Tag: summer

Summertime and the Sipping Is Easy

by in Food Network Chef, July 18th, 2013

Spa Tea by Melissa d'ArabianI grew up in Tucson, Ariz., and summertime meant one thing: drinking sun tea. My mom constantly had a huge jar of water with teabags sitting on the hot concrete in our backyard, blinding sun beating down on the teabags. She was a purist: She brewed it so strong the tannic acid was mouth-puckering and she drank it unsweetened, without even a slice of lemon. I would drink the tea with only a few ice cubes to cut the taste, sitting alongside my mom, just treasuring our time alone together, two ladies sipping tea on a hot summer day.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve developed my own palate for unsweetened flavored waters (which is what tea is really, right?). I love water with a hint of flavor because it refreshes without being boring. Plus as a bonus, flavored waters make me feel like I’m at a spa — for a lot less.

Try it yourself: Throw a few pieces of fruit and maybe some fresh herbs into a pitcher and add water. (By the way, if you make a lot of spa water, buy a handy pitcher with a steeping basket attached. Just load the basket with fruit and herbs, and fill the pitcher with water.)

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Best 5 Summer Appetizers

by in Recipes, July 18th, 2013

GuacamoleWhen you find yourself faced with last-minute entertaining duties or you simply want to dress up your usual dinner spread with a few premeal munchies, it’s a good idea to have several seasonal appetizers at the ready in your recipe arsenal. These go-to starters ought to be just enough to tide over friends and family without weighing down their appetites, and should ultimately complement the rest of the meal. If you’ll be setting up a burger bar for dinner, for example, you may want to steer clear of sliders for a starter and opt instead for something simple like salsa and chips. Similarly, if you’re serving a seafood feast as an entree, use the appetizer course to introduce a shellfish, like New England steamers. Check out Food Network’s top-five summer appetizers below to find fresh, party-ready picks from Giada, Anne, Ellie, Rachael and Alton, then visit Food Network’s Grilling Central to see the rest of our favorite first-course dishes.

5. Beef Pops with Pineapple and Parsley Sauce — Make a simple no-cook sauce of fresh parsley, garlic and vinegar, and let it do double duty in Giada’s mini kebabs as both a marinade for the beef and a final topping on the dish.

4. Grilled Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini — Anne dresses up garlic-rubbed bread with a flavorful salsalike mixture of sauteed bacon, grilled corn and Fresno chiles to create flavorful two-bite toasts that are smoky and just slightly spicy.

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Cool Watermelon Drinks — Summer Fest

by in Drinks, In Season, July 17th, 2013

Watermelon SlushiesYou don’t need us to tell you it’s hot. We’re officially occupying the dog days of summer, and there’s no escaping — or is there?

When you post up after a long day, arm your wet bar with a little something different: the cooling qualities of watermelon. There’s no better ingredient to better your summery cocktails, with the fruit’s natural sweetness and refreshing water content. Though all of these drinks employ the same fruit, they each revive in a different way, running the line between iced and frozen, alcoholic or virgin, traditional or eccentric. If these don’t cool you down, nothing will.

Everyone loves a good cocktail. Today FN Dish is slurping the iconic ones, this time with a watermelon twist. With light rum, fresh mint leaves and a big squeeze of lime, the Barefoot Contessa’s Watermelon Mojito is best enjoyed curled up on a beach chair. As for Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon Sours, sour mix, lime and fruit-flavored liqueur punch up each slurp.

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Easy Frozen Cocktails — Weekend Cookout

by in Drinks, July 13th, 2013

Strawberry Orange DaiquiriThis 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 is rounded out by cool frozen cocktails.

No matter which main or side dishes you serve at your backyard barbecue, there’s just one required element on your menu this weekend: a cocktail. Straight-up and on-the-rocks sippers are surely simple classics, but when it’s particularly steamy outside, quench your thirst with a frosty frozen cocktail.

Made with just a handful of ingredients, Sandra’s Strawberry Orange Daiquiri (pictured above) is a five-star pick packed with fresh fruit. The secret to preparing Sandra’s cocktail is using orange-scented simple syrup to sweeten it, instead of simply adding sugar to the blender. She gently simmers sugar in an equal part of orange-scented water until the sugar is dissolved, then lets it cool before incorporating it into an icy whirl of strawberries, orange juice and rum.

