Food Network Magazine’s Chopped Champ!

by in Food Network Magazine, July 19th, 2012

Asian-Style Chicken Salad
A reader turned our Chopped mystery basket into this amazing chicken dinner (pictured above).

In our April issue, we turned the tables on Chopped host Ted Allen and asked him to transform our own mystery basket — containing frozen cherries, peanut butter, sauerkraut and chicken breasts — into dinner. His chicken-peanut curry soup was a hit, so we challenged readers to beat him at his own game. Colleen Mundwiler of Grand Rapids took the prize with this grilled cherry-marinated chicken salad tossed in a peanut dressing; she soaked and rinsed the sauerkraut to tone down its flavor. “I was not going to let any of the ingredients stump me.” she says.

Check out the recipe: Asian-Style Grilled Chicken Salad With Cherry-Peanut Dressing

Restaurant Revisited: The Main Dish

by in Shows, July 18th, 2012

The Main Dish

When Robert Irvine arrived at The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala., owners Lynn and Ken Tverberg were in desperate need of help. They bought the restaurant five years earlier because Ken loves to cook, but with no restaurant experience at all, the couple found themselves in debt and working 80 hours a week. We checked in with Lynn and Ken a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover to see how the restaurant is faring.

Lynn and Ken have seen a strong increase in sales since Robert’s intervention. “The new menu and decor has brought in old and new customers,” says Lynn. “Some customers don’t like change, and I have made sure that I explain to them that change sometimes is hard but necessary. For every one customer that is not happy, we have three new tables that come in and love the new menu.” Read more

Size Matters — Baking Pan Sizes

by in How-to, July 18th, 2012

baking pan
Yes, pan size matters when it comes to baking times and temperatures.

Have you ever had cake batter ready to go into the oven and realized you have the wrong size cake pan? Panic sets in. What do you do? There’s always a pan you can sub out for another size. It’s not the end of the world, trust me. I have a few tips I keep up my sleeve.

If, for example, your recipe calls for an 8-inch cake pan and you only have a 9-inch, relax, no problem. Just increase the oven temp by 25 degrees F and decrease the bake time by a quarter.

In this particular example, since your pan is 1 inch larger, more surface area will be exposed. The liquid in the cake batter will evaporate quicker, which means it will bake faster. To compensate, just increase the temp and decrease the baking time. Are you a little calmer now?

Read more

Perfect Plums — Summer Fest

by in In Season, Recipes, July 18th, 2012

easy plum tart
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2012, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today, we’re exploring plums.

Nothing says summer like plump plums, bursting with juicy sweetness at every bite. From yellow to green to red to purple, hundreds of plum varieties exist and it’s hard to resist enjoying them straight from the market. But when they do happen to make their way into your kitchen, uneaten, a plum-stained dessert is the perfect way to impress your friends and family any night of the week.

Before you get cooking, be sure to choose plums that give slightly to palm pressure, avoiding cracks, soft spots or brown discolorations.

Hosting a barbecue? Finish on a sweet note with easy-to-make grilled plums. Try Bobby’s Grilled Plums With Spiced Walnut Yogurt or Rachael’s Balsamic Glazed Grilled Plums With Vanilla Ice Cream. Either way, grilled plums — and grilled fruits of all kinds — will quickly become a summer staple.

Get more plum recipes from family and friends