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As I was walking my boys home from school one day last spring, a friend of mine drove by and yelled a funny thing out her car window: “I love your maple Dijon vinaigrette and I use it on roasted vegetables! Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are the best!”
As she rolled on by (she never actually made a complete stop), I had to smile. Not only did she enjoy the recipe, she gave me a brilliant new use for it. To be specific, she tosses the vegetables in the vinaigrette, instead of olive oil, before roasting.
The story on this salad is that I ordered something similar at a restaurant a couple of years ago. I enjoyed the combination so much that I set out to recreate it. While a salad alone is easy enough to replicate, the dressing can be a bit trickier. Yet it is the dressing that has the potential to make a simple salad truly outstanding.
When summer paid us a visit earlier this month, I was so excited to cook outside. There is something so relaxing and enjoyable about a meal centered around the grill. This recipe ranks high on my list of all-time grill favorites, is perfect for a quick weeknight meal and absolutely worthy of company.
Typically, I bypass recipes with a laundry list of ingredients. As much as I love to cook, life gets busy, and I know I can cook delicious meals that don’t have 14 ingredients! This spice rub, however, is different. Taking a few minutes to mix a jarful of this rub will reward you with an incredibly fast and flavorful dinner. What’s more, there will be plenty left over for several more meals. (I now make double batches because I use it so often.) Simply sprinkle the mixture over the chicken minutes before grilling. No need for an extended marinade. No need for advance planning. That’s the beauty of a good rub.
The accompanying sauce is my “everything sauce” because it complements so many foods. The spice-rubbed chicken is wonderful without it but reaches new heights when drizzled with the tangy blend of vinegar, honey and Dijon. This recipe has evolved over the years, from a thin vinegar sauce to a light and tangy dressing with a hint of sweetness. The use of Greek yogurt creates a creamier sauce with loads of flavor and little fat.
A helpful tip is to pound the chicken for grilling. You can do this easily by placing the chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pounding with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy jar. If you want to avoid this added and somewhat messy step, any butcher will do it for you, creating an even thickness that allows the chicken to cook evenly without becoming dry.
Submitted by Ann Fulton
This time of year, I really appreciate the fresh herbs and tomatoes in my garden. I know the first frost is not far off, and their days are numbered.
Taking the time to make pesto and marinara sauce now will reward you with easy, summer-fresh meals throughout the cold winter months. Following are two of my favorite recipes, each with an interesting twist, as well as a new way I created to enjoy both of them.
First off: pesto. The flavor of pesto is unbeatable, and its uses are many. The only downfall is that pesto is usually thinned entirely with olive oil. I prefer making the pesto thick, like a spread.
Submitted by Ann Fulton
Flank steak gets high marks for ease of preparation and great flavor. Plus, it’s inexpensive compared to many other cuts of beef, and I like what can be done with the leftovers.
When I first served this grilled romaine salad with our favorite flank steak recipe, it occurred to me that this is the perfect meal for company. How easy is it to flash-grill some romaine lettuce halves and strips of prosciutto, then top with the make-ahead dressing while my husband tends to the flank steak?
Incredibly easy! Yet while this meal is basic at its core, a few interesting twists transform it into something rather glamorous.
My favorite part of this meal is how it all works together. The clever salad completes the meal and can be prepared in the time the steak takes to rest. The kicker is the grilled prosciutto. I first tried this as an experiment, and it was a flavorful hit. By the way, it works with bacon, too.
Grilled chicken would pair beautifully with the salsa and salad, too. Icing on the cake? Hardly any dishes to wash!
GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH GORGONZOLA AND TOMATO SALSA
Flanks steaks (per your serving needs; plan for leftovers)
Montreal steak seasoning, or an all-natural blend (see note)
Grape tomatoes, halved (approximately one pint for every 6-8 people)
Greeked-Out Gorgonzola Dressing (recipe follows)
Chopped chives or parsley, for garnish
Sprinkle seasoning over both sides of the steaks. Allow steaks to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to grilling.
Oatmeal is my favorite way to start the day. I love the basic stove-top version with all sorts of fruit and nuts mixed in. Not so for my kids.
A few years ago, however, I discovered that they would happily eat baked oatmeal — even ask for it. Noticing that many recipes were high in sugar and low in oats, I began experimenting and have since created countless versions.
My younger son dubbed my Strawberries and Cream variation his favorite food. That was a big compliment from my toughest critic. With peach season in full swing, a new recipe was begging to be made. We have started our day with this healthy treat many times, and I am excited to share the recipe.
PEACH SWIRL BAKED OATMEAL
If you are a fan of nuts, this oatmeal pairs quite well with almonds. You can stir ¼ to ½ cup of toasted, slivered almonds into the batter if you like the added flavor and crunch. Or simply sprinkle some nuts over the top prior to baking. Pecans and walnuts complement the flavor of the peaches.