An Intro to Canning and Blueberry Jam

by in How-to, Recipes, August 26th, 2011

blueberry jam
When it comes to canning, blueberries were my gateway fruit. During my childhood, I helped my mom make jam with the berries from our annual picking trip. Later, blueberry jam was the first thing I ever canned on my own (though I did call my parents for guidance at least seven times during the making of that initial batch). Spiced with a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest, it tastes like home.

The beauty of blueberry jam is that it sets you up for success. Blueberries contain a lot of natural pectin, so even if you mash and measure imperfectly, nine times out of 10, you’ll still wind up with something spreadable and quite delicious.

What’s more, preparing blueberries for jamming is shockingly easy. All they need is a quick rinse, a careful once-over to remove any stems (don’t throw away the mushy berries, they work just fine in jam) and a thorough smashing. I find it quite satisfying to just plunge my hands in and start squashing. A potato masher is an acceptable substitute if you don’t like to get your hands covered in blueberry goo.

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Coffee: Some Like it Hot

by in Community, August 26th, 2011

hot coffee
We asked, you answered. Food Network recently posed the question: “Iced coffee or hot coffee?” to Facebook fans and the response was overwhelming. More than 3,000 fans cast votes in Battle Coffee. It was a close one, but a majority preferred a piping-hot cup of joe.

Instead of making a morning coffee run, try Alton’s tips at home for a perfect True Brew every time. Once you’ve got that down, add some heavy cream, brown sugar and Irish whiskey for an Original Irish Coffee treat. Or try Giada’s version of Spiked Coffee with Kahlua and dark creme de cacoa.

To spruce up your java with fall flavors, make Paula’s Caramel Cinnamon Latte. Stir with a cinnamon stick for extra seasoning. Top Ree’s Dulce de Leche Coffee with grated chocolate and whipped cream for an after-dinner drink so decadent you’ll think it’s dessert.

Bounties of Basil

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2011


Bright, fragrant and practically singing with quintessential summertime flavor, fresh basil can transform your dish from common and plain to exciting and extra special.  This in-season herb is most traditionally featured in Italian pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza and served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. However, the possibilities for using these smooth green leaves are simply endless. Pick up a bunch today and try our creative and unique recipes highlighting basil’s classic flavor.

Food.com adds a kick to basic burgers with its recipe for Basil Parmesan Hamburgers, made with sweet basil, salty Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Grill to a juicy medium temperature, and top with roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions for a decadent barbecue favorite.

More basil recipes after the jump »

Garlic, Lemon and Herb Rubbed Chicken — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2011

garlic lemon and herb chicken thighs
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and for dinner this weekend, we’re ditching the barbecue sauce and marinating chicken in fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal on the grill, purchase chicken legs — they’ll also cook up faster. While the total cook time for these babies is more than two hours, that is inactive time — time that the chicken is soaking up the flavor of the marinade in the refrigerator. Once the chicken is placed on the grill, dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Get the recipes »

World Series of Poker — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 25th, 2011

coconut cupcakes
Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.

What a thrill it was to have world champion poker player Annie Duke as a guest judge this week. She is one smart lady — and a cupcake lover, to boot. In round one, the contestants were dealt the same hand of ingredients, but each team ended up with very different results. Tina’s black truffle “gamble” paid off for the most part, although the black truffle flavor was a bit lacking. Robin and Patric both used the same flavors of strawberry, balsamic and cheese. Robin’s cupcake lacked mascarpone flavor and though I loved Patric’s creation, Florian was not a fan of the watery strawberries, which he believed would quickly result in a soggy cupcake. Sandy ultimately had to go.

Get the winning recipe »

Honeycomb — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, August 25th, 2011

honeycomb brie english muffin
It’s time to think beyond the bear bottle. Because honey comes in way more forms than just plastic squirt bottles. My favorite? Honey in the comb, pure and simple.