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Roasted Apricots with Mascarpone and Pistachios — The Weekender

by in In Season, July 12th, 2013

Roasted Apricots with Mascarpone and PistachiosOf all the wonderful fruit that comes into season during the summer months, apricots are my very favorite. It hasn’t always been this way. When I was growing up, it was nearly impossible to find truly good apricots unless they came from someone’s backyard tree. As those were pretty darn hard to come by back then, I spent most of my formative years eating terrible, mealy grocery store apricots.

Five or six years back, I discovered just how good a locally grown, never-refrigerated apricot can be. Because I know their season is short, I always order at least half a bushel from one of my local growers. (I get the seconds, because they’re so much cheaper and really, who cares about a few bruises and blemishes?)

Once those apricots are in my kitchen, I spend the next week finding ways to use them up. I make jam. I make chutney. I can them in halves in honey syrup. I eat the ripest ones in just a couple greedy slurps. Once I’ve done all my favorite things, there are still more apricots to be used. That’s when I start digging through my collection of apricot recipes, looking for other things that are begging to be made.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

Seafood on the Grill — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, July 6th, 2013

Asian Grilled SalmonThis 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 fresh seafood.

With hardly any cleanup involved and far less chance of a lingering fish scent in your kitchen, grilling seafood outdoors is a fast, simple way to add a new level of flavor to your favorite dishes. The key to successfully grilling seafood is working with fish and shellfish that hold up well to high heat, like meaty salmon and swordfish, as they’re hefty enough to withstand the flames without falling apart. If you’re new to grilling fish, start with Ina’s Asian Grilled Salmon (pictured above), a top-rated classic that is ready to eat in fewer than 35 minutes. She first marinates the fish in a bold mixture of mustard, soy sauce and garlic, then quickly grills it over charcoal to turn out flaky results. Perhaps the best part of Ina’s go-to dinner is its flexibility; the salmon can be enjoyed when it’s still warm from the grill or later, either at room temperature or chilled from the refrigerator.

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Beyond Beef Burgers — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2013

BBQ Chicken Burgers with SlawThis 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 nontraditional burgers made with chicken and seafood.

Traditional beef burgers are, of course, a summer classic, but when the old standby proves predictable and perhaps even boring, it’s time to look to other between-the-bun creations to dress your grilling menu. Swapping in ground chicken, turkey or pork instead of everyday beef delivers the same meaty bite you’re used to, but it also offers new tastes and textures. Seafood, too, works well in patty form, especially when you pair it with complementary toppings.

Food Network Magazine lets family-friendly fish shine in its Perfect Salmon Burgers, a top-rated dish made moist and flavorful, thanks to a binding mixture of mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and breadcrumbs. Serve these dressed-up fish sandwiches as you would a seafood dinner: with a topping of creamy tartar sauce for the most tried-and-true taste.

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Mayo-Free Side Salads — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, June 22nd, 2013

Roasted-Pepper Pasta SaladThis 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 rounded out with sun-safe side dishes free of mayonnaise.

When temperatures spike and it becomes hot and humid outside, you may be tempted to turn your alfresco soiree into an indoor, air-conditioned bash for fear of unknowingly eating heat-spoiled dishes. But while you should always be sure to keep all food — whether it’s served outdoors or not — at appropriate warm and cold temperatures, you can decrease your risk of foodborne illness at outdoor cookouts by cutting one key ingredient from your side dish spread: mayonnaise. Mayo is made largely of egg yolks, and as they tend to spoil quickly, they’re especially prone to bacterial growth if left in the heat for hours at a time. Instead of trying to time your salad servings or shuttling the dishes between inside and outside, make mayonnaise-free recipes. Thanks to citrus-based dressings and simple vinaigrettes, these made-over sides are every bit as flavorful and satisfying as their creamy counterparts.

Ready to eat in just 30 quick minutes, Food Network Magazine‘s Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad (pictured above) is a go-to potluck dish or simple side with which to entertain. This easy dish boasts crunchy almonds, sweet sauteed bell peppers and bite-size mozzarella balls mixed with short pasta and a lemon-olive oil topping. Finish the salad with a sprinkle of fragrant basil to add freshness and a burst of color.

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Best 5 Mojitos

by in Drinks, June 20th, 2013

Mojito SlushyTomorrow 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’s Top 5 Tips for Summer Cooking

by in Food Network Chef, June 15th, 2013

Bobby FlayBobby 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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