by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 23rd, 2013
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 16th, 2013
Buttery, gooey and warm, grilled cheese is a timeless comfort food, but this signature sandwich goes beyond white bread and slices of American cheese. While the tomato soup-paired classic is indeed a favorite among kids — and, of course, adults at times — it’s easy to dress up this between-bread creation and turn it into a grown-up meal by making a few simple ingredient swaps. Think of flavor combinations you know work well and use those to inspire your filling picks. Re-create the taste of French onion soup by layering sweet, soft caramelized onions with nutty Gruyere cheese. Craving a bite that’s both sweet and savory? Try combining indulgent Camembert with crisp apple slices and caramel sauce.
Food Network Kitchens embraces smoky flavors in its recipe for Roasted Poblano and Mushroom Grilled Cheese (pictured above), an easy-to-make dish that can serve as a simple dinner or a go-to lunch. After sauteing earthy, meaty portobellos, layer them atop thick-cut Cuban sandwich bread with creamy Monterey Jack cheese and sliced peppers, then finish the sandwich with a second slice of bread, this time brushed with tangy chipotle in adobo puree (it’s the crimson-colored puree inside a can of chipotle peppers in adobo). The secret to this recipe is roasting the poblanos — all it takes is a few minutes under the broiler or over an open flame to char the skin on these mild peppers and replace their usual bite with a tender consistency. Be sure to brush the outer sides of both slices of bread with butter to guarantee a deliciously golden-brown, crunchy exterior.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 9th, 2013
Like so many dishes on the menus at your favorite takeout restaurants, saag paneer may be something you indulge in only occasionally, when the need for a quick delivery dinner is simply too great to ignore. But when you have time to spare, preparing this traditional Indian dinner, featuring spiced spinach (saag) and freshly made cheese (paneer), is indeed doable at home, especially when using Food Network Magazine’s easy-to-follow recipe.
The secret to making authentic Saag Paneer (pictured above) is starting with quality cheese, and while you may not be able to pick up paneer at your local grocery store, you can surely craft a batch from scratch using just a handful of everyday ingredients. After warming up whole milk, mix in plain yogurt and a splash of lemon juice to create cheese curds. These need to be drained of excess moisture, then chilled in the refrigerator until they form a firm block, at which point the cheese will be sturdy enough to be deep-fried. Tossed with creamy garlic-coriander spinach, these warm cubes of golden-brown cheese are deliciously crispy yet tender. Served with a simple preparation of rice, this bold, flavorful dish becomes a hearty dinner.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 2nd, 2013
Before another tomato season comes to a close and you say goodbye to summer’s fresh caprese salads, bruschetta, gazpacho and pasta sauce, you should surely indulge in one of the season’s simplest pleasures: a fried green tomato sandwich. Nothing more than an unripe tomato, a green tomato is firm and drier than its red and yellow counterparts, which means it can sustain a coating of batter and won’t fall apart in hot oil.
A dressed-up version of the original, Food Network Magazine’s recipe for easy-to-make Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches (pictured above) features just a few key components: green tomatoes, of course, plus a creamy, spicy sauce, sliced bread (something slightly soft works best so it absorbs the sauce) and a topping of yellow and red tomatoes. The juiciness of ripe tomatoes works well for the topping, as their moisture adds welcome sweetness. To add extra flavor to the green beauties, Food Network Magazine pickles them with dill before frying, then triple coats them in layers of egg wash and cornmeal with chili powder. Once the green tomatoes golden brown and crispy on the outside, build the sandwich with both the fried and raw tomatoes and a smear of mayonnaise-scallion sauce. This spread features a few dashes of hot and Worcestershire sauces, which together create a tangy taste that cuts through the richness of the dish.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 26th, 2013
While scrambled, over-easy and hard-boiled eggs may be breakfast classics, eggs — no matter how they’re cooked — can star in lunch and dinner recipes as well, and just one egg can transform a simple dish into a hearty vegetarian meal. If you have leftover tomato sauce on hand, warm it up on the stove, crack in a few eggs and call the plate Eggs in Purgatory. Making vegetable fried rice? Add extra protein by topping it with a sunny-side-up egg. Given eggs’ versatility, it’s easy to experiment with new egg-topped creations by starting with your tried-and-true favorites, then dressing them up with whites and yolks cooked your way.
Food Network Magazine follows suit in its recipe for Baked Eggs and Beans on Toast (pictured above), a weeknight-friendly dish that’s a cinch to prepare. After sauteing onions with tomato paste, add a splash of honey and Worcestershire sauce for sweet and salty bites, then meaty navy beans to create a thick, flavorful mixture in which to cook the eggs. It’s important to start the beans and eggs in an ovenproof skillet, as the combination will move right from the stove to the oven. Once the eggs are set, slide them onto slices of crunchy toasted bread, and finish each with the tender beans and some fresh grape tomato-parsley salad.
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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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.