by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 18th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 11th, 2015
Quinoa may be the ultimate superfood seed, but when it comes to versatile grains, farro — a hearty, chewy wheat — deserves its moment in the spotlight too. The beauty of farro is that, like quinoa and barley, it can be prepared once on its own, then kept on hand and mixed with your choice of add-ins to create an array of quick-fix salads.
Giada De Laurentiis starts with a batch of cooled farro, then adds to it fresh tomatoes and half a sweet onion for an Italian-focused salad (pictured above) that’s a cinch to pull together. She opts for a duo of fresh herbs — chives and parsley — for a fragrant note, while a garlic-laced balsamic vinaigrette promises a tangy bite and a bold punch of flavor. Since this recipe can be assembled the night before (just let it come to room temperature before enjoying it), it’s a go-to pick for make-and-take lunch salads.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 4th, 2015
If your first thought upon reading the title of this post had anything to do with chips or taco shells, you’re not alone. Yes, tortillas come in corn and flour varieties, and they can be fried into crisp, dip-ready chips. But the tortilla pictured above isn’t a wrap or a chip at all. This tortilla — a traditional Spanish dish — is a savory baked pie, of sorts, with a base of hearty potatoes.
Featured in Food Network Magazine, this easy-to-make dish is ideal for both brunch and lunch. It features thinly sliced potatoes, which are first sauteed with onions so they turn out tender. Before baking, the potatoes are combined with beaten eggs, which helps to bind the spuds as they cook and ensures they can be sliced into even wedges upon serving. Since the tortilla moves from the stove to the oven within minutes, be sure to start the process in an ovenproof skillet — using just a single pan will help to build the flavors. For a welcome burst of freshness, serve the golden-brown tortilla with a simple but bold lemon-laced salad of fragrant parsley and sweet piquillo peppers.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 27th, 2015
The bright colors and seasonal produce packed into this quick-fix dish are a sure sign that it’s practically singing with springtime flavor — and the fact that the word “spring” is baked into the recipe title doesn’t hurt either. Food Network Magazine’s Pasta Primavera with Beets, Radishes and Radicchio (primavera means “spring” in Italian) comes together simply and in a hurry thanks to one key timesaving shortcut: precooked beets. When you’re shopping the grocery store, look for vacuum-packed cooked beets; using these instead of buying raw beets (then roasting and peeling them at home), will shave at least an hour off of dinnertime prep.
When it comes to the sauce for this satisfying pasta, simple is best. Sweet red onions and garlic form the flavor base, while the vinegar-laced beets, peppery radishes and crunchy radicchio combine to create an over-the-top mash-up of tastes and textures. For a welcome pop of green as well as a fragrant finish, toss the pasta with chopped basil, plus ricotta salata for an indulgent bite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 20th, 2015
While breakfast for dinner may be part of the usual suppertime routine in many homes, you most likely look to a standard stack of pancakes or a platter of eggs and bacon to get the job done. But the options for morning meals at dinner indeed go beyond the traditional. Think Food Network Kitchen’s cinnamon-scented Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs laced with nutty Gruyère cheese, or the Scrambled Egg Subs (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.
Instead of featuring scrambled eggs alongside toast, this quick-fix recipe has them stuffed inside buttered hot dog buns for a heartier dish. The secret to turning out soft, fluffy scrambled eggs — and not tough, dry ones — is to not overcook the eggs. Here the eggs come together over medium heat, so they’re not scorched right away, and only when they’ve begun to set is it time to add the fresh herbs and melty cheese, like Havarti or Muenster, for over-the-top gooeyness. A handful of fresh scallions in the eggs promises a subtle, welcome bite, while a cool side salad of radishes and celery rounds out the fuss-free meal in a hurry.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 13th, 2015
The key to a satisfying salad is balance, of flavor and of texture, and with her go-to recipe for Easy Greek Salad (pictured above), The Pioneer Woman hits that mark — and in only 20 speedy minutes.
When it comes to toppings, Ree looks to chopped cucumbers and juicy tomatoes to provide bright, cool tastes alongside fresh romaine, while crumbly feta promises welcome richness and subtle tang, and for a salty bite, she folds in briny Kalamata olives ahead of adding the vinaigrette. Follow her lead and whisk a pinch of sugar into the dressing; this will help mellow the otherwise bold flavors of the red wine vinegar and garlic. Just before serving, reach for a bit more feta, and add a final squeeze of lemon juice to wake up the salad with refreshing brightness.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 6th, 2015
Like a traditional pesto sauce, Giada De Laurentiis’ easy-to-make recipe (pictured above) boasts a basil base and comes together with only a handful of ingredients in a matter of minutes, but there’s one key difference: It’s not tinted green, which is a usually a hallmark of classic pesto preparations. This one features a crimson-colored hue on account of the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which Giada incorporates to guarantee over-the-top taste and texture.
