Springtime Produce

by in In Season, Recipes, March 23rd, 2012


Spring is officially here, which means that it’s time to embrace the light, colorful, fragrant bounty this season has to offer. Whether you’re growing your own fruits and vegetables or simply prefer to peruse the produce aisle, the next few months are some of the freshest all year, promising bushels of ripe, sweet goods, such as vibrant asparagus, radishes, ramps and more. Below is Food Network’s list of spring-inspired recipes, each rich with in-season produce that will transform any basic dish into an inspired one.

Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) side dish is a no-fail recipe that delivers simple, satisfying results every time. Crunchy pine nuts, fragrant parsley and refreshing lemon zest are sprinkled atop slender spears before baking the asparagus until it’s warm and tender.

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A Blast From the Past — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, March 22nd, 2012

strawberries and mango over crushed ice
I’m a hoarder and until recently I didn’t see this as being a problem. My habit is under the guise of eating locally and seasonally. You won’t see piles of junk around my apartment, but open the freezer and you’re likely to get pelted with frozen fruit spilling from the shelves. Freezing fruit to last beyond its normal season is a way to enjoy summer’s bounty all year long. Learning to use it all up is not my strong suit. I get nervous about dipping into it too soon, so I dole it out sparingly in smoothies to perk up gray winter days.

Suddenly, daylight-saving time snuck up on me and a look at the calendar reminded me the official start of spring is here, too. The days are getting longer, temperatures getting a little warmer, and that means in just about two months, the growing season will be here. Farmers’ markets will once again welcome old friends. And then the panic sets in: Come December I worry about using up my stock of frozen berries, cherries and peaches too fast. Right about now, I start wondering how I’ll manage to use it all up before the cycle of preserving starts all over again.

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Chuck Hughes’ Top 5 Places to Eat in Montreal

by in Food Network Magazine, March 22nd, 2012

chuch hughes
Chuck Hughes, host of Cooking Channel’s Chuck’s Day Off, reveals his favorite hometown dishes in Montreal.

Bifana Pork Sandwich

Bifana Pork Sandwich from Rotisserie Portugalia

At this Portuguese barbecue joint, thinly sliced pork marinates for hours before it hits the grill, then it arrives at the table piled on a soft Portuguese roll. “It’s simple and it’s that good,” Chuck says. “Don’t ask for toppings or cheese.” No, really— don’t: The restaurant refuses to alter its trademark sandwich, even for regulars. $9; 34 Rue Rachel Ouest; rotisserieportugalia.ca

Get more of Chuck’s favorites

Gnocchi With Potato Skins — Alex Eats

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, March 22nd, 2012

gnocchi
I have always been a fan of other people’s gnocchi. Somewhat dense and coated with layers of grated Parmesan cheese. My favorites are the ones that taste so intensely (and purely) of potato and provide the perfect companion to many of the spring vegetables I look forward to devouring in the coming weeks. From Swiss chard to the first little parsnips to fava beans to baby spinach, gnocchi makes them all taste even better than they do on their own. After many bad batches, I settled on this recipe as my absolute favorite. Like pancakes, your first batch may not be your best.

It takes time to try your hand at this. This recipe, to me, is worth that culinary leap of faith.

Get the recipe

Who Do You Want Cooking Lessons From?

by in Community, Food Network Chef, March 21st, 2012

guy fieri, alton brown, bobby flay, anne burrell
Food Network recently asked fans on Facebook: “Which Food Network chef would you most like to take cooking lessons from, and why?” Many who responded didn’t want to choose just one, but those who did shared exact reasons why. Guy, Bobby, Anne and Alton were among the top picks. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Randy Nez: Bobby Flay. His story is truly unique and inspiring, and one of his many influences is my homeland — the beautiful Southwest. I love his ability to throw down with just about any dish, and I love to grill.
  • Sharon Grimes: Guy Fieri because he’s fun, he knows what he’s talking about, we use the same cooking style and he’s not as messy as some of the others. He loves his family, he’s always involving his kids and he’s not trying to make himself look bigger or better than anybody else.

Who do you want cooking lessons from?

Family Meal for Pisces Birthdays

by in Behind the Scenes, March 21st, 2012

family meal mediterranean birthday
Family meal is usually simple, but sometimes there’s a reason to make it more elaborate. This week we planned on combining Family Meal with a baby shower for one of our food stylists, Morgan. But sometimes with baby showers, the guest of honor finds it a better idea to stay close to home when she starts to have contractions. That’s what happened in this instance. Luckily, Mory Thomas, Charles Granquist and I are all Pisces, and we all had birthdays within the past couple of weeks, so we stepped in as emergency guests of honor. (If you had to interact with us on a daily basis, you would figure out our Pisces-ness pretty fast).

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One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice

by , March 21st, 2012
chicken parm rice

One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice -- photo by Stephen Scott Gross for Easy Eats

If you’re a working parent, you already know that dinner is not the easiest meal to get on the table. Even if you manage to cook up a complete meal, the last thing you want to ...

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Spaghetti alla Carbonara — The New Girl

by in Recipes, March 21st, 2012

spaghetti alla carbonara
I’m not a natural-born baker. Flour mishaps are all too common in my kitchen to classify me as one. Yet, despite my lack of grace, baking is what I love to do.  My confectionery blunders almost always turn out tasty in the end, and I’ll admit to having a keen eye for good cookie recipes. When it comes to using measuring cups, I don’t feel limited, I feel confident.

Cooking by taste is a whole other story — it terrifies me. I overthink every step and doubts cloud my culinary judgment. How much is a dash of salt, really? How many minutes exactly does it take to roast a chicken?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily admit to my savory successes. Alton’s Skirt Steak is probably one of the best things I’ve ever made and Bobby’s Mesa Grill’s Shrimp With Green-Onion Cilantro Sauce (recipe available in his cookbook) has always been a crowd-pleaser for me. But the problem is that all my second-guessing prevents me from enjoying the process.

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