Restaurant Revisited: Gusanoz

by in Shows, August 29th, 2012

Gusanoz

When Robert Irvine arrived at Gusanoz in Lebanon, N.H., husband-and-wife owners Nick Yager and Maria Limon were struggling to keep their six-year-old restaurant afloat. Locals once flocked to Gusanoz to taste Maria’s authentic Mexican food, but growing pains got the best of the restaurant and Maria had all but lost her passion for the business. Robert faced a big and expensive mess to clean up, from the decor to the tired menu. A few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover, Nick filled us in on how the new-and-improved Gusanoz is doing.

After a slow start, Nick reports that sales at Gusanoz are now steadily growing. To improve their bottom line, the owners took Robert’s advice and cut down on labor costs significantly: “Our total labor is approximately 28% weekly, slightly higher than the 27% Robert asked us for, but definitely in the right ballpark,” says Nick.

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POLL: Which Food Truck Do You Identify With the Most?

by in Polls, Shows, August 29th, 2012

food trucksTwo trucks have already been eliminated on The Great Food Truck Race and fans are voicing their opinions for their favorite in the Fan Vote (you can vote up to 10 times per day). This week, we said goodbye to Barbie Babes and their Down-Under dishes. So that got us thinking: If you had to open up your very own food truck, which truck theme would you most likely identify with? Are you the king or queen of Italian cuisine like Pizza Mike’s or Nonna’s Kitchenette? Or do you dabble in the kitchen with international flavors like Seoul Sausage and Barbie Babes?

So tell us:

Eggplant: Champion of the Meat-Free Meal — Summer Fest

by in In Season, August 29th, 2012

eggplant
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers and our friends at HGTV Gardens 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 eggplants.

As far as produce goes, eggplant stands out as one of the few items that can truly carry a meal. I mean, think about it. When dinnertime rolls around, who’s really down for an entire entrée of green beans, carrots or onions? Not me. Eggplant, on the other hand, is meaty and versatile, so there’s no need to give it side dish-only status. Once the slick skin is slid off and it’s all sliced up, it just takes the right addition of heat to take it from its raw, bitter form to supple and slightly sweet.

Now that eggplant is in season, this is the time to give it a headliner position on your dinner table. They’re pretty good throughout the year, yes, but sometimes the smooth purple skins of out-of-season ‘plants are tainted with bruises or the shape is even deformed — and that just won’t do. Rest assured, however, that with the season ranging from July to October, you can find eggplant at its absolute peak for most of the year. As you transition from summer to fall, treat it as the centerpiece of your meals. These recipes should get you started.

If you plan on growing your own eggplant, be sure to check out HGTV Gardens for great tips like how far apart to grow each plant — do not over-plant, as eggplant will produce very well and over a long period of time.

Get more eggplant recipes from family and friends

Best Labor Day Weekend Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, August 29th, 2012

Grilled Turkey Sliders With Tomato Jam
Though the unofficial end of summer is just around the corner, there’s still time for one last outdoor party. Make the most of your Labor Day weekend by hosting a backyard cookout for friends or simply barbecuing with family before the kids head back to school and the rush of weeknight activities begins. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top five Labor Day recipes to help you celebrate the best flavors and ingredients of the season and pull off an easy, enjoyable holiday get-together.

5. Black Bean and Corn Salad – For a quick no-cook side dish, Rachael combines red peppers, vibrant corn and hearty black beans with a light cumin-lime juice dressing.

4. Creamy Dijon-Dill Potato Salad – Make a party-ready potato salad by tossing tender Yukon Golds with crunchy celery and a creamy mayonnaise-mustard mixture that’s finished with fresh dill and bright lemon juice.

Get the top three recipes

Win a SnapSac Grocery Tote!

by , August 29th, 2012

SnapSac Grocery TotesNow is the perfect time to take advantage of the bounty of late summer produce at farmers’ markets. It’s just starting to cool off, the first fall veggies are popping up, and late summer favorites (like juicy tomatoes!) are still making t...

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In Summer Denial

by in In Season, August 28th, 2012

blueberries
As far as I’m concerned, summer continues until the squash varieties on the tables at the greenmarket outweigh the piles of tomatoes and corn. In an effort to prolong summer, I revert to the classics — the recipes that make me close my eyes and feel it can’t be any day other than the Fourth of July. This recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake does that more than any other. It tastes even better as leftovers or warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can substitute with other fruits like plums, nectarines and peaches, but it’s best with good ol’ blueberries.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

My mother is a New England gal and I always marveled at the way she ate this dish. While my father and I have been known to eat this as-is or pile on whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, she would put a slice of this cake into a bowl and pour some heavy cream (like a moat around a castle) on it. The unsweetened cream, in its purest state, really highlights the spices and blueberries themselves — try it!

Get Alex’s recipe

Road Trip: Travel Through the Arizona Desert With Rachael and Guy

by in Shows, August 28th, 2012

on the road arizona
This week, contestants of The Great Food Truck Race found themselves in the dry heat of Flagstaff, Ariz. They were challenged to work with an ingredient native to the Arizona deserts: cactus. Some teams really embraced the ingredient, incorporating it into their dishes successfully — especially team Pop-A-Waffle, who won themselves immunity with their fresh cactus salsa. But Arizona has so much  more to offer, including restaurants and bakeries hand-picked by Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.

For the next couple of weeks, we’re following the Food Trucks city by city with our guide of the best eats, compiled by the On the Road app and website. Today we’re exploring Flagstaff and Sedona, but come back next week for our picks in Texas.

Get Food Network’s picks for Arizona eats

Fruit Snacks: Are They Healthy?

by , August 28th, 2012

fruit snacks
My three kids go gaga over fruit snacks—and they’re not the only ones. You can find them at the movies (in the kids snack pack), in birthday party goodie bags and in school snack or lunch bags. But are these chewy goodies good for our kiddos or ...

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Seed Your Tomatoes

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, August 28th, 2012

Seeded Tomato

Hot tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Taste your tomato seeds before using them in a dish: Sometimes the seeds are bitter and can overpower subtle flavors, like the summer squash and wax beans in Food Network Magazine‘s Fettuccine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese. If your tomato has bitter seeds, place them in a strainer along with the pulp, then press out and use the juice only; discard the seeds.

(Photograph by George Doyle/Getty Images)

Bread — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, August 27th, 2012

iron chef america battle bread
In these carb-conscious times, when bread is often painted as the villain of the modern-day diet, we often need reminding just how important this staple is and has been to the development of human culture.

As far as I am aware, there is no cuisine in the world that does not include bread or dough of some kind among its roster of dishes, and this has been the case since long before man began to keep written records.

Bread, in all its many forms, has had a huge impact on our development. Revolutions have started over the lack of it and indeed, without the ability to grow and harvest grain, humanity would never have begun to form its earliest communities.

So as you marvel over the dishes the Iron Chef and their challenger create for the Chairman, remember that while man may not live on bread alone, our diet would be a lot less interesting without it.

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