Craving a delicious summer vacation? No need to break the bank or hop any borders; we’ve scoured the States for the top domestic destinations with specialty dishes worth traveling for. Check out these must-eat spots to sample local recipes that Food Network chefs praise as being The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
From lazy afternoons spent outdoors to unexpected guests who drop by for an evening get-together, summer is all about relaxed, enjoyable days, including enjoyable entertaining. The key to any successful party — for both the guest and the host — is a range of go-to eats and drinks, and that’s where snacks come in. Instead of feeling like you have to prepare a no-holds-barred feast for your company, settle on a few simple snacks instead, like those featured on this morning’s episode of The Kitchen. The co-hosts showed off their favorite fuss-free recipes for casual bites and sips ideal for relaxed entertaining. Read on below to find a few of their quick-fix ideas, then check out the rest of what they prepared.
The Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Black Bean Salsa (pictured above) is a next-level take on the classic pairing of guacamole and salsa. When you dig into the dip with a crunchy tortilla chip, scoop up a mix of the creamy avocado and juicy salsa for a combination of flavors that are better together.
Fried chicken is tempting all year long, but our cravings for it intensify in the summer. Something about digging into juicy, crispy chicken with our hands, preferably while sipping a cold beer or lemonade, just puts us in a summer state of mind. You don’t need to be outside on a picnic blanket eating Grandma’s homemade chicken to achieve this. Once a Southern specialty, fried chicken has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country. Chefs from Philly to San Francisco are brining, buttermilk-soaking, boldly spicing and frying it up, with winning results. Here’s where you’ll find FoodNetwork.com editors’ favorites. Whether they’re served with cream gravy and collards or Sriracha and kimchi, these birds all have one thing in common: They’re downright irresistible.
Check out the full gallery and let us know your favorite spots for a fried chicken fix in the comments below!
We have reached part three of our series on summer slow-cooking. You can catch up on part one and part two. So far, we’ve found a way to keep our kitchen cool by turning off that oven, and we’ve found a great trick for cooking bone-in and tougher cuts of meat. So for part three, I want to share how to cook items that complement what you are making on the grill (which is most likely meat, fish or some other protein). So for my final benefit (sniff!):
You can easily cook larger quantities of accompaniments that go well with whatever you have on the grill. Read more
Soup isn’t for just the winter months and it’s not fit for just veggies either. These recipes (most made in simply a blender) will keep you cool all summer long by putting fresh summer produce and even a few in season fruits to work.
Cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and pound cake — these are just a few of the mouthwatering sweet treats that can be made easily all year round with guaranteed success. But when it comes to those fruit-focused desserts that depend on the ripest produce, it’s often best to wait until their shining season, to make sure the finished product turns out as sweet as possible. While strawberry and rhubarb season is coming to a close and the fall harvest of apples is still a few months away, now is the time to celebrate juicy peaches, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to bake them into a deliciously decadent cobbler. Start with a base of sweetened, spiced sliced peaches and finish it with an indulgent topping of crumbled oats or buttery pastry before baking until it’s tender and bubbly. For more summertime dessert inspiration, check out Food Network’s top-five peach cobbler recipes below to find must-try picks from Alton Brown, Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri and Trisha Yearwood.
5. Slow-Cooker Peach Cobbler — A hands-off dessert that requires only 15 minutes of prep time, Alton’s fuss-free cobbler lets the slow cooker do the work for you.
4. Blueberry-Peach Cobbler — Save time in the kitchen by using a prepared pie dough as the topping for Sunny’s two-fruit dessert, laced with nutmeg for added flavor.
For one reason or another, you may not be indulging in a lavish getaway this summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon the idea of finding quality time to relax. The key to turning your home into a vacationlike setting is switching up your usual routine for a few days; during your staycation, try treating yourself to different meals and re-creating some of the common experiences you may have had, if you had traveled. For the co-hosts on The Kitchen, that meant creating international-inspired recipes and sharing ideas for DIY spa treatments on this morning’s all-new episode. Read on below to get some of their best recipes for favorite eats and drinks, plus tips on fashioning at-home spa services.
Perhaps the best part about Korean barbecue is the customizable element that takes the guesswork out of catering to your family’s individual appetites. Sunny Anderson’s Sweet and Spicy Korean BBQ (pictured above) features versatile lettuce wraps; after marinating beef in a sweet and salty brown sugar-soy sauce mixture, she grills the meat and serves it in Bibb lettuce cups with an array of toppings. Set up a buffet of carrots, bean sprouts, radishes and kimchi, and let everyone build their ultimate wraps.
ICYMI — I am sharing the joy of using a slow cooker as a companion to your outdoor barbecue. This is part two of a three-part series, but don’t worry, you can catch up quickly by reading here. We’ll wait. You back? Good. Wasn’t that cool? Baking in your slow cooker? Who knew, right? But let’s set the cobbler aside for a moment and get to our next function of the handy slow cooker in the world of summer barbecues. When I think of outdoor grilling, I think of MEAT. So for my next benefit:
You can precook bone-in or tougher meats for better (and easier!) results on the grill.
When it comes to grilling standbys, burgers, barbecue and hot dogs often claim the spotlight — and for good reason, of course. But in addition to these meaty mainstays, seafood shines when grilled. Firm, flaky fish like swordfish and salmon stand up to the flames well, while clams, mussels and shrimp benefit from the smoky, charred flavor the grill offers. Grilled shrimp are not only a versatile seafood pick, but they’re also quick to make in a hurry and are easy to prepare in bulk, so they’re a go-to option for effortless summer entertaining. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five grilled shrimp recipes to find must-try ideas from Rachael, Bobby, the Neelys and more chefs.
5. Grilled Shrimp and Feta Salad — Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s fuss-free salad boasts Mediterranean-inspired flavors like cool cucumber, salty Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese, and it’s tossed with simply seasoned shrimp to make it a complete meal.
4. Grilled Shrimp Pizza — Save time in the kitchen by starting with a prepared dough to make this fuss-free pizza, topped with sweet grilled onions and shrimp. Add seasonal cherry tomatoes and tangy feta in the last few minutes of cooking, and let the heat of the grill slowly warm and melt them.
Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.
Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.