All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an 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.

9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don’t Involve Spaghetti)

by in Recipes, February 10th, 2015

9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don't Involve Spaghetti)Sure, spaghetti and meatballs go together like bread and butter, but these beefy rounds don’t have to be confined to Italian cooking — or even to beef. The beauty of the meatball is that (almost) anything goes: Pork, chicken, turkey and vegetables? They’re are all go-to fillings, too, and when it comes to flavors and serving options, you’re limited only by creativity, from Asian-inspired and barbecue sauce toppings to gooey cheese fillings and taco stuffings. Read on below for the best-ever takes on meatball madness beyond the traditional pasta pairing.

When Pepperoni Won’t Cut It: Rachael Ray crumbles ground sirloin into large chunks that resemble meatballs in her quick-fix recipe for Mega Meatball Pizza. Since she starts with store-bought pizza dough, this family-friendly pie, blanketed in stretchy mozzarella cheese, can be on the table in just over 30 minutes.

When You Don’t Want to Choose: Who says you can’t have it all? Food Network Magazine’s Chipotle Chicken Meatball Tacos prove that you can indeed enjoy the best of a culinary mash-up. Here meatballs take on a Mexican flavor after simmering in a hearty sauce of smoky chipotle peppers and jalapeno.

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Calling All Chocoholics: 5 Decadent Chocolate Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 9th, 2015

Warm Chocolate Cakes with BerriesThere are chocolate lovers — and then there are chocoholics, a term reserved for only the most-diehard chocolate fanatics, those who dream about sleeping on a bed of fluffy chocolate frosting and swimming in a vat of chocolate fondue. If you consider yourself a member of this super-sweet club, you’re in luck: FN Dish is here with five of the most-over-the-top chocolatey recipes that you’re sure to swoon over this Valentine’s Day.

Hot-from-the-oven chocolate cake on the outside with a pool of rich, creamy melted chocolate in the center: That’s the scene taking place when you make Giada De Laurentiis’ Warm Chocolate Cakes with Berries (pictured above). The beauty of Giada’s fuss-free cakes is that you can prepare them in the morning, then come back to bake them right before you’re ready to eat them, so you’re guaranteed a deliciously warm dessert. Follow Giada’s lead and add just a pinch of espresso powder to the batter; it will enhance the flavor of the chocolate without adding a coffee taste.

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Bean, Kale and Egg Stew — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 9th, 2015

Bean, Kale and Egg StewWhile traditional stew may conjure images of a meaty supper that requires hours of slow simmering to cook, it’s indeed possible to pull off a vegetarian version ideal for Meatless Monday — and in a hurry, too.

The key to making a satisfying and meat-free stew is replacing the beef with an equally hearty ingredient, and for our Food Network Kitchen, that’s plenty of kidney beans in its good-for-you recipe for Bean, Kale and Egg Stew (pictured above). Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, this easy dinner boasts layer upon layer of flavor, starting with a base of sweet sauteed red onions, protein-packed beans and a warming broth spiked with soy sauce. Once the kale is tender, it takes just a few minutes to thicken up the stew, which is best topped with a runny sunny-side up egg and served with a side of broiled cheesy bread for easy dunking. Do you prefer a bit of spice in your stew? If so, don’t forget the hot sauce for DIY heat.

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“Boxed” Chocolate Cake — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 8th, 2015

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen focused on perhaps the ultimate sweet treat — chocolate — and surely no chocolate showcase is complete without molten lava cake. Boasting a tender, moist cake on the outside and a warm, gooey center, this dressed-up dessert is tricky to master, even for the most-experienced chefs under optimal conditions. And inside the Cutthroat arena, the circumstances for preparing this cake turned even trickier when a sabotage forced one chef to mix all of the cake ingredients within the tiny compartments inside a now-empty box of chocolates.

As with all sabotages, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team tried its hands at this doozy of a test before Alton Brown sold it at auction, and within just minutes of starting, Food Stylist Codii realized, “The key to this is patience, which I think Cutthroat Kitchen lacks on a daily basis.” Despite her initial struggles, however, Codii managed to incorporate her ingredients as best as possible, and ultimately turned out cakes that, while “not pretty,” featured the signature lava river flowing from within.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Twice-Baked Potato Casserole — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 8th, 2015

Twice Baked Potato CasseroleImagine all of your favorite parts of twice-baked potatoes — the tangy sour cream, salty and crispy bacon, gooey cheese and fresh green onions — then picture them combined with plenty of smashed buttery potatoes and baked until piping hot. That’s this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ree Drummond’s big-batch casserole that’s as easy to prepare as it is stick-to-your-ribs hearty.

For more tried-and-true recipe ideas, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Best Recipes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Twice-Baked Potato Casserole (pictured above)

Swoon Over Steak Dinner: 4 Meaty Meals to Make on Valentine’s Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 7th, 2015

Steak PizzaiolaValentine’s Day may be all about hearts, roses and chocolate, but when it comes to indulging in a fancy dinner on Feb. 14, look to a juicy, meaty steak to treat your sweetie. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee prepared the ultimate in beefy decadence: filet mignon. She opted for a filet cut of beef to guarantee soft, buttery meat, then she doctored up the dish with sides of golden-brown potatoes and simple asparagus studded with pine nuts. Read on below to find three other ways to serve a simple yet stunning steak supper for your valentine.

For a lighter alternative to the classic steak dinner, try Food Network Magazine’s Steak Pizzaiola (pictured above), ready to eat in only 35 minutes. This healthy recipe boasts seared sirloin steak simmered in a bold tomato sauce with bell peppers and onions, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes to offer welcome spice.

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Better Together: Broccoli and Cheddar + Best 5 Recipes

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2015

Broccoli-Cheddar PotatoesTomatoes and mozzarella, peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and bananas — some flavors are simply better when enjoyed together, and broccoli and cheddar cheese are no exception. While bright florets of broccoli promise freshness, the gooey, often-melted cheese alongside the vegetables offers welcome richness, and together they shine in soups, potatoes, dips and more. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five takes on this classic culinary pair, from tried-and-true favorites to next-level creations.

5. Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread — An unlikely ingredient — cottage cheese — guarantees that Pat and Gina Neely’s 5-star cornbread turns out moist every time. The Neelys pour the rich batter of chopped broccoli, blanket the bread with cheddar and bake until it’s golden brown.

4. Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto — While most risottos require careful attention and slow simmering on the stove, Food Network Magazine’s quick-fix recipe is largely hands-off, as the broccoli and wine-laced rice are baked separately. Once they’re combined with cheese, this updated risotto becomes creamy and comforting.

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40 Cloves and a Chicken: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Dinner

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 5th, 2015

40 Cloves of GarlicFrom greeting cards and red roses to candy hearts and chocolate boxes, much is made of Valentine’s Day every year. But if, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing the day devoted to love this Saturday, there’s still a way to celebrate: Swoon over a bold — and, ahem, pungent — meal without fear of recoil from your partner.

Set up an appetizer to remember by crafting an elegant cheese plate with a deliciously funky blue cheese at the center, then dig into Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken (pictured above) for dinner. This 5-star supper is made with only four ingredients, but together they pack a flavorful punch. While dozens of garlic cloves may surely seem over the top, don’t shy away from adding all of them; they turn soft and surprisingly sweet as they roast, and together with the thyme, the garlic complements the chicken.

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Restaurant Revisited: Betting the House at Zoog’s Caveman Cookin

by in Shows, February 4th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s no secret that Robert Irvine has visited his share of far-gone restaurants in the nearly 10 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, but on tonight’s new episode, he was quick to admit that Zoog’s Caveman Cookin may surely be among the worst he’s ever encountered. From the too-dark interior and the filthy kitchen that Robert was forced to shut down to owner Zoog’s lack of commitment to the business, Robert and his team faced two days of daunting challenges before they could reopen the Port Hadlock, Wash., restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Zoog and find out how he and his restaurant are faring today.

Business has increased nearly 20 percent since Robert left, Zoog explains, though he adds that his personal health went downhill. “I’m sorry to say that about four weeks after [the Restaurant: Impossible experience], I had a heart attack,” he says, before adding, “I am taking my medicine now and am feeling better.”

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WATCH: What Would Be Your One Last Bite?

by in News, February 4th, 2015

There can be only one: your very last bite — ever. Have you ever thought about what it would be? In the all-new Web series One Last Bite, FoodNetwork.com asked chefs, bloggers and actors from around the country that very question, and their answers are simply mouthwatering.

In the series premiere episode, blogger Gaby Dalkin, of What’s Gaby Cooking fame, selected a pair of sweet and savory specialties to enjoy as her last bite: Carne Asada Fries loaded with citrus-marinated beef and creamy, smoky guacamole, plus a hunk of her now-famous Slutty Brownies, three layers of decadence featuring chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies and rich brownies.

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