#TBT: The Neelys

by in Food Network Chef, January 16th, 2014

The NeelysIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

The king and queen of down-home barbecue, husband and wife Patrick and Gina Neely are best when they’re together, one of only a few groups on Food Network to co-host a show. Their first-ever series on the network, Down Home with the Neelys, featured Pat and Gina cooking alongside each other, swapping stories about their family’s recipes, tips on executing their dishes at home and surely plenty of laughs.

Pat and Gina specialize in making traditional barbecue, and while that has different meanings across the United States, the Neelys most often focus on classic Tennessee ’cue, turning out Memphis-Style Hickory-Smoked Beef and Pork Ribs, Barbecue Baked Beans and Honey Cornbread Muffins. Although some barbecue recipes have a tendency to be complicated and require tricky cooking techniques, Pat and Gina’s are simple to follow and deliver tried-and-true results, thanks to their fan-friendly style of breaking down each component of a recipe and showing how it  can be replicated easily at home.

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Restaurant Revisited: Monkey Business at Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill

by in Shows, January 15th, 2014

Restaurant: ImpossibleFrom a filthy interior to seemingly indifferent management, the problems at Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill in Auburn, Wash., were many, and it was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to decipher and ultimately fix them one by one if the business was to have any chance at future success. Over the course of two days and with a budget of only $10,000, Robert overhauled the interior of the eatery, redesigned the menu and worked with owner Donel Brinkman to implement positive changes that ultimately allowed her to reopen Spunky Monkey to a packed crowd. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Donel and find out how her business is faring a few months later.

“Customers are thrilled with the design (as are we),” Donel says of the diners’ reactions to Spunky Monkey’s transformation, “and we are receiving great commentary on the transition.”

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by , January 15th, 2014

greek yogurt
In this week’s nutrition news: Students and politicians embrace Greek yogurt; avocado enthusiasts have more reasons to rejoice; and caffeine generates buzz in a study on memory.

Greek Yogurt to Hit Cafeteria Trays?
A 3-month federal program c...

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Tailgating Cookbooks: A League of Their Own

by in Books, January 15th, 2014

Tailgating Cookbooks: A League of Their OwnWhether you’re a fan of the game or just of game-day food, there’s no denying the appeal of football cuisine. For this month’s recommendations, I set out to assemble an all-star lineup of the best of Food Network Library’s tailgating cookbooks. I fast found myself slipping down a rabbit hole into a vast and unfamiliar world of community cookbooks devoted to collegiate tailgating — a world where the NCAA begins to look like one massive Junior League that’s as devoted to recipes as to pass receptions.

It was amazing how numerous these cookbooks turned out to be (ripe terrain for a collector, for sure). To name just a few: Tar Heel Tailgating (University of North Carolina), Purdue Alumnus Tailgate Recipe Cookbook, University of Texas Longhorns’ Cookbook, Teatime to Tailgates (Kansas State University), Rocky Top Saturdays (University of Tennessee) and my favorite (in title, at least) Let the Big Dawg Eat (University of Georgia).

Get Jonathan’s cookbook picks

Tapas Time with Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

by in Recipes, Shows, January 15th, 2014

piquillo peppers
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient piquillo peppers, which you’ve probably seen in jars on the supermarket shelf or in salad bars. These peppers have a pleasant sweet taste, so no heat, and even though they’re relatively small in size (the name means “little beak” in Spanish), they’re actually great for stuffing. Consider this recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers a great tapas-style appetizer or light meal. The quinoa is packed with protein and the raw zucchini salsa is full of flavor. But best of all, the dish is simple to prepare, taking only 30 minutes.

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Giada’s Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

by , January 15th, 2014

Right after she wakes up, Giada De Laurentiis drinks two glasses of warm water with lemon. She does an hour of yoga, then eats a protein-rich breakfast, like this Chia Seed Pudding. “You don’t need to eat a lot,” she says. “...

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5 Supermarket Buys for Faster Dinners

by in Family, January 15th, 2014

Get dinner on the table quicker tonight with key ingredients that take only a few minutes of prep, plus ready-to-go buys that’ll save time.

Click to find out all 5 supermarket buys

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Judges of Chopped?

by in Shows, January 14th, 2014

Chopped judgesYou’ve seen them critique all kinds of dishes from competitors that have included professional chefs, amateur cooks and even celebrities. And you’ve seen them go from behind the Chopping Block to cooking front and center in All-Stars and the Web series After Hours. But how well do you know the judges of Chopped?

In a series of Q&As, FN Dish revealed several facts that viewers didn’t know about the judges (who didn’t have anything to hide). See how much you know about the judges from what you’ve seen on TV and what you’ve read here on the blog in the quiz below. Prove you’re a Chopped superfan! Continue to watch the competition every Tuesday at 10pm/9c, plus all-new online episodes of After Hours this month.

Test Your Knowledge: The Judges of Chopped

Think you know everything about the Chopped judges? Take this quiz to find out how well you know the panel of nine chefs.

Congratulations - you have completed Test Your Knowledge: The Judges of Chopped.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%

Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

Za’atar — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in News, January 14th, 2014

Za'atar - The Next Best Thing You Never Ateby Jacob Schiffman

When I lived in Israel my junior year abroad in college, I started noticing that a lot of my favorite foods had a nutty, floral flavor I hadn’t seen before. I found out it was a Middle Eastern spice blend made of woody herbs (usually thyme and oregano, but traditionally hyssop), sumac and sesame seeds. There I saw it mostly on hummus or on flatbreads, but now I love putting it on roasted vegetables or fish (with a bit of honey), grilled chicken or baked eggs at breakfast. There are regional varieties of za’atar (Jordanian has more sumac and Israeli sometimes includes dill); I like the Israeli style, probably because that’s the first one I tried. Whichever one you prefer, let me know what you like to eat it on.

Find it: Look for it in most good grocery stores and any specialty spice shop.

Salad of the Month: Mustard Greens with Beets and Goat Cheese

by , January 14th, 2014

winter salad
Whenever I want to add a layer of flavor, texture and some interest to a salad, I heat the oven and roast any vegetables I have on hand to toss with the greens.

Whether it’s winter squash, carrots, parsnips, onions or — as in this recipe...

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