And yes, the comb is totally safe to eat. People have been keeping bees — and eating the honeycomb — for several thousand years. But first, some honey 101. No, honey is not bee spit. But bee saliva does play a role.

When bees gather nectar from flowers, it is stored in a honey sac inside their bodies. During storage, the bee’s saliva mixes with the nectar, which (shocker!) is made mostly from sugar. Enzymes in the saliva convert those sugars into honey.

The honeycomb comes into play when the bee gets back to the hive. The comb itself — a network of hexagonal cylinders — is made from waxy secretions of worker bees. As these cylinders are filled with honey, they are capped with yet another layer of wax.

The bees do all this to create food for themselves. In fact, for every pound of honey gathered by people, the bees make and consume another eight.

Six delicious ways to use honeycomb »

Budget-Friendly Cherry Jam Tart — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, August 25th, 2011

cherry jam tart
Melissa’s take on the classic French tart cuts down on time and the cost of pricey cherries by using good-quality cherry jam.

Editor’s Note: When thickening a fruit pie filling, there are several options to consider. Very often flour or cornstarch is used, but in certain instances tapioca, arrowroot and potato starch can also help achieve the desired consistency. Read more here.

Get the recipe: Grandma Monette’s Cherry Jam Tart

Browse more of Food Network’s pie and tart recipes.

Pantry Preparedness: Keep Your Pantry Stocked for an Emergency

by in How-to, August 24th, 2011

ingredient pantry
For East Coasters that are bracing for what looks to be monster Hurricane Sandy, we thought this would be a swell time to remind you of what your pals on the left coast already know: Create a well-stocked emergency pantry for yourself.

What does that mean exactly? We looked to the American Red Cross for their best tips on how to make sure your family has enough to eat should a catastrophic event hit close to home. Their mantra: “Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed.” keeps it simple. The Red Cross’ advice for kitchen preparedness comes in two categories: a three-day supply for evacuation needs, and a two-week supply for your home.

“While stocking your emergency kit and pantry, it’s important to think about what you need from shelf-to-mouth to consume each item. Make sure you have the appropriate utensils and kitchen equipment to open cans, and think about whether or not items can be consumed raw or will need to be heated,” says Red Cross spokesperson Attie Poirier.

Find out how to keep a well-stocked emergency pantry »

Tangy, (Sea)foodie Whites for Anne’s Scallops

by in Drinks, August 24th, 2011

wine for seafood
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

Anne Burrell’s Seared Scallops With Citrus, Arugula and Pomegranate Salad represents the best of both worlds: It’s light and citrusy enough to refresh the summer palate, but it’s also deeply delicious thanks to its caramelized scallops and garlic and onion accents.  These three white wines will harmonize beautifully with this sumptuous seafood salad:

Sauvignon Blanc: Because the dish is dominated by lip-smacking notes of lemon, grapefruit and pomegranate, your primary goal should be to choose a wine with a tanginess to match that in the recipe.  Sauvignon Blanc — especially plumper versions from California and New Zealand — will provide the citric snap that this dish deserves, while bringing enough weight to stand up to its piquant flavors.  Moreover, the wine’s famously herbal “grassy” quality in wine-speak makes it a bull’s-eye choice with greens like arugula.

Pair seafood with Chardonnay and Albarino »

Three Ways to Use: Hummus

by in Food Network Magazine, Recipes, August 24th, 2011

turkey-hummus sliders
Every month, Food Network Magazine puts chefs from Food Network Kitchens to the test:  Create three inventive recipes with common supermarket ingredients like root beer and ice cream cones.

Hummus, a relatively modern refrigerator staple, is often used as a light, healthy dip for crackers, celery sticks and pita triangles. This month, Miriam Garron, Jay Brooks and Bob Hoebee put a fresh spin on the Mediterranean classic made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Try the three recipes and add hummus to turkey sliders to keep them moist and rich, create a creamy soup or whip up a chickpea flatbread.

Get the recipes and vote for your favorite »