by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 26th, 2013
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 19th, 2013
For many vegetarians, pasta is the ultimate meat-free meal; it’s quick to make, filling and practically guaranteed to please even the most demanding of meat lovers. But even though it’s a tried-and-true staple, spaghetti with everyday tomato sauce can get tired quickly. When you’re looking to dress up your usual pasta night routine, try incorporating fresh vegetables to take advantage of the season’s bounty, and look for hearty add-ins that offer additional substance, like mushrooms. Food Network Magazine’s Pasta with Corn and Kale is one such summertime supper featuring bright corn, vitamin-packed kale, and earthy shiitakes and creminis.
While freshly shucked corn promises subtle crunch and a vibrant color to the pasta (pictured above), much of the corn flavor comes from the noodles. They’re boiled in water with the shucked cobs, and after they’re drained, that water is used to form the base of the sauce. To cook the other vegetables, start by sauteing the mushrooms until they’re golden brown and tender, then slowly wilting kale with garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Before serving, stir in chopped scallions and a pat of butter for richness; mix in the noodles and the reserved pasta water to create a simple yet satisfying summer dinner.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 12th, 2013
Whether you enjoy them straight off the pit, baked into cakes and cobblers, or turned into cool ice cream, there’s no denying that peaches are one of summer’s best — and juiciest — treats. Given their natural sweetness, peaches pair well in desserts, either on their own or with other stone fruits and berries, but it’s their sweet flavor that also makes them go-to ingredients in savory recipes. The secret to integrating them into salads, for example, is featuring them alongside complementary flavors that will balance their sweetness. Tomatoes are one such classic accompaniment to peaches, as they’re full of sugars but undoubtedly acidic as well.
Food Network Kitchens creates a Tomato Peach Salad with Basil (pictured above) that’s as simple to make in 10 quick minutes as it is full of light, fresh flavors. Since the salad is made with only six ingredients, it’s important to use the best versions of them you can find, especially when it comes to the heirloom tomatoes and ripe peaches. This recipe is largely no-cook, save for a basil puree that’s made by blanching fragrant basil leaves and processing them with fruity olive oil and seasonings; use this bright-green mixture as the base of the dish, and serve the tomatoes and peaches on top of it before finishing the plate with refreshing lime juice and whole basil leaves.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 5th, 2013
The key to enjoying a salad as an entree is making sure you beef up the dish with more than just leafy greens, croutons and dressing. Hearty protein, plus cheese, vegetables, olives and eggs, turn a simple salad into a complete lunch or dinner. But when you remove the meat from the plate, finding substitute ingredients can be challenging and often leads to an unsatisfying meal. Food Network Magazine, however, reinvented the chef’s salad — one such main course salad traditionally packed with deli meats — into a meatless plate that won’t leave you disappointed.
Instead of turkey, ham or chicken, the star protein in Food Network Magazine’s Vegetarian Chef’s Salad (pictured above) is tofu, either your favorite smoked or baked variety. Tender roasted mushrooms add an earthy flavor, while crisp-tender wax beans — conveniently cooked in the same pot of hot water used to hard-boil the eggs — and prepared beets add texture. Puree a few of the remaining roasted mushrooms with tangy plain yogurt, olive oil and vinegar to prepare a smooth topping, then mix the topping with the greens, and assemble the vegetables, eggs, cheddar cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds on top for a classic chef’s salad presentation.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 29th, 2013
A Southern classic made with red or black beans and white or yellow rice, rice and beans traditionally includes the salty, smoky flavor a ham hock — or other pork product — and few, if any vegetables. Food Network Magazine puts a lighter twist on this Creole classic by skipping the meat and relying on plenty of roasted vegetables to beef up its rice bowl-like dish, California Rice and Beans (pictured above).
This weeknight-friendly recipe can be ready to eat in only 35 minutes, and thanks to a substitution of brown rice, is a light but satisfying supper. To start roasting earthy mushrooms, bell peppers and zucchini with walnuts for a crunchy bite, then make a puree of cannellini beans, fragrant parsley and lemon juice. The citrus will brighten the overall taste of the dish, smoothing out the bean mixture while adding a refreshing tang to the vegetables when mixed together. While Food Network Magazine opts for frozen rice, you can prepare a batch on the spot using the stove or a rice cooker. To serve, top the rice with the sweet, tender roasted veggies and creamy puree, and finish with sprouts.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 22nd, 2013
No matter if you’re preparing a lean vegetarian dinner or a hearty beefy entree, cooking on Monday nights needs to be easy and fast. With summer camp schedules, after-work commitments and various errands, the first day of the week isn’t the time to experiment with complicated meals. Instead, reach for tried-and-true recipes — those that require hardly any prep time.
Giada’s Penne with Spinach Sauce (pictured above) is one such dinner, ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The secret to her fuss-free dinner is relying on a no-cook sauce to dress the noodles. After whirling garlic, goat cheese and cream cheese in a food processor, she adds nutrient-rich spinach to create a tangy, smooth puree, which she mixes with whole baby spinach leaves and uses to top just-cooked penne. Be sure to save some of the pasta water when draining the noodles; you can use the starchy liquid to loosen the sauce. Before serving, season the pasta and finish with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese. Click the play button on the video below to watch Giada made this go-to dinner.
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by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 15th, 2013
Tomato season is officially upon us, and while recipes for marinara sauce, salsa and BLTs offer easy ways to put these fresh beauties to work, there’s one tomato-focused dish that’s perhaps as quintessentially reminiscent of summertime as is a juicy, ripe tomato itself: gazpacho. Traditionally served cold, gazpacho celebrates the best tomatoes’ natural sweetness, and when rounded out with peppers, garlic and spices, delivers a simple but satisfying soup.
In its recipe for Charred Tomato Gazpacho, Food Network Magazine puts a smoky twist on the classic dish by starting with grilled tomatoes and finishing the dish with toasted cumin- and coriander-scented olive oil. Once the tomatoes are blistered, blend them in two parts with garlic, vinegar and a pinch of sugar to create a smooth puree, and chill the mixture for at least a few hours. The secret to this bowl’s creamy-looking texture is the addition of water-soaked bread; by adding these cubes to the blender, the gazpacho takes on a thick texture and becomes instantly heftier. Top each bowl with chopped cucumbers and bell peppers for a crunchy bite, then drizzle with the olive oil for an extra-special finish.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 8th, 2013
It’s no secret that quiche is a brunch staple; after all, most recipes are simple to cook in a hurry, will impress kids and grownups alike, and require little planning or preparation. For these same reasons, however, this typically morning meal is a go-to weeknight supper — especially when you want to enjoy a meatless dinner, as quiche is inherently full of protein-rich eggs. Whether you’ve never before made quiche or you’re just looking to experiment with new recipes, Food Network Magazine’s Crustless Caprese Quiche (pictured above) is an ideal place to start, thanks to its seasonal ingredients and mix of classic elements and creative twists.
Many traditional quiche recipes call for a pastry-crust base featuring either from-scratch or store-bought dough, but Food Network Magazine forgoes this completely, opting instead for a foundation of eggs, dusted only slightly with breadcrumbs. After blending whole eggs and egg whites with creamy ricotta cheese and a splash of milk, add fragrant basil and sweet sauteed onions and tomatoes to create the centerpiece of the quiche, and pour it into a breadcrumb-lined pie dish. A final sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a topping of ripe tomatoes will add flavor and texture to the dish, inspired by the familiar Italian appetizer of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. After you bake the quiche, it’s important to let it rest for about 10 minutes, as it’s continuing to cook even out of the oven.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 1st, 2013
Dry, crumbly and chewy — three ways you might describe store-bought frozen veggie patties. But Guy’s recipe for Morgan’s Veggie Patties (pictured above), first created by his sister, Morgan, turns out what Guy deems “a non-burger burger.” Moist, tender and full of bold tastes, this hearty between-the-bun creation combines fresh vegetables and an array of spices, plus beans and breadcrumbs, to offer a hearty, juicy patty.
To start making this top-rated recipe, Guy sautes bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and artichokes so that they become soft and subtly sweet, then combines them with white and black beans, chickpeas and rolled oats. Smoky, spicy and fragrant spices and herbs like cumin, cayenne, oregano and paprika offer a punch of flavor, while a single egg helps marry the mixture and allows the ingredients to stick together. Since you’re working with a raw egg, it’s important to let the sauteed vegetables completely cool before adding it; this will prevent any lingering heat from scrambling the egg. Guy likes to form the mixture into patties and then briefly chill them in the refrigerator so that they keep their shape. After a quick sear in olive oil, these picnic-ready patties will have formed a slight crust on the outside and become meatlike on the inside. Finish each with your favorite burger toppings and serve alongside cookout sides and salads for the ultimate summertime meal.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 24th, 2013
When it’s scorching-hot outside and the temperature in your kitchen is at an equally unbearable temperature, what dishes do you reach for? Fresh greens salads are an easy option, but they can become tired and predictable. For something dressed up yet still simple enough to pull off in a hurry, try chilled pasta salads. Beyond boiling water for the noodles, most recipes require no cooking and can be made with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.
Food Network Magazine‘s Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles is an Asian-inspired take on traditional pasta salad that delivers what is for many the trifecta of sought-after components in a dish: flavor, texture and ease. Featuring kitchen staples like peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar, the sauce on these noodles is both savory and slightly sweet, and the addition of toasted sesame seeds and peanuts offers a hearty crunch. Don’t let the time on this recipe intimidate you; the dish takes just 25 minutes to prepare but needs to chill for an hour, which means that that time is wholly hands-off.
When it comes to classic Parmesan casseroles — those cheesy beauties piled high with mozzarella and tomato sauce — chicken and its vegetarian cousin, eggplant, tend to steal the spotlight. That is, until now. Instead of relying on those familiar favorites, try making earthy portobello mushrooms the centerpiece of the dish. They’re every bit as easy to prepare as chicken and eggplant, and they pair well with marinara-style sauce; plus, they’re hefty and satisfying, so you won’t be hungry soon after eating.
Meaty and substantial, the Portobello Parmesan (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine is a top-rated recipe that puts portobello caps to work. After slicing them into thin rounds, coat them in a three-part dredging process: flour first, egg wash next and cheesy breadcrumbs last to offer crunchy texture. Deep-fry the mushrooms until they’re golden brown, then layer them with a garlic-basil tomato sauce and a duo of creamy mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and bake for just a few minutes. Whether you serve this family-friendly casserole with pasta or feature it on its own, this easy dinner is a go-to favorite.