This week, the five remaining Food Network Star contestants needed to nail their food POVs during the Mentor Challenge. Some struggled with the concept of their food brand (we’re talking to you, Dom), while others knew exactly who they were (Hi, Arnold!). Did anyone else notice how diverse the food was? Our final five took us on a journey around the globe with Middle Eastern (Alex), Italian (Dom), Caribbean (Eddie), Cajun (Jay) and Thai (Arnold) inspired dishes. So taking a cue from the finalists, here are some fun facts about ingredients common to each cuisine, but perhaps unfamiliar to some fans:
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We 100 percent loved Arnold’s ramen sliders from this week’s food truck challenge. We’ve been seeing those around New York City for a bit lately, thanks to Keizo Shimamoto — a second-generation Japanese-American blogger turned ramen chef — who premiered his ramen burger at the outdoor Brooklyn-based food market Smorgasburg. It’s been almost two years since the first ramen burger was served, and the love affair is still not over — but you no longer have to go to Brooklyn to get one.
Make them at home; just follow our pictogram recipe below. We used two regular muffin trays as molds, so you don’t have to buy any special equipment. Sandwich your favorite slider combo between two ramen "bun" halves. We made a Vietnamese-inspired slider with a ground pork patty, vegetables and nuoc cham — a common fish-sauce-and-lime-juice sauce.
During the Food Network Star Mentor Challenge this week, the finalists had barely any time to get their pizzas topped and baked — and sadly, many of the pizzas were underdone (except Dom’s, as he wisely used the stovetop to crisp up his crusts). We were reminded of an amazing timesaving pizza dough recipe we recently tested in Food Network Kitchen. It calls for only two ingredients — self-rising flour and Greek yogurt — and no special equipment or proofing time needed. You can mix, knead, roll and top within minutes.
Put 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour and 1 cup full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt in a large bowl. Use your hands to work into a shaggy dough. Then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Roll out into 1 large round or 2 smaller ones. There’s no need to let it rest! Top and bake how you would normally — we like to use a 500 degree F oven with a preheated baking stone on the bottom rack. You can also refrigerate the dough up to two days and let it come to room temperature before rolling out.
And then there were six! Tune in Sunday at 9|8c to see which Food Network Star finalist goes home next.
The competition moved outdoors this week for a 4th of July cookout. And after the teams unexpectedly had their groceries swapped, we saw which contestants could really think on their feet. We loved that Michelle quickly decided to marinate her chicken, for kebabs, in yogurt — a culinary trick seen in both Mediterranean and Indian cooking. The yogurt imparts flavor and also keeps meat juicy by tenderizing it. Even though Michelle had some grilling issues, her marinating choice was super clever.
Go beyond just yogurt — look at the condiment shelf in your fridge and get inspired for other one-ingredient marinades. Pair any of these condiments with a generous dose of salt and pepper:
Mayonnaise: Because it’s so thick, mayonnaise provides a consistent and generous coating — unlike thinner regular marinades, which tend to separate.
Pesto: Best used on pieces of meat (or fish) that grill up quickly — the oil in pesto can get smoky quickly. Read more
Who else couldn’t believe what happened during the elimination in last week’s episode of Food Network Star? (Whoa!) But drama aside, we thought many of the savory-inspired desserts for the baking challenge looked great. We especially loved Eddie’s chili corn muffins with avocado frosting. So, inspired by Eddie’s savory frosting, we put on our aprons and headed into the Food Network Kitchen to develop a recipe for you to try at home:
3 ripe avocados
1/4 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
Juice of 2 limes
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Puree all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Decorate your favorite corn muffins with the frosting — and eat quickly.
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And they’re off! This week we met the 12 contestants from the 11th season of Food Network Star, and the competition is sure to be fierce. Along with presenting their food, the contestants also had to present 30-second promo videos to hook the judges and 100 cocktail party guests. There were definitely some food fails and wins — as well as shaky nerves! We loved the concept of the olive oil-poached shrimp appetizer made by Staten Island native and food truck owner Dom Tesoriero, and the judges thought it was delicious, so we headed to the Food Network Kitchen to develop a recipe for you to try at home. They’re super-simple, luscious and tender.
Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis may be two of Food Network's most-iconic stars — after all, who better than established pros to lead the 12 hopeful finalists vying for a shot at stardom? — but their skills go beyond being shining TV personalities. With years of experience in the kitchen turning out both sweet and savory favorites, they've perfected their recipes and added to each their signature styles and bold flavors.
Just in time for next month's Food Network Star premiere (Sunday, June 7 at 9|8c), show off your culinary chops by trying your hand at some of the mentors' most-tried-and-true dishes, from Bobby's glazed grilled seafood and guacamole with a kick to Giada's cheesy pasta and next-level chocolate cookies. Click here to launch the gallery to see 20 of their must-try classics.
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There are certain foods that are synonymous with amusement parks, fairs and carnivals. One of those happens to be funnel cakes — fried, cakey and doused in powdered sugar. In last Sunday's episode of Star, the remaining finalists and judges headed to Knott's Berry Farm, an all-American theme park. In between takes, the Food Network Star crew snacked on this doughy treat (pictured below) in pure Knott's fashion: covered in the family's well-known boysenberry jam. Historically, Knott's Berry Farm was a berry market and nursery where the berry plants were sold. The boysenberry actually became the family's trademark and soon afterward the family started selling jams and jellies.
Craving a funnel cake now? No need to head to your nearest Ferris wheel. Try making one at home — it's easier than you think. The trick to making a great funnel cake is the flour. Alton recommends you use bread flour (watch this video). Don't forget to try one slathered in jam, which you can make from the judges' recipes below.
On last Sunday's episode of Food Network Star, finalists had to come up with their most-inventive takes on some favorite Fourth of July recipes. While some recipes produced smiles from the judges, others failed to impress. Want to wow your guests this holiday weekend? Inspired by the episode, Star Talk has rounded up the best takes on these dishes from Star judges Bobby, Giada and Alton.
After watching 10 weeks of competition and making your voices heard in this season's finale vote, you, Star fans, are just days away from meeting the newest Food Network Star. No matter if you're rooting for Damaris and her Southern-inspired Eat, Date, Love idea, for Rodney's pie-focused pilot Pie Style or for Russell's deliciously sinful Guilty Pleasures concept, anxiety will be at an all-time high on Sunday night, when one hopeful will earn the job of a lifetime.