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.

Tofu-Vegetable Stir-Fry — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 9th, 2012

If you think you’re not a tofu fan, think again. Though tofu is inherently plain, it can easily adopt robust flavor when marinated or cooked with savory herbs, garlic, olive oil, barbecue sauce and more. In this Asian-inspired recipe, cubes of soft, silken tofu are stir-fried with a mixture of sweet and salty balsamic, hoisin, soy and chile sauces, fresh shitake mushrooms and bright snow peas. Serve with white or brown rice for a healthful dinner that is ready in fewer than 30 minutes.

Get the recipe: Tofu-Vegetable Stir-Fry from Food Network Magazine.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Perfect Portions for Smarter Eating

by in Recipes, January 6th, 2012

It’s a new year — time for fresh starts, changed perspectives and, of course, solemn promises to never eat “bad” foods again. Carbs, sweets, deep-fried anything — it’s all gone for many as of January 1. At least until February 1.  This year, however, instead of making sweeping declarations of limited eating and swearing off your favorite foods, learn how to savor these dishes in moderation using easy-to-remember portion control guidelines. Check out below examples of portioned plates and find what constitutes a single serving of food to prevent overeating. Then, cook up our easy and lightened-up versions of your favorite meals, so that you can have your cake and enjoy it, too.

Pasta or Rice: Just one cup of these starches (pictured above) equals a serving and, when plated, is similar in size to a tennis ball.

More perfect portions for the new year »

Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It: Pucker Up

by in Shows, January 5th, 2012


The Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off is heating up between Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri’s famous contestants. With just one week of the challenge under their belts, the seven remaining finalists have realized that this competition is anything but a cakewalk and that they’ll need to step up their games to win $50,000 for the charity of their choice. This week, the celebrities show off their skills in one of area of the kitchen that comes naturally to few: baking.

In this behind-the-scenes shot of Sunday’s episode, music superstar Joey Fatone takes a quick break from preparing his sweet surprise to show his team leader a little friendly affection. Is Joey thanking Guy for giving him the secret to baking success? Will Guy’s dream team have what it takes to pull off a second win over Team Rachael, currently down one member?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to find out which celebrity goes home next, we’re challenging you, Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Tuscan Vegetable Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 2nd, 2012

Start the New Year off on a warm, healthy note by making a bowl of Ellie’s veggie soup. Loaded with colorful carrots, zucchini and celery, vitamin-packed spinach and fresh herbs, this bowl gets its thick and creamy consistency from mashed cannellini beans and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before serving.

Bake up a batch of Food Network Magazine’s Almost-Famous Breadsticks, topped with a dusting of garlic powder and dried oregano, to dunk into Ellie’s easy soup, ready in just 35 minutes.

Get the recipe: Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Note: Make sure you use vegetable broth instead of chicken.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Best 10 Main Dish Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 31st, 2011


Food Network users have spoken: traditional, tried-and-true recipes are best. From classic comfort food and seafood to Italian and Mexican favorites, Food Network’s top 10 main dish recipes of 2011 are as diverse as they are flavorful. Make a New Year’s resolution to bring a few of these family-friendly dishes to your table in 2012.

10. Spaghetti alla Carbonara — A silky, no-cook egg and Parmesan combination coats each noodle and perfectly complements crispy pancetta pieces in this Italian classic.

9. Oven-baked Salmon — Ready in just 20 minutes, this heart-healthy meal features lean salmon filets, simply seasoned and baked until cooked through.

8. Beer Can Chicken — Grill this chicken standing up, balanced atop a half-empty beer can and resting on its legs.

7. Crab Cakes — Paula’s crab cakes boast a golden, crispy exterior and tender crab with fresh vegetables and a Worcestershire-mayonnaise mixture inside.

6. Chicken Enchiladas — Tyler mixes shredded chicken with chipotle chiles and corn and bakes it in tortillas with enchilada sauce and cheese.

Read more

Lucky New Year’s Foods

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 30th, 2011

On New Year’s Eve in my house, there exists no particular ritual as one year comes to a close and another is ushered in, apart from popping champagne at midnight, that is. However, various countries and cultures practice habits of their own to mark the occasion and to celebrate the year, particularly by eating certain foods in the hope of securing a bit of luck in the months ahead. Epicurious featured an article detailing New Year’s food traditions around the world and explained the origins of them. Check out below various customs of eating Lucky Food for the New Year and find corresponding recipes so you can bring these practices into your home.

