Recipe Roundup: Favorites from the Final Five

by in Food Network Star, Recipes, July 27, 2010
Green Chicken Curry
Would you make Aarti's Green Chicken Curry at home?

Now we’re down to the final five, all of whom have cooked some tempting food so far in the competition. They've also each had at least one not-so-shining culinary moment. Which dishes will you be adding to your recipe file? I'm running down my top picks from each remaining Star contender.

At the moment, Aarti’s Green Chicken Curry from last week’s episode is at the top of my list of Star recipes to try. I love Indian food, but I mostly eat it in restaurants or when I visit my best friend’s family—her mom is an amazing Indian cook. Aarti’s curry seems like an approachable intro to Indian food at home—I have all the spices in my pantry already—and the Supper Clubbers’ raves made me eager to try it in my own kitchen.

Corn Flake-Encrusted Pork Cutlet Sandwich
Who doesn't love a sandwich served on a buttermilk biscuit?

Though Tom lost out to Aarti in the cereal-themed camera challenge, it was probably due to his presentation—his Corn Flakes® Encrusted Pork Cutlet Sandwich sounded pretty awesome. Giada, for one, couldn’t stop digging in.

Buttermilk Battered Shrimp
A far cry from pigs-in-a-blanket, but tasty nonetheless

I know it didn’t quite work as a riff on pigs in a blanket during the Palm Springs challenge, but Aria’s Buttermilk Battered Shrimp with California Sturgeon Caviar also piqued my interest. It would make a perfect cocktail party appetizer—impressive, but still relatively easy to pull off for a crowd.

Cuban Sandwich Wrap
I'm a fan of Herb's lighter take on the Cuban sandwich

Herb’s Cuban Wrap from the Lunch Trucks challenge sounds like a flavor-packed sandwich, and I like that it’s a bit lighter than a traditional Cuban. It would be great finger food for a summer party or picnic. Paula was a fan, and so are our commenters on

Rice Krispies Tuna
Melissa d'Arabian loved the extra-crispy Rice Krispies™ crust on Brad's tuna

I’m also jazzed about several of Brad’s dishes. They have a bit of restaurant polish, but most are still straightforward enough for those of us without professional cooking experience. My top pick right now is his Rice Krispies™ Tuna with Cucumber Salad from last week’s episode. I agree with Melissa—I’m buying a box of cereal just to try this one out.

Of the final five, whose dishes inspire you most? Who jibes most with your cooking style, or gets you to break out of your comfort zone? Vote for your favorite finalist.

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Comments (95)

  1. star says:

    All the dishes look great congrats to the contestants! Will want to try them all out!

  2. Jeremy says:

    My favorite is Brad. He is funny, charming, and a great cook. I think Aria and Herb are going to be eliminated next.

  3. bonsall says:

    What would Aarti do without curry? I, for one, would never watch her should she (God forbid) win. And I don't know anyone who would. She grates on your nerves after listening to her for five seconds.

    Give me Brad any day -

    • Cindy says:

      Food Network has italian, tex-mex, indian cooking...I do not like curry. Perhaps it is the way it has been prepared for me in the past. I think a different culture would be refreshing..and I do not mind her voice. I would rather hear that than Herbs whining about his childhood.

    • NEECEE says:

      I LOVE watching her cook. Since I found her on NFNS, I have watched several episodes of her on-line show. It's very simple and sweet. She is gracious and informative. Her recipes are excellent, and YES, I have actually made several of them. People need to stop passing judgment until they actually watch her and try her recipes.

    • Lin From NJ says:

      I really enjoy to admit though, I don't like the name Aarti's Party. I would like to see a show using Indian food. I've just been getting into India food in the past couple of years and I am really enjoying it! They have no Indian food show and I think it would be nice to have one.

  4. Maxin says:

    Herb is the most down to earth every day cook with the best personality. I would watch him every day. I still turn off Food Network when Melissa comes on. From what I have seen of her if you don't eat pasta you will not eat at all. To listen to her is a great turn off for me. Hope this year the winner is someone who is just one of us home cooks.

  5. Patti says:

    Aria makes me want to go to the kitchen and cook something. She is so inspiring. Her food is always changing, not like Arti--curry curry curry.... Her persona is real, not fake, she seems very down to earth, which will make more people want to watch her show... Go Aria!!!

    • Nikki says:

      Aria's recent food was carrot soup with all those funky spices; hopple yuck popple and she totally messed up basic American food in her lunch truck. The only thing she ever made that looked half-way decent was the shrimp thing that she tried to pass off as "her version" of pigs in a blanket. To me, she comes off like a Romper Room teacher and she has a nasty streak that is very unbecoming. I cannot WAIT until they show her the door.

  6. Iron Cupcake says:

    Of all the original premises, I liked Herb's healthy flavorful food idea the best. However, I don't believe he has fulfilled the promise of the food or himself. I'd love to have Brad cook for me in his restaurant, then come out to the table and chat-- I just can't see him with his own show yet. Aria is the biggest disappointment. her food seems good, but her character issues really bummed me out. I guess many of these TV chefs have a darker side, but it's not pleasant to see. For me, Aarrti has been the most consistent in terms of personality and food.
    Now, if they would just help her and change the name of the show. . .

  7. Grandma Joyce says:

    The Cuban Wrap looks good and has ingredients I can find here in rural Iowa. Many of the other dishes, though they look delicious, will require some shopping around for the ingredients. My husband just stated last night that he is so glad I watch the Food Network as I have branched out, ever so slightly, from my bland cooking roots. Thank you, Food Network!

  8. Blah says:

    Part 1
    Well, I have to say, all of them are REALLY good. Even though I am not going to use them (for a reason I don't want to say), I like 5 of them for different reasons (Yes, I did put 5 for a reason.) . It may also go to you as advice of where and when to use them.
    Brad's Tuna was really fresh and inspiring because it was something new. I think this dish would be a good dish to use if you were having a party that is elegant and importent.
    Herb's Cuban Wrap was healthy, and if you and your friends were athletes or just healthy, this would be a perfect dish to serve to them.
    Read on in Part 2 Thanks!

  9. Blah says:

    Part 2
    Even though Aria's dish did not have the "pig" part, I still think the Fried Shrimp was very creative. It would be perfect to serve to your kids(Minus the other stuff on the plate), because kids don't want fancy dishes, and they love fried food (Well, most kids do.). So, serve it at dinner.
    Aarti's Green Curry Chicken was very home stylish and comforting. I think this would go well as a regular dinner or a lunch. You pick.
    The one that was NOT good was Tom's. Not to be negative, but anyone could make a mini burger, and anyone could crust the patty with something crunchy. Plain and Simple.
    Bye! ~"Blah"

  10. kenz says: