While some families are slicing the holiday ham or carving the crown roast of pork on Christmas Eve, many Italians and Italian-Americans are preparing a meal with not just one star ingredient, but seven. It’s an Italian tradition to celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and with that comes a long, relaxing meal of fish-forward dishes. The strictest adherents to the seven-fishes tradition will tell you that indeed there should be seven fish on the dinner table, but for the sake of simplicity, consider any and all seafood, including shellfish, to count toward your final fish tally. The key to committing to cook seven different kinds of seafood is spreading out the dishes throughout the meal; instead of preparing seven whole fish for what would be an excessively large main dish spread, offer perhaps three small appetizers, a soup, pasta, then entrée plus a side salad, each with seafood as the focus. Check out Food Network’s favorite Feast of the Seven Fishes menu below, then tell us in the comments: What’s your favorite kind of fish?
There’s no doubt about it that turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Maybe this year your family ate something other than turkey, like ham, but the bird really does symbolize the holiday no matter how you look at it. But what about Christmas? Is there a food symbolic of Christmas? Not really. Everyone does something different; maybe that’s what is so special about the holiday.
FN Dish wants to know, what do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Do you repeat the same turkey menu from Thanksgiving? Do you do a British-style prime rib with Yorkshire pudding? Or a Southern glazed ham with biscuits? Or a crown roast of pork or lamb? Every family has its special Christmas meal. What’s yours?
It’s Christmas morning: There are a few half-eaten cookies and an empty glass on the table next to the tree, the kids are ripping open presents and Dad has been videotaping the entire event for hours. This is surely not the moment to worry about what to serve for breakfast. This year, instead of resorting to cereal and cocoa (though there’s nothing wrong with either!), serve a simple brunch featuring hearty dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or less and will leave the family full until dinnertime.
What better way to spread Christmas cheer than with Food Network Magazine’s light and fluffy Almost-Famous Cheesecake Pancakes (pictured above). Chunks of creamy cheesecake are incorporated into a classic pancake batter and each flapjack is cooked until golden brown and topped with a sweet strawberry sauce, featuring fresh berries and strawberry jam. Top each stack with a dollop of whipped cream — because it is Christmas, after all, and New Year’s diets don’t start for another week.
This Christmas, serve up a little holiday cheer in the form of crowd-pleasing recipes the whole family will enjoy. We’ve complied Food Network’s top five Christmas recipes below; prepare them all for a weekend’s worth of festive favorites and holiday classics.
5. White Chocolate Holiday Bark — Dried cranberries and pistachio nuts add color and texture to this sweet snack, perfect to give as a last-minute gift.
4. Baked French Toast Casserole With Maple Syrup — Prepare Paula’s indulgent casserole the night before and bake on Christmas morning for an easy brunch favorite.
I don’t know about you, but I love to make people happy. I strive for that moment in presentation when you hear an audible gasp of delight and surprise.
If I could, I would spend hours in the kitchen slaving away over a special dessert, but I can’t. And I am betting your time is valuable as well.
So that is why I could not be more excited to share this cake with you. It takes less than an hour to assemble, including prep. This stunning cake is so easy to make, but it can make a huge impact on your family and friends. They will be talking about it for years to come.
Let’s put it this way, if you can play with Play-Doh, you can make this cake.
People are, understandably, very particular about their Christmas cookies. For many, the baking of holiday cookies is a ritual and tradition passed on from generation to generation.
For the December 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine, the editors at the magazine decided on a red-and-green cookie story. We in the test kitchens immediately got excited and started spurting out cookie-coloring ideas (doing our best to avoid the expected royal icing with food coloring): “green tea,” “dried cranberries” and “pistachios.”
By the next day, we were churning out colorful, delicious cookies. We made green mint-swirled meringues, lime buttons, dried cranberry butter cookies, green tea shortbreads and pistachio sables. But as the days progressed, we began to notice the cookies, although beautiful on their own, were not beautiful as a collection.
‘Tis the season for last-minute appetizers. Here’s one to be merry about; it’s easy, cheesy and doubles as table decor. It’s a cheese ball . . . snowman. Learn how you can make one in minutes. Read more
Reading through Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks booklet, you’ll notice a couple of recipes that call for melted ice cream. Homemade eggnog usually requires making a custard, which isn’t difficult to do, but takes time and makes a lot of cooks nervous. Melting a good-quality ice cream is a great time-saving technique that can give you the same rich, luscious end-product as making custard from scratch. In the booklet, you’ll find a French Vanilla Eggnog (recipe #16), but with the same combination of liqueurs, you could easily replace the French vanilla ice cream with coffee or chocolate ice cream. And with a little tweaking, such as replacing the crème de cacao with amaretto, you could push the limits even further by using a festive, seasonal ice cream flavor like pumpkin pie. Choose a couple of your favorite ice cream flavors and see what kind of fancy eggnogs you can come up with . . . have fun with it!
Whisk 3 cups milk, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a pitcher or punch bowl; whisk in 4 ounces each brandy and rum, 2 ounces crème de cacao and 3 cups melted French vanilla ice cream.
By Andrea Albin, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
Layer sliced oranges and maraschino cherries in a 10-inch Bundt pan. Cover with 3 to 4 cups of water and freeze until completely set. Run cold water over the Bundt pan to help release the ice ring. Place in the bottom of your serving bowl and top with punch.
If you’re serving adults, stir in some bourbon, gin or vodka for a spiked refreshment (they’ll still love the ice ring!).
Mix 5 cups ginger ale, 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 cup grenadine in a punch bowl. Add sliced oranges and maraschino cherries. Serve over ice.
By Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens