Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli tells "The View" about her new competition series "Alex vs America" while sharing some delicious eats to help keep you full all through winter.
From tapenade to whole roasted chicken with vegetables, Guarnaschelli's recipes are sure to impress your friends, family or serve as a spread all for yourself. Check out how to make them all!
Recipes are courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0
Yield: 4-6 servings
Tapenade is just a fancy term for an olive spread commonly found in the south of France. Obviously, it's no accident considering some of the most delicious olives in the world are grown there. I don't add any other inherently salty elements (like capers or anchovies) that you commonly see in tapenade recipes. For me, this about a beautiful power struggle between the olive and the olive oil.
I personally favor meaty green olives because they seem mellower and less salty than black olives. But then I miss that salt and slightly vinegary taste black olives so often bring to the table. The result? I add them both to get the best from each.
I not only use this as a spread, but I also toss it onto cooked pasta and dollop it into a salad dressing that needs a slightly salty kick.
• 1 small shallot, grated
• 1 LARGE garlic clove, grated
• 2 light "grates" of lemon zest
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• ½ cup meaty green olives, such as Cerignola or Picholine
• ½ cup black olives, such as Nyons or Kalamata, pitted
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon Jack Daniels
1. Get ready: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the shallot, garlic, lemon zest and vinegar. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are integrated but not pasty. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Set aside.
2. Strain any excess liquid, reserving it, from the olives and place them on a flat surface. Combine the green and black olives in the bowl of a food processor. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Pulse 5-6 times until the olives resemble a coarse meal but are not completely smooth.
3. Finish: In a medium bowl, stir together the olive and shallot mixtures. Taste for seasoning. Now it's time to add the olive oil. Every olive is different. Some are saltier, some very mild. Begin by mixing in a tablespoon of the olive oil. For me, the perfect tapenade hits the palette with the fattiness of the oil and finishes with the light (but not overpowering) saltiness of the olive itself. If very intense, add more oil. If not salty enough, add a touch of the reserved olive brine. That is the balance you are seeking to achieve as you dose your olive oil in this recipe.
Add the Jack Daniels. Stir to blend. For best results, allow the tapenade to "rest" overnight so the flavors have a chance to meld together. Set aside.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
This is such a great condiment to have in the fridge. It is great on meat or fish or vegetables. I love to serve it on toast as an opener or a snack. Buy medium eggplant that is not cottony or bruised. The cocoa powder is classic for this dish. Serve on the toasts and the rest on the side for those that don't want to eat bread.
• 3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into small cubes (about ½ inch)
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon oregano
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 3 heaping tablespoons golden raisins
• 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
• 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 cup canned San Marzano tomatoes, broken into small pieces, and some liquid
• 3 medium-size "inner" stalks celery, cut into thin rounds
• 1 tablespoon capers, drained
• 12 green olives, preferably Cerignola, pitted and chopped
1. Cook the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with the sugar, cocoa and half of the olive oil. Season with salt and stir in the oregano. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the center of the oven. Cook until the squash is tender but still holds its shape and is somewhat firm, 15-20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar and the raisins.
2. Assemble: Heat a medium skillet and add a little of the remaining olive oil. When it begins to smoke lightly, add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and cook until they are translucent, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the tomatoes, celery, capers and olives. Stir to blend. Refrigerate.
3. Finish: When the eggplant is cooked, remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Stir it into the onion mixture. Stir in the raisins and vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I love the burst of flavor and the crunchy texture of raw radishes. I imagine them as one of the most perfect partners of a good tapenade. I have also found that radishes are delicious when lightly roasted. They are left somewhat mellowed by the process but even more suited for dipping and enjoying with intensely flavored dips, like tapenade.
When buying them, always go for the "bunch" radishes that still have their stems on instead of trimmed "Cello" ones in the bags. The bunch radishes will always be juicier and have more flavor.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 "Easter Egg" radishes, washed, thoroughly dried and trimmed of their stems
• Sea salt
• 1 teaspoon honey
1. Cook the radishes: In a skillet large enough to hold the radishes, add the olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, remove the pan from the heat and add the radishes. Season with a touch of sea salt and the honey. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until the radishes start to fade slightly in color, 3-5 minutes.
Transfer them to a small plate and refrigerate so they cool quickly. We want a roasted flavor but also want to retain some of the characteristic crunch that makes them fun to eat.
WHOLE ROASTED CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
Few ingredients, the right equipment and you are there: Anything with low "walls" and also a rack to elevate the bird will allow for maximum browning of the skin. For the vegetables, feel free to use defrosted (frozen) peeled pearl onions to save time.
The other night, I roasted a chicken for my daughter and we ate about half of it for dinner. I put the other half in the fridge. When I came back later, I discovered my daughter had peeled away the crispy "sheet" of skin on the other half as a sneaky snack. Who can blame her?
• 2 cups peeled pearl onions
• 6 medium carrots, halved
• 4 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
• 2 medium Idaho potatoes cut into 2-inch rounds
• 1/4-cup cheap white wine
• 1 whole chicken (3-1/2 - 4 pounds)
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
• 1 cup chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Roast: Arrange the pearl onions, carrots, celery and potatoes with the white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan. Season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack and place in the center of the pan on top of the vegetables. Put the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the juices run clear or a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165F.
3. Doneness: I count about 15 minutes per pound of bird so for a four-pound bird; I check the juices and temperature after 1 hour of cooking. Remove from the oven and allow it to "rest" for at least 10 minutes before transferring it to a flat surface.
4. Rest: When you remove the bird from the pan, gently place it breast side down on the board so the juices can flow through the breast meat as it rests for an additional 10-15 minutes.
5. Sauce: Place the roasting pan on a burner on the stove and add the mustard and chicken stock. Simmer gently, scraping and chicken fat and skin from the bottom. Let the sauce simmer a little with the vegetables, 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
6. Serve: Turn the chicken breast side up on a cutting board and carve. Taste the meat and season only if needed. Serve on the sauce and vegetables on the side with the chicken.
MORNING OATMEAL COOKIES
Prep time: 20 minutesCook time: About 15 minutesYield: about 36 cookies
I love the texture and toasted notes of cooked quinoa. That's an incidental by-product of enjoying this recipe. I have actually never been a great lover of oatmeal cookies, I always pass them by for the chocolate chip or dark chocolate ones on the platter.
That's why this recipe is so special to me: it has just the right balance of spice and toasted grain flavors to make it an unusual and welcome addition to my morning rotation of healthy and sweet treats.
• 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2 and a ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup quinoa flour
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoons baking soda
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground allspice
• ½ teaspoons dry ginger
• 1 and a ½ cups old-fashioned oats
• 1 cup quinoa flakes
• ½ cup sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Make the batter: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, lemon zest, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whip on medium speed until fully integrated, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing on high speed. Add the molasses and vanilla. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides to make sure all of the ingredients are mixed together.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, quinoa flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, oats, quinoa flakes and sunflower seeds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to stir the dry ingredients into the butter. The dough will be slightly crumbly. Use a tablespoon to scoop cookies and roll into ball. The dough may be a bit dry. Arrange the cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets as they spread when they bake.
4. Bake: Place the trays in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes, rotating the trays about halfway through for even browning.
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