Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, which means it’s officially time to kick off the season of warm-weather eats and drinks. This weekend, add a little extra chill to your grilling and chilling menu with adults-only mojitos. Cool and refreshing, these easy-to-mix cocktails are go-to summer sippers, classically made with lime, rum and mint, although easily dressed up with fruits, plus a mix of citruses and liquors. Check out Food Network’s top-five mojito recipes below for crave-worthy concoctions from Guy, Giada, Tyler and more Food Network chefs.
5. Double-Apple Mojitos — Guy swaps in vodka for rum in his easy mojito, laced with apple juice and garnished with slices of red and green apples.
4. Orange Mojitos — Pair the fresh taste of lime juice with orange juice to create a sunset-colored sipper, ready to enjoy after just a few seconds in the cocktail shaker.
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Bobby Flay may be one of three no-nonsense judge-mentors on Food Network Star, but he’s also Food Network’s resident grill master, the go-to guy for top burger, side dish and cocktail recipes all summer long. He’s known for his penchant for barbecue and fresh, contemporary takes on classic Southwestern cuisine, so it’s no surprise that when FN Dish caught up with him at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he was preparing jerk chicken tacos with red cabbage slaw and tangerine margaritas. Fresh off his win at the 2013 Burger Bash competition, Bobby chatted with fans in the standing-room-only crowd, sharing strategies for stress-free summer entertaining and answering questions about hosting the ultimate cookout. Read on to hear from Bobby, and learn his top-five tips for warm-weather eating and drinking.
5. When you’re serving something in a tortilla — like a taco — it’s best to overseason the filling because it will have to work to maintain its flavor within the wrapping.
4. “Taste every single thing,” no matter what you’re cooking or how.
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This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread will be finished with a chilly frozen dessert to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day.
Even if your dad isn’t a fan of all things meat, bacon and beer, you can treat him to an extra-special dish in honor of Father’s Day this year — just save it until the end of the meal. Richly decadent and deliciously indulgent, frozen desserts are go-to party fare; they’re almost always prepared well in advance, and they’re guaranteed crowd-pleasers, no matter if you’re entertaining kids or grownups.
Showcasing the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, the Neelys’ top-rated Peanut Butter Pie (pictured above) is a five-star fan favorite that’s a cinch to make quickly at home. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and creamy peanut butter to make the foundation of the richly decadent filling, then fold in vanilla-laced whipped cream to add an airy lightness. The Neelys save time in the kitchen by using an already prepared chocolate crust as the base of their pie, so it’s A-OK to opt for the store-bought variety here. Be sure to let the pie chill for at least four hours before serving to allow it time to set, then offer guests toppings of hot fudge and crunchy peanuts on the side.
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Whether you grow it in your backyard garden, shop for it at the farmers’ market or just pick it up in the produce aisle, zucchini is a can’t-miss vegetable this time of year, as this mild, versatile squash is at its peak of freshness during the warm summer months. Simply sauteed zucchini with olive oil and seasoning is a go-to standby, but when you want to dress it up or feature it in creative ways, think beyond everyday preparations and check out Food Network’s best-five zucchini recipes below. Some of your favorite chefs, including Ina and Bobby, showcase this seasonal pick in their top-rated dishes for comforting gratin, quick salads and more can-do plates that are elegant enough to serve to company but easy enough to prepare on a weeknight.
5. Zucchini Gratin — Ina uses just a handful of ingredients to make her big-batch casserole, laced with a buttery sauce and finished with cheesy breadcrumbs for a textured topping.
4. Zucchini Corn Fritters — The secret to making Food Network Magazine‘s quick side dish is salting the zucchini after you shred it and letting it rest before combining it with sauteed corn and onions; this process will draw out much of its moisture, so when you fry the zucchini, it becomes deliciously crisp and golden brown.
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This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread features juicy grilled steak that won’t break the bank.
No matter if you’re buying filet mignon or flank steak, the price of beef can leave a sizable dent in your wallet, especially if you’re shopping to feed a crowd. But even though it’s a splurge item for many, steak is indeed a can-do meat for your next weekend cookout; the trick is knowing what to buy and how to stretch it so that you get the most for your money.
