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.

Best 5 Doughnut Recipes

by in Recipes, August 30th, 2014

Italian DoughnutsWhether you’re craving a treat to pair with your morning cup of coffee or you want to indulge in a comforting dessert, look to doughnuts to satisfy your sweet tooth once and for all. These tried-and-true beauties are endlessly versatile, and while you may have enjoyed them only from the local bakery, they’re indeed possible to master at home. Start with a classic recipe for the batter, then dress up the doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar coatings, rich frostings or simple syrups for dipping. Check out Food Network’s top-five doughnut recipes below to find sweet inspiration from The Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and more Food Network chefs.

5. Apple Cider Doughnuts — Think of these easy-to-make doughnuts as dressed-up versions of the ones you likely enjoyed at the apple orchard. They’re laced with cinnamon and freshly made applesauce, and they boast a sweetened apple cider glaze.

4. Homemade Glazed Doughnuts — Follow The Pioneer Woman’s lead and let the batter chill overnight before frying it into doughnuts and doughnut holes. Once they’re ready, Ree Drummond dips them into a comforting vanilla glaze for tried-and-true results.

Get the top three recipes

Restaurant Revisited: No Laughing Matter at Uncle Andy’s Diner

by in Shows, August 27th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile Robert Irvine is no stranger to unusual and unfortunate scenes after years of Restaurant: Impossible missions, nothing could have prepared him for what he saw when he pulled up to Portland, Maine’s Uncle Andy’s Diner: owner Dennis Fogg dressed in an ape costume with a poster advertising his business. “He’s just trying to get people’s attention,” Tina Fogg, Dennis’ wife and the co-owner, explained to Robert. When Dennis isn’t turning heads at the restaurant, he’s performing as a standup comedian, but as Robert explains of Uncle Andy’s, “I can see that Dennis likes to joke around, but what I see in front of me is no laughing matter.” He had only two days to work and a $10,000 budget to overhaul the interior at the family-run restaurant, rework the eatery’s menu and improve Dennis’ professional demeanor while working. Read on below to hear from Dennis and find out how his business was faring a few months after Robert’s intervention.

“They are, right off the hook, four to five times better than before Restaurant: Impossible,” Dennis says of the financials at Uncle Andy’s. He adds that in order to accommodate larger parties, “We installed booths to increase seating by 15.”

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Easy Pasta with No-Cook Sauce — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 25th, 2014

Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa CrudaAside from boiling a pot of water for noodles, pasta doesn’t necessarily require the heat of the stove or oven, as sauces can come together with little more than some stirring or blending. And during the dog days of summer like these, that’s indeed welcome news, on account of the scorching temperatures outside. While pesto may be the most-common no-cook sauce, tomato sauces, too, can be served raw, especially at this time of year when tomatoes are at their ripest — and sweetest.

Melissa d’Arabian lets seasonal tomatoes shine in her recipe for light and fresh Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda (pictured above). The star of this fuss-free supper is a simple yet bold combination of seeded tomatoes, briny olives, salty capers and fragrant mint; after incorporating these go-to ingredients with bright orange zest and olive oil, let their flavors marry for a bit, then top them with just-cooked noodles. The heat of the pasta will gently cook the salsa-like tomato mixture to create a warm, satisfying plate, finished with grated Parmesan for added flavor.

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“The Cute Factor” — Testing the Sabotages

by in Shows, August 24th, 2014

The mini kitchen is no stranger to Cutthroat Kitchen, as chefs have been asked to work in kid-size constraints challenge after challenge. But on tonight’s all-new episode, Alton Brown unveiled a different tiny tool capable of doling out similar great trials during the Round 3 chocolate cake test: the toy stand mixer. Would this kid-friendly apparatus consisting of little more than a short, hand-powered wooden whisk and a shallow plastic bowl be enough to serve as a chef’s sole means of mixing? After all, to make chocolate cake, a competitor would need to be able to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients.

Before Alton auctioned off this doozy of a sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen’s culinary team tested on the mixer to make sure it was indeed possible to execute within the contest, and Chelsea, a food stylist on set, wondered, “Does the cute factor, you think, count as extra points for this challenge?”

Click the play button on the video above to see the test in action, and learn how the mixer earned an “approved” rating.

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Savor the Season: Your Guide to Canning Tomatoes

by in Recipes, August 23rd, 2014

Savor the Season: Your Guide to Canning TomatoesJust like the long days and high temperatures that are quintessential parts of summer, the time to enjoy the season’s fresh produce is limited. To preserve summer flavors as long as possible, many resort to pickling, jamming and jarring various fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to tomatoes, canning is the way to go. With just a few everyday tools, you can keep the juicy, fresh taste of sweet summer tomatoes alive all winter long, thanks to an easy-to-master canning process. Read on below to get the dish on canning tomatoes from Sean Timberlake, the founder of a DIY food site, then check out the details in his one-stop guide.

Tomato Picking: There are countless kinds of tomatoes on the market, but Sean recommends plum and San Marzano. “You’ll want to choose a tomato variety with ample meat … and you’ll want them just ripe.”

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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 Jesse 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 Jesse 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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