Alex Eats: Tangy Creams

by in Food Network Chef, How-to, September 13th, 2011

tangy dairy creams
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

As a lover of all things dairy, I especially like sour cream, yogurt, crème fraiche and buttermilk because they add “tang” to my cooking. They get their base flavor from friendly bacterial cultures that actively convert the natural sugars in milk lactic acid through fermentation. So if each of these four tangy dairy variants gets its signature acid zip the same way, what makes them different?

Sour Cream: Take cream, add those miraculous cultures, allow fermentation to partially run its course, and voila. It’s has such a thick texture, it can stand on its own. A dollop of sour cream on a baked Idaho or sweet potato is just delicious. I love adding sour cream to blue cheese dressing instead of mayonnaise. Hot blueberry pancakes topped with cold sour cream? It’s so creamy against the fruit.

Yogurt, crème fraiche and buttermilk »

Troy Johnson Talks to Fans on Facebook

by in Community, Food Network Chef, September 13th, 2011

troy johnson crave
Last week Troy Johnson, host of Crave, dropped by for a Food Network Facebook chat. If you missed it, here are some of the highlights:

Kate Farber Gold: What is your favorite thing to eat?
TJ: I would have to say Thai food — drunken noodles with duck, so hot it hurts. Or Fruity Pebbles in ice cold milk.

Michelle Buffardi: Is there any food that you hated as a kid but learned to like as a grownup?
TJ: I hated liver, now I love it. Especially one that’s a little enhanced.

Conway Obleman: What would be your last meal?
TJ: It would have to do with mussels, a little roasted bone marrow (meat butter) and a salad so that I can go into the afterlife with a svelte figure.

Troy’s favorite steak in San Diego »

Apple-Sausage Mac and Cheese — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, September 13th, 2011

apple sausage mac and cheese
Put a fall spin on cheddar mac and cheese by adding golden chicken-apple sausage and baking until bubbly.

Get the recipe: Apple-Sausage Mac and Cheese

Browse more of Food Network’s macaroni and cheese recipes.

Top Farmers’ Markets Across the Country

by in News, September 12th, 2011

blue ridge dairy
Although sweet summer is coming to a close, regional farmers’ markets are still going strong. Not all markets are created equal, however. Earlier this summer, American Farmland Trust asked local markets to sign up to participate in a contest that would ultimately be named “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market.” Once that was completed, the organization polled readers across America: “Where is your favorite farmers’ market?” More than 94,000 votes were counted in four categories: boutique, small, medium and large markets.

American Farmland Trust holds this annual contest to raise national awareness about the importance of buying fresh food from local farms. “Farmers’ markets offer a great way for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl. “In addition to providing access to fresh, seasonal foods, farmers’ markets help strengthen our ties to the land where our food is grown and the people who grow it.”

Did your market take the #1 spot? The winners after the jump »

Gnocchi With Wild Mushroom Ragu — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 12th, 2011

gnocchi with wild mushroom ragu
Tired of the same ol’ pasta routine? This week, give gnocchi a try. These bite-size potato pillows are amazingly light and fluffy. Topped with a hearty mushroom tomato sauce, they become satisfying fill-you-up fare and are even easy enough to make on a weeknight.

Round out the meal with Anne’s simple and light Mixed Green Salad With Parmigiano Crisps. The savory, crunchy crisps are the ultimate cheesy croutons.

Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Gnocchi With Wild Mushroom Ragu

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.


Mexican Meatball Subs — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, September 12th, 2011

mexican meatball subs
Top classic meatball subs with fun Mexican ingredients like tortilla chips, avocado slices and cilantro.

Get the recipe: Mexican Meatball Subs

Browse more of Food Network’s Mexican recipes.

Crave Fried Chicken Episode: Facts and Thoughts

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, September 10th, 2011

fried chicken
With any half-hour episode of Crave, there are hundreds of facts and thoughts I don’t get to share. If you watched this past Monday, thank you. If you missed it, well, suffice to say, your chicken knowledge is in serious decline.

Fried Chicken Facts and Thoughts

FACT: Chickens are the closest living relative to T. rex. They got the short end of that evolutionary stick.
THOUGHT: I realized that my ultimate fried chicken would be crossbred with a spider so that it would have eight drumsticks.

FACT: In China, KFC sells Irish Fried Chicken dipped in Bailey’s liqueur. Next time you’re at a local watering hole, ask for a drumstick in your snifter.

The average American eats about 80 lbs. of chicken a year »

Beat the Boring Lunchbox

by in How-to, Recipes, September 9th, 2011

bow tie pasta salad
The first day of school has come and gone, and now it’s time to go grocery shopping with school lunches in mind. Just as adults do, kids crave variety, options and creativity in their everyday meals and especially in their lunchboxes. This year, avoid untouched lunches and hungry, unfocused kids by replacing tired selections with new and fun choices sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

Switch up the predictable rotation of turkey-cheese and peanut butter-jelly sandwiches with Ellie Krieger’s kid-approved Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine. Made with whole-grain pasta and loaded with veggies and calcium-rich cheese, this colorful salad will be a welcomed surprise in a lunchbox that’s usually filled with soggy sandwiches.

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Dinner With Color: Bright Red

by in Recipes, September 9th, 2011

ragu stuffed peppers
Red screams Eat me. Whether it’s in peppers, tomatoes, watermelon or strawberries — that bright color makes me hungry. Have you ever noticed that fast-food companies try incorporating the color red into their logos and restaurant decor? That’s because the color invokes hunger, it attracts attention easily and gets the heartbeat racing.

Get your heart rate going with these Ragu-Stuffed Red Peppers featured in Food Network Magazine. If you’re not a fan of peppers, you can switch it up using tomatoes and chicken salad for a potluck dinner that’s packed with the same hue.

Add color to your dinner tonight »

A Tuscan Cookout — Weekend Cooking

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, September 9th, 2011

florentine-style steaks
Each month, Food Network Kitchen chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Every recipe goes through at least two to three rounds of testing, plus a round of cross-testing, where the recipe goes through one final run-through to make sure it works as it is written in final form.

“We make sure language, timing and visual cues are correct,” says Andrea Albin, a Food Network Kitchens recipe tester.

Read more