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.

Bobby Speaks Out: His Advice to Battle Rivals and His Culinary Weak Spots

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 24th, 2014

Beat Bobby FlayBetween Iron Chef America, Throwdown and the premiere season of Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby Flay has faced his share of culinary competitors. He’s no stranger to the demands of heated battles and knows what it takes to succeed in a pressure-packed arena. But, after all, as the goal of Beat Bobby Flay is to find a rival who can take him down, there’s no shortage of chefs ready to try their hands — and recipes — against those of the famed Iron Chef. FN Dish caught up with Bobby on the set of Beat Bobby Flay to learn his advice to his future competitors and what he thinks they ought to do to succeed. Read on below to hear what he had to say and find out what he revealed to be his culinary weak points.

What advice would you give a competitor preparing to battle you for the first time?
Bobby Flay: My advice would be … to challenge me to a dish that they’re really well-versed in, because the lights, the cameras and the action are going to be an obstacle that they probably don’t think is going to be a big deal, but it is.

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Restaurant Revisited: Fork in the Road at The Fork Diner

by in Shows, July 23rd, 2014

Restaurant: ImpossibleEven from Robert Irvine‘s first steps inside The Fork Diner in Calhoun, Ga., it was clear that this mission was going to be like none other. Although Robert usually meets with owners before trying an eatery’s food, this time he sat down and immediately ordered from the menu, only talking to partners Gray Bridges and Michael and Diana Forster afterward. Michael revealed that The Fork Diner was losing nearly $12,000 every month, and soon Robert posed an important question to Gray, who’s been the lead funder of the restaurant: Would she continue working at the restaurant or walk away and turn over the business to the husband-and-wife team of Michael and Diana? Gray ultimately revealed that she’d be leaving once filming ended, explaining, “There’s things more important than money and more important than my passion for that restaurant.” Nevertheless, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team continued with their overhaul of The Fork’s disappointing menu and lackluster decor, and they reopened the restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Diana a few weeks after her business relaunched to learn about Gray’s involvement since taping and how the restaurant is faring today.

“Gray has finally decided to leave and turn things over to us after months of seesawing,” Diana notes. There have been a few other changes in staff, she notes, including a few servers who are no longer working at The Fork. “I did not know how bad they were till they were gone and I got customer feedback. When I was around they were pretty good.”

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Best 5 Grilled Shrimp Recipes

by in Recipes, July 22nd, 2014

Grilled Shrimp ScampiWhen it comes to grilling standbys, burgers, barbecue and hot dogs often claim the spotlight — and for good reason, of course. But in addition to these meaty mainstays, seafood shines when grilled. Firm, flaky fish like swordfish and salmon stand up to the flames well, while clams, mussels and shrimp benefit from the smoky, charred flavor the grill offers. Grilled shrimp are not only a versatile seafood pick, but they’re also quick to make in a hurry and are easy to prepare in bulk, so they’re a go-to option for effortless summer entertaining. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five grilled shrimp recipes to find must-try ideas from Rachael, Bobby, the Neelys and more chefs.

5. Grilled Shrimp and Feta Salad — Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s fuss-free salad boasts Mediterranean-inspired flavors like cool cucumber, salty Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese, and it’s tossed with simply seasoned shrimp to make it a complete meal.

4. Grilled Shrimp Pizza — Save time in the kitchen by starting with a prepared dough to make this fuss-free pizza, topped with sweet grilled onions and shrimp. Add seasonal cherry tomatoes and tangy feta in the last few minutes of cooking, and let the heat of the grill slowly warm and melt them.

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New Spins on a Pantry Staple: 5 Uses for Soy Sauce

by in Recipes, July 19th, 2014

Soy-da Glazed Pulled PorkWhile you may reach for soy sauce only when making — or opening up the delivery containers of — Asian-inspired dishes, this deliciously salty condiment can also be a shining ingredient in other kinds of plates, as The Kitchen co-hosts explained on this morning’s all-new episode. Read on below to get the cast’s top recipes for soy sauce-based greens, salad, pulled pork and more.

The sweetness of the orange soda is balanced by the savory soy sauce and the subtle heat of crushed red pepper in Jeff Mauro’s Soy-Da Glazed Pulled Pork (pictured above). He waits until the bone-in pork shoulder has been roasting for a few hours before adding the glaze (so the sugars don’t burn in the oven).

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Beat the Heat: Best 5 No-Bake Recipes

by in Recipes, July 15th, 2014

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich CakeNo matter if you’re hosting a weekend cookout or you simply have a sweets craving that needs curbing, you shouldn’t have to turn on your oven on already sticky, scorching days to turn out a winning dessert. In these dog days of summer, stick with no-bake treats that come together quickly and rely on the freezer instead of the oven. From chilled pies and ice cream on a stick to bite-size peanut butter treats, there’s no shortage of both kid-friendly and party-worthy ideas to help you cool off all season long. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five beat-the-heat recipes from The Pioneer Woman, Tyler Florence, the Neelys and more chefs.

5. Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream Pie — Both kids and kids at heart will appreciate the tried-and-true flavor combination of chocolate and fresh bananas, here made into an easy-to-prepare pie with a vanilla wafer crust, a duo of ice creams in the center and a toasted coconut topping.

4. Ice Cream Freezer Pops — Perhaps the best part about The Pioneer Woman’s treats is that you don’t need fancy molds to make them; just fill throw-away paper cups with layers of candy and rich vanilla ice cream.

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A One-Stop Guide to Easy Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, July 12th, 2014

Easy Tabletop Ideas for Summer PartiesFrom afternoon pool parties to late nights spent gathered around the fire pit, summer’s all about alfresco entertaining. But between planning the menu, deciding how much food to purchase for your guests and setting the table — not to mention cooking the food — seasonal bashes can quickly become overwhelming for the host. Thanks to Food Network’s Grilling Central, however, and go-to entertaining resources like a party calculator, tabletop tips and crowd-pleasing recipes, you’ll be guaranteed to pull off effortless and enjoyable soirees all summer long.

The key to easy entertaining is preparedness, and whether you’re hosting a few relatives or the whole neighborhood, it’s best to have plans for the days ahead of the bash and for the gathering itself. Once you’ve picked out your recipes, it’s time to shop for them. How much food to buy depends on what you’ll be serving. Check out this easy-to-follow party calculator to learn what to expect in terms of how your guests will approach the food and drinks.

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Best 5 Brownie Recipes

by in Recipes, July 10th, 2014

Frozen Brownie SundaesGolden-brown pies with fresh, seasonal produce are some of summer’s top treats, but when a chocolate craving strikes, brownies are the ultimate way to satisfy that sweet tooth once and for all. Just like cookies, brownies are quick to prepare and easy to pack, which means that they’re a go-to pick for picnics and potlucks alike. Master a classic recipe, like Alton’s Cocoa Brownies listed below, then experiment with such sweet and salty additions as marshmallows, caramel and peanut butter. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five traditional and creative brownie recipes from Bobby, Alton, Giada and more.

5. Cheesecake Brownies — Surprisingly light and simple to make, these moist brownies boast a buttermilk-laced batter and a smooth sweetened-cream cheese topping. Mix the two together to create an impressive swirled effect.

4. S’more Brownies — Turn the campfire favorite into an everyday treat by using classic s’more ingredients — graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows — to create layers of flavor in brownies.

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