Heirloom Family Recipes from Food Network Stars
There’s something truly magical about family recipes, whether they’re written down in an oil-splattered notebook or housed in a tin box. Passed down between generations, these recipes hold a special place in people’s hearts, no matter who they come from; Food Network stars Eddie Jackson, Geoffrey Zakarian, Valerie Betinelli and Molly Yeh would be the very first ones to tell you it’s true. Each one of them recently shared their favorite family recipes with Food Network Magazine. Keep reading to see how you can make them for your very own family.Grandma
Eddie Jackson can pinpoint the moment he began falling in love with food: the first time he rolled out homemade biscuit dough with his grandmother Geraldine. She was the head chef at the high school in his hometown, Americus, GA, for more than 45 years, and as a kid Eddie spent mornings in the cafeteria, helping her prep. “Seeing how excited the kids would get as they came through the breakfast line to get my grandmother’s biscuits stuck with me,” Eddie says. The women in his family have passed down the recipe for generations.
Geoffrey Zakarian ate this dish often as a kid, but he didn’t know it as shepherd’s pie, just as a tasty use of leftovers. “My mom, Viola, served it whenever there was extra meat,” he says. “It’s the best comfort food.” The recipe is easy to adjust based on what you have: You can substitute ground beef or turkey for the lamb or swap the potato for cauliflower or turnip purée.
When Valerie Bertinelli was growing up, chicken cacciatore was a standard weeknight dinner. It’s one of many recipes she learned from her mom, Nancy, over the years. “I’ve been making it so long, I don’t remember when I started!” she says. Using just one pot makes for an easy cleanup, and though her mom originally incorporated the whole chicken, Valerie’s version calls only for thighs. “They’re more forgiving, especially for beginners.”
Molly Yeh’s dad was the one who persuaded her to make her grandmother’s braised pork for the first time. It was one of his favorite foods growing up, and when Molly got the recipe from her grandmother Mary, she understood why. “I love how heavy it is on the sugar as well as the star anise, which I don’t use a lot in my cooking,” she says. “It’s so comforting and has this warm, nostalgic quality.”
Introduction text written by Michelle Baricevic for FoodNetwork.com.
Recipe caption text written by Francesca Cocchi for Food Network Magazine.