For many, pigs represent progress and growth in life, so pork dishes are common on New Year’s menus from Cuba to Austria. Food Network Magazine offers a Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (pictured above) that is sure to feed a crowd and takes just over an hour to prepare. Sautéed cremini mushrooms, fresh parsley and crispy bacon are wrapped inside a lean, butterflied tenderloin, then grilled until thoroughly cooked.

More lucky New Year’s recipes »

Best 5 New Year’s Eve Recipes

by in Recipes, December 29th, 2011


This weekend, whether you’re hosting a huge bash, an intimate dinner party or just watching the ball drop in your pajamas, ring in 2012 with dressed up eats and drinks to celebrate the New Year. We’ve gathered Food Network’s top five New Year’s Eve recipes, so your final hours of 2011 will be filled with hearty appetizers, simple snacks, special cocktails and more.

5. Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp — These bite-sized sweet and savory shrimp are sautéed with bright pineapple chunks and crispy bacon slices.

4. Brie En Croute — As easy to prepare as it is impressive looking, this crowd-pleasing appetizer features smooth brie and cinnamon-scented walnuts baked inside a store-bought puff pastry until the dough is golden brown.

Get the top three recipes »

Best 10 Side Dish Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 28th, 2011

Roasted Brussels SproutsWhat’s a burger without fries? Fried chicken and no greens? A lonely steak without a baked potato? Side dishes aren’t merely second string players of a meal, they often complete the dish and can be as impressive as the main event. Check out Food Network’s top 10 side dish recipes of the year and cook up a few to balance your favorite mains.

10. Red Beans and Rice — Fresh herbs and a pinch of cayenne add flavor and subtle spice to Emeril’s Creole-inspired dish.

9. Collard Greens — This traditional southern side is the ideal accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.

8. Broccoli Salad — Broccoli, onions, raisins and sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing to create a veggie-packed salad in just 15 short minutes.

7. Sauteed Kale — Olive oil and sliced garlic bring classic Italian flavor to this leafy green dish.

6. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes — Alton uses starchy russet potatoes to yield a smooth and creamy mashed mixture, laced with fresh garlic and nutty parmesan cheese.

Get the top five recipes »

Best 10 Comfort Food Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 27th, 2011


Whether it’s a bit chilly outside, you’re feeling a little blue or it’s been just that kind of day, sometimes you simply need a dish of pure, unadulterated comfort food. Find our top 10 comfort food recipes below and cook up a few to salvage any rainy day.

10. Chicken Fried Steak — Beef, not chicken, is breaded, fried and later topped with a creamy thyme gravy.

9. Fettucine Alfredo — Silky heavy cream, nutty parmesan cheese and butter add texture and flavor to this timeless Italian dish.

8. Braised Short Ribs — After simmering in a red wine-tomato sauce, the short rib meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.

7. Southern Fried Chicken — Ready in fewer than 25 minutes, this traditional chicken features Paula’s blend of House Seasoning: salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

6. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — This gamed-day dip is a go-to appetizer pick, featuring tangy sour cream and spicy red pepper flakes.

Get the top five recipes »

Best 10 Dessert Recipes of 2011

by in Recipes, December 26th, 2011


Hope you’ve saved room for dessert. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 dessert recipes of the year that will finish any meal on a sugary note. Bake up a batch of 2011’s best today and celebrate the sweetest dishes of the year.

10. Pumpkin Cheesecake — Bake a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling atop a crumbly graham cracker crust to create this family favorite.

9. Pumpkin Pie — Not just a holiday dessert, pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollop of whipped cream.

8. Zucchini Bread — Fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and subtle spice to Paula’s 5-star dish, made with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.

7. Cream Cheese Frosting — Equal parts butter and cream cheese offer a tried-and-true taste to this favorite frosting, often featured with red velvet goods.

6. Southern Red Velvet Cake — This triple-layer beauty is frosted with a smooth cream cheese topping and dusted with crushed pecans.

Get the top five recipes »

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