Applebee’s Fresh Flavors of Summer with Tips from Chef Michael Slavin

This Applebee’s Fresh Flavors of Summer post was made possible by a free gift card to Applebee’s that I received. Additionally, Applebee’s is providing the gift card for the giveaway.

applebee's fresh flavors of summer

Applebee’s Fresh Flavors of Summer

You may have noticed my pictures on Instagram or Twitter on Sunday from my delicious dinner at Applebee’s with my boyfriend. We went there to check out the new Applebee’s Fresh Flavors of Summer offerings. Sticking to their usual high quality foods, Applebee’s has introduced some new items to the menu, just in time for summer. All of them are celebrating summer’s longer days and warmer weather. So, they remind me of grilling out, relaxing, and having a good time. It’s stuff I wouldn’t mind having while I’m at home with my boyfriend.

For instance, above is their new Lemon Parmesan Shrimp. It contains shrimp that is sauteed with tomatoes, onions, and basil. It’s served with rice and a cheesy sauce and a lemon. My boyfriend really liked this dish. He quickly devoured it while I took my time. Haha! I was afraid it would have an overly powerful lemon flavor. However, I was pleased to discover that it had a somewhat lighter lemon flavor to it. I love cheese, so I thought it could have had more, but that’s probably just me.

I was really impressed with the Applebee’s fresh flavors of summer offerings. I can’t wait to head back to my local Applebee’s to eat again (it was really delicious). To get you more interested in these new offerings, I’d like to share some tips from Applebee’s Executive Chef, Michael Slavin.

Chef Michael Slavin’s “Fresh Off the Vine” tips

How to Pick a Perfect Tomato:

  • The type of tomato depends on the recipe. Roma tomatoes are great for cooking while Beefsteak tomatoes make big, juicy slices and are ideal for a sandwich or salad.
  • Once you know what type of tomato you need, there are a few things that you want to look for…
  • Color: Tomato should be a deep red without blemishes or bruising
  • Feel: A great tomato will feel heavy for its size, firm and should yield slightly when you squeeze it but have the resiliency to go back to its original shape
  • Smell: Tomatoes that are fresh and ripe will have a grassy, earthy smell, especially right where the stem is
  • Stem: While an intact stem doesn’t mean that a tomato is automatically fresher than one without a stem, it is an indicator that the tomato was handled with care, probably by hand.

How to Cut a Tomato:

  • To avoid splatter (and mush), start with a sharp chef’s knife.
  • Make sure the skin side is against the hard surface of the cutting board and not the soft “meat” of the tomato. You want to cut through the soft side, not through the skin.
  • Excess seeds and juice mean you probably got a tomato with an overgrown seed cavity, an indication that the tomato was left on the vine too long. This is most common with larger tomatoes.
  • Everything that ends up on your cutting board (aside from the stem and core) should go in with your food! Anything red, all the seeds… All of this will add to the quality and freshness of whatever you are preparing.

How to Pick a Perfect Avocado:

  • Avocados begin to ripen as soon as they are picked off the vine so a freshly picked, hard avocado will need 1-2 days before it is ready to eat.
  • If you buy an avocado that is perfectly ripe but that you are not ready to eat, a great trick is to put it in the fridge, as that will slow down the ripening process.
  • Feel: An avocado is ready to eat when you can squeeze it without leaving any indentations. If indentations remain it means the avocado is overripe.
  • Color: Avoid avocados that are completely green. You want color variation. An avocado that is extremely dark means it is overripe so look for something in between.

How to Dice an Avocado:

  • Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. With one hand on each side, give it a quarter turn twist and it will neatly bisect into two halves (one with the seed, one without).
  • To safely remove the seed, use a sharp teaspoon and slide it directly under the seed until it pops out.
  • Once the seed is out, hold one half of the avocado so that it lies in the natural shape of your hand and using a chef’s knife, score it twice lengthwise and three times horizontally.
  • Using the same sharp teaspoon, scoop around and under the avocado meat and 12 nice chunks will pop right out.

Wow! Weren’t those helpful tips? Are you excited about Applebee’s fresh flavors of summer yet? Then, enter my giveaway below for your chance to win an Applebee’s giftcard!


One Laughing Lindsay will win a $50 gift card to Applebee’s, so they can try Applebee’s fresh flavors of summer!


Disclosure: I received a free gift card to Applebee’s. The opinions expressed are my own.


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