratins.” My friend knew her stumbling block was the language, the description, the perception, because she knew she meant the same recipe. So, going up to bat for a third time, a few weeks later still, she described the dish as a “bake.” It worked. “Oh, yes,” the customer happily replied, “that sounds lovely.”

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FAN POLL: Vote for Your Favorite Competitor in the Chopped Ultimate Champions Finale

by in Shows, September 19th, 2014

Chopped Ultimate ChampionsWe’ve watched as four returning champions have battled to earn a spot in the Chopped Ultimate Champions finale. One professional chef, one amateur cook, one hero cook and one celebrity have made it through. On the line is the biggest prize ever handed out on Chopped, $50,000 in cash and a new car. Each of these competitors has the potential to win, but only one will walk away the Ultimate Champion. Ahead of Tuesday’s finale at 10|9c, support your favorite competitor by voting for him or her in the fan poll.

Vote Now

Cooking Channel’s Can’t-Miss Fall TV Schedule

by , September 19th, 2014

Worst Things About Fall: school; everything is suddenly pumpkin flavored; it’s getting brisk out there.

Best Things About Fall: Oktoberfest, everything is suddenly pumpkin flavored; awesome new shows on Cooking Channel.

Here’s a peek at our fall TV lineup. Get pumped for some of the best new shows and best returning shows on Cooking Channel this fall.

Premieres September 27
Simply Laura
Saturdays at 1:30pm ET

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25 Ways to Use Zucchini

by , September 19th, 2014

Zucchini are available year-round in grocery stores, but they’re at their peak right now, when you can find them fresh, local and cheap. Unlike the winter squash coming into markets in the months ahead, zucchini has edible skin and small, soft seeds. Zucchini is a good source of potassium and vitamins C and A, and it’s super low in calories — wins all around.

Zucchini are a multifunctional squash; you can fry them, saute them, use a vegetable peeler to turn zucchini into “pasta ribbons” or even munch on the raw squash. They can take the place of potatoes and pasta if you’re looking to go low-carb, but mostly they’re a delicious and easy addition to any meal. To get all of the moisture out before frying, purge a zucchini as you would an eggplant. Click here to see how to do it.

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Flour + Water — Off the Shelf

by in Books, September 19th, 2014

Flour + Water CookbookFlour + Water by Thomas McNaughton is the ideal cookbook for the home cook who loves a good food story and wants to give homemade past a try. The book features recipes from the renowned Flour + Water restaurant in San Francisco, along with the history of the establishment. It perfectly captures the thought and detail that go into opening and running a restaurant, and building a seasonal menu from the ground up.

The book sings with the possibility of turning inspiration into actualized dreams, and that’s what sets it apart as a restaurant cookbook. It beckons readers to step into their kitchen with their pasta makers and do the same: Have a little culinary adventure inspired by seasonal ingredients. The prose stops just short of being whimsical, an enjoyable mix of good-humored practicality and well-timed comedy. McNaughton takes you step by step and story by story through the launch process for Flour + Water, tying details of the restaurant and menu tightly together with their local and global inspirations in the pages of the book.

As is usually the case when talking about pasta, the recipes will bowl you over with their variety and deliciousness. The majority of the storytelling takes place in the introductions of the book (there are three, each more entertaining than the last). Then it gets down to business with sections for dough and composed recipes. The dough section takes you through the heritage and science of pasta making, and features stunning photo tutorials, easy-to-follow instructions and even an email address you can message if you have questions. It covers everything from equipment to how to cook fresh pasta, and you’ll be crazy with cravings before you crack a single egg thanks to Eric Wolfinger’s immaculate photographs.

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