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Next Food Network Star 4th of July challenge

Fans of the reality competition The Next Food Network Star will recognize these crackerjack cooks competing for the big prize – their own Food Network show. SheKnows challenged contestants to come up with the best 4th of July recipes & tips and the results would impress even the pickiest judge. Just see for yourself!

Aria Kagan

Aria’s 4th of July tips:4th of July tips & recipes

  • Place raspberries and blueberries in an ice tray, fill with water and freeze. These festive red and blue ice cubes look great in holiday drinks!
  • A picnic is a great way enjoy a fourth of July meal. Wrap sandwiches in wax paper and seal with cool patriotic stickers.
  • Buy holiday plates, napkins and other accessories a day or two later. All holiday items are usually 50-75% off! Store them in a cool dry place, and you will be already for next year’s party.

Firecracker Fish Tacos
with Mango Slaw

Serves 4

With easy preparation and minimal clean up, these fish tacos make a great 4th of July summertime meal. The best part: you can eat them with your hands!


Mango Slaw

  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 ½ pound firm white fish (black grouper recommended), skin removed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 8- 6 inch flour tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil
  2. Rinse red cabbage under cold water until the water runs clear. This prevents the purple from running all over your other ingredients. Pat the cabbage completely dry. Tip: If you have a salad spinner, it works great for this step
  3. Mix together all of the mango slaw ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on the aluminum foil
  5. Place fish skin side down on baking sheet, and sprinkle red onions and garlic around and over the fish
  6. Drizzle onions, garlic and fish with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Zest 1 lemon on the fish
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the fish is opaque. When you pull the fish out of the oven, put in the aluminum-wrapped tortillas in for 5 minutes
  8. Place the warm tortillas on a plate, top with 2 oz. of the fish with roasted onions and big spoonful of slaw


Next: Serena Palumbo’s Italian 4th of July

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