Pumpkins: Not Just for Carving Anymore

by in In Season, Recipes, October 11th, 2011

What’s October without pumpkins, right? As fun as it is to pick these bright orange mounds straight from the patch and carve them into jack-o’-lanterns, it is even more exciting to cook with them. Their texture is similar to that of a butternut squash and, when roasted, they are incredibly soft and sweet. Check out our fresh pumpkin-packed menu below for creative and traditional ways to approach this classic fall feature.

Food Network Magazine puts a spin on traditional toasted Pumpkin Seeds (pictured above). Add chipotle chili powder and cumin for barbecue-flavored flair, cinnamon and sugar for a sweet variety and various ethnic spices for Indian, Spanish and Italian flavors. These healthy seeds are perfect sprinkled atop salads or eaten as a quick midday snack.

More pumpkin recipes »

Sausage-Cauliflower Spaghetti — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, October 11th, 2011

sausage-cauliflower spaghetti
This simple but hearty fall dinner features sweet Italian turkey sausage and crispy cauliflower. Toss with spaghetti and drizzle with olive oil for dinner in a flash.

Get the recipe: Sausage-Cauliflower Spaghetti

Browse more of Food Network’s comfort food recipes.

Pizza Night — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 10th, 2011

onion ricotta pizza
The ultimate family-friendly meal, pizza is inexpensive, incredibly versatile and can feed a crowd. Though homemade pizza dough comes together in a flash, store-bought dough works well, too. Top your pie with sweet caramelized onions, creamy ricotta cheese, bright corn and fresh basil for a satisfying dinner that will be ready in just 15 short minutes.

For a simple side, serve Rachael’s in-season Root Veggie Salad With Horseradish Dressing, featuring crunchy carrots and radishes.

Get the recipe: #31. Onion-Ricotta Pizza from Food Network Magazine’s 50 Easy Pizzas

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Snack Pockets From Food Network Kitchens

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, October 10th, 2011

croque pockets
Microwaveable snack pockets are one of those foods people love to hate on. They’re often thought of as a last-resort after school snack or a guilt-laden solution to the midnight munchies. The comedian Jim Gaffigan even has a pretty hilarious skit about them (watch it here).  But the truth is a lot of people secretly love them. It’s not hard to understand why. I mean, they’re hearty, easy to eat and convenient.

Here in the Food Network Kitchens, we wanted to capitalize on all the great things about snack pockets and fix all the bad things — like the processed, overly salty, not-so-good for you fillings and often soggy crust.

Find your favorite filling »

Alton’s Future Cookbooks to Enter the Digital Age

by in Food Network Chef, October 10th, 2011

The third and final installment of Alton Brown’s Good Eats cookbook series hit store shelves last week and the new volume is overflowing with colorful anecdotes, behind-the-scenes shots and a whopping 225 recipes from 85 Good Eats episodes.

We caught up with Alton at the New York City Wine and Food Festival last weekend and discussed his plan for future electronic cookbooks. Of the potential switch from paper to screen, Alton said, “I don’t know how it’s going to change things. I hope to make the cookbook a more kitchen-friendly device, to make it something where you can choose which knowledge you get, which information you get, when you get it and what order you get it in, so that people can adapt the information to the way they cook, instead of changing the way they cook to the way I cook.” He said that ideally, his series of e-book ventures would be available on the Kindle and Apple iPad, as the latter offers bright video and graphic possibilities.

More on Alton’s e-book series »

Pumpkin Shortage of 2011 Hits the Northeast

by in News, October 8th, 2011

pumpkin patch
If you haven’t seen the usual mounds of pumpkins lined up in fields or canned pumpkin stocked to the ceiling at your local supermarket, it’s because there’s a pumpkin shortage in the Northeast. Due to heavy rains and the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Irene, many farmers say they’ve lost thousands of pumpkins, some their entire crop.

“Wholesale prices have doubled in some places as farmers nurse their surviving pumpkin plants toward a late harvest. Some farmers are trying to buy pumpkins from other regions to cover orders,” said The Associated Press.

Food Network Kitchens stock up early »

How to Taste Wine — Outsmarting Wine

by in Drinks, How-to, October 7th, 2011

how to taste wine
“I’m not good at wine,” is the sheepishly exasperated refrain I always hear. “I just don’t get all those things — the plums, the oak, the butter — that stuff experts talk about.”

My response: You’re not alone and frankly I just don’t know how some enthusiasts detect things like tomato leaves, sweaty saddle and other exotica in their fermented grape juice. There are, however, useful descriptors that many experts use, like oaky, crisp and soft, that can help you communicate to store clerks and sommeliers what kind of wine you really like. Here are three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary.

Three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary »

How to Use Coconut Milk — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, October 7th, 2011

coconut lime chicken tacos
Who knew coconut milk could be so confusing?

It shouldn’t be. At heart, it’s a delicious liquid made from coconuts (duh!) that can effortlessly add an exotically creamy richness to so many meals.

Except that grocers sell about half a dozen different products that go by the same or very similar names. And they aren’t interchangeable.

So let’s start with what coconut milk isn’t.

Coconut water is a hip new drink that is made from the liquid inside coconuts. Drink it, but don’t cook with it.

Coconut milk beverage is a sweetened drink made from coconut milk and sugar. It’s usually sold in boxes alongside the soy milk.

Coconut-Lime Pulled Chicken Tacos »

The Ultimate Restaurant Experience

by in Events, October 7th, 2011

restaurant table cloth
When it comes to eating out, Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelsson and Andrew Zimmern are pros. After spending years immersed in the culinary world and perfecting their own food and cultures as chefs, these three have traversed the globe, eating at some of the best restaurants in the world. Last Saturday in the heart of the Meatpacking District, they spoke about how and what they like to eat at a restaurant and about the experiences they offer at their own restaurants.

A frequent traveler to the most exotic and seemingly otherworldly locales, Chef Zimmern noted simply, “When I’m in a culture and place, I want to experience that culture and place through food.” As intimate an experience as eating is, seeing a city and people through their food allows out-of-towners the opportunity to better understand the society and its traditions. Mario agreed and noted that in order to serve the best possible version of a dish, restaurants ought to use place-specific ingredients, those that are true to their origin and production.

Read more

Catch Anne and Alton: Book Tour Dates

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 6th, 2011

anne burrell alton brown book tour
Anne Burrell and Alton Brown share something in common: During the month of October, both of their schedules will be filled with book signings across the country.  Check out their individual book tour schedules below to see if they’ll be in a city near you.

Click here for tour dates & locations »