by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, September 21st, 2012
by Sarah De Heer in How-to, September 6th, 2012
As much as I hate to admit it, the summer season is rapidly winding down. I managed to snag one last pint of raspberries last week and my favorite peach farmer told me that he’s nearly done with his harvest. The corn is almost gone and I’m starting to see my markets filling up with hardy winter squash and long stems of Brussels sprouts. Such is the cycle.
Last week in an attempt to ward off the effects of autumn for just a little bit longer, I went to the market and filled my bags with Roma tomatoes, glowing purple eggplants and as many Italian prune plums as I could carry.
The plums went into a batch of oven-roasted plum butter (it is so good on toast come January). Most of the tomatoes and eggplant became my husband’s yearly batch of eggplant Parmesan (it’s incredibly labor intensive, but so delicious), but after he filled a massive baking pan, there was still one giant eggplant and a smattering of tomatoes to be used.
And so I made caponata. Bobby Flay’s Grilled Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta With Ricotta Salata, to be precise. This is just the sort of recipe that uses up massive eggplants and wilting tomatoes with ease. It is terrific eaten on crackers, is good straight from the fridge or at room temperature and helps me pretend that I still have a few weeks of summer left. In my book, that makes it just the thing for The Weekender.
Before you start your grill, read these tips
by Maria Russo in Entertaining, Holidays, September 1st, 2012
We firmly believe that grilling season doesn’t have an expiration date, yet so many of us cover our barbecues and smokers once a chill hits the air. We’re not alone in feeling this way. The “Magician of Meat,” Pat LaFrieda, Jr., also agrees with us. We caught up with him and asked him about grilling beyond Labor Day and if there are any differences you need to be aware of.
Just like wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no, are there similar rules with barbecue?
If you pack up your grill for the winter after Labor Day, you are no longer a member of the LaFrieda family. Grill all winter — the colder it is, the more you will appreciate the food coming off the grill.
Is it true that food takes longer to barbecue in cooler weather? Why?
It’s not completely true. If you heat up the grill a few minutes earlier than usual you’ll be good to go.
Make it the year of barbecue
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, August 31st, 2012
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread is guaranteed to feed a crowd.
If this Labor Day weekend suddenly finds you cooking for a houseful of guests, fear not. We have everything you need to pull off an effortless, enjoyable backyard bash that’s brimming with top-notch dishes. Best of all, our no-fail recipes are a cinch to make, so you can be sure that you, the host, will have as much fun at your party as your guests.
Perhaps the most important part of any summertime soiree is the cocktails, and when it comes to entertaining a crowd, simplicity is key. Now isn’t the time to show off your mixology skills with made-to-order specialty drinks. Instead reach for big-batch cocktails that lend themselves to easy pouring, like Food Network Magazine‘s Red Sangria or Bobby’s White Peach Cocktail. If your guest list includes kids, prepare a pitcher of alcohol-free Mint Limeade, so that they can enjoy frosty glasses, too. Check out Food Network’s roundup of Pitcher-Friendly Drinks for more simple drink ideas.
Get the menu
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 25th, 2012
With summer drawing to a close (and boy, did it go fast this year), I’m trying to mark as many warm weather cooking projects off my culinary bucket list as possible. This season, that list has included homemade frozen yogurt, tomato cobbler, blueberry buckle and whole grilled fish. I managed to get the first three checked off in delicious fashion weeks ago, but the grilled whole fish has been haunting me since June.
Last week I decided it was time to be brave and tackle Bobby Flay’s Grilled Sardines With Garlic Walnut Sauce before Labor Day arrived. I figured that sardines would be easy, since they’re small fish (my assumption being that tiny fish would be more manageable than giant ones). Of course, when I paid a visit to my local fish market, I was told that sardines are hard to come by this time of year and that I shouldn’t expect to see them in the Philadelphia area until November.
Instead of letting my hopes be dashed entirely, I decided to pick a different small fish that could stand in for the sardines. I landed on tiny trout, and though the flesh isn’t as dense and oily, I had a sense that they would still go nicely with the sauce.
by Maria Russo in Drinks, Recipes, August 18th, 2012
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and the stars of this weekend’s menu are sun-safe side dishes.
While outdoor eating and entertaining are some of the best parts of summer, they bring with them the chance that food will be outside for extended periods of time, exposed to steamy temperatures as the meal moves from afternoon appetizers to late-night desserts. Leaving food in hot conditions for hours at a time gives pesky bacteria the opportunity to settle into it, and while all perishable foods should be chilled to ensure their safety, none more so than those made with mayonnaise. This weekend, skip the mayo-based salads and opt for those dressed with vinegar, olive oil or lemon juice instead.
