The Inspiration Behind Food Network Kitchens’ Thanksgiving Pies

by in Holidays, November 21st, 2012

Upside-Down Pear Cranberry TartAlthough it’s the last course of the meal, pie is first on the list of non-negotiable Thanksgiving musts. This Thanksgiving, we enlisted the help of some pie experts — straight from Food Network Kitchens — to develop and share some of their best-loved pies. Whether you’re a purist or feeling adventuresome, we have a pie for everyone — including something gooey, something savory (and cheesy!), an easy version of a French favorite and a deep-fried take on a classic.

Even though everyone settled on a different pie, all of our developers were inspired by personal food memories they wanted to recreate on their Thanksgiving tables.

With her Upside-Down Pear Cranberry Tart, Director of Culinary Editorial Heather Ramsdell sought to simplify the apple tarte tatin she struggled with as a culinary student in Burgundy, France. “I messed up a lot of them!” she admits, “but each one was an invitation to try again.” Her efforts were well worth it and her streamlined pear tart is decidedly “not fussy. It’s a great pie for people who don’t like baking — and it’s got hot sugar in it for the caramel so there is a moderate thrill factor.” Heather added a few more touches with cranberries and ginger, for spice. Her best tip? “It’s really good for breakfast.”

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Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

by in Uncategorized, November 21st, 2012

quinoa-stuffed peppers
Meet the tastiest, most nutritious Thanksgiving appetizer around. This easy dish comes together in under an hour and makes delicious use of beautiful poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are mild chili peppers from Mexico, and their spiciness helps to b...

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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Side — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, November 21st, 2012

Old School Sweet Potato Souffle Recipe
fall festWhen it comes to Thanksgiving, it’s no secret that sides stand out as the main event. There’s nothing better than digging into an all-star lineup of mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole — especially when it’s all dressed up with a little gravy.

This year, plate up one of our favorite Turkey Day recipes: the Neelys’ Old School Sweet Potato Soufflé. It dresses up the iconic casserole with salted cashews, mini marshmallows and shredded coconut. When the dish slides out of the oven and onto the table, the flavors are ultimately smooth, sweet and salty. And with looks like this, you can be sure that it won’t sit to the side.

While you’re at it, check out this fleet of stellar sides. That way, you know your soufflé will be in good company.

Talk to us: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #fallfest.

Get more Thanksgiving side dish recipes from family and friends

Thanksgiving Dinner-Hopping Strategies

by in Uncategorized, November 21st, 2012

thanksgiving dinner
Are you a feast hopper– stopping by 2 or even 3 Turkey Day meals every year? Follow these tips so you can enjoy holiday favorites without feeling like you need to roll home by the end of the evening.

Strategy #1: Come Hungry, Not Starving
Arri...

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‘Twas the Night Before Turkey Day: Quick Pasta Recipes for Thanksgiving Eve

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 21st, 2012

Penne With Vodka Sauce
You’ve made it to the day before Thanksgiving, and by now you’re practically counting down the hours until T-Day, right? Even with all of the prep work that likely needs to be finished before tomorrow, the question of tonight’s dinner remains. While it may be tempting and admittedly easy to rely on pizza or takeout, if you’re planning on pulling off the ultimate Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, you can surely handle a no-fuss made-at-home dinner tonight, especially if that dinner is quick-cooking pasta.

One of the easiest meals to make in a hurry, pasta is endlessly versatile, and when you’re cooking for what’s possibly a houseful of extended family, simple, adaptable dinners are downright necessary. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite pasta recipes, each ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes or less.

Rich and comforting, Food Network Magazine’s Penne With Vodka Sauce (pictured above) is a top-rated pasta that’s packed with decadent ingredients. To prepare, sauté sweet shallots with fresh garlic and just a pinch of red pepper flakes, then add a splash of vodka, tomatoes and smooth heavy cream. Since the sauce will need to cook for at least 10 minutes after the vodka is added, the alcohol in it should cook off, and what will be left is a thick mixture just waiting to be tossed with noodles and nutty Parmesan cheese.

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Local Hurricane Sandy Relief — Get Involved!

by in Community, November 20th, 2012

Food Network Fans from across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have asked how they can get involved with the Sandy Relief Effort. One of the most effective ways to make a difference is still to make a contribution to the American Red Cross.

If you do have the time to roll up your sleeves and pitch in or wish to deliver physical donations, we’ve compiled a list from relief organizations in the Tri-State area. Check back here to this post for the latest information and please feel free to share other worthy local organizations with specific needs in the Comments below.

Donations and Volunteers NeededUpdated 11-19-12

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Food Bank NYC

For New York-Area folks, we have a great volunteer opportunity calendar that can be found here by clicking through to this link. It provides date, time, remaining volunteer slots, description from now through the rest of the year and updates as we add additional opportunities. All of our volunteer opportunities are in all five boroughs at this time.

This link provides folks with the option to host a virtual or traditional food drive, items urgently needed and how to register a traditional food drive for pick up. We cannot accept food donations via mail.

Click here for more opportunities

Starring Roll: Justin Warner’s Mashed Potato-Peanut Butter Candy

by in Food Network Magazine, November 20th, 2012

Justin Warner

Justin Warner doesn’t play by the rules. He eats jellyfish on Thanksgiving, serves cold-pizza terrine at his Brooklyn restaurant and writes rap songs about wine. But when Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay had to choose their teams of aspiring stars for the most recent season of Food Network Star, Justin’s unconventional approach caught Alton’s eye. Alton picked Justin for his group, and throughout the season Justin was a rebel, presenting wild combos like peanut butter–stuffed dates topped with seaweed. In the end, after 4.5 million viewers voted, Justin emerged as the winner. He says Alton’s guidance made all the difference. “It was a true mentorship,” Justin says. “Day one, Alton said, ‘No apologies.’ That’s how you win.”

Although Justin has been busy planning his new show (coming this fall), we managed to pull him aside for a quick Thanksgiving assignment: Come up with a fun new way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Justin took an old-fashioned candy idea and turned it on its head. Traditional mashed-potato candy is made with peanut butter, but Justin added umeboshi paste (Japanese plum paste) as a twist on peanut butter and jelly. Try the recipe (pictured after the jump).

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Peel Garlic in a Flash

by in Food Network Magazine, November 20th, 2012

garlic

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Smashing whole garlic cloves is the best way to peel them: Place the cloves on a cutting board, hold the flat side of a chef’s knife on top and give it a firm whack with the heel of your other hand. Use just enough force to split the skin and crack open the cloves; if you pulverize the garlic with a heavy-handed thud, it will be harder to peel.

(Photograph by Lara Robby/Studio D)

Make Your Own: Grain Salad

by in Uncategorized, November 20th, 2012

farro salad
Aside from the fabulous flavor, the best thing about grain salad is its versatility. Prepare this recipe for your holiday meal or make it the next day using Turkey Day leftovers. Make it with farro, quinoa, wild rice or any other favorite whole grai...

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