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.

Vote: What’s Your Favorite No-Bake Dessert?

by in Recipes, February 22nd, 2014

No-Bake Chewy Truffle CookiesOn this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee proved that when it comes to sweet tooth-satisfying desserts, sometimes preparation and assembly can be just as productive as baking. She welcomed her mom, Kim, to the set, and together they made a duo of no-bake desserts: No-Bake “Cow Pile” Cookies, featuring a crave-worthy combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oats, and No-Bake Banana Pudding Pie, a simple but comforting classic.

Whether you’re looking for fuss-free treats to make with your kids or just need a go-to dessert for a last-minute get-together, no-bake recipes like Katie’s offer endless quick-fix options. Since you don’t need to account for baking time, most dishes can be fully prepared in mere minutes (although they may need to cool) and are simple to execute, even in a hurry. Cheesecakes and tarts become even easier if they’re started with a store-bought crust, while trifles, mousses and mix-and-drop cookies guarantee wows from the crowd despite being nearly effortless to put together.

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Beach Eats Meet Comfort Food at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 22nd, 2014

ZeppoleWhen you imagine classic shoreline snacks and sips, you likely picture buttery lobster rolls, crispy golden-brown fried shrimp and umbrella-adorned frosty cocktails. But at last night’s Life’s a Beach, Then You Eat! Dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the hosts and chefs, including Chopped judges Aarón Sánchez and Marcus Samuelsson, FN Dish contributor Hedy Goldsmith and New York City-based Chef Jonathan Waxman, proved there’s more to snacking in the sand than these tried-and-true picks when they rolled out their menus of comfort food favorites.

Gathering underneath the palm trees and hanging lights on the beach of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, this group of fan-favorite chefs and stars served hearty, satisfying dishes that not only wowed the sold-out crowd, but also held special significance for those who made them.

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Alex Guarnaschelli Celebrates Bella Cucina at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 21st, 2014

Alex GuarnaschelliWhile she may be known for her fierce competitive spirit in the kitchen — both while facing off against rivals as the newest Iron Chef and judging the latest Chopped contest — Alex Guarnaschelli enjoyed a culinary partnership last night at the 2014 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Kicking off the weekend-long celebration of all things eats and drinks, Alex teamed up with Chef Dena Marino to host Bella Cucina, an intimate yet lively Italian-themed dinner at Chef Marino’s MC Kitchen in Miami’s Design District.

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#TBT: Ted Allen

by in Food Network Chef, February 20th, 2014

Ted AllenIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

While contestants, guest judges and mystery ingredients may come and go in the Chopped kitchen, Ted Allen is reliably present, having been a fixture of the show since its very first season premiered in 2009. The long-standing host knows the competition like few others and has delivered fateful elimination results to some of the most-famed chefs in battle.

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Best 5 Beef Stroganoff Recipes

by in Recipes, February 19th, 2014

Beef Stroganoff Over Buttered NoodlesA tried-and-true classic that you’ve likely been enjoying for decades, beef stroganoff is a comfort food favorite that’s rich, creamy and satisfying. The secret to a successful stroganoff is letting the dish develop as much flavor as possible, which is why most recipes suggest cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. After a while, the mushroom sauce will develop full, robust flavors and the meat will break down and become deliciously tender. And because stroganoff is most often served alongside noodles, it’s a go-to dish if you’re looking to stretch your beef purchase. Check out Food Network’s top-five beef stroganoff recipes below to find traditional and contemporary takes on this timeless dish that’s ideal for a hearty Sunday supper.

5. Skillet Hamburger Stroganoff — Try swapping lean ground beef in place of traditional sirloin or chuck roast, and opt for low-fat sour cream and enriched pasta to offer a lighter take on traditional stroganoff without sacrificing the taste or texture of the classic meal.

4. 5 Ingredient Beef Stroganoff — The beef in this recipe is sliced thinly, so the dish takes only 30 quick minutes to prepare from start to finish. Just sear it first, then simmer the sirloin in a meaty combination of onions and beef stock, and finish with sour cream for richness.

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Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 17th, 2014

Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple VinaigretteRemember the overly sweet Waldorf salad your aunt would bring to the annual potluck picnic when you were young — the salad so drenched with creamy dressing that all of the other ingredients couldn’t be tasted? This Waldorf salad isn’t like that. Giada’s new-age version, her Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine, is everything your aunt’s isn’t, with a fresh mix of colors and textures, plus a made-over topping that only enhances the best flavors of this tried-and-true dish.

