Mentors’ Restaurant-Style Meals to Make at Home

by in Recipes, July 31, 2013

Chicken CacciatoreEven if you're a frequent restaurant diner, there are surely times when you want to dig in to dinner in the comfort of your home, and on these nights, you shouldn't have to settle for average, predictable dishes. You can indeed turn out restaurant-style meals — like the ones the finalists reinvented during last week's Star Challenge — with quick, simple recipes. This week, Food Network Star mentors are sharing their can-do versions of a few of the meals the competitors made over at Phil Trani's restaurant. Try Giada's, Bobby's and Alton's top-rated recipes for chicken cacciatore, salmon and steak to enjoy professional chef-quality plates in your own kitchen.

Rodney transformed the chicken cacciatore at Phil's into a pie, but Giada's Chicken Cacciatore (pictured above) is a tried-and-true classic that's full of traditional flavor and texture. After quickly browning chicken breasts and thighs, Giada simmers them in a bold white wine-tomato sauce with sweet bell peppers, onions and briny capers until the meat is cooked and tender.

Food Network Star, Episode 9Bobby adds a tangy topping to a family-friendly fish in his recipe for Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze. As the fish cooks, he brushes it with a sugar-honey-soy sauce mixture that offers at once a sweet and salty bite to the smoky grilled salmon.

If a meaty entree is more your style, look no further than Alton's Pan-Seared Rib-Eye, made with just three ingredients: beef, oil and seasonings. The secret to his 15-minute recipe lies in his technique: He heats a cast-iron skillet in a blazing 500-degree oven, then moves it to a burner before adding the rib eye (this ensures a crispy char on the outside of the steak). Once the beef has cooked for just a few minutes, Alton returns the pan to the oven so it can finish cooking.

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Browse finalists’ top-rated dishes from Food Network Star.

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Comments (40)

  1. msjs0315 says:

    Strange. Giada's recipe reads "[r]eturn the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce." Yet the photo above shows chicken pieces onto which sauce has been ladled. How come?

    Bobby's salmon recipe says you need 90 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes for cooking. In actuality, it's more like 20 and 8.

    As for Alton's ribeye, he chastised Damaris that her steak dish could be gotten anywhere. Looking at his recipe I could well say the same thing.

  2. guest says:

    So disappointed in this network in not recognizing Nikki's relatability to the audience (similar to Rachael Ray's) as well as a point of view that many cooks are looking for. I will be looking for cooking shows and recipes on other networks and websites now.

    • diane says:

      Send in the clown.
      Send home the cook.
      Seen this happen all too many times before.

    • Margaret Green says:

      I absolutely agree. Food Network let the wrong chef go when they let Nikki go. I still can't understand a word Rodney says and they keep him, but get rid of a chef who has a pulse on the heart of where this nation is going food wise. Such a shame!

  3. Nancy says:

    I agree with the comment about Nikki....she has a great presence. Her ability to explain her dishes has gotten better over time. But I laugh because how many times do these stars "mess up" or don't explain something great-they get multiple chances to correct themselves. Funny though, I saw one of Bobby F's BBQ shows last week and his choice of words in explaining his dish was so lacking; I thought of how hard they have been on some of these guys sometimes. I thought Nikki should have stayed. Stacey is smooth, but she also comes across as fake, every time. This has been pointed out time and time again-even in the last episode by some of the clients in the restaurant.

    • msjs0315 says:

      We know that many chefs get recycled through other FN programs. It's possible Nikki could reappear. In the event she doesn't, there are lots of other avenues for her.

  4. lisa glaze says:

    I feel damaris really should win ,she is a rock star!! Voteing for you DAMARIS!!

    • James says:

      Give them all a show. After watching all of them 30 times, who will you have learned the most from? Who's dishes would you most want to serve to your family and friends? Who's food tastes best? Who is the most fun to watch?

  5. Bob Toren says:

    On a side note, do you know what I hate?
    After the show is aired the new blog subject is typically posted before the show airs in the westerly time zones. I went to add a comment immediately after the show aired (in Tucson, AZ) and there were already 6 or 7 pages of over 260 comments. If you make a comment at that point and go to find it later it's like trying to find the corrections posted in a newspaper, it's buried so deep you'll never find it.

