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Traditional Lunar New Year Dishes and Their Significance

The Chinese Lunar New Year is February 19. For Cooking Channel’s Luke Nguyen, that means cooking fantastic food with his family, everyone wearing red, and wishing for prosperity and luck. In this web-only video, Luke shows you what he cooked with his family to celebrate last year and why:

Check out more web-only videos with Luke Nguyen celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Watch Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong every Tuesday at 9:30am ET

Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure

World Figure Skating Hall of Famer Brian Boitano has medals for reaching new heights (Google clips of his signature jump, the Tano Triple). In that spirit, he’s vaulting up to the beautiful hilly town of of Favale di Malvaro, Italy — where his family originated — to search for his culinary roots. His plan is to learn the secrets of what makes northern Italian cuisine so amazing and use them, along with local ingredients, to put his spin on some simple Italian recipes like Bruschetta, Testaroli with Basil Pesto, Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Grilled Steak with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Peach Tiramisu, Sauteed Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Pancetta, Shrimp Scampi with Chickpea Mash and Trofie with Basil Cream Sauce.  Then he’ll show you how to bring it all home on his new special Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure premiering tonight at 8pm ET. This info will be far more serviceable then knowing who won Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Watch Brian Boitano’s Italian Adventure Sunday, January 26, at 8pm ET.

Get more of Brian Boitano’s Best Recipes

Get a Grandma’s Web-Only Recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves

There is rarely a family get-together where the main meal is not accompanied by a group of side dishes that are of the traditional flavors of our history in Syria. Many of our meat dishes are sweet, sour and savory all at once — often with warm spices and dried fruits.

When at a celebration such as a religious holiday, Sabbath meal or an American holiday, the turkey or a roasted beef or chicken dish is the focus of the table, of course. But the side dishes are like little gems sprinkled through the meal, which is almost always done as follows:

1. The main focus dish of beef, fowl or fish.

2. A stuffed vegetable dish such as Mesche (zucchini, tomato, cabbage leaves, carrots, potatoes or onions scooped out and stuffed with Hashu, a spiced meat and rice filling) or Yebrat (brined stuffed grape leaves, usually made with dried fruit and tamarind sauce (also referred to as oot).

3. Rice made with a browned noodle and a sauce usually made of a tomato base with a meat or meatball (Keftes or Blahat).

4. A vegetable dish such as string beans or peas made with warm spices and sometimes a braised beef on the bones (flanken).

I am going to share my family version of Yebrat, or rolled stuffed grape leaves.

Continue Reading Get a Grandma’s Web-Only Recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Easy Holiday Decoration Storage

The holidays are a blast, but cleanup and storage sucks. These tips will make it much easier.

Get more tips and hacks that are Good to Know.

The Kiddie Cookie Factory

The holiday cookie factory is a really efficient way to get a ton of baking done and keep the kids happy.

More tips and hacks that are Good to Know.

This Raunchy Grandma Won’t Let Anyone (Peking) Duck out of Her Dinners

On tonight’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli at 8pm ET, Ilene and Freddie Tsuhara are throwing a bash at their Concord, North Carolina, pad. Mo Rocca helps assemble the appetizers, like Shrimp Cocktail ShootersGrilled Short Ribs and Pineapple and Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Rolls. Then he learns some potent potables, including the Harvey Wallbanger, from mix master Freddie.

The food and drinks are a success, but the real surprise of the night is firecracker Ilene. In this web-only deleted scene from the show, Ilene explains why showing up three hours late for a dinner she’s made is a bad idea, plus the reasons she was the worst military wife who ever walked the Earth:

Continue Reading This Raunchy Grandma Won’t Let Anyone (Peking) Duck out of Her Dinners

Happy Thanksgiving!

Get 25 things to make with leftovers.

Get a Grandma’s Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Greek Cookies

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Mo Rocca with George and Kathy Boulukos

I consider Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays, and I love to prepare the traditional foods of America — with a few twists. For example, I always stuff a huge turkey, but I use a very traditional Greek chopped-meat stuffing, which includes chestnuts and raisins (but no breadcrumbs!).

Since I am a huge dessert lover, I always include one special cookie from my family archives to serve. It is an old Greek family cookie recipe from my mother called Pastules. The cookies seem to hit the spot, since they’re small butter-type cookies and the perfect ending to a big meal. I make them year-round.

Quite simple to make, Pastules are basically butter cookies with a few changes, namely that you dip the rolled balls of raw cookie dough into beaten egg whites, then into a chopped-almond mixture. You then place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and make a small indentation in the center of each cookie. Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you sprinkle them with powdered sugar and add a tiny dollop of jam in the center. I try to use fig preserves, as fig preserves are very popular in Greek cuisine. However, other jam will suffice, so I sometimes use orange preserves.

These cookies can be prepared a week ahead and stored in an airtight container.  Since they’re so easy to make (form little balls, dip in egg white, then roll in nuts), if my grandchildren are around, they like to help make them.

Continue Reading Get a Grandma’s Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Greek Cookies

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