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.

Easy Frozen Cocktails — Weekend Cookout

by in Drinks, July 13th, 2013

Strawberry Orange DaiquiriThis summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread is rounded out by cool frozen cocktails.

No matter which main or side dishes you serve at your backyard barbecue, there’s just one required element on your menu this weekend: a cocktail. Straight-up and on-the-rocks sippers are surely simple classics, but when it’s particularly steamy outside, quench your thirst with a frosty frozen cocktail.

Made with just a handful of ingredients, Sandra’s Strawberry Orange Daiquiri (pictured above) is a five-star pick packed with fresh fruit. The secret to preparing Sandra’s cocktail is using orange-scented simple syrup to sweeten it, instead of simply adding sugar to the blender. She gently simmers sugar in an equal part of orange-scented water until the sugar is dissolved, then lets it cool before incorporating it into an icy whirl of strawberries, orange juice and rum.

Read more

Best 5 Pasta Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, July 11th, 2013

7-Layer Pasta SaladHot dogs, burgers and barbecue may take center stage at your backyard cookout, but no matter the entree, you surely need a few side dishes to round out your spread. Easy to make in a hurry and guaranteed to impress party guests of all ages, pasta salads are go-to summertime picks, especially since they often can be customized to your family’s tastes, or the ingredients you have on hand. Check out Food Network’s best-five pasta salad recipes below to find top-rated classic and dressed-up creations from some of your favorite chefs, like Giada and Ina.

5. Tuscan Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables — Mix crunchy radicchio, fennel and fresh vegetables with pasta and cannellini beans to create a big-batch salad that’s best served at room temperature.

4. Pasta Salad with Steak, Bell Pepper, Green Beans and Bacon — Ready to eat in only 20 minutes, Food Network Magazine‘s hearty pasta salad is dressed with a creamy, cheesy topping featuring mayonnaise, fresh garlic and Parmesan.

Get the top three recipes

No-Mercy Culinary Antics to Take Over Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen

by in Shows, July 9th, 2013

They are the cooking show competitor’s top-two wishes: to be able to mess with rivals enough to sabotage their game and to gain an advantage to improve their own chances of winning. On Alton Brown’s brand-new upcoming series, contestants will have the opportunity to enjoy both experiences.

Premiering Sunday, August 11 at 10pm/9c, Cutthroat Kitchen pits four culinary superstars against each other, and to be victorious in this three-round contest, they’ll need to put savvy mind games to work as much as they do cooking chops. Each will have access to $25,000 in cash, and it’s up to them to decide how to spend their money in an auction: Do they pay out to earn the exclusive use of a crucial ingredient, like salt, or do they sentence their opponents to a brutal round of cooking, one in which they’re prohibited from tasting their dishes? In the ultimate balance of risk and reward, the competitors must determine on which benefits it’s worth spending their funds and which curveballs may eventually prove damaging enough to others to ultimately pay off, as the winner’s prize is whatever money he or she has left over afterward.

Read more

“A Non-Burger Burger” — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 8th, 2013

Morgan's Veggie PattiesDry, crumbly and chewy — three ways you might describe store-bought frozen veggie patties. But Guy’s recipe for Morgan’s Veggie Patties (pictured above), first created by his sister, Morgan, turns out what Guy deems “a non-burger burger.” Moist, tender and full of bold tastes, this hearty between-the-bun creation combines fresh vegetables and an array of spices, plus beans and breadcrumbs, to offer a hearty, juicy patty.

To start making this top-rated recipe, Guy sautes bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and artichokes so that they become soft and subtly sweet, then combines them with white and black beans, chickpeas and rolled oats. Smoky, spicy and fragrant spices and herbs like cumin, cayenne, oregano and paprika offer a punch of flavor, while a single egg helps marry the mixture and allows the ingredients to stick together. Since you’re working with a raw egg, it’s important to let the sauteed vegetables completely cool before adding it; this will prevent any lingering heat from scrambling the egg. Guy likes to form the mixture into patties and then briefly chill them in the refrigerator so that they keep their shape. After a quick sear in olive oil, these picnic-ready patties will have formed a slight crust on the outside and become meatlike on the inside. Finish each with your favorite burger toppings and serve alongside cookout sides and salads for the ultimate summertime meal.

Read more

Seafood on the Grill — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, July 6th, 2013

Asian Grilled SalmonThis summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread features fresh seafood.

With hardly any cleanup involved and far less chance of a lingering fish scent in your kitchen, grilling seafood outdoors is a fast, simple way to add a new level of flavor to your favorite dishes. The key to successfully grilling seafood is working with fish and shellfish that hold up well to high heat, like meaty salmon and swordfish, as they’re hefty enough to withstand the flames without falling apart. If you’re new to grilling fish, start with Ina’s Asian Grilled Salmon (pictured above), a top-rated classic that is ready to eat in fewer than 35 minutes. She first marinates the fish in a bold mixture of mustard, soy sauce and garlic, then quickly grills it over charcoal to turn out flaky results. Perhaps the best part of Ina’s go-to dinner is its flexibility; the salmon can be enjoyed when it’s still warm from the grill or later, either at room temperature or chilled from the refrigerator.

Read more

Tyler Florence Chats About the New Series, Food Court Wars

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 5th, 2013

Tyler Florence Chats About the New Series, Food Court WarsOn Food Network’s new series, Food Court Wars, two teams of aspiring food entrepreneurs face-off for a chance to win their own food court restaurant entirely rent-free for one year. On each episode, the teams have an opportunity to open a brand-new eatery in their local mall, test their concept, market their brand and run the outlet for a full day for hungry shoppers. The team whose restaurant makes the most profit wins the space. Host Tyler Florence helps the teams through their challenges, offering up his advice on how to make their concept a success. FN Dish recently caught up with Tyler to chat about the new show.

Catch the season premiere of Food Court Wars on Sunday, July 7 at 10pm/9c to see who wins their dream prize.

What do you think makes mall food courts so appealing or unappealing? Do you think they’re due for an update?

TF: I don’t want anybody to think I have some grandiose opinion about food courts and what they serve. I see it just like everybody sees it — it needs to be fixed — and that’s why I love the show. What we did with The Great Food Truck Race is we actually spawned an entire new genre of restaurants. I’m not saying we invented food trucks, but we created two epic fires in the country. We’ve shown it’s doable. We’ve shown there’s a new restaurant business model that can be profitable. Young, independent entrepreneurs are adding such a new level of colorful diversity in restaurants — coast to coast, from Miami to Alaska — with wonderful mobile restaurant operations, and they’re doing it at a very, very high level. It’s so impressive to watch.

Keep reading

Best 5 Pesto Recipes

by in Recipes, July 4th, 2013

Basil PestoWhile some Italian sauces, like Bolognese, marinara and puttanesca, are best enjoyed after hours of slow and low cooking on the stove, pesto can be made in mere minutes, and, in fact, requires no cooking at all. Most traditional recipes call for just a handful of fresh basil, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil, but the variations on classic pesto are endless and can made by swapping in other herbs and nuts. After blending together your favorite mix of ingredients in a food processor, spoon the vibrant mixture over pasta, spread it onto pizza or drizzle it atop grilled meats to turn everyday dishes into dressed-up meals. For a deliciously easy dip, try serving pesto instead of ranch dressing alongside a platter of vegetables, or smear it onto sandwiches in place of mayonnaise or mustard. Check out Food Network’s top-five pesto recipes below from Bobby, Ina, Giada and more chefs to find five-star takes on this summertime staple.

5. Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Pizza — Bobby opts for a duo of fragrant cilantro and parsley to form the base of his pesto, spread onto homemade pizza dough and topped with creamy mozzarella and tender shrimp before the entire pie is grilled.

4. Pesto Pork with PolentaFood Network Magazine lets pesto do triple duty in its all-in-one meal: as the rub for the lean pork tenderloin, the boost of flavor in the side of spinach and the finishing sauce alongside the roasted meat.

Get the top three recipes