It’s time to let loose in the kitchen. Instead of sticking to strict recipes and living by the cookbook, take a day to play with your food. No, we’re not talking about having a food fight It Takes Two style, but rather experimenting with fun shapes, sizes and topping bars for your next party.
Whether it’s making your mac and cheese into pops or assembling a taco-and-margarita bar for a Mexican fiesta, there are plenty of ways to get playful. Bonus: Once the prep work is done, your guests do all the work making their own creative concoctions.
Skewer Your Corn
Everything’s better on a stick, and sticks make corn on the cob easier (and less messy) to eat. Try Bobby Flay’s Grilled Corn Skewers with Chipotle-Lime Butter, or mix things up with an assortment of butters and toppings like Cotija and Parmesan cheese for a DIY corn on the cob bar.
Build a Better Taco Bar
Continue Reading 6 Ways to Play with Your Food, from Mac and Cheese Pops to S’mores Bars
Guinness Irish Stew by Jelly Toast5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- March is the unofficial month to add Guinness to everything, and Jelly Toast’s Irish beef stew is just the place to start.
- While you’re cooking with beer, you might as well bake with it too. With a chocolate stout frosting, Cookies and Cups’ beer and pretzel chocolate chip cookies are a must try.
- What should you make for dinner tonight? Ooey gooey pepperoni pizza meatball hoagies by Lauren’s Latest.
- You can never have enough banana bread recipes. According to Shutterbean, adding olive oil and maple syrup will give your loaf a “good oomph/intriguing/what’s that in there? taste.”
- For the next taco night, try Naturally Ella’s sriracha marinated butternut squash and black bean tacos. Hold the meat — this recipe is feisty and full of flavor without it.
Deep-fried and served with fresh fixin’s, fish tacos are a fave amongst surfers and southern Californians.
To celebrate this year of the Olympics and a presidential election, Cooking Channel asked fans what dishes represent their states and then worked with our kitchens to create original recipes for each of the 50 states. (Read all about the project here.) Each state has its own unique food scene, but we couldn’t help but notice some trends across the map from coast to coast.
Though we discovered interesting recipes from all Across the Country, a few states’ dishes in particular caught my attention. It looks like I need to book a flight to visit the states that specialize in my favorite cuisine: Mexican.
From the great state of California comes one of my all-time favorites, Fish Tacos (pictured above). Whether you like them deep-fried and crispy or refreshingly topped with nothing but lime juice, these Southern California staples will turn your kitchen table into a taqueria.
A burrito was once accidentally dropped in the fryer (or so the tale goes), and the crispy, meat-filled chimichanga was born.
From the border state of Arizona comes a fried favorite: Pork Chimichangas. It’s basically a burrito that was dropped in the fryer — what could possibly be bad about that? Top it with some sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole and you’re set for a deliciously crunchy dinner.
Continue Reading Trends Across the Country: Much Mexican Food
Want to make sure your 4th of July bash goes off without a hitch? Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, who knows a thing or two about cooking for a crowd, has four tips to make entertaining easier.
Michelle Bernstein’s Tips for Easy Entertaining:
- Make dishes that sit well. “I want to hang out, too,” she says. “Make things in a thoughtful way beforehand, and then prepare fully the day of.” For instance, if you’re putting together a Greek salad, chop all of the cucumbers, tomatoes and seasonings the night before.
- Let your kids join in on the fun. Give them prepared tasks like setting up the table so they feel like part of the action, too.
- Use the freshest ingredients possible, especially for the finishing touch. If you prepare the salad a day or two ahead, add a pop of flavor with fresh cilantro and citrus. “It will taste like you made it that day,” Michelle says.
- Taste everything before you serve it. Seriously, this one is a must. Get approval from yourself for each dish.
Michelle’s last tip? Mix up your menu.
“I like to change things up and play in the kitchen,” she says.
So skip the burgers this year and bring in some Latin flavors with Michelle’s recipe for chorizo tacos:
Continue Reading Tips for Easy Entertaining from Chef Michelle Bernstein
Sabrina's Tacos, courtesy of Mark Bittman: Soft corn tortillas stuffed with creamy potatoes, corn and poblano peppers.
I was in Cancun on vacation last week and you’d think that after a week of tacos, quesadillas, tamales, enchiladas and margaritas I’d be sick of Mexican food, but I’m not. Instead, I’m craving more. Mexican is the one cuisine I never tire of — maybe that’s because Mexican dishes are so easy to make meatless? Rice and beans are a staple, of course (if you’re at a restaurant, make sure you ask for vegetarian beans, sometimes they’re made with animal fats) but you can substitute the meat in almost any dish for vegetables. My favorites are enchiladas stuffed with spinach or mushrooms, fajitas made with sauteed or grilled vegetables, or tacos (I prefer soft) made with just about any vegetable.
Mark Bittman’s meatless tacos are filled with a creamy mixture of potatoes, corn and poblano peppers. They’re filling (so your meat-loving friends won’t complain) and ready in 30 minutes (so ideal for weeknight cooking). Serve them with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, or just heat up a can of (vegetarian) refried beans and open up a bag of chips and your favorite salsa for the perfect Meatless Monday meal.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Potato and Corn Tacos
Still making your way through leftovers? Finish them off with these tasty tacos...
There’s no denying that from now until the end of the year is prime turkey time. I suspect you might even see a very similar Thanksgiving meal appear during Christmas, give or take a ham and prime rib served alongside. And this means lots of turkey leftovers. I have no shame in telling you that I’ve eaten a few days worth of turkey already, and plan on roasting at least one more next month. And while I’d never publicly knock the turkey-stuffing-gravy trifecta, I’ve gotta ask you: Where’s my spice? Where’s my flavor? I’m opting for turkey tacos this year, a quick and easy recipe that uses what I have but pays homage to the flavors I grew up eating. And it couldn’t be any easier.
Continue Reading Matt’s Turkey Tacos