Choosing the Best Cut
About that filet mignon — skip it. Stick to the flank or other budget-friendly cuts like hanger or skirt steak. These pieces of beef are every bit as flavorful as their expensive counterparts, but they’re thinner, so they’re more prone to overcooking. To remedy that and dodge chewy meat, simply keep the cooking time to a minimum. In his recipe for Skirt Steak (pictured above), Alton cooks the beef on hot charcoals for just 60 seconds on each side, then keeps it wrapped in foil for 15 minutes; the direct-heat method ensures that the meat develops a charred crust, while the aluminum tent helps it become tender. Click the play button on the video below to watch Alton make it.
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Popsicles: They’re nostalgic treats that put a smile on any kids face and while adults can enjoy them, too, it’s just not the same. This summer, Food Network Kitchens is changing that with a recipe that brings the two best parts of summer together: cocktails and ice pops. Learn how to make these tasty, spirited and eye-catching Bourbon Pops — serve them to adults at your next barbecue and watch their eyes light up just like the good ol’ days.
Find out what you’ll need to create these cold treats by clicking the play button above.
Slaws are the ultimate summer salad: They are fresh and crisp, can be prepared hours in advance and make the perfect companion to grilled foods. In Food Network Magazine‘s June booklet, you get 50 awesome slaws to fulfill all your summer needs. But because we here in the Test Kitchen have too many ideas for our own good, we had a few slaw recipes left over that just couldn’t fit into the booklet. One of them is particularly special because of its longevity: It’s delicious in the summer, but transitions wonderfully into the cooler months. The combination of pear, endive, red cabbage, maple, cranberries and pecans will feel as at home on your Labor Day table as it will in your Thanksgiving spread.
Pear Endive Slaw With Maple Dressing: Combine (4-5 cups) 1/2 head thinly sliced red cabbage with 1 tablespoon kosher salt for 1 hour. Rinse well and pat dry. Whisk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup; add 1/4 cup oil. Toss on cabbage with 3 sliced endives, 2 sliced pears, and 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and toasted chopped pecans.
Who better to kick off the season of outdoor cooking and all things barbecued, grilled and smoked than Food Network’s own First Family of Barbecue, Pat and Gina Neely? Together, this culinary power couple has been known to put their signature spins on authentic Tennessee ribs, comforting potato salads, and traditional grilled chicken alike — the must-have dishes for the ultimate summer cookout. FN Dish caught up with the Neelys at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival earlier this year to chat about what it takes to master the grill at home and to learn their secrets to better barbecue. At a live cooking demonstration on the beach with their fans, Pat and Gina cooked a quick meal of grilled shrimp and pineapple kebabs with mango salsa, explained the ins and outs of some classic warm-weather recipes, and answered fans’ questions about all aspects of summertime cooking and entertaining. Find out what they had to say below, and get their top-five tips for enjoying a stress-free summer at the grill.
5. It’s a good idea to start the grill on medium heat and rub the grates with oil before adding anything to it. This will help prevent food from sticking.
4. When making kebabs on wooden skewers, be sure to soak the sticks in water for a while before you put them on the grill. Otherwise, the dry wood will catch fire and burn quickly.
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As far as I’m concerned, summer continues until the squash varieties on the tables at the greenmarket outweigh the piles of tomatoes and corn. In an effort to prolong summer, I revert to the classics — the recipes that make me close my eyes and feel it can’t be any day other than the Fourth of July. This recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake does that more than any other. It tastes even better as leftovers or warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can substitute with other fruits like plums, nectarines and peaches, but it’s best with good ol’ blueberries.
Blueberry Coffee Cake
My mother is a New England gal and I always marveled at the way she ate this dish. While my father and I have been known to eat this as-is or pile on whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, she would put a slice of this cake into a bowl and pour some heavy cream (like a moat around a castle) on it. The unsweetened cream, in its purest state, really highlights the spices and blueberries themselves — try it!
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The classic summer fruit crisp: Fruit is sprinkled with a streusel-like mixture of butter, sugar, flour and often oatmeal or nuts that have been rubbed together (or pulsed in a food processor). They boast a tender fruit center and are quick to prepare, like this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Ree Drummond’s Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce. Ree adds a hint of maple syrup to her easy peach crisp for an unexpected flavor twist.
For more recipes that are sure to kick-start your morning off right, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce