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  • Restaurant Revisited: Culture Clash at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe 30 Jul 2014 | 8:55 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible“This is tasteless,” Robert Irvine said of the tableful of dishes he sampled at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe in Atlanta. It turns out that the restaurant’s bland food was just one in a series of problems he and his Restaurant: Impossible team discovered on their latest mission. The uninspired decor was appalling to Robert and guests alike, and the staff struggled to work well with owner Jaliwa Owuo. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert overhauled the menu at Marie’s and reopened the eatery with a design that would be welcoming for all. Read on below to hear from Jaliwa and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

    “We have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue” since filming ended, Jaliwa explains, noting that “the tipping has increased by 90 percent.”

    Jaliwa says that she “learned an awful lot from Chef Robert” and has taken the time since the transformation to start “adding new dishes, releasing old ones and pricing according to his formula.” She notes that she’s no longer micromanaging her back-of-the-house employees, and she explains, “I have allowed my kitchen staff to do what they can do.”

    There have been some changes in staff at Marie’s, and several of Jaliwa’s children are no longer working at the restaurant. “Takuma did not stay. He is doing his own thing. … Majidah is back in Ohio. Ndola and Asha only come for lunch from time to time, and I am fine with that,” says Jaliwa. She adds, “My relationship with my children is great.”

    The greater Atlanta community is “trickling in” to Marie’s, but Jaliwa adds, “We are working on a gorilla campaign to introduce the restaurant to the community.”

    In terms of Jaliwa’s newfound outlook, she explains, “My spirit is up; I am appreciating my quality of life again.” She adds that she now “love[s] entering the restaurant” and explains, “I am thankful to Chef Robert and his support team for all they did.”

    More from Restaurant Revisited:

    The Fork Diner (July 23)
    Portu-Greek Cafe (June 11)
    Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli (June 4)
    Bama Q (May 28)
    Cave Inn BBQ (May 21)
    Bumbinos Italian Ristorante (April 30)
    Bryant’s Seafood World (April 23)
    Urban Roots (April 9)
    gratifi kitchen + bar (April 2)
    Mama Della’s N.Y. City Pizzeria (March 26)
    Pasión Latin Fusion (March 19)
    Tootie’s Texas BBQ (March 12)
    Mill Creek BBQ Restaurant (March 5)
    Estrada’s Restaurant (February 5)
    Hillbillies Restaurant (January 29)
    Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill (January 15)
    Heather’s Country Kitchen (January 1)
    Goombazz Big City Eatzz (December 18)
    LBI Pancake House (December 8)
    Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company (December 8)
    Mike La Susa’s Italian Restaurant (December 4)
    Seven (November 27)
    Georgia Boy Cafe (November 20)
    Coach Lamp Restaurant & Pub (November 13)
    The Windsor 75 (November 6)
    Ducky’s Family Restaurant (October 30)
    Mama Campisi’s Restaurant (October 23)
    Aponte’s Pizzeria (August 25)

  • Try a Hearty Breakfast-Inspired Skillet for Dinner Tonight 30 Jul 2014 | 1:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Turnips CDC

    On this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient turnips. In order to create a hearty and quick weeknight dinner that the whole family will love, the chefs decided to roast turnips and top them with eggs to create a filling breakfast-inspired skillet in this Roasted Baby Turnips with Miso Butter and Fried Eggs recipe. The recipe also makes great use of the turnip greens to bump up its nutritional factor and includes miso for a pop of umami. This dish is a satisfying and comforting twist on eggs and hash that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.

    First, preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.

    Toss the baby potatoes, onions and turnips with two tablespoons of vegetable oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and place in the oven until the vegetables are golden-brown and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

    While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the miso butter by adding butter, miso, garlic, ginger and half the scallion greens in a bowl and stirring until combined.

    Thickly slice the remaining turnip greens and stems into 1/2 inch pieces.

    Stir the turnip greens and scallion whites in the pan with the roasted vegetables until just wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the miso butter to the pan and coat the vegetables. Return the skillet to the oven to keep it warm while the eggs are being prepared.

    Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Crack 4 to 6 eggs in a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites start to set, 2 to 3 minutes, and then cover with a lid and continue cooking until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 1 to 2 minutes.

    To serve, top the roasted vegetables with the fried eggs and garnish with the remaining sliced scallions.

    Get the recipe: Roasted Baby Turnips with Miso Butter and Fried Eggs

    CDCThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients from an episode, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

  • Hot or Cold Shrimp: Which Do You Prefer? 30 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Hot or Cold Shrimp: Which Do You Prefer? Food Network Magazine wants to know which side you’re on. Vote in the poll below and tell FN Dish whether you prefer hot shrimp or cold shrimp.

    View Poll

  • Which Is Better: Pie or Cake? 30 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Which Is Better: Pie or Cake?Dessert confession: I am not a pie person.

    Unless it’s Key lime, I can easily pass pie by, even if my disinterest in crusts and cobblers containing apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin or (shudder) mincemeat deeply offends my pie-baking mother-in-law. So if you’re serving pie a la mode, just hand me the a la mode, please. But if there’s cake, feel free to give me the biggest piece — and then another.

    I am a cake person.

    It turns out the world may fall into two distinct groups: pie people and cake people. Recently, representatives from both camps squared off in a battle over bragging rights on Vox.com: “Is cake the great American dessert? Or is it pie?” the site wondered.

    “Pie is an American tradition about love and family. Pie is delicious, and complicated, and infinitely better than cake,” Vox’s Kelsey McKinney writes in The Case for Pie, noting that, in literature and on film, pies are often depicted as being worth stealing off windowsills. In addition, she maintains: “Pie is patriotic. You never hear someone say something is ‘as American as cake.’ No. They say ‘as American as apple pie,’ because pies are the most American of desserts. ”

    You may feel yourself nodding in agreement (and humming a certain Don McLean song), but before you declare victory for the pie, you owe it to the gods of dessert to allow cake to make its case — or rather to let Alex Abad-Santos argue cake’s case.

    “Served at weddings, first birthdays, golden anniversaries, going aways, graduations and holidays, cakes have been the way humans tell other humans they matter,” Abad-Santos notes.

    What’s more, he adds: “Regardless of the cake, there’s some wondrous alchemy going on when cake is made. The memories of your mother or father spinning eggs into spongy sweet layers of dough or willing pillowy frosting from sticks of butter are as magical as the cake itself.”

    Baked as a rare treat during the Depression or in times of war, cake is a symbol “of American ingenuity and resilience,” he argues. Plus, “Remember: If someone loves you enough to break you out of prison, they do not bake you a pie. They bake you a … cake.”

    Clearly, there are claims to be made and strong feelings on both sides of this pressing issue. But there may be no better way to settle the pie-versus-cake debate than in the kitchen.

    So, pie lovers, here are 50 pie recipes to help you make your case. And, cake fans, here are a slew of cake ideas — and a helpful how-to on achieving cake perfection every single time.

    Get baking. And may the best dessert win.

    You tell us now by voting in the poll below.

    View Poll


  • The Many, Many Ways to Go Zucchini Crazy 30 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    zucchini rolls
    Ready to get your zucchini on? Here are seven inventive ways to cook it up now.

    Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
    Attention, goat cheese fans! Here, the creamy spread, plus parsley and lemon juice, is topped with spinach and basil leaves before being rolled up in slices of grilled zucchini.

    Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
    Kale chips, you’ve met your match. Baking zucchini rounds dipped in a savory Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture makes for satisfying, 105-calorie snack.
    zucchini crisps
    Capellini with Spicy Zucchini-Tomato Sauce
    Chunks of zucchini are cooked with tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes to create a just-spicy-enough sauce. Tossing the mix with thin strands of capellini, and topping it off with fresh basil and Parmesan, makes for meal that’s fresh and flavorful.
    zucchini capellini
    Zucchini “Fettuccine” with Tomato Sauce
    Or you could just make your zucchini INTO NOODLES. A mandoline or vegetable peeler is all it takes to transform the vegetable into wide, fettuccine-like pasta strands. Combine a tomato-garlic-jalapeno puree with pine nuts, basil and oregano, and you’ve got yourself a refreshing tomato sauce.
    zucchini fettuccine
    Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables
    Here, some of the season’s most palatable pieces of produce join forces: Green and yellow zucchini, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and red and yellow bell peppers take a turn on the grill before being tossed with Israeli couscous and fresh herbs.
    zucchini with israeli couscous
    Grilled Pork Steaks with Zucchini Couscous
    Ready to take couscous to new heights? Combining it with grilled zucchini, chopped tomato, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil makes it a summer-perfect side to grilled pork.
    pork with zucchini salad
    Zucchini Bread
    The classic loaf gets a healthy upgrade by swapping regular flour for the whole-wheat variety.
    zucchini bread
    Abigail Libers is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is also the creator and editor of notesonfatherhood.tumblr.com.

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