The 8 Recipes Food Network Magazine Editors Really Want You to Make
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Does the blistery cold weather, or the mere fact that summer is still months away, have you longing for a vacation ASAP? While a last-minute exotic escape may not be in the books, the global edition of Food Network Magazine can help make winter more bearable and delicious. Filled with over 100 new recipes, the March issue of Food Network Magazine lets you experience new flavors and colorful spices inspired by the Caribbean, Thailand, Spain and more in your home kitchen.
What should you try first? Browse through Food Network Magazine staff’s picks for inspiration. Here the editors share their favorite dishes as well as the recipes they can’t wait to try. (No, they don’t get to try each and every recipe developed by Food Network Kitchen.) Just like you, they’re bookmarking recipes and taking their own copies into the kitchen.
“I’m slightly obsessed with the Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars (pictured above) Dreamy Dulce de Leche. It was November when we were shooting this issue. After we photographed the bars, the food stylist put out a plate of them and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying not to eat them all. I wound up making them the following week for Thanksgiving — in pie form! They were a bigger hit than any of the usual Thanksgiving desserts.” — Liz Sgroi, Food Director
“I can’t get enough of our homemade Shichimi Togarashi spice mix. When we tested it in the office on cream cheese-topped bagels, everyone went nuts for it — we think it tastes like a Japanese version of ‘everything’ seasoning. One great tip that didn’t make it in the issue: You can make your own dried orange peel in the microwave. Place fresh orange zest on a paper plate or towel and nuke it for 20 seconds at a time on high until it is fully dry.
I was on set when we shot Ching-He Huang’s Dan Dan Noodles and they looked and smelled awesome, so that’s the first recipe I’ll be making from the March issue.” — Lisa Cericola, Senior Editor
“I [also] couldn’t stop putting the togarashi (page 55) on everything — my favorite weekend breakfast is to sprinkle it on a bagel with lox. One of the perks of my job is that there are always spices left over after photo shoots so took some home, picked up the seaweed and dried orange, and went a little crazy making jars for my parents and boyfriend.
I brought the Stuffed Italian Meatballs (No. 2 in the [magazine] and pictured above) to a party and they got glowing reviews. Gooey cheese in the middle of a meatball? Yes, please! Such a simple trick, but everyone’s reactions after their first bite were the exact same range of emotions: What is this I’m biting into? Wait … it’s cheese. There’s cheese INSIDE of these meatballs? Seriously?! Why didn’t I think of that? I’m trying this next time I make meatballs!”
— Ariana Phillips, Senior Associate Food Editor
“I’m torn between making the baklava (pictured above) or Katie Lee’s Pizza Margherita (pictured at top) first. I recently visited Turkey and have been eager to try re-creating the delicious Ottoman sweets I had there, but I also just bought a new pizza stone. The way Katie described the pies at Da Baffetto got me craving the thin, cracker-y Roman-style crust and gooey mozzarella!” — Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor
“I love the March issue — it’s a delicious trip around the world and it was so much fun in the planning. One of my favorite things is the Weeknight Cooking section — it’s awesome seeing how many international meals can be thrown into the mix for a quick weeknight dinner. I’ve adopted shakshuka into my repertoire — it’s so easy to make the tomato sauce and you don’t even notice that you’re having breakfast for dinner!
I’m also super excited about making Sunny Anderson’s bibimbap (pictured above). I love eating this meal at Korean restaurants: the combination of sizzling meat, spicy sauce, bright veggies and crisp rice is such a winner. This version looks super easy to make at home!” — Yasmin Sabir, Senior Editor
5 Reasons Trisha’s Southern Comfort Potluck Menu Is the One to Make
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
You don’t need to speak with a delightful drawl or live in a house with a wraparound porch to tuck into some serious Southern comfort. In fact, Trisha Yearwood’s Southern Comfort Potluck menu should be next up on your roster no matter where you call home. Complete with a few unexpected twists, these down-home favorites are notable for their convenience — and then some. Let us list the ways!