For an easy alternative to creamy pasta salads, try Food Network Magazine’s Toasted Almond Pasta Salad. It’s mixed with warm, crunchy toasted almonds and tiny tube-shaped noodles, and finished with a zesty topping of sweet shallots and lemon juice. If you’re looking for a sun-safe potato-salad swap, try this Grilled Potato and Pepper Salad from Food Network Magazine, a highest-rated dish loaded with fresh, in-season vegetables, like fingerling potatoes, bright bell peppers and scallions. Tossed with a simple sherry vinaigrette, this quick-cooking recipe is light and colorful.
Get the menu
by Maria Russo in Drinks, August 11th, 2012
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and the stars of this weekend’s menu are entwine white wines.
Last month FN Dish announced that contrary to popular belief, red wines can, and surely should, be drunk in the summertime, since they pair so nicely with the rich, hearty meals of the season, like barbecue and grilled meats. This week, however, we’re celebrating the classics of summer drinking: white wines, specifically entwine Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
Light and refreshing, entwine Pinot Grigio is a go-to wine on steamy summer nights when it seems like almost nothing can quench your thirst. It’s an easy-to-drink bottle with a crisp, fruity taste that almost everyone will enjoy.
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, August 10th, 2012
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s menu is topped off with ice-cold pitchers of your favorite summertime drinks.
Whether hosting a large-scale holiday gathering, a backyard bash with friends or a casual cookout for family, the last thing you want to do is get stuck in the kitchen cooking while your guests are mingling and enjoying the party elsewhere. The same holds true for mixing drinks — who wants to play bartender all night when you could join in the celebration and raise a glass with your company? Avoid the need to take individual drink orders by mixing up big-batch recipes of crowd-pleasing pitchers to which your guests can simply help themselves.
Pictured above is Guy’s Raspberry Picante Paloma Pitcher from Food Network Magazine, which features a secret, slightly spicy ingredient: jalapeño pepper. To prepare, he muddles the pepper with sweet raspberries, tops the concoction with tequila and grapefruit juice and finishes it with a squeeze of lime. Guy takes his drink one step further by rimming each glass with grapefruit salt, made with a simple pairing of kosher salt and grapefruit zest. This recipe yields an impressive two quarts of cocktails, enough to serve up to six people and keep your party going well into the night.
by Priya Krishna in Contests, August 9th, 2012
For the last 10 years, I’ve lived in the same apartment in Center City Philadelphia. It’s a wonderful, light-filled space that has been in my family since 1965. I am well and truly lucky to call it home. The apartment really has only one downside and that’s the total absence of outdoor space. During the winter months, it’s no big thing, but come summer, I long to have a bit of space in which to grow a few vegetables and set up a grill.
I’ve not found an adequate substitute for indoor gardening yet, but when it comes to giving food a grill-like flavor and appearance, I’ve developed a few tricks. I have a stovetop grill pan and a fancy George Foreman-like appliance that does a very nice job with pork chops. When it’s about more than the simple appearance of grill marks, I use either smoked paprika, liquid smoke or hickory-smoked sea salt. Each has a way of lending a touch of open fire to the foods they’ve been added to.
Recently, my husband announced that he was longing for ribs, preferably the kind that tasted like they’d spent hours in contact with indirect, smoky heat. Before we made tracks for our local barbecue joint, I decided to see if I couldn’t find a way to mimic that kind of flavor at home.
Before you heat your oven, read these tips
by Andrea Albin in Food Network Magazine, August 9th, 2012
Make the most of your grill in these remaining summer weeks with the Smart Prep Marinating System. The liquid-tight, lockable container takes the mess out of marinating and breading while still infusing your dish with loads of flavor in seconds. Its compact size is also perfect for taking food on the go.
You can buy your own Smart Prep System, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite kind of marinade in the comments. We’re giving away a Smart Prep System to three lucky, randomly selected commenters.
Read official rules before entering
The T-bone pork chop is the perfect cut for grilling. Also called the “center cut” or “pork loin chop,” it’s immediately recognizable by the T-shaped bone running through it — much like the beefsteak of the same name. It’s mostly juicy loin meat, with a little bit of lean but tender tenderloin meat, and a nice amount of fat to impart lots of moisture and flavor. But the most important component is the bone itself, which does a lot to keep the chop from drying out as it cooks.
When you brine these chops, you end up with an even juicier cut. The chops in Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Pork Chops With Plum Ginger Chutney (pictured above) are brined in a mixture of water, sugar, salt, gin, vermouth and various spices. The botanical flavors of the booze really complement both the pork and the plum chutney. For your next barbecue, leave the boneless cuts at the store and try the T-bone instead. We promise you’ll be licking your chops.
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