by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 31st, 2014
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 24th, 2014
The key to cooking without meat is replacing the bold flavors and meaty textures that traditionally accompany beef, chicken and pork with ingredients that are equally satisfying. Eggs, tofu and beans are a few go-to picks, as they pack a hearty punch and can easily be worked into nearly any dish.
An updated version of a Mexican classic, Food Network Magazine’s Spaghetti Squash Tostadas recipe showcases a few hearty picks, including protein-rich black beans, plus tender spaghetti squash and roasted cherry tomatoes instead of meat, but it maintains a traditional taste thanks to smoky chipotle power. The beauty of tostadas is that they can be customized to everyone’s tastes; after frying the tortillas, mashing the beans and cooking the vegetables, try setting up a DIY toppings bar and let everyone build the preferred dish. For a cool topping, finish each tostada with tangy sour cream, and add a bit of fresh cilantro and lime juice for bright flavor.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 17th, 2014
Despite your best attempts at meal planning and any plans you have for leisurely time in the kitchen, sometimes the unexpected occurs, and by the time you get home from the day, there’s hardly any time to make dinner. On nights like these, it’s important to have in your recipe arsenal a few go-to recipes that require as few ingredients as possible and can be on the table in a flash.
Melissa’s Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli (pictured above) is one such fuss-free timesaver, as it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. She starts with a few pantry staples, like garlic, red pepper flakes and extra virgin olive oil, to make what will become the base of this bold sauce. After incorporating vibrant broccoli for a dose of good-for-you vegetables, she tosses penne into the mixture for a quick, simple supper. Be sure to reserve some of the pasta water, as you may need it to thin out the sauce once the noodles are added. For an indulgent finish, top each bowl with Parmesan cheese.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 10th, 2014
Between the corned beef and cabbage, ham-studded mashed potatoes and Irish lamb stews that traditionally line holiday tables today, it’s easy to get lost in the meaty buffet of St. Patrick’s Day. But despite these classic recipes, it’s indeed possible to stick to a meatless menu — or at least introduce one vegetarian option — all while sticking with the green theme of the day. Fresh vegetables and leafy salads are naturally colorful, so you can introduce a few of these vibrant plates and make them appropriate for the holiday.
Food Network Magazine’s Green Bean and Egg Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing (pictured above) is a five-star pick that’s easy to make, and it’s packed with bright-green ingredients. Featuring tender potatoes and in-season green beans, plus a bed of mixed greens and juicy tomatoes, this good-for-you salad boasts a mix of textures and light, fresh flavors. Since raw red onions can be a bit powerful, Food Network Magazine recommends soaking them in cold water for a few minutes before adding them to the salad, so they lose some of their sharp bite. Round out the salad with hard-boiled eggs and a creamy mustard-horseradish dressing, made with tangy goat cheese and buttermilk.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 3rd, 2014
Weekends are practically made for lazy, relaxed breakfasts, but once Monday strikes, there’s little time to enjoy morning classics. To indulge in your favorite breakfasts like eggs, pancakes or waffles during the hectic week, however, all you have to do is ditch the idea that they can only be enjoyed in the morning. Try swapping out your usual dinner fare and introducing hearty breakfast and brunch staples to your suppertime routine; they’re just as simple and quick to prepare as many traditional dinner dishes, but they’re often a bit more decadent, so they will feel like a treat. Plus, your kids will enjoy the novelty that comes with having “morning” food at nighttime.
Food Network Kitchen’s Baked Eggs with Farmhouse Cheddar and Potatoes is one such easy breakfast dish that’s ideal for dinner, as it combines tried-and-true morning picks and is ready to eat in less than an hour. Made conveniently in a single pan, this recipe is simplest to make when you have all of your ingredients prepared and at the ready; that way you can move from one step to another in flash. Start by sauteing potatoes in fresh parsley and garlic, then create a few wells in the mixture into which you can crack eggs. After baking the eggs for a few minutes, top with a blanket of cheddar, then return to the oven to achieve a gooey, melty finish. Be sure to start the recipe in an ovenproof skillet, like a cast-iron one, since it will move from the stovetop to the oven.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 24th, 2014
While most triple-decker sandwiches conjure images of meaty monstrosities bursting between bread slices with all things cured and smoked, it’s indeed possible to build a vegetarian version of the classic club; the secret is in layering textures, and relying on the freshness of produce and cheese for flavor instead of meat.
Ready to enjoy in a hurry for lunch or dinner, Food Network Kitchen’s Veggie Lover’s Club Sandwich (pictured above) boasts layer after layer of veggies and cheese, plus one unexpected ingredient: smoked tofu. Although tofu often gets a bad rap for its inherent lack of flavor, it easily adopts the taste of a marinade or sauce, which is why smoked tofu proves bold every time. If you’re not a fan of tofu or don’t have any on hand, just swap in smoked mozzarella instead for a similar experience. While most traditional club sandwiches feature simple romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes, this one is made with peppery arugula and chewy sun-dried tomatoes, which, when combined with cool cucumbers and provolone cheese, offer a robust taste. For a next-level pop of flavor, skip the everyday mustard or mayonnaise, and smear sliced whole-wheat bread with a creamy mixture of mashed avocado, garlic and oregano.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 17th, 2014
For better or worse, risotto has garnered a bit of a bad rap. After all, while traditional recipes promise deliciously creamy, comforting results, they do require a bit of attention and greatly benefit from low-and-slow cooking. Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto (pictured above), however, celebrates the texture and taste of the classic preparation but is made almost entirely in the oven in only 35 minutes, which means little hands-on time is entailed.
The secret to Food Network Magazine’s risotto is twofold: cooking the broccoli separately from the risotto and covering the rice with plenty of hot liquid before baking. After quickly sauteing onions in butter with the rice and wine, stir into the mixture a whopping 4 cups of broth, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. In a little while the rice will have absorbed the liquid and become tender, while creating the smooth, rich sauce for which it’s famous. It’s important to use Arborio rice instead of everyday brown or white rice, as the Italian variety has a high starch content, and it’s that starch released during cooking that will ultimately create the creamy consistency. Before serving, add sharp cheddar cheese and a splash of hot water to loosen the texture, then stir in the roasted broccoli to round out the meal. To maintain a wholly vegetarian meal, be sure to use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 10th, 2014
Remember the overly sweet Waldorf salad your aunt would bring to the annual potluck picnic when you were young — the salad so drenched with creamy dressing that all of the other ingredients couldn’t be tasted? This Waldorf salad isn’t like that. Giada’s new-age version, her Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine, is everything your aunt’s isn’t, with a fresh mix of colors and textures, plus a made-over topping that only enhances the best flavors of this tried-and-true dish.
While the old-fashioned recipe largely features fruit and nuts, Giada’s salad goes several steps further by incorporating grains and lettuce. She starts by making whole-wheat pearl couscous, then adds to it crunchy fennel, as well as the requisite green grapes, apples and toasted walnuts so it doesn’t lose that traditional taste. These ingredients become married with a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar and honey. For an additional spin on the classic, Giada serves her Waldorf salad in individual lettuce cups — the leaves of bright-purple radicchio — to offer added crispness. Perhaps best of all, because Giada’s salad takes only 25 minutes to prepare and doesn’t need to chill in the refrigerator before serving, it’s a go-to last-minute recipe for when you’re tight on time.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 3rd, 2014
Whether you’re cooking for one, feeding a family of four or entertaining a crowd, preparing big-batch dishes is a good idea not only to ensure you don’t run out (especially if you’re entertaining guests), but also so that you’ll have enough left over to enjoy tomorrow. The secret to easy meals is having ready-to-go ingredients on hand, and that includes already-cooked dishes just looking to be reheated. So if you prepare a hearty stew or casserole one day, guarantee quick-fix lunches and easy dinners for the next few days by making a bit extra.
Bobby Flay‘s top-rated Eggplant Parmesan (pictured above) has leftovers built right into it, as this recipe feeds up to a whopping 12 people. Made with a simple red pepper-laced tomato sauce, crispy fried eggplant and layer after layer of creamy cheeses, this hearty Parmesan is the ultimate in Italian comfort food. After simmering the sauce for a bit, Bobby begins building the casserole, starting with a smear of sauce in the pan, then adding crispy fried eggplant, and a combination of mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and fontina cheeses before repeating the process and baking. It’s best to let the Parmesan sit for a few minutes after you’ve taken it out of the oven; this will help prevent the sauce and gooey cheeses from oozing out once you’ve sliced it.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 27th, 2014
With game day mere hours behind you, chances are you’re probably chock-full of all things saucy, snacky and deep-fried right now. Today, instead of succumbing to more indulgent dishes, start the week off on a fresher note with a simple salad.
With kale all the rage these days, recipes using this good-for-you vegetable are seemingly everywhere. But while some may suggest you cook kale as you would other leafy greens, the experts at Food Network Kitchen explain, “Antioxidant-rich kale is even better for you when eaten raw.” In its top-rated, quick-fix recipe for Kale and Apple Salad (pictured above), the Kitchen celebrates a myriad of textures, plus light, zesty flavors. Start by making a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, then add sliced kale and let it rest for about 10 minutes so the leaves have a chance to absorb the flavor. Since kale is a sturdier green than romaine or iceberg lettuces, you don’t have to worry as much about it wilting quickly. For added texture and a bit of heft, add in crunchy sliced almonds and chewy dates, plus crisp apple slices and pecorino cheese to round out the taste.
Rich, hearty and deliciously creamy, macaroni and cheese may be the ultimate comfort food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up the everyday casserole with some healthful additions. Whether you round out the meal with juicy tomatoes, mild-tasting cauliflower or bright-green broccoli, there are indeed ways to incorporate fresh flavors without losing the decadence of the traditional recipe.
Food Network Kitchens put its spin on the indulgent classic with Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms (pictured above), a big-batch supper that’s simple enough to make on a weeknight. After making a triple-cheese sauce with cheddar, Gruyere and cream cheese, mix in the pasta and add garlic-laced kale, plus meaty sauteed shiitakes. “Don’t be alarmed by how much kale you start with for this recipe,” the Kitchens chefs write. “It will cook down quite a bit and pairs deliciously with the creamy pasta and shiitake mushrooms.” Finish the casserole with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake it for just a few minutes until the topping is crispy, and the cheese is gooey and bubbly. Just like with any baked mac and cheese, it’s important to not overcook the noodles in the water, since they’ll finish cooking in the oven. It’s best to remove them when they’re al dente, so they don’t turn mushy when they’re baked.