Restaurants Revisited: The Biggest Blowups

by in Shows, December 29th, 2014

Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile restaurant owners must invite Robert Irvine to their business in order to initiate a Restaurant: Impossible mission, he’s not always warmly welcomed when he arrives, and hardly ever does he encounter no resistance at all in the process of his updates. Still, while some confrontation and minimal chaos may be expected, it’s rare that missions turn into all-out screaming matches or no-holds-barred tantrums; those seeming disasters, while surely salvageable, have indeed led to unprecedented arguments on air.

On tonight’s episode of Restaurant: Impossible, fans look back on some of the most-unforgettable blowups to ever appear on the series. From the outspoken servers at Hillbillies Restaurant to the yelling and door-slamming at Nanny Goat’s Cafe & Feed Bin, Robert has paid witness to over-the-top tempers, but they surely haven’t stopped him from completing his missions. Read on below to hear from the owners of some of the restaurants featured on tonight’s episode (a few couldn’t be reached for comment) to find out how they fared after Robert’s initial visit.

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10 Best Recipes of 2014

by in Recipes, December 29th, 2014

10 Best Recipes of 2014No matter the holidays, change in seasons or special events that have come and gone in 2014, the recipes fans keep coming back to are the ultimate in tradition and ease. Comfort food classics like moist roast chicken and hearty macaroni and cheese reigned supreme this year, while all-purpose frosting took the cake for sweet treats. Read on below to check out the 10 top Food Network recipes featured on FoodNetwork.com in 2014, and get go-to meal ideas from Alton Brown, Ina Garten and more of your favorite chefs.

10. Cream Cheese Frosting — It takes only four ingredients and a few minutes to turn out the smoothest-ever frosting, ideal for topping cakes and cupcakes alike.

9. Oven-Baked Salmon — After a quick roast in the oven, moist, tender salmon fillets are topped with a fresh salad of crunchy toasted almonds, salty capers and vibrant parsley for over-the-top flavor and texture.

8. Basil Pesto — Ready to enjoy in just five quick minutes, this multipurpose pesto is packed with fragrant basil, bold garlic and plenty of nutty pecorino cheese. Perhaps best of all, you can freeze this sauce for up to three months, so plan to make extra during the height of summer’s basil season.

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Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 29th, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and CheeseIf you’re already looking ahead to the lighter dishes you hope to enjoy in 2015, don’t fear that you’ll have to say goodbye to comfort food once and for all. With the help of a few smart ingredient swaps, you can surely cozy up to cheesy casseroles and better-for-you sweet treats alike with the help of Food Network’s meal makeovers.

Every bit as satisfying as its traditional counterpart, Food Network Kitchen’s Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is a surprisingly healthy family-friendly favorite you’ll keep coming back to this winter. Think of this pasta bake as next-level spinach-artichoke dip with good-for-you whole-wheat pasta mixed in; it’s made with tender artichoke hearts and fresh spinach, plus a bit of sour cream for tang and mozzarella cheese for gooey richness. The key to maintaining the flavor of this classic dish without added calories is balancing a pat of butter and nutty Parmesan cheese with other low-fat and part-skim dairy ingredients — like the sour cream and mozzarella — because, after all, a little goes a long way when it comes to bold ingredients like these.

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Enter to Win a Copy of Melissa d’Arabian’s New Cookbook, Supermarket Healthy

by in Contests, Food Network Chef, December 29th, 2014

Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a LotWith the new year just days away, the focus has already started to shift from hearty, indulgent holiday buffets to lighter meals ideal for 2015 resolutions. This year, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, skip the fad diets and embrace wholesome, naturally leaner cooking. All you need are a few go-to strategies and recipes you can count on, and for those, look no further than Melissa d’Arabian‘s all-new cookbook, Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot.

In her brand-new publication, the host of Ten Dollar Dinners and the Picky Eaters Project shares how simple it can be to not only feed your family better-for-you dishes, but do that on a budget as well. She’s introducing 130 recipes for savory and sweet picks alike, including Deconstructed Lasagna and Cinnamon Popovers with Cream Cheese Glaze. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need to seek out specialty shops to find recipe ingredients; your everyday market is A-OK. Just stick to Melissa’s good-to-know tricks for navigating the grocery store and check out her recipe Blueprints — customizable templates for creating such favorites as meatballs and trail mix — and you can indeed start the new year on a healthier note.

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Chopped Pork Chops, Cones Three Ways and a $25,000 Win — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 28th, 2014

It’s the name of the Cutthroat Kitchen game to face sabotage, so it’s no surprise when chefs meet an oddball challenge or two throughout the contest as they must balance saving and spending their money in an effort to defend themselves. But in tonight’s all-new episode, one competitor was prepared to face an onslaught of sabotages. Chef Kyle intended to complete the contest without making a single bid, and sure enough, he succeeded, walking away with his entire $25,000 starting sum.