    • Bob Toren says:

      Ok, off that soap box and on to the Nikki soap box.
      There are so many reasons that was just wrong.
      Her point of view is one of the strongest ever presented on this show.
      The elimination was supposed to be based on their performance for the whole season up to that point.
      Even if she was judged on only her performance for that episode it still should have been Rodney that was eliminated. Nikki had good food, just a little off on proportions of rice to fish, Rodneys food was not good at all. Nikki's presentation wasn't strong but that sucker Rodney is more of a clown than a food authority.
      I wouldn't mind hanging out with Rodney but I don't want to watch him on a cooking show.
      Damaris is also my top choice.

      • Crouton40 says:

        Agreed. I understand the judges issues with authority but she has more authority than Rodney. He should went before her. Russell has been on the bottom five times. Nikki hasn't. Russell has blanked out, had awkward pauses and sometimes been vague in describing things. Nikki didn't have those problems. She deserved to stay over him, too. Perhaps she may not have been the ultimate winner, but she deserved to be here longer.

        Damaris is your top choice. She is my 1st choice, too. Great cook, warm personality, nothing about her turns me off (like with some others), and she can teach us things. I think she could be good for years to come.
        Nikki sent a message on Twitter that she is "now officially endorsing Damaris."
        I believe Damaris can stand on her own, but that is really nice of Nikki to do that. (She could have picked anyone, or no one).

        • Cindi says:

          Perfectly stated!!! Rodney has had a few hits....but Russell has had more misses....not sure why these two are still here...... I liked Damaris from the start because of her Southern cuisine thing... ( Daddy is from Tennessee...) and I think, from what I have seen her create, she has a way to keep the flavor, but lightening up the dish

          • Isabelle says:

            Russell is still there because he can cook. His presentations are getting much better and he relates to the audience well.

          • Sgt. Preston says:

            Relates to an audience well? No smile, too serious, awkward pauses, vague descriptions and a couple good camera moments. Many more duds than hits with his food. This is far too late in the game to finally get good.

          • Crouton40 says:

            Yes! I have faith in her. I don't think we've even seen half of all she is capable of. I would rather have Damaris cook me dinner than any of the rest of them.

      • RLB says:

        I so want Damaris to win. She is the most fun to watch and I would eat her food anyday.

    • msjs0315 says:

      The response was instantaneous this week. I got here fast and over 40 people posted in the time it took me to type my comment. And there are now over 1600 comments on the prior two threads.

  6. Joyce says:

    Who is voting for Rodney??????????????????????? This is a is he on top here!

    • Crusty says:

      "Converting the World--One Pie at a time!"

    • steve says:

      Both Rodney & Stacy have their local radio stations advertising for folks to go to this site & vote for the hometown contestant. Both are also soliciting votes on Twitter.


    "You will be assimilated."

    Welcome to Pie-style, a way of Life, baby. We were founded by our beloved, inspired Master Henry in the Holy Land of Baltimore, sucker.

    In our former days, we lived with Gin and sin, but now, with light in our eyes, we found the Pies! Master Henry showed us the way. It's no lie, life is a pie. And he's the guy.

    After lunch, we meditate, and get in touch with our inner pie, feeling the pie-style rising within. It is the path to enlightenment. After dinner, we have our evening rock-out with our honorable Pie-man. Good pies, good people. It's the Pie-style Way.

    "Old pie-lovers never die, they just get a little crusty around the edges."
    When our time is over, we go to the great Pie in the sky.
    So brighten yer days, and add some glaze. Enjoy the high, cuz life is a Pie!

    See also pg.4 in Justin's recap thread.

  8. guest says:

    I hope Bob and Susie take some time to read through these different threads.

  9. Crouton40 says:

    I feel moved to share this. It's about Nikki. I just found this on her Facebook page.
    I have to say, I'm pretty-darn impressed. Even after being sent home, she's quite a lady!
    See what you think:

  10. [...] Bobby adds a tangy topping to a family-friendly fish in his recipe for Salmon with Brown Sugar …read more [...]