Want to know what Food Network fans were cooking in October? From Butternut Squash Soup to cheesy Chicken Enchiladas and sweet pumpkin desserts, here are the top 10 recipes of the month:
To create a smooth, rich gravy for Thanksgiving, gradually ladle the hot broth into the flour mixture, whisking constantly (this is key, or your gravy will be lumpy). Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the gravy simmers gently.
Try making: Ina Garten’s Homemade Gravy recipe
Food Network Magazine shows you how to make the perfect gravy in seven simple steps (photos).
Girls Scouts across the nation now have the opportunity to earn and add one more badge to the collection prominently displayed on their green vests: Locavore.
This badge, released in honor of the organization’s 100th anniversary, allows girls to explore the local food movement in their communities, said Alisha Niehaus, executive editor, Program Resources, in a recent interview with The Food Section.
All of the group’s badges are a reflection of what today’s girls said they want to know about, Alisha said.
There are so many beautiful (and strange-looking) squash at the market right now. Sure, they’re great for a table centerpiece for Thanksgiving, but why not cook with them as well? Turn acorn, butternut, fairytale (yes, fairytale) and more into a delicious fall soup. Add in some pumpkin and you’re cooking the best of what fall produce has to offer.
Any concerns that the 10 chefs competing on this season of The Next Iron Chef might not feel the pressure, given their remarkable culinary achievements and already stellar careers, were dispelled the moment they came face to face with the three judges on the edge of the lakeside.
The beads of sweat running down their brows were not only caused by the blazing sun under which they had been forced to cook, but also from the stern warnings given by the judges. We made it very clear that taste would count for everything during this competition, and their reputations not at all.
Chef Spike had drawn the “lucky” straw and, while he might have thought it amusing to pair Chef Irvine with Chef Burrell and wise to pair himself with Chef Samuelsson, there was a very distinct possibility that it could all come back to take a large chunk out of his youthful posterior.
It won’t be too tough to go meatless today, as your diet will likely consist of just chocolate and candy corn. However, if you want to squeeze in a good-for-you meal in between your sweet indulgences, we have a ghoulishly good meatless menu for you this Halloween.
Robin Miller’s veggie-friendly chili (pictured above) is full of protein-packed beans, fresh bell pepper and heaping spoonfuls of hot sauce, chili powder and pickled jalapeno. Simply combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do all the work, so you can enjoy trick-or-treating and have dinner waiting at home.
Ladle the chili atop mashed potatoes, polenta or rice, or serve along with Gina’s Cheddar and Herb Biscuits, ready in less than 30 minutes.
Get the recipe: Robin’s Vegetarian Chili
After four years of hosting The Next Iron Chef and 10 on Iron Chef America, Alton has witnessed hundreds of culinary battles, experienced a myriad of secret ingredients and tasted thousands of gourmet plates. We asked him about the difference between a typical Iron Chef battle and that between Super Chefs. He explained, “It’s professional, but there’s the added tension of having a lot to lose. Every one of those chefs doesn’t need to prove anything, but losing still really kind of sucks. There’s a lot of tension there because of that.”
Of the rivalry between the 10 Super-Chefs, Alton assured us that the battles would be aggressive, but never malicious. “You’re never going to see any backstabbing or cattiness; they don’t do that,” he noted. We would expect nothing less from such professionals as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Michael Chiarello, among others, as they are friends and colleagues outside of the competition, as well.
Trick or treat, smell my feet, can I have a homemade sweet to eat? This year, skip the usual store-bought candies and whip up some Halloween classics in your own kitchen. Perfect to pass at a Halloween party or hand out to eager trick-or-treaters, our devilish decadences below are quick to make and feature your favorite sugary flavors.
It takes just four ingredients to make Food Network Magazine’s ghoulishly good Caramel Puffs (pictured above). Dip large marshmallows into creamy caramel, set atop crushed pretzel sticks and drizzle with decadent chocolate sauce. Once dry, put two of these salty-sweet concoctions in a cellophane bag for an easy gift.
The trick of October is for the monster mishmash of kids’-soccer watching, family apple-picking and pumpkin-patch prowling to lead up to a calm, cool finale: Halloween. For months my three boys, ages nine, seven and three, have plotted their costumes: a Harry Potter Quidditch player, a wizard — not Harry! — and a superhero dinosaur (whatever that is). My plans for what to serve while we carve pumpkins is less set in stone.
Inspiration for last-minute Halloween party treats, Harry Potter-style, came during a quick trip to Florida this week. After all, little wizards need food and drink for fruitful spells. At Hog’s Head, a pub at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, executive chef Steven Jayson told me Butterbeer, a drink the characters in J.K. Rowling’s now-classic series loved, is a favorite among the park’s Potter fans. Count my kids as part of that crew — after riding the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, not before. ”Butterbeer is nonalcoholic and is served either cold or frozen; both versions are frothy and reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch,” he said. Sweet. He’s right about the taste given the thousands of drinks they pour daily, but I’d include cream soda in my description too; with each sip I tried to pull apart the components, knowing I’d want to stir up some at home.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that having people over for brunch is my favorite way to entertain. It has none of the frenzy of the weeknight, post-work dinner party and neither does it carry the gravitas (or booze demands) of a Saturday night event. Brunch is low-key, works just as well for families as it does for party-loving single friends, and can be made to taste great no matter what your budget.
What makes brunch so particularly good for entertaining is that the menu options are wide open. Sweet or savory, just about anything under the sun can fit comfortably under its umbrella. It can be as easy as bagels, cream cheese and toppings from the corner bagel shop (no true kitchen effort required on your part at all) to a full-on, home-cooked meal of eggs, bacon, coffee cake and more.
My favorite way to serve brunch consists of a giant skillet of cheesy scrambled eggs, oven-baked turkey breakfast sausage, an easy salad and one baked item that requires a bit more energy and work. That baked good is what makes it particularly perfect for The Weekender.