Archive for August, 2012

Dinner Rush: Summer Farmer’s Market Pasta

Dinner Rush

“Dinner Rush” is a delicious and time-savvy source for meal ideas and recipes that get you from the express lane to the dinner table without breaking a sweat. Dinner just got simpler with inspiration that combines some everyday pantry items with only five (or six) ingredients.

Hit up a local farm stand this time of year and try – just try – to avoid walking out with your body weight in corn and tomatoes. I dare you. What to do with such a bottomless supply of the season’s best bounty? A next-to-no-cook dinner works for me.

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Meatless Monday: Swiss Chard au Gratin French Bread Pizzas

french bread pizza
French bread pizza was on the menu every Friday at my elementary school cafeteria. I never once tried it (the plastic-looking cheese and brown-ish sauce freaked me right out) but I’ve always loved the idea of French bread pizza. It sounds somewhat foreign and exotic, to my 6-year-old self at least (I thought it actually was French), but in reality it’s just a great way to turn a store-bought loaf of bread (you can even use day-old bread) into a meal.

You can top your loaf with plain old sauce and cheese, or fancy it up a bit with those greens you bought but aren’t sure what to do with. To save a little time, make the Swiss chard au Gratin mixture (that just means greens in a creamy, cheesy sauce) ahead of time and bake everything before you’re ready to eat.

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Get Laura Calder’s Apres-Ski Menu

Laura Calder

Though summer’s winding down, it’s still hot enough in much of the country to break out in a sweat just stepping out to retrieve the mail. If all the hot weather has you dreaming of a winter wonderland and hitting the ski slopes, Cooking Channel and Laura Calder are here to make at least part of the fantasy (the food part) a reality with a new special.

Tune in to Laura Calder Explores: The French Alps tonight at 8pm ET on Cooking Channel.

The James Beard award-winning chef is leaving her kitchen behind and heading to the French Alps for the very first time. She’s on a mission to taste the very best food the region has to offer, earn her après-ski and learn everything she can from the chefs and farmers of the region along the way. From the heights of the snow-capped mountains to the lakes and farms in the foot hills, Laura exposes the great people and delicious foods that can only be found in the Alps.

Get the recipes from her trip in our gallery and bring some of the beautiful hearty and rustic French cooking home with you.

Watch Laura Calder Explores: The French Alps tonight at 8pm ET.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Vintage Cakes

Stack Cake from Vintage Cakes Cookbook

Vintage Cakes Cookbook

Flipping through Julie Richardson’s new cookbook, Vintage Cakes, brings me back to my grandmother’s flour-dusted, sweet-smelling kitchen. Grandma made a cake from scratch for every birthday, and their moist layers and buttercream never disappointed — even when I turned seven and all I wanted was the Little Mermaid cake I spotted at the grocery store.

Like Grandma’s, Julie’s cakes steer clear of fancy pastry chef tricks in favor of classic American combinations. A bakery owner and collector of vintage cookbooks and recipe cards, she folds in interesting tidbits of history. Who knew that the Stack Cake, pictured above, was once a traditional wedding cake for settlers in southern Appalachia? Julie notes that wedding guests would each bring a layer for the bride’s family to assemble. Though timeless, the recipes in Vintage Cakes are all updated for today’s home baker, so go ahead and break out that stand mixer.

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Happy National Waffle Day

Corn Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Today is National Waffle Day, and what better way to celebrate than firing up the ol’ iron, getting out the syrup and serving up a plate full of the breakfast favorite? And even though the breakfast hour has long passed, you can still join in the fun at dinnertime. Breakfast for dinner is our favorite meal of the day.

Five Favorite Waffle Recipes:

Corn Waffles With Blueberry Syrup (pictured above)

Though this recipe is a little labor intensive, the results are worth the effort. In addition to keeping them from being too sweet, the cornmeal also adds nice texture to the waffles. Blueberries in the sauce are a nice finishing touch.

Get the Recipe: Corn Waffles With Blueberry Syrup

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Your Favorite Sandwich Revealed

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

To help kick off Sandwich Week on Cooking Channel, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite sandwich on our Pinterest page. The battle was heated, but in the end, Kelsey Nixon‘s  Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches pulled away as victorious.

Kelsey turns classic game day fare into a hearty sandwich. Slow-cooked chicken gets a fiery kick from an easy homemade Buffalo sauce, and is then topped with some cooling, creamy blue cheese aioli. It’s no surprise it stole the show.

Get the Recipe: Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Check out the runner-ups after the jump.

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Thirsty Thursday: Grape Expectations

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Classy Ladies‘ Alie and Georgia will send you on a sugar high with their Grape Expectations Cocktail.

The duo channel their inner children for a lesson from soda aficionado John Nese at Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in L.A. Then it’s time to put on the big boy pants and create a cocktail reminiscent of a grape cream soda, complete with silly straws and the ultimate candy garnish.

Watch Now:

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Louisiana Love: Enter to Win The Lucky One on Blu-ray

Shrimp and Grits

What's your favorite Louisiana-inspired comfort food?

What’s better than Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling sharing a moment in the kitchen? Easy: Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling sharing a moment in the kitchen over jambalaya.

In Warner Brothers‘ spring 2012 blockbuster “The Lucky One,” U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t know. When he finds out her name and where she lives, he shows up at her door. Rather than spoil the rest, we’ll give you a heads up:  a luscious Louisiana meal ensues, and it involves one of our favorite Cajun dishes: Jambalaya.

Which got us thinking… Efron finds his lucky charm in Louisiana — can you can find yours in its cuisine?

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What Is a Mop Sauce?

What is a mop sauce?

Mop It Up: Black Pepper Vinegar BBQ Mop Sauce

While glazing with barbecue sauce in the last few minutes adds fast flavor, mop sauces are best for flavoring tough meats you’re going to be cooking for long periods of time.

Thinner than barbecue sauces, mop sauces are typically made from beer, vinegar or apple cider, and are basted onto the meat every 20 minutes using a small mop or brush, ensuring maximum flavor infusion throughout the cooking process.

How to Apply a Mop Sauce

Use a mop brush to ensure maximum flavor infusion.

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Hump Day Snack: The iPhone 5 Gets Redesigned for Foodies

Comedic tweeter/writer/viral hit maker Adam Sacks has improved YouTube with a new video spoofing the iPhone and the legions of food lovers who use it solely to photograph their meals.

YouTube Preview Image

Find more great parodies of food culture with Cooking Channel’s Fodder:

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