Restaurant Revisited: Soup to Nuts Diner

by in Shows, March 17th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleSoup to Nuts Diner in Tavares, Fla., was in such poor condition when Robert Irvine arrived that he promptly deemed the restaurant “dangerously dirty” and refused to let anyone eat the food coming out of the kitchen. Littered with bugs and coated in dust, this 1950s-style eatery featured a cluttered dining room with tattered seating, but unfortunately for owner Sharon Whitmore, even more serious problems were in the kitchen. There, Robert found tools and equipment caked with grease, raw meat being kept at unsafe temperatures and a complete lack of management among the cooks.

For the last four years, Soup to Nuts has struggled with decreasing business, and Sharon admits that prior to Robert’s visit she was losing nearly $1,000 per month, which resulted in the foreclosure of her home. With a $10,000 budget and only two days to work, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team reworked all aspects of her restaurant, deep cleaning every surface in the front and back of the house, demonstrating the how-tos of making a fresh menu and restructuring Sharon’s schedule so that she’d be able to abandon her 100-hour workweeks. At the end of what Robert called “one of the most-ambitious projects we’ve ever tackled,” Soup to Nuts reopened to hundreds of customers with in-control management at the helm. We checked in with Sharon a few months after the renovation to find out how her business is doing.

She tells us that in the weeks immediately following filming, Soup to Nuts was “overwhelmed with” a 40 percent increase in business, and now the restaurant is “up consistently about 20 percent over last year.”

Read more

Go for Lower-Fat Cheese, Sometimes

by in Food Network Magazine, March 17th, 2013

Mozzarella Cheese

Hot Tips for Cooking With Cheese From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Lower-fat cheeses like part-skim mozzarella may actually work better than fuller-fat versions for pizza and baked pasta — they get extra stretchy and stringy instead of overly oozy.

One-on-One With the Latest Blue Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 17th, 2013

Worst Cooks in America Blue TeamFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

One-on-One With the Latest Red Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 17th, 2013

Worst Cooks in America Red TeamFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

Giada’s Shortcut Pot Pies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, Family, March 17th, 2013

Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot PiesThis week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Giada’s Shortcut Pot Pies, is a great way to incorporate broccoli or other veggies into your family’s meals. Kids will also appreciate the manageable two-bite size of these cheesy broccoli-and-chicken-stuffed pot pies, and you’ll be relieved that they’re a cinch to prepare thanks to store-bought crust.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies

Make Irish Macaroni and Cheese

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, March 17th, 2013

Irish Macaroni and Cheese
The chefs in Food Network Kitchens had so many favorites for Food Network Magazine’s 50 Twists on Mac and Cheese (page 118, March issue) that we couldn’t print them all. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, whip up this extra-Irish macaroni and cheese recipe.

St. Paddy’s Day Mac
Make Classic Mac, steeping the milk with 1 tablespoon pickling spice wrapped in cheesecloth instead of the bay leaf, and use all Irish farmhouse cheddar instead of regular cheddar. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped corned beef and 1 1/2 cups chopped boiled cabbage. Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with an additional 1/4 cup grated Irish cheddar. Broil until melted, 1 minute.

Waffle Maker Magic

by in Family, Recipes, March 16th, 2013

Taleggio and Pear PaniniStorage is always an issue living in New York City, especially when it comes to much-coveted counter space; there never seems to be enough. It makes me pretty merciless when it comes to appliances and kitchen equipment. This also means I can’t afford to keep any one-trick ponies hanging around, so it was only logical for me to look beyond basic waffles when it came to cooking with my waffle iron.

A few years back I read about waffle grilled cheese in Jennifer Carden’s Toddler Café cookbook. It’s easy. Instead of cooking your grilled cheese in a skillet on the stovetop, you throw it into a preheated waffle iron doubling as a panini press. It’s a genius idea, and makes its way into my daughters’ lunchboxes a few times a week. My husband, Mikey, loved it so much that I would often gussy up the filling by using fresh mozzarella and tomato jam. It was the best of both worlds for him, from a culinary standpoint.

Then my eyes were opened even wider when my friend Silvana’s book, Cooking for Isaiah, came out. She had the brilliant idea of making shredded potato pancakes in her waffle iron. This works better in a standard waffle iron than a deep Belgian-style one, and is a fun twist on latkes.

Read more

How to Host a Kid-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Party

by in Family, Holidays, March 16th, 2013

Green Eggs and HamWhen you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what comes to mind? Beer, corned beef, cabbage, crowded bars and more beer. Kid-friendly favorites? Not so much.

This weekend, instead of forgoing a St. Paddy’s day celebration simply because you have kids in tow, tweak your celebration to make it friendlier for young party guests. The key to planning a bash that both kids and grownups will enjoy is offering a menu centered not on the mature tastes of traditional Irish delicacies like colcannon and shepherd’s pie, but rather on the signature color of the Emerald Isle: green. Let green be the theme of your dishes by getting creative with your meal choices and incorporating naturally vibrant ingredients — plus a bit of food dye — into crowd-pleasing eats and drinks. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite deliciously green recipes below, then tell us in the comments how you’ll be spending St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.

Instead of saving the party until late in the day, start the celebration in the morning with a St. Paddy’s Day brunch. A casual, relaxed get-together that’s ideal to host with other families, this simple meal is a cinch to pull off, especially when you make it a potluck so you can split cooking duties with other parents. No matter what dishes your friends bring, Paula’s Green Eggs and Ham (pictured above) will be the talk of the table: this easy scramble features fluffy eggs that are made wonderfully green with the help of a few drops of food coloring. Don’t look to green bottle to do the trick, however. It’s the blue dye that will mix with the yellow eggs and emit a green tint in seconds. Incorporate diced ham to add heft and texture to the eggs, and serve with a side of shaped buttery toast to transform this 25-minute plate into an all-in-one meal.

Keep reading for more recipes

Bonding With the Bikers — Worst Cooks in America Caption It

by in Shows, March 15th, 2013

Chefs Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in AmericaHeading into their fifth week of Boot Camp, the Worst Cooks in America recruits will be forced to face one of their top culinary fears: cooking for others. Many of the competitors have admitted to making their friends and families sick with haphazardly prepared dishes from kitchen attempts past, so it’s no surprise that they’re leery about unsuspecting strangers sampling their latest offerings. Have their skills come so far in the past month that they can now be trusted to feed the public? How will the taste testers react to the contestants’ meals?

After Sunday’s initial challenge of making Asian-inspired dumplings for supermarket shoppers, it will be up to Chef Anne and Bobby‘s teams to prepare a spread of bar snacks for a crowd of hungry motorcycle riders. In the above sneak-peek shot from the all-new episode, the mentors are seen chatting with one of the bikers, and so far, the group seems to be enjoying the experience the contestants are providing. Do you think these happy faces will last throughout the cook-off, or will a partygoer ultimately encounter a disastrous dish? Which samplers — the shoppers or bikers — will be more lenient with the recruits’ culinary shortcomings? Will the mentors be wowed by the contestants’ progress, or will they find some making too many rookie mistakes?

Write your best captions