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.

Kebabs Your Way — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, July 28th, 2012


This 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 easy DIY kebabs.

Quick-cooking and a downright cinch to prepare, kebabs are one of the most versatile meals you can make on the grill. Most recipes consist of little more than meat or seafood, a variety of vegetables and a multipurpose marinade to flavor them. Beyond that, you can get as fancy as you like, customizing your kebabs to reflect your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand.

If you’re cooking for kids, you may want to stick with simple Beef Kebabs With Couscous, coated in a mild Dijon mustard-rosemary mixture. Entertaining seafood lovers? Cook up Mackerel a la Plancha, layered with zesty lemon slices. Meat meat eaters will enjoy hearty Bacon-Beef skewers, while heat seekers will want to taste these Chili Molasses Chicken Skewers, marinated in a combination of Worcestershire sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo.

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Garden Fresh: Best 5 Homemade Salsas

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2012

grilled corn salsa
In many homes, jarred salsas are a must-have refrigerator staple — they’re convenient, tasty and an easy pre-dinner party snack. But they’re also expensive and laden with sodium and preservatives. This week, instead of reaching for grocery-store salsa, prepare a batch of the homemade variety instead. From-scratch salsas are more flavorful and just as easy to make, plus they boast the best of summer’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Check out Food Network’s top five homemade salsa recipes below and serve them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, atop simply grilled chicken or seafood, or with authentic Mexican tacos , burritos and more.

5. Grilled Corn Salsa – To prepare this five-star salsa (pictured above), grill in-season corn and tomatoes until tender and cooked, then finish with onions, a drizzle of vinegar and fresh basil.

4. Salsa Fresca – Before serving, Tyler lets his cilantro-laced salsa stand for 15 minutes, so that its light, bright flavors can marry.

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New Ways to Enjoy Watermelon — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 23rd, 2012


Light, bright and naturally sweet, juicy watermelon is an in-season fruit that fills you up without weighing you down. Though it’s most common on breakfast and brunch tables, it shines in meals any time of day, pairing well with sweet and savory dishes alike. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite new ways to cook with and serve watermelon, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy watermelon.

Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon and Haloumi Salad (pictured above) is a simple, satisfying dish that takes just 20 minutes to make. What in the world is haloumi? Great question. It’s a Greek cheese that’s mild in flavor and fairly firm in texture, so it easily can be fried or grilled without melting. This recipe mixes golden-fried haloumi with sweet chunks of melon, a few slices of crunchy celery and a tangy vinaigrette.

If you’ve never tasted cooked watermelon, give it a try in Claire Robinson’s Grilled Watermelon Salad. She cooks the melon for just a few minutes on an indoor grill pan then adds it to a bed of peppery arugula and tops it with goat cheese and a balsamic syrup. With just five ingredients, this seasonal plate is a must-try recipe.

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Pairing entwine Red Wines

by in Drinks, Recipes, July 21st, 2012

filet mignon with mushrooms and entwine
This 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 will be centered around entwine red wines.

Red wine often gets a bad rap in the summer. The thought has been that it’s too heavy and warming to enjoy with the traditionally light, dainty dishes of the season, like tender seafood and fresh salads. What’s been forgotten, however, are summer’s rich, full-flavored dishes, like burgers, pork chops, steaks, ribs and more, which naturally complement red wine’s tastes and textures. We’ve paired Food Network’s two entwine red wines — Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot — with our favorite hearty grilled recipes. Check out a few pairings below and read on for a weekend cookout menu to enjoy with them.

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Sandra Lee Celebrates House Beautiful’s 2012 Kitchen of the Year

by in Events, Food Network Chef, July 20th, 2012


Sandra Lee was on hand in New York City this week as House Beautiful magazine launched its annual showcase of the Kitchen of the Year, an over-the-top dream kitchen and outdoor space constructed in the heart of Manhattan. This year’s design was the masterpiece of Mick De Giulio. He wanted to create a space that would be not only functional for cooking but also warm, inviting and the center of the home.


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Best 5 Banana Bread Recipes

by in Recipes, July 19th, 2012


One of those timeless recipes that almost everyone has a memory of enjoying, classic banana bread is a buttery, just-sweet-enough loaf that pairs perfectly with a morning cup of coffee or an after-dinner scoop of ice cream. The secret to making the best-tasting banana bread is using overly ripe bananas. You know those super-soft, dark-brown nanners that have been sitting on your counter for the last seven days? Use those — they’ll offer the most-concentrated banana flavor and ensure moist, rich bread. Check out Food Network’s roundup of its best five banana bread recipes, a mix of classic and creative loaves that your whole family will enjoy.

5. Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips and Chocolate GlazeFood Network Magazine takes classic banana bread to the next level by adding to the batter decadent chocolate chips and covering the loaf with a shiny chocolate topping.

4. Mom’s Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips – Melissa d’Arabian’s mom adds a splash of fresh orange juice to her chocolate-studded bread, which delivers subtle citrus flavor and moisture.

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