While the old-fashioned recipe largely features fruit and nuts, Giada’s salad goes several steps further by incorporating grains and lettuce. She starts by making whole-wheat pearl couscous, then adds to it crunchy fennel, as well as the requisite green grapes, apples and toasted walnuts so it doesn’t lose that traditional taste. These ingredients become married with a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar and honey. For an additional spin on the classic, Giada serves her Waldorf salad in individual lettuce cups — the leaves of bright-purple radicchio — to offer added crispness. Perhaps best of all, because Giada’s salad takes only 25 minutes to prepare and doesn’t need to chill in the refrigerator before serving, it’s a go-to last-minute recipe for when you’re tight on time.

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Simon’s Starch Demonstration — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, February 16th, 2014


“Let nobody ever say that I am not a risk taker,” Simon proclaimed on Alton’s After-Show following this week’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. He and Alton were catching up after the latest rounds of sabotage had unfolded, and they reflected on Simon’s no-holds-barred maneuver of testing the viscosity of Chef Billy New England clam chowder in Round 2.

During what Alton deemed “one of the finest moments,” Simon picked up Chef Billy’s bowl of soup and held it upside down directly on top of his head. “Chef, there’s thick,” Simon told the rival of his soup during tasting, “and there’s you-can-hold-it-over-your-head-without-danger-of-it-splashing-on-my-bald-bonce thick.” According to Alton, Chef Billy “had some starch manipulation issues,” which ultimate turned his chowder into a nearly solid soup. “It was just kind of wobbling there rather threateningly for a while,” Simon explained.

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The Fundamentals of Freezing, Plus Freezer-Friendly Recipes

by in Recipes, February 15th, 2014

How to Prep Meats, Vegetables or Fruits for FreezingYou heard it straight from the co-hosts on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen: Frozen foods can make mealtimes simpler, quicker and heartier. With the help of some ready-to-go ingredients in the freezer, Jeff prepared his Freezer Fry-Up with Sunny-Side-Up Eggs, a family-friendly meal made with frozen pork, sweet potatoes and corn. But being able to rely on a stocked freezer full of your family’s ready-to-go staples requires a bit of planning, and it’s important to know which foods freeze best and how to properly freeze them in order to ensure the best results. After all, no one wants to open the door to find freezer-burned ingredients. Check out a few of Food Network’s top tips for preparing meat, vegetables and fruits for freezing, then get freezer-friendly recipes for any meal of the day.

Storage Solutions: Picking the correct bag or bin for what it is you’re freezing will help protect the food inside. It’s important to try to limit the air around the food, so opt for re-sealable plastic bags, especially when freezing fruits and vegetables, or small containers if freezing liquids.

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After Buying This Restaurant: Aurum

by in Shows, February 12th, 2014

Keith Simpson on Buy This RestaurantBoth in need of a fresh financial start, friends Matt and Andrea were looking to launch a brand-new business together, their first-ever restaurant that would ideally feature an eclectic menu and offer live music. They looked to Buy This Restaurant for help in tracking down the ultimate location to open, and after scouring a few spots with Keith Simpson, they decided on the 1,100-square-foot restaurant in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain on account of its prime location.

FN Dish checked in with the owners a few months after filming to find out more about their eatery, now named Aurum. Read on below to hear from Matt and Andrea, and learn about their experience in purchasing the restaurant and how the business is doing today.

What is the name of your new restaurant, and when did you open?
Matt and Andrea: Aurum, January 13th

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Best 5 Casserole Recipes

by in Recipes, February 12th, 2014

Baked Penne with Roasted VegetablesWarm, comforting and hearty, casseroles may be the ultimate family-friendly meal. After all, when it comes to preparing nightly meals at home, many look to easy-to-make all-in-one dishes, and casseroles fit the bill every time. They’re a cinch to pull off in a hurry, and most recipes yield extra servings that guarantee you leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow. Check out Food Network’s top-five casseroles below to find the most-satisfying comfort foods from The Pioneer Woman, Rachael, Giada and more Food Network chefs.

5. Chicken Spaghetti — For added taste and texture, Ree uses both white and dark shredded chicken, plus cream of mushroom soup and cheddar cheese, which promise decadent results. Click the play button on the video after the jump to watch Ree make it.

4. Sunny’s Tuna Noodle Casserole — The secret to Sunny’s timeless recipe is the mushroom-herb sauce she makes to coat the tuna, peas and pasta. It’s laced with Worcestershire and horseradish for subtle bite, and the thick texture is deliciously creamy and rich.

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