Why wait until dinner to fire up the grill? The grill masters in Food Network Kitchen came up with all-new recipes for great breakfasts and lunches that can be easily prepared in the backyard. Get ready to grill all weekend with flame-kissed versions of French toast, breakfast tacos, cobb salad and more. Read more
Few drinks give us more of what we love in one sip than sangria. Each version, no matter how fancy or simple, always has refreshing fruit, perfectly chilled wine and that sweet element that brings it all together. But the best thing about sangria isn’t the fact that you can get your buzz on while drinking something that tastes incredibly good. It’s the idea that as long as you include a few basic ingredients, the possibilities are endless. So get started with this roster of recipes and soon enough you’ll be fixing up your own creations.
Peach, Raspberry and Lime Sangria
Most sangria recipes just infuse the liquid with fruit overnight, but Giada’s takes it one step further by recommending you puree the simple syrup with some of the fruit. In this case, most of the peaches are pureed, giving every sip a strong dose of flavor. And since the base of the drink is infused with peaches from the start, this one is a great choice for those days you just can’t wait overnight for a sample.
Along with juicy tomatoes, tender zucchini and sweet blueberries, corn is among summer’s most-beloved produce, as it’s both easy to prepare and guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters at the dinner table. While the classic preparation of boiling corn and rolling it in a stick of butter is a tried-and-true favorite, this seasonal vegetable can be dressed up to take on next-level tastes with the help of a few can-do recipes. Read on below to get five fresh-corn-based how-tos — the top picks for putting this summer staple to work from each co-host of The Kitchen.
Sunny’s Quick Corn and Pico Salad (pictured above) is a no-cook side dish that takes mere minutes to put together. After starting with store-bought pico de gallo, Sunny adds fresh corn, fragrant cumin and refreshing lime juice to balance the flavors.
I grew up in Macon County, Georgia. Central and South Georgia are well known for their peach crops in the summer. Summer means peach pie, peach jelly, pickled peaches, peach ice cream and peach cobbler. Macon County is adjacent to Peach County, home of “The Big Peach,” a 75-foot-tall peach mounted on a 100-foot-tall pole — a gigantic totem that makes it pretty clear that peaches are serious business in Georgia. So is July, as the temperatures often soar into the triple digits with a humidity that makes life a lot more comfortable when experienced at a slower pace.
Where do you think the expression “easy as pie” originated? Many cooks are scared of making pie — they don’t think it’s easy! Everyone loves pie, but making it can be intimidating. Even perfectly useful kitchen folk are rendered helpless when pie is mentioned. That’s where the cobbler saves the day. The really great part about a cobbler is that it can be made ahead and is equally delicious served warm, chilled or at room temperature. (Don’t limit yourself to only peaches for this simple and spectacular dessert. Other fruits include blueberry, blackberry, plum, cherry and apricot, depending on what is ripe in your part of the country.)
When it comes to warm-weather produce, much is made of the importance of finding just-ripe fruits and vegetables for their natural sweetness and juicy insides. But that all changes when the spotlight is shined on one particular summer classic: fried green tomatoes. This Southern staple is best when made with firm, not-yet-ripe tomatoes — which are most often green — because they’re not packed with liquid yet. Traditional tomato sauce relies on ripe red tomatoes because they burst open with juices when cooked, but it’s those same juices that would render red tomatoes limp and the crumb coating soggy if they were fried.
As you peruse your gardens this summer or shop at farm stands and the supermarket, reach for green tomatoes and put them to work in the Neelys’ can-do recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes (pictured above). Ready to eat in only 30 minutes, this simple-to-make dish features slices of green tomato dunked in garlic powder-laced flour, a batter of milk and eggs, and finally panko with a pinch of cayenne for subtle heat. Fry them until they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside and serve a creamy, tangy buttermilk sauce alongside for deliciously easy dipping.
For years I never understood the allure of gazpacho (I can hear the collective gasp), but tomatoes and I have an interesting relationship. I’ll gladly eat them sliced with a bit of salt and a drizzle of olive oil all summer long. Cooked? No problem! I’ve never been a tomato juice person, though, and this is where gazpacho poses a problem. To my palate, it’s just chunky tomato juice with some seasonings and spices.
My thoughts, or shall I say tastes, regarding gazpacho changed a couple of summers ago when I paired it with watermelon. The watermelon added just enough sweetness to balance out the acidity. You can find my recipe for Smoky Watermelon Gazpacho here.
Whether you’re vacationing in New England or elsewhere, summer is the time for an authentic, sea-soaked clambake on the beach. With the right grill setup and loads of salty seaweed, this seaside feast can be reproduced on just about any sandy shore — barbecue laws permitting, of course. Head down to the water’s edge to collect the seaweed the old-fashioned way, or get it from your local fishmonger. From there, it’s all about assembly. Here’s how to build the quintessential clambake, layer by layer.
Succotash is essentially an all-American stir-fry. Succotash has many variants and adaptations, but by definition, nearly all contain corn and beans. Fresh vegetables are what make this recipe so special, so I gently suggest not to bother with this recipe unless you can make it with peak-of-summer produce. All the ingredients are diced about the same size, resulting in a stellar vegetable medley. I promise you will be rewarded! The key to succotash is that simple ingredients are combined with a minimum of fuss, and the results are a colorful and crisp burst of down-home comfort.
Choosing the vegetables is important. When faced with a mountain of corn at the grocery store, farmers market or produce stand, look for the silk at the top of the ear to be very dark brown, almost black. It is not unusual to see people peeling back the husks in search of ears with perfect rows of kernels. Just take a peek to make sure the ear is full and free of worm. Try to purchase corn still in the husk and keep it on until ready to cook, to keep the corn moist and sweet.
The grill isn’t the only kitchen tool that has your back this summer. When the weather’s steamy, the air conditioner is humming and flip-flop tan lines stud the sidewalks, there’s another device you simply can’t live without: your kitchen’s freezer. With all its ice-cold power, the freezer transforms simple ingredient combinations into delectable, cooling summer treats. Food Network’s roster of fun frozen desserts, from treats scooped into a cone to those licked on a stick or taken by the frosty slice, is as integral to summer as hot dogs and summer camp.
1. Easy Ice-Cold Sandwiches: If what’s on your grill is getting all of the attention, don’t let your last course fall by the wayside. Involving only some light assembly, Food Network Magazine’s Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches (top left) are a safe bet.
2. Juicy Popsicles: Grab those coolers! Giada’s adults-only Spiked Watermelon Pops (top right) aren’t just hit with vodka, they’re also infused with a little fresh mint, meaning you’ll feel nice and fresh at your next beach barbecue.
Alton Brown may be spending most of his time on the set of Food Network Star or Cutthroat Kitchen, but there’s always time for a cocktail. He gave us the low-down on his favorite drink for summer, told us which trends he is totally over and answered how you can best stock your at-home bar.
What cocktail trends are you over?
Alton Brown: I’m over anything that involves a cheese-stuffed olive because I don’t like cheese in my booze.