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.

One-Pan Breakfast for Dinner — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 10th, 2014

Baked Eggs with Farmhouse Cheddar and PotatoesWeekends are practically made for lazy, relaxed breakfasts, but once Monday strikes, there’s little time to enjoy morning classics. To indulge in your favorite breakfasts like eggs, pancakes or waffles during the hectic week, however, all you have to do is ditch the idea that they can only be enjoyed in the morning. Try swapping out your usual dinner fare and introducing hearty breakfast and brunch staples to your suppertime routine; they’re just as simple and quick to prepare as many traditional dinner dishes, but they’re often a bit more decadent, so they will feel like a treat. Plus, your kids will enjoy the novelty that comes with having “morning” food at nighttime.

Food Network Kitchen’s Baked Eggs with Farmhouse Cheddar and Potatoes is one such easy breakfast dish that’s ideal for dinner, as it combines tried-and-true morning picks and is ready to eat in less than an hour. Made conveniently in a single pan, this recipe is simplest to make when you have all of your ingredients prepared and at the ready; that way you can move from one step to another in flash. Start by sauteing potatoes in fresh parsley and garlic, then create a few wells in the mixture into which you can crack eggs. After baking the eggs for a few minutes, top with a blanket of cheddar, then return to the oven to achieve a gooey, melty finish. Be sure to start the recipe in an ovenproof skillet, like a cast-iron one, since it will move from the stovetop to the oven.

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Allies and Enemies — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, March 9th, 2014

It’s no secret that success on Cutthroat Kitchen often entails strategy; it’s not enough to show up and cook on this evilicious competition, as at its heart the contest is a game that requires careful manipulation in order to win. While catching up with judge Antonia Lofaso on tonight’s all-new installment of Alton’s After-Show, the host explained that in Round 2′s quiche challenge, two of the remaining chefs could have potentially bettered their own outlooks had they joined forces to sabotage and outcook one rival in particular.

“If I’d been playing the game,” Alton said, “and I was Chef Gregory, I would [have] wanted to preserve Chef Bryan, so then I could have killed him in the end.” He mused of Chef Emmanuel, who likely had vast experience in cooking quiche on account of heritage: “Who wants a French guy to be able to fight a quiche battle?” Antonia agreed and suggested later, “They should have all actually ganged up on [Chef Emmanuel].” She added that it was “lights out” once Chef Emmanuel presented a quiche with Gruyere and bacon on account of these naturally rich, flavorful ingredients. “Everything else could be bad because I put Gruyere and bacon together,” Antonia imagined as Chef Gregory.

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A Family Affair in Chefs’ Kitchens

by in Shows, March 8th, 2014

Katie Lee and Sunny AndersonOn this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee shined a light on a family-favorite recipe, a rich, hearty Beef Stew. Although she’s since modernized the dish and turned it into her own creation, she reminisced on memories of her grandfather making this long-honored, tried-and-true classic. No matter your family’s cooking style or experience in the kitchen, chances are that you, too, can recall cooking a beloved recipe alongside a loved one or close friend.

FN Dish caught up with some of your favorite Food Network chefs, and it turns out that when they’re cooking off the clock, these stars are most fond of creating meals with their families as well. Read on below to hear how The Kitchen co-host Geoffrey Zakarian, plus Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and more chefs answered one simple question: Who’s your favorite person to cook for? Then cast your vote in the poll to tell FN Dish who you most enjoy being with in the kitchen.

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Restaurant Revisited: Up in Smoke at Mill Creek BBQ Restaurant

by in Shows, March 5th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile the name Mill Creek BBQ Restaurant would suggest an eatery proficient in preparing succulent, Southern-style ‘cue, the reality at this Redlands, Calif., spot was that owners Lisette and Steve Brown were dishing up bland food in a poorly run environment, according to Robert Irvine. In the first mission of Restaurant: Impossible, Season 8, the fearless and determined host worked on revamping Mill Creek’s menu in the hopes of offering more full-flavored favorites. He and his team had only two days and a limited budget to execute their plans, plus give Steve the tools to successfully run the restaurant and dissolve the strain on the Browns’ blended family. Read on below to hear from Steve a few months after Mill Creek’s Impossible transformation, and learn how his business and family are doing today.

“When we compared last year’s numbers to January 2014, we had a sales increase of exactly 28 percent,” Steve explains. He says that the update in design at his restaurant “is like night and day” and that he’s pleased with the changes that Robert and his team made. “We went from a totally Western style quick-service restaurant to a more modern, slightly upscale quick-service restaurant.”

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Best 5 Couscous Recipes

by in Recipes, March 5th, 2014

Spiced Couscous and ChickenWhen you’ve nearly had your fill of rice, potatoes and pasta at the dinner table, try introducing another go-to side dish to round out the meal: couscous. A kind of ground pasta that’s easily prepared by boiling, like rice and noodles, couscous comes in two general varieties — Moroccan, which features tiny and coarse granules, and Israeli, boasting smooth, pearl-size rounds — and can be beefed up with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. While couscous salads are simple to make and can often be served cold, hot or at room temperature, couscous is filling enough to shine as the main dish too. Check out Food Network’s top-five couscous recipes below to find classic and creative interpretations of this endlessly versatile staple.

5. Sweet and Sour Couscous-Stuffed Peppers — Traditional rice gets swapped out of this flavor-packed recipe and replaced with whole-wheat couscous for a better-for-you supper, finished with a sprinkle of Asiago cheese for a gooey topping.

4. Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad — Boasting the fresh flavors of capers, lemon and olives, Ina’s mayonnaise-free tuna salad is made especially hearty with the help of pearl couscous.

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What Does It Take to Beat Bobby Flay? His Colleagues Speak Out

by in Shows, March 4th, 2014

Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli and Anne BurrellWith Bobby’s winning record in Kitchen Stadium and years’ worth of cook-off experience on Throwdown, the chefs hoping to take him down on his all-new series, Beat Bobby Flay, know that victory is going to be far from simple. This Iron Chef is known for his get-it-done sensibilities in the kitchen, and as the chefs who’ve cooked alongside him and the judges who’ve tasted his food know, he’ll stop at nothing to turn out challenge-worthy plates every time.

Before a competitor can advance to battle Bobby, however, he or she must win in a face-off against a peer; it’s up to Bobby’s closest friends and colleagues to determine which among them would be most-likely to succeed in a head-to-head matchup against him. FN Dish caught up with these Round 1 special guests — either on the set of Beat Bobby Flay or at the Savor Borgata celebration at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa — to ask them a question: What does it take to beat Bobby Flay? They know his strengths and weaknesses like few others do, have cooked with him personally and professionally, and they’re sure to be honest when it comes to doling out advice to Bobby’s potential defeaters. Hear what Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Michael Symon and more Food Network stars had to say.

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Veggie Lover’s Club Sandwich — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 3rd, 2014

Veggie Lover's Club SandwichWhile most triple-decker sandwiches conjure images of meaty monstrosities bursting between bread slices with all things cured and smoked, it’s indeed possible to build a vegetarian version of the classic club; the secret is in layering textures, and relying on the freshness of produce and cheese for flavor instead of meat.

Ready to enjoy in a hurry for lunch or dinner, Food Network Kitchen’s Veggie Lover’s Club Sandwich (pictured above) boasts layer after layer of veggies and cheese, plus one unexpected ingredient: smoked tofu. Although tofu often gets a bad rap for its inherent lack of flavor, it easily adopts the taste of a marinade or sauce, which is why smoked tofu proves bold every time. If you’re not a fan of tofu or don’t have any on hand, just swap in smoked mozzarella instead for a similar experience. While most traditional club sandwiches feature simple romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes, this one is made with peppery arugula and chewy sun-dried tomatoes, which, when combined with cool cucumbers and provolone cheese, offer a robust taste. For a next-level pop of flavor, skip the everyday mustard or mayonnaise, and smear sliced whole-wheat bread with a creamy mixture of mashed avocado, garlic and oregano.

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How Do You Define Breakfast? — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, March 2nd, 2014


While some challenge dishes on Cutthroat Kitchen are straightforward, like apple pie, a burrito and grilled cheese, the Round 1 plate on tonight’s brand-new episode left some room for interpretation. The task was to create an all-American breakfast in 30 minutes — Alton gave no other instructions and simply let the chefs prepare their own definitions of that morning meal.

“Usually it would feature eggs, bread, perhaps a smoked pork product — bacon, ham,” judge Jet Tila said on the latest installment of Alton’s After-Show of his idea of an all-American breakfast. It turns out that nearly all of the competitors held similar beliefs, as three attempted to turn out egg-focused dishes and another offered two takes on toast. Within these plates, however, there existed strong disparities, and each highlighted unique inspirations, including California flair, Southern ingredients and a love of hash.

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After Buying This Restaurant: 312 Pizza Company

by in Shows, March 2nd, 2014

Buy This RestaurantStaci, Dan and Kim were determined to bring a slice of their home city of Chicago to the South when they moved to Nashville, and for them that meant opening a restaurant serving authentic Windy City-style deep-dish pizza. Although the trio was clear in its hopes for a family-friendly pizzeria, help was needed from Buy This Restaurant and famed broker Keith Simpson to find the ultimate location for the business. After scouring the city of Nashville and beyond, they purchased a vacant space in Germantown, Tenn., which would ultimately become 312 Pizza Company.

FN Dish checked in with Staci, Dan and Kim shortly after filming wrapped to find out how construction of their restaurant is progressing today. Read on below to hear from the owners in an exclusive interview and get the latest update on 312 Pizza Company.

How is the construction going on 312 Pizza Company? In what stage is the renovation, and when do you plan to open?
Staci, Dan and Kim: We are hoping to open mid- to late March 2014.

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Win a Signed Copy of Kelsey Nixon’s Kitchen Confidence

by in Contests, Shows, March 1st, 2014

Kelsey Nixon and Sunny AndersonGeoffrey, Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny are all about empowering home cooks on The Kitchen and giving them the tools they need to create deliciously simple meals in a flash. Week after week the co-hosts share their tried-and-true suggestions for turning out fuss-free dishes, and they welcome friends to the set who share similar beliefs in easy cooking.

Just this morning, Cooking Channel host and Food Network star Kelsey Nixon dropped by The Kitchen to introduce her cookbook, Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes & Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything, a celebration of sweet and savory classics that will make even novice cooks feel comfortable. Inspired by her belief in mastering a few basic skills in order to learn and grow in the kitchen, Kelsey’s premiere work is full of must-haves that would be welcome additions to any recipe repertoire. Together with Marcela, Kelsey showed off one recipe from her book: Sloppy Jane Sliders. This big-batch supper is a go-to pick for families, boasting tender turkey, fresh vegetables and homemade sloppy joe sauce.

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