1. It’s perfect for kids (or, ahem, the picky eaters in your group).
If you’re feeding little and big kids alike, your menu should feature a little something that everyone can agree on. Without a doubt, slathering Trisha’s homemade Pimento Cheese Spread over white bread for a simple sandwich is the one unifying force you can rely on. To make her spread, Trisha blends sweet pimento peppers, sharp cheddar cheese and mayo in her food processor until it becomes smooth and creamy. Cut off the crusts while you’re at it so that the adults will notice your simple touches and the picky eaters (aka the no-crust kids) won’t pitch a fit. That way, everyone and anyone will dig in without a hitch, and your little sandwiches get a little tea party flair in the process.
2. You can invite your vegetarian pals without a problem — and they’ll leave satisfied.
What’s the point of serving a centerpiece that not everyone can enjoy? Instead of solely appealing to the meat eaters, appease your vegetarian friends and serve up Trisha’s Chickless Pot Pie, a meatless riff on the comfort food classic that’s just as decadent without the meat. Load up the filling with peas, carrots and potatoes, and wrap it with buttery premade pie dough to seal in all the flavors.
3. You probably have many of the ingredients on hand.
Sure, you’ll have to hit the store for the asparagus, but you probably have the rest of the ingredients for this creamy, layered Asparagus Casserole in your pantry or fridge. Crumble up saltine crackers for a crunchy-salty topping, blend milk and cheddar on the stove for an easy cheese sauce, and hard-boil the eggs sitting in your fridge for an added topping. Bake it all in a casserole dish until golden, and you’ve got yourself a comforting veggie side.
4. You can make a good portion of it ahead.
To save on time, assemble Trisha’s Garlic Grits Casserole ahead of time. When you’ve got 45 minutes until go time, take the casserole dish from the fridge, pop it into the oven, then bake until the cornflake-topped dish is creamy on the inside and extra crispy on the top.
5. It even includes dessert.
Hello! What would a Southern menu be without a sweet ending? Trisha’s elegant yet understated Banana Pudding Cake plays off classic Southern banana pudding. Instead of piling wafers and pudding into a trifle dish, Trisha slathers creamy vanilla pudding between two moist banana cakes (made with wafers in the batter!). It’s the perfect conclusion to a bountiful potluck with friends and fam.
Get even more inspiration for what to bring to comforting potluck parties at FoodNetwork.com.
The Bread Winner: Why You Should Make Easy Loaves at Home
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
There is nothing more effective at knocking the cold grip of winter off your home than filling it up with the aroma of fresh-baked bread. Making bread from scratch at home might seem like an intimidating thing to do, but master baker Nick Malgieri was kind enough to share with us his foolproof tips for success, as well as his recipe for Easiest Home-Baked Bread (pictured above and recipe below). What does a master baker do to get a perfect loaf every time? When we asked him, Malgieri said.
Use the right flour: unbleached bread flour. I like Gold Medal best.
Measure accurately: In my book Bread, I specify weighing even the liquids. The only things measured by volume are spoonfuls of salt, dry yeast, etc.
Take your time: Bread dough that rises slowly over a long time develops a better flavor and texture than breads that are rushed.
Try something easy first: focaccia, or one-step white bread. Once you’ve had a few successes, you’ll have the confidence to attempt more elaborate projects.
And with that confidence comes a bit more finesse in your personal bread-baking style. Malgieri revealed to us three of his favorite bread-baking hacks, little tips to make the process easier and more enjoyable without sacrificing delicious results:
Use an X-Acto knife to score the top of a loaf instead of a French blade called a lame.
Use a heavy skillet, preheated in the oven, as a baking stone for a round loaf.
Use a spray bottle to create steam, instead of a pan of water or the skillet/ice cube method.
Give Malgieri’s recipe for the Easiest Home-Baked Bread a try and see for yourself how different bread made from scratch at home can taste. If you want to take it a step further, you can order a copy of Malgieri’s book, Bread, which features recipes for various types of breads, rolls, buns and sweet treats, plus recipes for composed dishes that feature the breads in the book. Bread’s composed-dish recipes cover everything from French onion soup (pictured above) to sandwich and burger ideas. “I come from a background of Southern Italian country cooking where bread figures in so many recipes – bread soups, salads, stuffings, even as a pasta condiment instead of grated cheese,” Malgieri explains. “There are even delicate desserts (not Italian) that use bread, like a Viennese-style chocolate cake or a French apple charlotte.”
