Polenta — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, December 8th, 2011

spicy pork with polenta
Most people consider polenta a restaurant food. Because as good as this creamy, cheesy Italian staple is, few of us have the hour needed to crank it out.

But hidden on the grocer’s shelves is a shortcut that can help get polenta on your dinner table any day of the week in minutes: prepared polenta. Which is different — and far better than — a related product known as instant polenta.

But first, some polenta basics.

Polenta is a traditional starch in Italian cooking, an alternative to pasta, rice and potatoes that pairs deliciously well with robust sauces and meats.

Polenta is made by slowly simmering and stirring cornmeal with chicken broth or water. It’s usually also seasoned with Parmesan cheese and butter.

Get the recipe for Spicy Pork With Polenta »

Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 8th, 2011

bobby flay cooking demo
At a recent cooking demonstration at Bobby Flay’s namesake steakhouse, located at The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., Chef Flay not only cooked up delicious shrimp and grits, he also shared some great cooking tips that you’ll want to keep handy this holiday season.

Serving grits:
Grits are basically the American version of polenta, but instead of costing a few bucks, Italian restaurants can charge $32 a plate. Make grits or polenta for the holidays: Take ¼ of the polenta you are going to make and toast it dry in a pan. This will give your polenta a nice nutty flavor and it will separate your polenta from everyone else’s. Try this trick with Bobby’s Shrimp and Grits from Bar Americain, for polenta are sure to impress.

Cook with two oils and more tips »

Anne’s Meringue Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 8th, 2011

It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

Lighter than air but full of flavor, Anne’s cinnamon-laced cookies are made with just five ingredients, including crunchy chopped almonds. Try to resist the temptation to taste one of these beauties right out the oven — letting them dry out for a bit after baking will help ensure their crispiness.

Get Anne’s Meringue Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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5 Myths of Buying Wine in Supermarkets

by in Drinks, December 7th, 2011

supermarket wine
“Who is buying this stuff?” I always wonder when I pass by one of the wine aisles at a certain 24-hour supermarket in California’s Silicon Valley. Past aisles of everyday wine and not far from a display of pet flea and tick collars and a table of diapers, is a display cabinet of bottles of fine wine, some of it under locked glass. You have to wonder: Do the Mark Zuckerbergs and Larry Pages of the world really need to make 4 a.m. runs for Heitz Cabernet?

Apparently so, or else the supermarket wouldn’t stock it — or at least stock so much of it. What it also reminds us is that a great deal of the world’s wine is purchased at supermarkets and, contrary to common conception, many of these stores sell more than supermarket wine.

Five myths about supermarket wine »

Roasted Winter Squash — Fall Fest

by in In Season, Recipes, December 7th, 2011

curried winter squash
fall festTurn winter squash into a simple snack with curry powder and butter. Whether you’re partial to acorn, buttercup, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti or turban, this quick recipe from Food Network Magazine showcases the fruit’s plump, soft flesh.

When shopping, the firmer the squash the better. Winter squash’s thick skin allows for longer storage times (as long as you keep it in a cool, dark place and don’t refrigerate). Don’t forget to watch out for blemishes or moldy spots.

A great source of iron, riboflavin and vitamins A (more than summer squash) and C, this Curried Winter Squash is so addictive don’t be surprised if you eat it all in one sitting.

More squash recipes from our friends & family »

Jeff Mauro’s Cherry White Chocolate Almond Sandwich Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 7th, 2011


It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

Sandwich King and Food Network Star winner Jeff Mauro can make a sandwich out of anything, including holiday cookies. Here he bakes sour cherry-white chocolate chuck dough balls and spreads a layer of decadent almond butter filling between them. Don’t be afraid to use the filling liberally — you won’t want to miss this rich, creamy schmear.

Get Jeff’s Cherry White Chocolate Almond Sandwich Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Food Network Unveils Holiday Food Drive Partnership

by in Events, December 6th, 2011

marc murphy amanda freitag
The holiday season may be jolly for many of us, but let’s not forget that in the U.S., 16 million kids are at risk of hunger, especially at this time of year.

This morning, Food Network, Share Our Strength and members of the Congressional Hunger Caucus unveiled a holiday food drive in partnership with Whole Foods Market that will provide 90,000 meals in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas, and 45,000 more in Philadelphia by Christmas. Food Network and Whole Foods Market are partners in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Marc Murphy and Amanda Freitag, judges on Food Network’s Chopped, today visited a Whole Foods Market in Washington to purchase fresh foods and pantry items for donation to the Capital Area Food Bank. “As chefs, we shop for food all the time and almost take it for granted,” said Murphy, “This really puts a different perspective on grocery shopping and what it means to put food on the plates of those who battle hunger.”

To find the Food Network truck, check out these locations »

How to Create Festive Sugar Cubes

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, December 6th, 2011

sugar cubes

Serve coffee with a holiday twist: Make your own Christmas-themed sugar cubes. You’ll need small silicone candy molds, granulated sugar and food coloring (we found our molds at firstimpressionsmolds.com, starting at $8). Mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cold water and 12 drops of red or green food coloring, then fill the molds with the mixture, pressing down with your fingers to pack it in. Let dry overnight, then carefully remove from the molds.

Spa Treatments for Kohlrabi

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, December 6th, 2011

kohlrabi
Kohlrabi comes from the German words “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” (turnip). It tastes like a slightly peppery mixture of turnip and radish with a pinch of Brussels sprout. The bulbs are at their best when they’re around the size of a baseball or softball. If much bigger, they tend to have a tougher texture. I found that both light green and purple kohlrabi don’t taste dramatically different. Maybe the purple was a touch sweeter? You be the judge. How do you eat it?

Raw: The simplest choice. Simply peel the outer layer of skin off with a vegetable peeler and grate the kohlrabi raw over a salad.

Get my dressing recipe for a crisp kohlrabi salad »

Giada’s Holiday Biscotti — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 6th, 2011

It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

These light and crunchy Italian classics get their famed crispiness from a double baking process. First they bake in the oven for 40 minutes as a 13”x3” log — then again for 20 minutes as slices. Dried cranberries and pistachios offer both color and texture while a quick dip into a pool of creamy white chocolate adds an extra splash of sweetness. Giada serves them with a cup of coffee for delicious early morning dunking.

Get Giada’s Holiday Biscotti recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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