Tag: alex eats

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

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 »

Alex Makes: Indian Pudding

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, November 29th, 2011

alex guarnaschelli
This is a classic New England dessert my mother would make during the fall months. She would always make it in a deep, small dish, but I like a shallow (about 2-2 1/2 quart capacity) baking dish. The caramelized apples give the dessert a lighter, fruitier touch. I chose some of my favorite apple varieties for their flavor and ability to hold their shape while cooking. At my local farmers’ market, the guys always have great apple suggestions, and every season I like to pick a new apple variety and make it my “apple of the season.” Last year, I got stuck on the Mutsu for its tart, but also somewhat sweet-when-cooked flavor and crisp texture. This year, I am in search of the perfect cooking apple. What would that entail? An apple that would hold its shape when cooked and also retain a lot of flavor. Not an easy task. I am currently experimenting with Braeburn and Empire apples.

Get the recipe for Indian Pudding »

Alex’s Turkey Day

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2011

turkey dinner
Every year, I pull out my giant roasting pan (with fitted rack) and thus begins the annual ritual of cooking a giant turkey for Thanksgiving. What kind of turkey did I make last year? How did I cook it? Though I consider myself a fairly well-seasoned cook, learning how to cook the perfect turkey is something I take care to re-learn every year.

So, where to begin?

A few preliminary questions I always ask:

1. How big does my turkey need to be? I usually estimate about 1 pound of turkey (factoring in the carcass as part of that weight) per person.

2. What kind of turkey? Like a lot of poultry these days, there is quite a variety of turkeys (all raised in different ways, fed different foods) to choose from. You know, this is a difficult question to answer. I don’t think I have ever cooked the same turkey two years in a row. I love Heritage brand the most, but those types of birds are raised in such a way that the meat is leaner and can be slightly tough. I also love a good ol’ supermarket turkey. I say, whatever suits your personal taste.

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Alex Makes: Apple Bars

by in Food Network Chef, November 8th, 2011

apple bar recipe
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.

Recently, I shared my one of my two favorite apple recipes with you: a warm and comforting Mulled-Apple Cider. Now, I’m whipping up a Thanksgiving treat that will become a fall staple.

Get the recipe »

Alex’s Perfect Mulled Apple Cider for Halloween

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, October 25th, 2011

mulled apple cider
This Halloween, I’m taking a break from the usual pumpkin-related suspects and immersing myself in apples. I love to mix different apples when cooking. I always look for crisp texture, not too sweet and slightly floral.  For reliable texture that stands the cooking test I go for Granny Smith and Rome. For snacking and raw in salads I prefer Macouin, Braeburn and Royal Gala. For pickling? Fuji. Another effective approach is to totally ignore what everyone tells you to buy and get the apples that look the best to you.

This week, I’m sharing my warm and comforting Mulled Apple Cider recipe.

Get the recipe »

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 »

Alex Eats: Plums

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

plums
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.

I love plums. I am always impressed with their sweet flesh and slightly tangy skin. However, I am also often disappointed with their texture — sometimes pasty, mealy and overly firm. Here is my solution:  I buy under-ripe plums and toss thin slices with roasted beets or cherry tomatoes. I appreciate the almost green, tangy flavor the plums have. When I find riper, but firmer plums, I enjoy a recipe like the one below. The vinegar adds a surprising brightness to the flavor.

Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Ginger Plums »

Alex Eats: Tomato and Ginger Salad

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, August 30th, 2011

tomatoes and ginger
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.

If you had asked me to make this salad combination a few years ago, I would have been horrified. Ginger and tomatoes may seem natural to some people, but to a closet Francophile, the ginger feels like a senseless crime against tomatoes. It took eating a salad with these elements to convince me I was wrong. I never considered the almost-spicy heat that ginger contains. I love fresh chiles with the sweetness of tomatoes and how ginger functions in virtually the same way. Celery also offers an amazing crunchy texture.

What kind of tomatoes do I use? I love all tomatoes and buy whatever looks best. I will admit, I particularly love Sungold tomatoes — they are so sweet and have a great texture.

Get the recipe for Alex’s Tomato and Ginger Salad »

Alex Advises: Pots and Pans in the Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, How-to, August 23rd, 2011

pots and pans
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.

I cook at home a lot of the time. Now, as a professional chef, I’d be lying to you if I said I always did. Sure, I grew up in a house where almost everything was made from scratch, but after a 15-hour shift at the restaurant, my first instinct wasn’t always to run home and bake a lattice-topped apple pie from scratch. In the past couple of years, that has definitely changed.

For me, cooking at home has been a great way to build better eating habits.  When I shop at the green market for the restaurant, I now pick up a handful of vegetables for myself. I don’t always have the time to cook the way I’d like to, and I also don’t have a lot of room in my Manhattan kitchen. That makes my choices all the more important — I don’t want to deal with kitchen clutter.

Alex shares her ideal collection »