Nothing signals the beginning of the holiday season more than pumpkins do, and just as they start showing up on front porches across the country, they make their way into our kitchens too. Of course it’s possible to cook using fresh pumpkin, but I think that for almost every application, canned pumpkin puree just works better. Fresh pumpkin tends to be a little watery, but canned puree is smooth, rich and flavorful every time. Canned pumpkin is a delicious addition to all kinds of dishes, sweet and savory, and Food Network Magazine’s October booklet has 50 inspiring canned pumpkin recipes for the holidays.
The Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo (pictured above) and Pumpkin Oatmeal are two of my top picks, but another of my favorites didn’t make the list: Curried Pumpkin Ketchup. This spiced ketchup is really easy to make and is truly delicious. In the test kitchen, we sampled it on fries and loved it, and I think it would taste great slathered all over a meatloaf sandwich.
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Ground spices lose flavor after about six months, but you probably won’t use a full jar of nutmeg that quickly. Buy whole nutmeg instead (it stays potent for two years) and grate just the amount you need each time. Use a fine grater and add the nutmeg sparingly — it will taste stronger than the pre-grated kind.
Coming up with 50 of anything for Food Network Magazine‘s monthly 50-recipe booklet can be daunting — in the past, the booklet has featured 50 tacos, 50 stuffed potatoes and 50 muffins. But this month Food Network Kitchens tackled a single ingredient: canned pumpkin.
Put this fall favorite to good use in soups, scones and more.
Get 50 recipes now
Apple pie and cheddar cheese have been paired up forever, but we’re not entirely sure why cheddar has been the exclusive partner. Apple pie tastes great with almost any cheese melted on top — it’s like a cheese course and dessert in one. Try one of the types shown here: Just put a thin slice on a piece of pie and melt in the microwave or under the broiler.
Clockwise from bottom left: Blue Cheese, caraway Havarti, Gruyere, brie and aged Gouda
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
When frying eggs, crack them one at a time into a cup or small bowl — not directly into the pan. If the yolk breaks, you can save that egg for another dish. We pre-crack eggs for cookies and cakes, too, so we can pick out any bits of shell before they end up in the batter.
Food Network stars answer your burning questions in the October issue of Food Network Magazine.
Ree, your ranch is pretty remote. How often do you go to the store and how do you plan your meals for the week?
Matt Pelis from Shelburne Falls, Mass.
We have a small grocery store in our town where I can get lots of essentials. I don’t plan my meals by the week at all. Instead, I just make sure to have plenty of staples on hand: meats, pastas, beans, canned tomato products, onions, potatoes, carrots and rice. I can whip up most things I need with these basics. When my husband or I pass through town, we’ll grab lettuce and other shorter-lived products. And when I’m in the big city, I get things I can’t get locally, like jarred pesto, great sauces and relishes.
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Next time you shop for apples, pick up a few varieties and combine them in recipes. Try tart (Granny Smith or Cortland) with sweet (Pink Lady or Macoun), and mix textures too: Empire and McIntosh soften when they’re cooked; Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp retain their shape. Just avoid Red Delicious — they get too mushy.
Check out Nadia G.’s Montreal kitchen, then pick up some of her finds for your own kitchen.
Black goblets appeal to Nadia’s dark side. $16, Mario Luca Giusti; seed387.com
Nadia’s Brasserie Plates are modeled after those used in restaurants in France during the 1920s. $33 for a 9½-inch plate, Pillivuyt USA; 125west.com
Each month, thousands of Food Network Magazine readers submit clever names for the back page’s Name This Dish contest. Previous dishes include a frozen drink (winning name: “Gulp of Mexico“), fried ice cream (“Fryer and Ice“) and even corn-crab deviled eggs (“Fish and Chicks“). In the July/August 2013 issue, we asked readers to dream up names for this coconut fried chicken (pictured above). Some of our favorites were:
La Puente, Calif.
More favorites and the winner announced
For a super fast dinner, pound your meat before grilling or sauteing it: Thinner pieces cook quickly (check out Food Network Magazine‘s Pork Scallopini Salad). Pounding also breaks up the connective tissue in tougher cuts, making them more tender. Place the meat between pieces of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet, a rolling pinor a small heavy skillet.