How to Outsmart New Year’s Eve With Bubbly at Home

by in Drinks, Holidays, December 29th, 2011

New Year's Eve Champagne at HomeThere’s so much pressure to have fun on New Year’s Eve that it’s easy to find yourself overpaying at a restaurant or bar for the right to experience tepid beer, viciously thumping music and the crush of overindulging strangers. Happily, you can easily outsmart this New Year’s outcome by having the kind of home bubbly celebration described here:

Bubbles of Any Kind: Whether it’s real Champagne from France or one of the less expensive types I call “bubbly stunt doubles” — Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain — bubbles are the cornerstone of a home New Year’s celebration.

Throughout the Night: The key is not to save the bubbly for the midnight ball drop, but to drink it throughout your festive night. A lighter-style blanc de blancs Champagne (from white grapes) works perfectly as an appetite-stoking aperitif or with lighter bites, such as Ted Allen’s Crudo on the Half Shell. But a richer, people-pleasing Prosecco or American sparkler would provide a cleansing lift to entrees such as Alex Guarnaschelli’s Oven “Fried” Pizza.

Learn how to saber a bottle like a pro »

Smoked Fish — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, December 29th, 2011


Several thousand years ago, people discovered that exposing fish to intense amounts of salt and smoke was a great of preserving the catch for later.

Today, our smoking techniques are considerably more refined, and we do it more for flavor than as a means of preservation.

Which makes it a shame that more people don’t think to reach for smoked fish as an effortless way to add gobs of flavor to the foods they love.

But first, a primer on smoked fish. There are two ways to smoke: cold and hot. Salmon, trout, haddock and mackerel are the most common choices.

In cold smoking, the fish are brined in a heavy salt solution, then exposed to cool smoke (85 degrees F max) for up to several days, then frozen to kill parasites.

Get the recipe for Smoked Trout Noodle Soup »

Best 5 New Year’s Eve Recipes

by in Recipes, December 29th, 2011


This weekend, whether you’re hosting a huge bash, an intimate dinner party or just watching the ball drop in your pajamas, ring in 2012 with dressed up eats and drinks to celebrate the New Year. We’ve gathered Food Network’s top five New Year’s Eve recipes, so your final hours of 2011 will be filled with hearty appetizers, simple snacks, special cocktails and more.

5. Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp — These bite-sized sweet and savory shrimp are sautéed with bright pineapple chunks and crispy bacon slices.

4. Brie En Croute — As easy to prepare as it is impressive looking, this crowd-pleasing appetizer features smooth brie and cinnamon-scented walnuts baked inside a store-bought puff pastry until the dough is golden brown.

Get the top three recipes »

Recipes With Color: Grape

by in Recipes, December 28th, 2011


The season’s usual hues are red, green, silver and deep blue, but this December HGTV’s Color of the Month is glamming it up with grape. It’s a juicy pick to add to our palates and this beautiful berry color is among my favorite shades.

You may be thinking of a particular recipe that bears this color, something with grapes or wine. Sure, I love the sweet and tart orbs, but this grape-toned dish of Sauteed Cabbage and Apples by Melissa d’Arabian is my go-to comfort food. Delightfully, it does include a generous splash of red wine. My mom’s version, which I called “the purple cabbage stuff,” is a staple in my family, requested at Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday dinners.

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Happy New Year From Bobby Flay

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 28th, 2011

Bobby FlayBobby shares some holiday fun facts and lets us in on his New Year’s resolution:

FN Dish: How can cooks be less stressed during the holidays?
Bobby Flay: Cook from within yourself at your skill level. Don’t try to conquer the world with your holiday meal.

FN Dish: What’s your favorite holiday food memory?
BF: One Christmas morning I tried to find a turkey because the Cornish game hen I had planned to cook had gone badly.

FN Dish: What do you cook just when it’s just you?
BF: Homemade nachos with a white American cheese sauce.

FN Dish: What’s your 2012 New Year’s resolution?
BF: To reopen my restaurant in New York City, Bolo. It’s time. It’s like a broken heart that I need to mend.

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Best 10 Side Dish Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 28th, 2011

Roasted Brussels SproutsWhat’s a burger without fries? Fried chicken and no greens? A lonely steak without a baked potato? Side dishes aren’t merely second string players of a meal, they often complete the dish and can be as impressive as the main event. Check out Food Network’s top 10 side dish recipes of the year and cook up a few to balance your favorite mains.

10. Red Beans and Rice — Fresh herbs and a pinch of cayenne add flavor and subtle spice to Emeril’s Creole-inspired dish.

9. Collard Greens — This traditional southern side is the ideal accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.

8. Broccoli Salad — Broccoli, onions, raisins and sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing to create a veggie-packed salad in just 15 short minutes.

7. Sauteed Kale — Olive oil and sliced garlic bring classic Italian flavor to this leafy green dish.

6. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes — Alton uses starchy russet potatoes to yield a smooth and creamy mashed mixture, laced with fresh garlic and nutty parmesan cheese.

Get the top five recipes »

Go for the Gold: How to Make Gold-Leaf Brownies for New Year’s

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, December 27th, 2011

Gold Leaf BrowniesWe’re not in the business of doling out financial advice, but we hear gold is up in value — all the more reason to buy some for your next batch of brownies. Get a booklet of “transfer” edible gold leaf (about $40 for 15 three-inch-square sheets; lagoldleaf.com), then brush the top of already-baked brownies with warm honey and, starting in one corner, place a sheet gold side down on top. Gently rub the paper until the gold transfers onto the brownies. An 8-inch-square pan takes about $14 worth of leaf — a downright bargain for a gift of gold.

Three Ways to Use: Instant Coffee

by in Food Network Magazine, December 27th, 2011

coffee-rubbed steak

Each month, Food Network Magazine puts chefs from Food Network Kitchens to the test: Create three recipes that put a new spin on a pantry staple like mixed nuts or hummus.

Instant coffee makes for a great cup of Joe, but it’s even better when added to both sweet and savory dishes. This month, Leah Brickley, Andrea Albin and Bob Hoebee infuse this morning must-have into a steak-rub, a classic breakfast and dessert.

Three ways to use instant coffee + recipes »

Best 10 Comfort Food Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 27th, 2011


Whether it’s a bit chilly outside, you’re feeling a little blue or it’s been just that kind of day, sometimes you simply need a dish of pure, unadulterated comfort food. Find our top 10 comfort food recipes below and cook up a few to salvage any rainy day.

10. Chicken Fried Steak — Beef, not chicken, is breaded, fried and later topped with a creamy thyme gravy.

9. Fettucine Alfredo — Silky heavy cream, nutty parmesan cheese and butter add texture and flavor to this timeless Italian dish.

8. Braised Short Ribs — After simmering in a red wine-tomato sauce, the short rib meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.

7. Southern Fried Chicken — Ready in fewer than 25 minutes, this traditional chicken features Paula’s blend of House Seasoning: salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

6. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — This gamed-day dip is a go-to appetizer pick, featuring tangy sour cream and spicy red pepper flakes.

Get the top five recipes »

Best 10 Dessert Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 26th, 2011


Hope you’ve saved room for dessert. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 dessert recipes of the year that will finish any meal on a sugary note. Bake up a batch of 2011’s best today and celebrate the sweetest dishes of the year.

10. Pumpkin Cheesecake — Bake a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling atop a crumbly graham cracker crust to create this family favorite.

9. Pumpkin Pie — Not just a holiday dessert, pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollop of whipped cream.

8. Zucchini Bread — Fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and subtle spice to Paula’s 5-star dish, made with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.

7. Cream Cheese Frosting — Equal parts butter and cream cheese offer a tried-and-true taste to this favorite frosting, often featured with red velvet goods.

6. Southern Red Velvet Cake — This triple-layer beauty is frosted with a smooth cream cheese topping and dusted with crushed pecans.

Get the top five recipes »