All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

Four-Wheeled Prizes On the Line in First-Ever Food Truck Face Off

by in Shows, August 21st, 2014

Food Truck Face OffIt’s no secret that the food truck industry has hit its stride in recent years, as the culture of traveling cooking and eating can be seen from coast to coast. Beginning this fall on the all-new series Food Truck Face Off, budding food truck operators will have the chance to break into that mobile arena, but not before they prove their staying power with a winning business model that can withstand the fierce competition.

Each week beginning Thursday, October 2 at 8|7c, four new teams will gather to present their food truck ideas to a rotating panel of proficient judges, but ultimately only two will earn the right to face off against each other for the win. Host Jess Palmer, a former NFL superstar and a broadcast sports journalist, will be on hand to challenge the top contenders to 48 hours of no-nonsense contests, and if these future entrepreneurs want to impress Jess and the judges, they must endure a roster of tests designed to demonstrate their powerful business mindset and impressive customer service — not to mention wow-worthy food.

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Restaurant Revisited: Holy Cow! at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar

by in Shows, August 20th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleThe situation at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar wasn’t what it seemed when Robert Irvine first arrived there. Co-owner Jenny Leonzi admitted that the calm demeanor shown by her business partner — and former husband — Kerry Benton wasn’t usual; yelling and swearing were more commonplace, and because of that, Robert was forced to investigate never-before-seen footage of Kerry’s behavior at the eatery. In the nearly nine seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this is the first time that Robert has revealed the behind-the-scenes clips his producers collect ahead of his visit, and after watching those tapes, Robert saw the restaurant’s reality.

Before Robert could finish the two days of renovations at Country Cow, Kerry made the decision to leave the 12-year-old Campton, N.H., eatery once and for all, signing over all aspects of the business to Jenny. Read on below to hear from Jenny and learn how her restaurant is doing several months after its transformation.

Since Robert left, “sales were up $22,000 compared to June 2013,” says Jenny, who adds that “guests are loving the new decor.”

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3 Creative Ways The Pioneer Woman Uses a Cast-Iron Skillet

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, August 19th, 2014

The Eggbert's SunriserLong-lasting and relatively inexpensive to purchase, cast-iron skillets are perhaps the ultimate workhorses in the kitchen, as they can move from the stove to the oven and they maintain heat extremely well. Sizzling rib-eye steaks and whole roast chickens may be two of the most-common dishes prepared in these all-purpose pans, but the culinary range of these rustic mainstays goes beyond meaty dinners, as Ree Drummond has showed during the more than seven seasons of The Pioneer Woman. From sweet treats to baked breads, Ree’s proved that there’s practically no limit to what can be prepared in cast-iron skillets. Read on below to learn which unexpected treats she’s making with her vast collection of cast-iron skillets, and get her recipes for savory and sweet favorites.

Breakfast:
Think beyond the griddle when it comes to the most-important meal of the day, and embrace the cast-iron skillet with Ree’s The Eggbert’s Sunriser (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine. A next-level take on hash, this hearty morning meal features layer upon layer of flavor, including salty ham, tender sauteed peppers and satisfying potatoes. Finish with eggs and your favorite salsa for added taste and texture.

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Best 5 Pound Cake Recipes

by in Recipes, August 19th, 2014

Classic Pound CakeTowering layers and ornate decorations may add an air of elegance to special occasion cakes, but for everyday indulgences as well as crowd-pleasing summertime get-togethers, tried-and-true pound cakes are a go-to dessert. The most-traditional recipes feature little more than butter, flour and sugar, but they can be dressed with rich cocoa, fresh citrus and creamy buttermilk. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five pound cake recipes, and get sweet inspiration from Ina Garten, Trisha Yearwood, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Food Network Kitchen.

5. Honey-Vanilla Pound Cake — A squeeze of honey adds subtle sweetness to Ina’s fuss-free pound treat, made with cake flour to guarantee a more delicate finished product.

4. Chocolate Pound Cake — Buttery and decadent, Trisha’s cocoa-laced pound cake is a crowd-pleasing favorite that’s best served with cool vanilla ice cream.

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In the Kitchen with Little Chefs: Recipes to Make with Kids

by in Recipes, August 16th, 2014

Parmigiano and Herb Chicken BreastWhile hectic weeknight schedules might make it difficult to embrace cooking with your kids on Monday through Friday, lazy weekends — especially in the summer — are often an ideal time to let little ones try their hands in the kitchen. This morning on an all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts celebrated young chefs and introduced a series of must-try bites that kids of all ages would be eager to both assemble and enjoy. Just in time for the last few weeks of summer, FN Dish has rounded up even more kid-friendly eats and drinks to help parents make the most of this fleeting carefree season. Read on below to find savory and sweet picks to try out with your kids at home.

It’s no secret that kids have a penchant for chicken fingers, and in her recipe for Parmigiano and Herb Chicken Breast Tenders (pictured above), Rachael dresses up the kid-approved classic in a flash. Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, her chicken dinner features chicken breasts dunked in a mixture of crunchy panko breadcrumbs and nutty Parmesan cheese, which helps achieve a crispy coating on the outside. Round out the plate with spaghetti topped with a tomato-garlic sauce to complete the meal.

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Alton Talks a Year of Cutthroat Kitchen and Keeping His Evilicious Edge

by in Shows, August 14th, 2014

Alton BrownIn just one year, Cutthroat Kitchen fans have watched as hopeful chefs have donned souffle suits, stooped inside mini kitchens and spun the Wheel of Heat, all in the name of sabotage — and at the hands of Alton Brown. The no-nonsense host is no stranger to the ruthless challenges that befall competitors round after round; after all, he’s doled out and auctioned off every single one. FN Dish caught up with Alton recently to learn his thoughts on a year of contests and get his advice for approaching infamous sabotages.

Cutthroat Kitchen recently celebrated its first on-air birthday, and it’s getting set to air its fifth season soon. Why do you think the show is so popular?
Alton Brown: It’s a game; it’s an actual game. People love games. And it’s a kind of game where anything can happen — and often does. And I think people like that too. That’s it. It’s a game; people like games. Sabotage is fun. It’s fun to see what is going to come out of that shelf later.

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Restaurant Revisited — Golf: Impossible at Pomona Golf and Country Club

by in Shows, August 13th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Pomona Golf and Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., Robert Irvine had to contend not only with a 45-year-old joint golf course and clubhouse but also family friction amongst the owners, sisters Andy Truitt and Pam Grenda, and their cousin, Bruce Ritchie. The trio was facing losses after having failed to attract a fresher audience, and it was up to Robert to reimagine the establishment’s futures. Read on below to hear from Andy and find out how Pomona Golf and Country Club is doing today, a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible transformation.

“Business is slowly picking up,” says Andy. “We’ve had three dinners averaging 25 people.” She adds that they “using the patio” and customers have taken well to the golf carts.

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Best 5 Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

by in Recipes, August 13th, 2014

Mac and CheeseEven at the height of a stifling summer, there are days when only warm, gooey comfort food will do, and when you’re faced with that kind of craving, macaroni and cheese is a go-to solution. From the classic stovetop variety to the creamy baked casseroles studded with bacon, there’s a mac and cheese to please every palate, and most are easy-to-make standbys that are guaranteed to wow your family. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five macaroni and cheese recipes from Trisha Yearwood, Alton Brown, Ina Garten and more chefs.

5. Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese — After combining noodles with milk, butter and cheese in the slow cooker, Trisha lets the machine do the work of preparing the dish for her.

4. Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Bacon and Cheese — Fresh thyme and crispy, salty bacon dress up Tyler Florence’s big-batch baked casserole.

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Quick-Fix Eats and Drinks for Summertime Snacks

by in Recipes, August 9th, 2014

Grilled Avocado with Black Bean SalsaFrom lazy afternoons spent outdoors to unexpected guests who drop by for an evening get-together, summer is all about relaxed, enjoyable days, including enjoyable entertaining. The key to any successful party — for both the guest and the host — is a range of go-to eats and drinks, and that’s where snacks come in. Instead of feeling like you have to prepare a no-holds-barred feast for your company, settle on a few simple snacks instead, like those featured on this morning’s episode of The Kitchen. The co-hosts showed off their favorite fuss-free recipes for casual bites and sips ideal for relaxed entertaining. Read on below to find a few of their quick-fix ideas, then check out the rest of what they prepared.

The Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Black Bean Salsa (pictured above) is a next-level take on the classic pairing of guacamole and salsa. When you dig into the dip with a crunchy tortilla chip, scoop up a mix of the creamy avocado and juicy salsa for a combination of flavors that are better together.

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