Above all else, baking bread at home is a fun, rewarding experience. Malgieri’s last words of advice for home cooks are simple to follow: “Take your time, have patience, and don’t rush if you want to be successful at baking bread.”
Easiest Home-Baked Bread
If you’ve never baked bread before or you want a bread that’s easy and relatively quick to prepare, look no further. This dough may be mixed by machine or by hand, plus it’s easy to shape into a loaf. Once you’ve baked this one, you’ll want to try some of the others in this chapter. All the other recipes in this chapter are mixed the same way and, with one exception, all are formed the same way too.
Makes one 9- to 10-inch round loaf
1 1/4 cups/275 grams room-temperature tap water, about 75 degrees F
2 1/4 teaspoons/7 grams fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
3 cups/400 grams bread flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
1 1/2 teaspoons/9 grams fine sea salt
Olive or vegetable oil for the bowl
One heavy cookie sheet or pizza pan dusted with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper, plus a spray bottle filled with warm water
Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the yeast. Wait 30 seconds and whisk again.
Use a large rubber spatula to stir the flour into the yeast and water mixture a little at a time. Make sure all the flour is mixed into the liquid and there isn’t any clinging to the side of the bowl.
Place the bowl on the mixer and attach the dough hook. Mix on the lowest speed until the dough comes together around the dough hook, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and pull the dough away from the hook; let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Increase the mixer speed to low/medium, sprinkle in the salt, and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and turn it over so that the top is oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment until it starts to puff, about 30 minutes.
Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface, flour your hands, and gently flatten the dough to a disk. Fold the two sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten, and repeat. Place the dough back in the bowl seam side down and cover. Let the dough ferment until fully doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
To form the dough into a boule-shaped loaf, use a flexible plastic scraper to slide it from the bowl to a floured work surface; try not to deflate the dough. Fold the edges of the dough all around its perimeter into the center. Round the loaf by pushing against the bottom of the dough all around with the
sides of your hands held palms upward. The dough will quickly form an even sphere.
Place the dough on the prepared pan and cover it with a flat-weave towel or piece of sprayed or oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rest until it starts to puff again, about 30 minutes. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Once the dough is proofed about 50 percent larger, flour the palms of your hands and gently press to flatten it to about 1 inch thick. Use an X-Acto knife or single-edge razor blade to cut 4 slashes in the form of a square at the edges of the loaf and a 1/8-inch-deep slash across the diameter of the loaf, then generously spray it with water. Place the pan in the oven.
Wait 5 minutes, then open the oven and spray the loaf again and reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake the loaf until it is well risen and deep golden and the internal temperature reads 200 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool the loaf on a rack. Keep the bread loosely covered at room temperature on the day it’s baked. Wrap and freeze for longer storage. Reheat at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes and cool before serving.
Recipes and photography from BREAD by Nick Malgieri. Copyright © 2014 by Nick Malgieri. Used by permission of Kyle Books. All rights reserved.
Where to Start and What to Make: The Kitchen’s Guide to Culinary Basics
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
From learning how to hold a knife to remembering how long to cook each shape of pasta, gaining proficiency in the kitchen takes practice, but no matter where you are in your culinary journey, it’s never too late to master the basics. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Geoffrey Zakarian shows off his secret to making a classic mother sauce, and luckily for fans, you don’t have to be an Iron Chef to pull it off successfully. In fact, this béchamel is a cinch to prepare in a hurry, and it shines in this 30-minute Fettuccine Alfredo (pictured above).
FN Dish caught up with the co-hosts between takes of this episode, and the cast told us that when it comes to getting comfortable in the kitchen, it’s best to begin with the simplest, most-tried-and-true dishes — whatever those may be for you and your family’s tastes. Read on below to hear from all five chefs to learn how to get started.
“I always tell people to start out like you wake up, so when you get up in the morning, let’s try breakfast. You know, if you damage a few eggs, it’s not going to be the end of the world. It’s kind of cheap, so I just tell people [to] learn how to fry an egg, make a poached egg, soft-boiled and hard-boiled. Just learn how to work with eggs. It’s a very simple thing that people get all, like, verklempt about, [but with] cooking, you have to make mistakes, and the good thing about cooking is you can eat your mistakes.”
“I think everyone should know how to roast a chicken. That’s something that takes some skill; it’s not as easy as it sounds, and once you get that down, it’ll give you some confidence. And it’s also such a comforting dish that you can make that for a dinner party [or] you can make it for a Tuesday night with your family. It’s just a great thing to have in your back pocket.”
“[Master] a soup with real stock [with] mirepoix and meat of some sort, because it teaches you proper technique and timing. I know a lot of people think you just throw stuff in a bowl and let it boil, but that’s not the case. If you learn the fundamentals of good soup making, you can use that knowledge to apply to any recipe in the future.”
“Whatever your favorite food is should be the first recipe you try to tackle, because you love the food and you won’t be distracted by failure because you actually love it. If you really love mac and cheese, and you make a bad one, you’re not going to stop; you’re going to keep on making it until it’s good. But if you don’t like something and you’re just trying it because people say it’s something you should try to make for your first time, there’s no passion in it, and that’s what cooking’s all about: It’s about loving something and being passionate about it.”
“I think not necessarily a recipe but the technique of properly cooking proteins in general, because I think all diets are pretty much protein-based, or at least they should be, for the most part, more than carbs. But there’s so much to say about a properly roasted chicken, like where the breast isn’t too dry but you fully cooked the thigh and you have a crispy skin. Mastering roast chicken, I think, would be a good recipe because you can build — you can get 700 recipes from a roast chicken. You can shred it for chicken soup, you can cut it up for salad, you can make tacos out of it [or] you could just eat it like it is.”
Don’t miss an all-new episode of The Kitchen next Saturday at 11a|10c.
What Makes Coffee Smell So Good? An Infographic Makes Scents of It
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Mmmm … the aroma of coffee. Even some people who don’t drink it enjoy coffee’s heady scent. And those of us who are coffee drinkers may respond to the smell of a freshly brewed pot with a love that can be embarrassing in its fervor.
Why do we adore it so? Past research has indicated that just the smell of coffee sends a wake-up call to the brain and reduces the stress of sleep deprivation, and now there’s an infographic that parses the chemistry of coffee’s aromatic appeal.
“There are a number of different ways in which coffee’s aroma compounds are created,” Compound Interest, the chemistry blog that created the infographic, explains. It adds that the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that makes browned foods like seared steak so delicious, “is a big contributor here, the reaction between proteins and sugars in the coffee beans producing a range of products.” What’s more, the site notes, “degradation and decomposition of other compounds in the coffee beans can also produce aroma compounds.” Brewing also plays a role.
But as for the aromatic chemicals themselves, Compound Interest lays it out thusly, “A number of families of compounds are significant contributors to coffee’s aroma. Several sulfur-containing compounds are of importance, including 2-furfurylthiol, with an aroma that on its own is actually commonly described as ‘roasted coffee’. There are also some compounds which on their own might smell pretty unpleasant, but in chorus with the other compounds add nuances to the aroma; for example methanethiol, which has a smell described as like that of rotten cabbage, and which is also a significant contributor to the smell of flatulence. Another sulfur-containing compound, 3-mercapto-3-methylbutyl formate, is brilliantly described as having a ‘catty’ odour in isolation.”
Um … ew? But it gets a bit better. “Other contributing families of compounds in [coffee] include aldehydes, which generally add a fruity, green aroma, furans, which contribute caramel-like odours, and pyrazines, which have an earthy scent. Guaiacol and related phenolic compounds offer smoky, spicy tones, and pyrroles and thiophenes are also present in low concentrations,” Compound Interest explains.
Very interesting. But I think I might need another cup of coffee before I can totally wrap my head around it.
Photo courtesy of Compound Interest