Announcing the Chopped Teen Champion

by in Shows, December 10th, 2013

Announcing the Chopped Teen ChampionOn a special episode of Chopped, four teenaged chefs entered the competition to prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to culinary talent. On the line was a $40,000 scholarship to The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes. Not to mention bragging rights to call oneself a Chopped Champion. Now that’s pretty cool for a kid still in school! The competitors ranged in age from 13 to 16, but it didn’t matter that they lacked the years of experience, because they made up for it in energy, ambition and a determination to win. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winning teen-chef.

SPOILER ALERT: Find Out Who Won

From the Sidelines to a Starring Role: Swiss Chard Makes a Main Dish

by in Recipes, Shows, December 10th, 2013

Swiss Chard LasagnaChopped 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 Swiss chard, which most people think of as a boring green relegated to side dishes. But that’s not the way Chopped competitors think! The key is making the basket ingredient shine and this recipe for Swiss Chard Lasagna does just that. It’s also a really creative way to get kids — or even adults — to eat their greens. Your family will be surprised by the wonderful flavors and cheesiness of this lasagna, and they won’t even miss the meat.

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Rethink Your Spices

by in Food Network Magazine, December 10th, 2013

Rethink Your SpicesSpices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg have been used for centuries in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cooking to bring out rich, meaty flavors in savory dishes. Try adding a pinch or two of your favorite baking spice to a rub for meat, or drop a cinnamon stick into simmering tomato sauce. Just remember: A little goes a long way.

Salad of the Month: Carrot and Cabbage with Poppy Seed Dressing

by , December 10th, 2013

cabbage carrot salad

The crunchy texture of sliced red cabbage, paired with the sweet flavor of roasted carrots and lots of chopped parsley, makes a pretty great salad. But when these ingredients are tossed with a flavorful creamy dressing, this simple salad is taken to...

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Ina’s Ultimate Ginger Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 10th, 2013

Ina's Ultimate Ginger Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs

Ina’s moist and delicious cookies are filled with more than just ginger. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and chopped crystallized ginger impart multiple flavors that balance each other and hit your taste buds in multiple layers. A coating of sugar before baking gives the cookies a crinkly crust that sparkles.

Get Ina Garten’s Ultimate Ginger Cookie recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Tofu-Stuffed Acorn Squash — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 9th, 2013

Tofu-Stuffed Acorn SquashThough squash often plays a starring role on Thanksgiving dinner tables — from soups and salads to mashes and mac and cheese — this family-friendly vegetable is a staple all winter long. Just like butternut and spaghetti squash, acorn squash is endlessly versatile: Feature it as a simple side to round out the meal, or let acorn squash take center stage on your dinner table as the main dish. The key to turning acorn squash — or any vegetable — into an entree is beefing it up a bit with hearty protein, like meat, tofu or eggs, plus complementary ingredients to add extra flavor.

In its recipe for Tofu-Stuffed Acorn Squash (pictured above), Food Network Magazine puts a spin on classic stuffed peppers by using squash as the vessel of choice and tofu instead of ground meat as the filling. Since tofu can be plain on its own, it’s important to cook it with bold ingredients so it adopts those tastes and becomes full-flavored. Here Food Network Magazine sautes tofu with olive oil, garlic and onions, then adds juicy cherry tomatoes and baby spinach to create a fresh mixture. Parmesan cheese and lemon juice add balancing richness and a refreshing flavor to the combination, which is served inside a tender roasted acorn squash with a simple pita-spinach salad on the side.

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Is Dragon Fruit the Next “It” Food?

by , December 9th, 2013

dragon fruit

There’s a new super food in town. Is the oddly gorgeous dragon fruit poised to be the next pomegranate?

Dragon fruit has recently been making appearances in everything from herbal teas to yogurts. Dragon-fruit-infused liquors are showing up on...

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Jeff’s Italian Spumoni Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2013

Jeff's Italian Spumoni Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs

Jeff’s holiday cookie is inspired by spumoni, which is traditionally a molded Italian dessert featuring different layers of ice cream (cherry, pistachio and either chocolate or vanilla) along with candied fruits and nuts. Jeff puts his twist on the Italian classic by turning those memorable flavors into a “spumookie” complete with chocolate chips, pistachios and dried cherries.

Get Jeff Mauro’s Italian Spumoni Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Robert Revives the Jersey Shore on Holiday: Impossible 2

by in Shows, December 8th, 2013

Holiday: Impossible 2“It’s our biggest mission ever: two locations, three days, $50,000,” Robert Irvine said of what he was about to take on in Ship Bottom, Long Island Beach, N.J. Just one year ago, that community was devastated — along with so many others along the Eastern Seaboard — when Hurricane Sandy smashed on shore with powerful winds and rain, plus multiple-feet-high storm surges. In the spirit of the season and true to Robert’s selflessness, the Restaurant: Impossible host teamed up with Lexus for Holiday: Impossible 2 to give two Ship Bottom businesses that were nearly decimated by the storm a second chance to thrive. With the help of Lexus’ generous donation of extra time and an increased budget, plus the commitment of his design and construction teams from Restaurant: Impossible, Robert transformed LBI Pancake House and Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company, both once waterlogged from the storm and in dire need of updates if they were to have any chance at lasting futures.

While it’s rare for Robert to undertake a project of this magnitude, it’s no surprise that he didn’t let the feat stop him from completing it on time and with the very best results. After just a few days of work, he reopened LBI Pancake House for owners Bill and Carole Waldron as a vibrant, welcoming eatery worthy of the neighborhood, and he introduced a revitalized kitchen and lounge area at Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company President Dan English and Fire Chief Wade Bradley, as well as the company’s 30 members. Read on below to hear from Carole and Dan, find out how their locations are doing today and see behind-the-scenes photos.

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11 Psychological Tricks of the Supermarket Trade

by in Shows, December 8th, 2013

11 Psychological Tricks of the Supermarket TradeAs we’ve seen in Guy’s Grocery Games, navigating a grocery store is not an easy feat. You go in for milk and leave with six bottles of wine (on sale!) and a bag of chips. Our friendly grocers are just honest businesspeople trying to sell some food. We would never accuse them of Jedi mind tricks.

Okay, yes we would. No consumer arena has been as psychoanalyzed as much as the grocery store. Like any responsible business owner, grocers have studied their consumers and learned what makes us tick. Often referred to as “the racetrack,” a grocery store is designed to get you into the “track” and make you go as slowly as possible through every aisle. Most of the major products have been strategically placed to maximize your time and money spent.

Here are a few tricks of the trade:

1. Locked Door Behind You: Grocery store doors are usually one-way. Once inside, you’ll have to walk past a few special offers to find the exit. It’s like when the frail, screaming victim in a horror movie realizes the only way out of their current environment is through it. Instead of killing you, grocery stores just want to sell you some Oreos.

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