The Claws Come Out: Maryland Crab Debate

by in Food Network Magazine, May 13th, 2013

Soft-Shell Crab SandwichSome Maryland residents aren’t thrilled about the recent proposal of soft-shell crab, instead of crab cakes, as the official state sandwich. But Sen. Richard F. Colburn, the Eastern Shore Republican who introduced the bill, defends the decision: “The meat in some ‘Maryland crab cake sandwiches’ comes from as far away as Thailand,” he says. Soft-shell crab, meanwhile, has a short shelf life, so it’s more likely to be sourced locally. If it passes, the bill won’t go into effect until Oct. 1, about a month after soft-shell crab season ends. “As much as I may like to, I can’t justify this as an emergency bill,” Colburn says.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

Restaurant Revisited: Drowning in Debt at Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant

by in Shows, May 12th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossiblePerhaps one of the most-persistent restaurant owners ever featured on Restaurant: Impossible, Carolyn Cuneo from Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, Fla., admitted to Robert Irvine early on that she is “not very good with change.” After her husband, George, passed away six years ago, she’s been hesitant to make any updates to the eatery, a dark, wood-covered space serving mediocre Italian-inspired food. Carolyn was in thousands of dollars of debt, which Robert realized could be attributed to the large amount of free food she regularly gave away to her staff and customers alike. In just two days and with a $10,000 budget, Robert and his team worked with Carolyn to rethink her management habits and ultimately reopen Mom & Dad’s as a thriving restaurant worthy of a second chance. FN Dish checked in with Carolyn a few months after the renovation to find out how the eatery has been doing.

Immediately following the overhaul, Mom & Dad’s saw a 67.7 percent increase in sales. Although the growth has since slowed a bit, “business is still good and it will be a much higher percentage than prior years,” Carolyn says, adding that she’s making stellar progress on paying back her debt.

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Catch Guy on the Road: Book Tour Dates

by in Books, Events, May 12th, 2013

Guy Fieri's Funky Finds in FlavortownDuring the month of May, Guy Fieri’s schedule will be filled with book signings in New Jersey and New York for the third installment of the Triple D book series, The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America’s Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food. Check out his book tour schedule below to see if he’ll be near you.

While you’re there, have Guy sign a copy of The Funky Finds in Flavortown.

Click here to get the info

Broccoli Chowder With Cheddar Toasts — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, May 12th, 2013

Broccoli Chowder With Cheddar ToastsCook up good food for less with this budget-friendly dinner idea: Food Network Magazine‘s Broccoli Chowder With Cheddar Toasts. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week combines broccoli, potatoes, bacon, onion and garlic into an easy-to-make chowder for dinner.

For more main dish recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli Chowder With Cheddar Toasts

Making Mashed Potatoes More Kid-Friendly

by in Family, May 12th, 2013

Making Mashed Potatoes More Kid-FriendlyMashed potatoes are a new item on our three kids’ menus — ages 3 1/2, 2 and 10 months. We’ve lived in Italy for the last four years, where potatoes aren’t very starchy, so we didn’t eat them this way often. Now we’re in North Carolina, where the local spuds are organically grown and perfect for mashing. Because they’re novel, I’ve got a few tricks to make them a successful part of the meal.

Always: Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and buttermilk for cream — both add protein and cut fat, two habits I’d like our kids to get used to early.

Sometimes: Add finely diced veggies to the boiling water during the last few minutes of cooking. Shredded spinach, kale or carrots can always be called “confetti.” Or get more clandestine with turnips or cauliflower.

Keep reading for recipes

Ted Allen Talks to Fans of Chopped on Facebook

by in Shows, May 11th, 2013

Ted AllenRecently, FN Dish caught up with Ted Allen, the multitalented host of Chopped, for a Facebook chat. Ted answered all kinds of questions about the show, including what the judges are like in person and what the competition is like behind the scenes. Fans also wondered whether Ted ever gets to taste the food and if he’ll ever compete himself.

Read Ted’s chat

Perfect Roast Chicken — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in How-to, Recipes, May 11th, 2013

A Simple Roast Chicken by Jennifer PerilloI hesitated for a long time before including a recipe for roasted chicken in my cookbook. It seemed so basic and simple, but as I talked to more and more home cooks it became apparent that roasting a whole chicken is an intimidating kitchen project for many people. And when I use the word project, I mean it very loosely, because really there’s no fuss in doing it.

The real key is the right cooking temperature; that’s what ensures a super crispy skin, but also keeps the white meat juicy and moist. And forget about trussing — this isn’t your mother’s roast chicken. In fact, I’ve found that the chicken cooks more evenly if you leave the legs wide open. It allows the heat to circulate throughout the chicken, so the dark and white meats cook evenly.

Learn how to make a roast chicken