To make sure her sauce is packed with flavor, Giada opts for the sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in olive oil, which ensures that they’ve picked up some of the oil’s naturally fruity flavor. She simply whirls the tomatoes with the fragrant fresh herbs and garlic to create a speedy sauce. Perhaps best of all, though, is that like a tried-and-true pesto, this sauce doesn’t need to be cooked; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will be enough to warm the pesto before serving. Follow Giada’s lead and save a bit of the pasta water after cooking the noodles, as you may need it to loosen the sauce.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 30th, 2015
Along with (slightly) warmer weather and longer days, the spring season brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. From ruby-red rhubarb and a plethora of pea varieties to vibrant stalks of asparagus, there’s no shortage of produce ripe for the picking this time of year, and surely there’s a myriad of ways to put it to work in your favorite dishes. When it comes to asparagus, simply roasting the veggie is a tried-and-true method — and for good reasons; it’s a quick fix and family-friendly — but when you want to dress up these simple stalks, try pairing them with fresh lemon and herbs in a buttery tart.
Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for a Spring Asparagus Tart (pictured above) takes advantage of store-bought puff pastry to turn out this golden-brown, satisfying tart in less than an hour. While the buttery pastry provides a satisfying base with a chewy, crispy bite, the lemony spread of mascarpone mixed with chives and tarragon offers a rich, creamy bed for the asparagus. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead and artfully arrange the asparagus stalks in opposite directions for a stunning presentation, then round out the meal with fresh greens for big-bash events and low-key gatherings alike.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 23rd, 2015
While winter’s chill may have (almost, finally) left us, that doesn’t mean you can’t still cozy up to a hearty bowl of soup — especially on a Meatless Monday. Since the basis of most soups is simply plenty of fresh vegetables and a stock (likely vegetable), these warming bowls are a go-to option for vegetarians, and leftovers reheat easily for take-to-work lunches and fuss-free dinners. Sure, some soups require the time and TLC that only slow simmering can provide, but many do not, including Food Network Magazine’s Minestrone with Gnocchi (pictured above), which can be on the table in just 40 minutes.
The secret to this quick-fix recipe is starting with a package of prepared gnocchi; these store-bought beauties are welcome timesavers in the kitchen, and when paired with the tomato-studded broth, they provide the welcome heft you crave in a soup. Each bowl is topped with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese before serving, but if you happen to have a Parmesan rind on hand, add it to the soup along with the fresh rosemary as it cooks — the rind will slowly break down and melt, flavoring the broth with its salty, cheesy taste.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 16th, 2015
No matter if you eat lunch at your kitchen table at home or at your desk at work, the key to enjoying your midday meal is embracing variety, especially when you’re cooking meatless meals. From salads and sandwiches to microwaved dinner leftovers, just a few tweaks to your usual standbys can create an all-new meal, like Tyler Florence did in his next-level egg salad sandwich.
Remember the gooey egg salad sandwiches you used to find in your lunchbox, those smushed between two slices of mushy bread? Tyler’s version is nothing like those. He starts his Egg Salad Sandwich with Avocado and Watercress (pictured above) by just roughly mashing hard-boiled eggs, not pulverizing them into a too-soft smash, before adding a few dollops of mayonnaise and Dijon for added richness and subtle tang. By building this sandwich on toasted whole-grain bread, Tyler guarantees a welcome crunch in the sandwich, which he layers with cool avocado and, in place of traditional lettuce, fresh watercress. If you’ve never before cooked with watercress, give it a try the next time you’re at the store; this leafy green is a tad bitter, so it’s a go-to for offsetting the creaminess of the eggs and avocado.
Macaroni and cheese isn’t exactly begging to be transforming; the classic version, with its sharp cheddar bite and golden-brown topping, is, of course, one of the best comfort foods ever. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be dressed up to become an even more wow-worthy version of itself. Enter: Creamy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese.
The gooey richness and subtle spice you love in jalapeno poppers is baked into Food Network Kitchen’s indulgent mac and cheese (pictured above), a big-batch casserole that’s impressive enough to make for guests yet easy to prepare in less than an hour. In addition to tender sauteed fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos are mixed into the smooth cheddar-Gruyère cheese sauce for especially bold flavor — but don’t let the fear of too much heat scare you. The chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain that the result is simply “pleasantly spicy.” Before baking, blanket the dish with buttery panko and fresh jalapeno slices to guarantee a crispy, crunchy topping.