Despite Chef Kyle’s success, his win didn’t come without struggle, as host Alton Brown and judge Jet Tila revealed when they dished on several of his sabotages on the latest installment of the After-Show. Not only did Chef Kyle contend with a chopped-up pork chop in Round 2’s pork-chop-and-applesauce test, but he also faced a double onslaught of sabotage in Round 3. In true diabolical fashion, Alton put a literal spin on ice cream cones when he auctioned off traffic cones as the sole mixing vessels and then later sold an oversize protective cone to be worn around the neck. Chef Kyle accepted both of these. Upon trying on the cone for himself, Jet noticed that it would compromise the chef’s vision, “especially at your workstation.”

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Exclusive: Robert Irvine’s Fitness Routine and How You Can Do It Too

by in Food Network Chef, December 28th, 2014

Robert IrvineRobert Irvine never met a mission he didn’t like, and while most of his challenges involve rebuilding failing restaurants, in January he’s turning his focus to improving something else: Americans’ health. On Robert’s all-new special Fitness: Impossible (airing Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11|10c), he’s setting his sights on motivating fans to achieve healthier lifestyles through smarter food choices and realistic exercise plans. FN Dish recently checked in with Robert to learn more about how he stays fit and to find out what his workout regime looks like. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Robert and get the details on how he manages to stick to his fitness plan even in the midst of his busy schedule.

Tell us about your fitness routine and diet. How do you stay in such shape?
Robert Irvine: I work out six days a week. … I eat small meals more frequently — eight to 12 meals a day, every two and a half hours. My protein is literally — whether it be chicken or shrimp, whatever it is — no bigger than a deck of cards each meal. And my starch — rice, potatoes, French fries even — no bigger than a mouse you use on your computer per meal. And [in the] afternoon, I don’t do carbs. I just do protein and salads and vegetables.

What’s your favorite workout routine?
RI: I work out each muscle group using low weights and higher reps.

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Alton Brown’s Peanut Butter Fudge — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 28th, 2014

Peanut Butter FudgeIf you’re looking for a fun and easy sweet confection to make with the kids between the holidays, look no further. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is the perfect choice. Alton’s peanut butter fudge takes just four ingredients, 10 minutes to make and requires only the microwave to prepare, making it safe for kids to help with. The only tough part about the recipe is waiting two hours for the fudge to firm up in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. But if you — and your kids — have the patience, it’s well worth the wait.

For more recipes from Alton, check out Food Network’s Alton Brown board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Fudge (Pictured Above)

How Do You Battle Chile Burn?

by in News, December 28th, 2014

Chili PeppersHas this ever happened to you? You’re going about your business in the kitchen, making chili, salsa or some other deliciously spicy dish, slicing up hot peppers and – yowch! – suddenly you feel the burn. The chile oils and capsaicin are doing their fiery thing on your hands, and before long you’re miserable and not sure what to do.

It happened to me the other night while I was chopping jalapenos, and after a few hours of repeated and fruitless hand washing, I set my stinging fingers gingerly tapping on my keyboard in a desperate search for whatever ingenious solutions the Internet might present.

I discovered that a) I probably should wear gloves next time I cut peppers, b) I should refrain from touching my face or eyes and c) people swear by some pretty far-out solutions for jalapeno burn.

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Creative Plating: My Secret Weapon for Getting Kids to Try New Foods

by in Family, December 27th, 2014

ChiliWhenever I have a new food I want my four small kids to try, I trot out a secret weapon — or two. There’s a drawer in my house full of little white bowls of all shapes and sizes: dipping bowls from an import store, egg cups from a big box store, little square appetizer plates bought on sale online. They’re all meant for adults to enjoy little bites of carefully made canapes at cocktail parties; I use them to serve new foods to small fries. Bonus: They’re also the perfect size for serving decadent desserts.

Anytime something is served in a dish like these, the kids think it’s fancy and exciting, so they’re way more willing to try it. And one more thing: All of my pieces are inexpensive, so if (and when) something breaks, it’s not the end of the world.

I’ve amassed a big collection, but even a couple of options would be just as fun. Here’s how we do it:

Juice Glasses: Of all my tiny pieces, our juice glasses probably get the most use. I use them for drinks every day, but occasionally they’re filled with parfaits. Everything from layers of chili and cheddar (pictured above) to yogurt and honey looks fancy when you can see those colorful layers.

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DIY Sick-Day Chicken Soup

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, December 27th, 2014

DIY Sick Day Chicken SoupI write you from the comfort of my bathrobe, snuggled up under a thick comforter. Next to me is my daughter Valentine, whose throaty cough shakes the bed and my laptop about twice a minute. Yes, it’s cold and flu season. The other girls are off ice-skating with their cousins, but Valentine and I are homebound, sucking on homeopathic little pastilles every 15 minutes, trying to head off the virus that seems to have hit us overnight.

What I’m craving, appropriately, is a broth-y chicken soup, and so is Valentine. I read in a journal somewhere (or was it my grandmother who told me this? Details are fuzzy when I’m under the weather) that there is actual evidence to support broth-based soups as a treatment for the common cold. Good enough for me.

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