Now There’s a Restaurant Dedicated to Ranch Dressing
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
There are two kinds of Americans: those who like ranch dressing (like, on everything!) and those who frankly fail to understand the appeal. A new St. Louis restaurant is designed exclusively for those who fall into the first category, taking the ubiquitous creamy condiment and rendering it even more so.
Twisted Ranch restaurant will soon swing open its doors in St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood, offering diners a menu that includes 18 different flavors of ranch dressing — including garlic, horseradish, smoked paprika, tzatziki, cheesy bacon, chipotle and Thai — and features ranch dressing as an ingredient in essentially every single thing on the menu (except dessert, thank goodness).
“Our menu consists of some very traditional and classic favorites, but they will always be Twisted with Ranch,” co-owners Jim Hayden and Chad Allen, a big-time ranch fan, boast on the eatery’s website.
Hayden and Allen worked closely with chef Johnathan Tinker to develop dishes that include their special dry-ranch-mix seasoning, which factors into the panko breadcrumbs used in prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, toasted ravioli and fried pickle chips, to name just a few of the restaurant’s ranch-inflected appetizers.
Entrees include garlic ranched beef tenderloin, homemade ranched meatloaf and chicken bloomin’ lasagna (chicken and bacon lasagna served in Parmesan ranch sauce). The kids’ menu, which, frankly, almost seems redundant, features ranched mac & cheese and ranch chicken nuggets. The full bar will offer a housemade ranch-infused vodka.
Why a ranch restaurant, you ask? “We’re trying to break away from the stigma of ranch dressing,” Allen explained to Feast Magazine, “in that people hear the words and think Hidden Valley.”
And anyway, if you have to ask …
Want to make your own ranch dressing? Try this recipe.
Photo courtesy of iStock
We’re Bringing Mac Back This Summer: 5 Best Macaroni Salad Recipes
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Memorable because of the creamy mayonnaise-based dressing and mix-ins like hard-boiled eggs, smoky ham and crunchy celery, macaroni salad is a popular summer potluck pick, and many recipes can be made with just a few pantry staples and served in under 30 minutes. Browse below for twists on the traditional recipes, like the Neelys’, which adds pimento peppers, and one that uses mild cheddar cheese. Bring one of these macaroni salads to your next backyard get-together and you might notice that it’s finished before the meat even comes off the grill.
Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad — For a true “down-home” side dish, try the Neelys’ take on macaroni salad (pictured above). They combine the classic ingredients, like freshly hard-boiled eggs, ham steak and mayonnaise, with pimento peppers for a Southern kick and pickle relish for a bit of unexpected sweetness. You’ll have to be patient to dig into this creamy salad, because the Neelys suggest refrigerating it for two hours, which allows the flavors to fully meld.
American Macaroni Salad — Fresh ingredients are the best way to balance out the richness of creamy ingredients like mayonnaise and sour cream in macaroni salad. Food Network Kitchen uses flat-leaf parsley for brightness, plus a dash of cider vinegar for tanginess in the dressing. Stir up these ingredients with the cooked pasta for a dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes.
Macaroni Salad – Macaroni and cheese have proven themselves the perfect match for one another, and in this recipe they remain a delicious duo. Combine mild cheddar cheese with cooled pasta for a decadent twist on macaroni salad. Celery seed, carrots and onions are added to the mayonnaise-based dressing for additional color and texture.
Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham – Fresh dill, ham and baby peas elevate this macaroni salad with heartiness and bright flavor. Food Network Kitchen also suggests tossing the cooked pasta with milk, explaining, “Adding just a couple tablespoons mellowed the dressing and gave the salad a wonderful old-fashioned quality without being goopy or heavy.”
Your Ultimate Summer Party Menu, Delivered
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
The key to enjoyable summer entertaining is to keep the party simple, from the ingredients you shop for to the dishes and drinks you serve. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast came together to create the ultimate, one-stop guide for seasonal bashes, featuring recipes for crowd-pleasing dips, a bold chicken dinner and, because “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” of course, a fruity cocktail from Geoffrey Zakarian.
Since most summer soirees take place outside, perhaps around the pool or picnic table, keep the appetizer spread easily accessible with a trio of dips. Jeff Mauro’s Strawberry and Mango Guacamole comes together with just a handful of ingredients, letting the fresh fruit complement the spicy jalapeno add-in. For a classic mayonnaise-based option, stick with Geoffrey’s 20-minute Bacon and Egg Dip, a play on classic deviled eggs. In her Roasted Garlic and Frozen Veggie Dip, Sunny Anderson adds the warm flavor of roasted garlic to a cream cheese-laced mixture of processed vegetables for rich results.
When it comes to the main course, chicken is a perennial people-pleaser, and Katie Lee’s all-in-one recipe for Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni Salad (pictured above) is a must-try pick. To guarantee bold flavor in the meat, she seasons the chicken with a mixture of chili powder and garlic powder before grilling it until juicy and slathering it in barbecue sauce. The macaroni salad celebrates the traditional flavors of the beloved dish, which includes a tangy, sweet dressing spiked with yellow mustard and a pinch of sugar.
You know a margarita will quench your thirst come happy hour, and GZ’s Watermelon Margarita with Espelette Salt (pictured above) is a next-level twist on a classic, with a fruity mix-in and spicy salt garnish.
Tune in to an all-new episode of The Kitchen on Saturday at 11a|10c.
Editor’s Picks from the July/August Issue of Food Network Magazine
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
By now you know that Food Network Magazine’s July/August issue boasts an incredible burger section. And while the endless combinations of bun, toppings and meat blends can (and should) keep you occupied all summer long, there are plenty more all-American summer dishes to make for this BBQ season. The magazine staffers, for example, are beyond excited about the red, white and blue desserts for today’s 4th of July celebration. (The patriotic desserts taste just as delicious on July 5 and every day following, so don’t fret if they don’t make it to this year’s fireworks festivities.) Other highly anticipated recipes from the new issue include 50 things to make with zucchini, no-churn cheesecake ice cream and lobster rolls. Read on to find out what other recipes you should be making.
“We don’t always eat the food we photograph for the magazine — sometimes it’s been sitting out a little too long, or too many hands have primped and prodded it — but no one could resist Jeff Mauro’s lobster rolls (pictured above). As soon as they were shot, everyone on set dug right in. The recipe is super simple, but that’s how I like my lobster rolls: big chunks of lobster meat with just a little mayo and celery. And a butter-toasted bun, of course.”
— Lisa Cericola, Features Editor
“I think every holiday deserves a showstopping dessert, so I’ll be making the Red Velvet Fireworks Cake this Fourth of July. It’s just as pretty on the outside as it is once you cut a slice. Plus, more layers equals more frosting, and that’s something I’ll never complain about.”
— Sarah Weinberg, Senior Associate Editor
“I want to make Trisha Yearwood’s Slow-Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork — on summer weekends, we are in and out of the house, and I love the idea of setting the slow cooker, going about my day and then coming home to a delicious dinner. And for the Fourth, my daughter and I will make the Stars and Stripes Cupcakes!”
—Rory Evans, Executive Editor
“I can make all of the things I love to eat — except for cheesecake and ice cream. Every recipe I’ve come across for these two has intimidated me; therefore I’ve never tried to make them. There’s a bit of science involved when making cheesecake and ice cream. When I cook, I tend to improvise, and there’s little opportunity for passionate improvising when it comes to the basic essentials necessary in making these delectable creamy indulgences. However! As I read the recipe for our No-Churn Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice Cream, a slow smile spread across my face. I was amazed at how easy it would be to make two of my favorite sweets with little science, on a smaller scale, in one dessert and with the glorious bonus of blueberries! Some say the magic happens outside your comfort zone. This summer, I will take my first steps toward magically making a whole cheesecake and ice cream with this easy-breezy dessert to start!”
— Heather DiBeneditto, Associate Managing Editor
“Every summer, my family typically harvests more zucchini from our garden than we know what to do with. Last year, one freak-of-nature squash grew to be the size of a Louisville Slugger! Come harvest time, I can’t wait to put the 50 Zucchini Recipes insert to the test … because there certainly won’t be a zucchini shortage at my house.”
— Lauren Masur, Assistant Editor
“They’re not usually a favorite food of mine, but Richard Blais changed my opinion of onion rings — his recipe is outstanding! They’re light, crisp and perfectly flavored. Plus, he is such a fun guy to spend the day with at the shoot.
— Ian Doherty, Art Director
“I loved the Grilled Dry-Rubbed Pork from Weeknight Cooking. We used pork loin instead of chops, and the black-eyed peas and collard greens side is smoky and delicious.”
— Robb Riedel, Managing Editor
“I was on a personal mission to get Pop Rocks into the red, white and blue desserts story as we were coming up with ideas as to how to make treats patriotic. We stuck to color-inspired sweets, but I got my wish on the July Calendar page with a “fireworks-inspired” cupcake. The pop and fizz makes for a really fun surprise as you bite in. (To make, just poke holes in the tops of mini cupcakes, fill with Pop Rocks and frost.)
“If you’re looking for a dish that sums up summertime, I’d recommend the Spaghettini with Corn and Clams. It reminded me of my childhood vacations to Cape Cod.
“My coworkers are tired of hearing me talk about how much I love ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles), so I think they’re all pretty happy that I have new ways to use the veggie! Check out our 50 Zucchini Recipes booklet if your garden crops runneth over. “
— Ariana Phillips, Senior Associate Editor
“I loved the 50 Zucchini Recipes! Not only because it was a vegetable-centric booklet, but because I really LOVE zucchini — they are so versatile and easy to cook with. I love the Cacio e Pepe (No. 45) particularly, as well as the Zucchini Parm Sandwiches (No. 27).
“I also really loved working on the Simple Summer Pasta story, since I love easy pasta recipes in the summer. The Spaghettini with Corn and Clams and the Garden Pasta with Lemon Ricotta were big faves in my house.
“The Red Velvet Fireworks Cake was really spectacular, and I am saving that recipe for my July 4th cookouts for years to come — what a show stopper!
“But I think my favorite recipe is the one that screams summer the most for me, and that is the Blueberry Elderflower Pie. I instantly think of my summers in Maine when I hear “blueberry pie.” This recipe was totally inspired by my childhood summer memories of picking local wild Maine blueberries and baking the first-of-the-season pie for our annual cookout. The elderflower gives it a little extra something special.”
— Claudia Sidoti, Test Kitchen Director
“The ‘Seriously Cool’ slushies were my favorite recipes! Not only were they modern takes on old favorites, but we were developing these in winter. Everyone on the team was super excited to know that summer was eventually going to make it here! (You can find all of the drink recipes in the recipe index.)
“50 Zucchini Recipes was another great story! I bet everyone who gardens often has a generous supply of zucchini. Now instead of giving them all away, we discovered ways to enjoy the vegetables and share with our loved ones.”
— Vivian Chan, Recipe Tester
“There were the Lost Generation, the Greatest Generation and Generation X. Since I don’t belong to any of those, I think of myself as part of the Hamburger Generation. All my life the hamburger has gotten more popular year by year, and cooks everywhere are always coming up with innovative ways to make it even more irresistible — as evidenced by the mouthwatering hamburger recipes I can’t wait to experience from the latest Food Network Magazine.
“This past May, I had the chance to visit Seymour, Wisconsin, one of two or three municipalities that claim bragging rights to the first hamburger. In 1885, Charlie Nagreen flattened the meatball sandwiches he was vending at the Seymour Fair to make it easier for fairgoers to eat while ambulating. I snapped this photo of the grill on which a 8,266-pound burger sizzled in 2001, then a world record. A crane was used to lift the grill lid, but how did they flip that four-ton patty, I wonder.”
— David Cobb Craig, copy editor
Sonic Dresses Up the Hot Dog by Putting It in a Flaky Croissant
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Nothing says America like a hot dog nestled in a croissant. OK, that’s not even a little true, but it is an actual fact that you can enjoy that very unlikely combo — for a limited time only — at Sonic Drive-In restaurants.
In order to mark National Hot Dog Month (it’s July) and to hop on the croissant-hybrid food bandwagon, Sonic is introducing its new Croissant Dog, which the company is touting as “a reimagined and reinvented premium take on an American classic.”
A beef frankfurter nestled in a delicate, buttery, “refined and complex, yet approachable and scrumptious” croissant bun, the Croissant Dog comes topped with bacon, cheese and mustard (either spicy or regular — you choose). Because it is totally true that nothing says America like putting everything but the kitchen sink on your dog-dog-doggie!
Photo courtesy of SONIC and Business Wire