Tuna Salad 2 Ways: A Classic for the Kids and a Twist for You

by in Family, Recipes, April 30th, 2015

Tuna Salad Two Ways: One for You, and One for the KidsRemember tuna salad from when you were growing up? Or if you’re like me, remember tuna salad from lunch 20 minutes ago? I have to tell you: I still absolutely dig me a good tuna salad. The kind I’ve been making for sixish years now isn’t just your (yawn) boring ol’ canned tuna mixed with mustard and mayo. Oh, no, pigeons. This adult version’s rocking stilettos and a hot-pink wig!

Actually, that sounds awful.

But before we get to the adult version, I’ve also included a cool, classic variant for your kiddies. I kept the binder pretty neutral, but instead of mayo, I swirled in a bit of Greek yogurt to lighten it up a bit. They won’t know the difference. Tell them elves made it. It’s also loaded with a hint of mustard, and fresh celery and apple, which I feel like all kids like, right? Again, just tell them elves made it. And ignore how many commas were in that sentence.

Now for the deluxe version. Again boasting a touch of Greek yogurt, it’s also laced with fresh lemon juice and curry powder — what? I also threw in some chopped almonds, fresh parsley, a bunch of red grapes and minced celery to boost the antioxidants. But I took out the stilettos and hot-pink wig because that was weirding me out.

Enjoy!

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The Freshest Ways to Pass the Peas, Please — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 30th, 2015

Pasta, Pesto and PeasWho are we kidding? You probably aren’t on the edge of your seat waiting for peas to come in season. That’s because, as far as frozen fare goes, peas are the king, requiring little defrosting before you can toss them into a dish and start eating. Still, even if that lifestyle works for the rest of the year, springtime is the time to get your fresh pea fix. In the spirit of the season, we’ve got quite a few ways for you to put these little green gems to use. Most of these recipes call for the frozen alternative, but you can make your dishes worthy of springtime by swapping in the fresh stuff to your heart’s content.

When a need for pasta salad arises, Ina Garten’s Pasta, Pesto and Peas (pictured above) is the freshest way you can make it. Toss the pasta with homemade pesto and be sure to swap in fresh peas for frozen for that extra pop.

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6 Breakfast Pastries That Are Totally Worth the Carbs

by in Recipes, April 30th, 2015

Breakfast for dinner is always a fun way to mix things up, but what about having dessert for breakfast? Besides those few times you ate chocolate cake on a Saturday morning, it’s probably not something you think of often. But with pastries like warm, sticky cinnamon rolls and apple turnovers stuffed with syrupy filling, it’s definitely possible to satisfy your sweet tooth before 10 a.m.

Strawberry Muffins (pictured above)
Make these beauties over the weekend and have a quick breakfast to go during the week. Whether you eat them at room temperature or heat them up with a little pat of butter, they’re sure to give you the right dose of sweetness.

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Restaurant Revisited: Going Down with the Ship at Gigi’s Music Cafe

by in Shows, April 29th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Gigi’s Music Cafe in Sunrise, Fla., he found a restaurant suffering from not just one culinary or staff issue, but a host of problems that had come to plague this three-year-old eatery. Owner Gigi Brown was struggling to recognize the dire situation her business was in, while her daughter Semone Brown-Mobley, who manages the restaurant, was forced to contend with the consequences of her mother’s decisions. They looked to Robert to streamline their financials and improve the scope of service, but perhaps most important was their need for an overhauled menu, as Gigi’s had relied heavily on the microwave. In true Irvine fashion, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team accepted this mission with gusto, working with Gigi and Semone both on land and at sea to give them the second chance they deserved. Read on below to hear from Semone to find out how Gigi’s is faring today.

“Sales have went up 40 percent in this last month,” Semone says, adding that in terms of her and her mother’s responsibilities at Gigi’s, “Me and my mother still have the same roles. She is helping more with the books and payroll. I still maintain the staff.”

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Chicago Gears Up to Host 25th James Beard Awards

by in Events, Restaurants, April 29th, 2015

After 24 years in New York City, this year’s prestigious James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards — often dubbed “the Oscars of food” — are moving west, to Chicago. More than 2,500 of the country’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food-media people will descend upon the Windy City this weekend, and FoodNetwork.com editors will be there to fill you in on all the action. But the proud, food-obsessed host city has plans that extend well beyond Monday night’s awards ceremony and gala, hosted by our own Alton Brown. Whether or not you’ve got a ticket to the coveted awards, here are some fun ways to celebrate Chicago’s impressive dining scene — all are open to the public, and some are even free.

Need Chicago restaurant recommendations? Check out Food Network’s Newcomer’s Chicago Eating Tour to get our picks for the best burger, pizza, new restaurant and more can’t-miss eats.

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If You Like Canned Tuna, You Should Give Canned Salmon a Try

by in Recipes, April 29th, 2015

salmon cakes
Everyone knows about salmon’s health benefits (salmon is a good source of Omega-3 fats – those are the healthy ones), and about its extreme deliciousness (anyone who’s had grilled salmon, cedar-plank salmon or Buffalo-style salmon knows what I mean). It’s also easy to cook and almost everyone likes it. So why don’t you keep your kitchen stocked with the stuff so you can make salmon any night of the week? Oh, right, because it’s perishable, it takes up a lot of space, and it can be a little pricey.

Or maybe not.

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One-on-One with the Chopped All-Stars, Part 1 Winner

by in Shows, April 28th, 2015

Eric Greenspan and Art SmithCelebrated chefs from around the country have entered Season 4 of the Chopped All-Stars tournament for a chance to walk away victorious. For many it’s not their first time setting foot in the hallowed kitchen, but for others it’s their first attempt at cooking with and transforming mystery basket ingredients. On the line is the largest prize yet, $75,000 for charity. In Part 1 Art Smith, Brian Malarkey, Eric Greenspan and Madison Cowan brought their best game to the competition, but in the end it all came down to the one who dealt best with the baskets. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Part 1 winner.

Read the interview with the winner

6 Recipes That Prove You Should Be Eating More French Toast

by in Recipes, April 28th, 2015

Challah French ToastForget about the soggy, egg-logged pieces of French toast you may be used to, because with the help of these best-ever breakfast recipes, you can turn out a hearty morning meal that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. In terms of flavor in your French toast, that largely comes from the custard in which the bread soaks. While a sweetened vanilla mixture is perhaps the most classic, you can dress up the original to include fresh citrus, like Ina Garten does, or add melted chocolate for next-level richness, as is the case in Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe. Read on below for these how-tos, plus more creative French toast picks.

Challah French Toast — Consider this your ultimate French toast workhouse recipe. Ready to eat in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch breakfast (pictured above) is made with thick-cut challah bread and becomes rich and moist thanks to a soak in a citrus-laced vanilla custard. When it comes to toppings, stick with classic maple syrup, or opt for raspberry preserves and a dusting of sugar — or pile on all three fixings for a decadent finish.

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Olive Oil 101: Everything You Need to Know

by in Events, April 28th, 2015

Olive OilBy Aaron Hutcherson

The third annual New York International Olive Oil Competition took place this month, where a panel of 15 expert tasters spent three days evaluating nearly 700 different olive oils.

Seven hundred olive oils? Yes. A lot of variations exist in the world of oil. The first kind that likely comes to mind is “extra virgin,” which signifies more nutrients, less refinement and a more nuanced flavor. Many experts liken olive oil to wine in terms of its breadth of flavor. Olive oil can range from sweet to bitter or smooth to astringent, and it can have any combination of floral, fruity or grassy notes.

Here are a few things I learned at the competition that will help you shop for, store and cook smarter with oil:
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