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.

Macaroni and Cheese Two Ways — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 3rd, 2012

Baked Macaroni and CheeseThere are two kinds of people: those who bake and those who don’t bake – their macaroni and cheese, that is. For some, the classic combination of tender pasta and a creamy cheese sauce just isn’t complete until it’s been finished in the oven with even more cheese and perhaps a crunchy topping, but for others, this hearty, comforting meal is ready to eat just as soon as the stovetop mixture is made. For Meatless Monday dinner this week, try switching up your usual macaroni and cheese routine with these no-fail recipes for baked and no-bake versions of this family favorite.

Boasting four different kinds of cheeses — Havarti, Cheddar, American and Parmesan — Food Network Magazine‘s big-batch Baked Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is a fill-you-up dinner that will wow kids and grown-ups alike. To prepare, create a thick, rich sauce of butter, dry mustard and the melted cheeses, and mix it with partially cooked pasta. Once in a casserole dish, top the macaroni with extra cheese and a blanket of crunchy butter crackers before baking it until the cheese is piping hot and deliciously gooey.

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Tyler Florence’s Dark Chocolate Truffles — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2012

Tyler Florence's Dark Chocolate Truffles
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs.

Not quite cookies but every bit as deliciously indulgent, these rich chocolate bites are made with just four everyday baking ingredients: cream, dark chocolate, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Tyler’s truffles can be made a few days ahead of time, so look to his recipe if you need an easy yet elegant party-ready dessert or an edible holiday present that can easily be packaged and gifted to friends and family.

Get Tyler’s Dark Chocolate Truffles recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Learn how to decorate cookies like the pros

Midseason Review: The Craziest Moments So Far of The Next Iron Chef

by in Shows, December 2nd, 2012

Chef Amanda FreitagWe’re only halfway through this unprecedented season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, and it’s already proven to be one for the ages. In just four short weeks, we’ve witnessed the first Chairman’s Challenge in which the rivals have cooked with their secret ingredients before, Kitchen Stadium’s very first food fight and an unparalleled chef alliance that left the judges’ panel a bit miffed and two rivals on the brink of elimination. When it comes to battling for redemption, nothing is predictable.

With all of the drama unfolding week after week, you can be sure that we’ve collected a now-overflowing batch of images that captures the most-memorable unfoldings from these unforgettable episodes. Want to relive the craziest moments of Next Iron Chef so far? Check out this season-in-review photo gallery and see just what this year’s group of rivals has been up to in the competition.

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Guy Fieri’s Gingersnap Stackers — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2012

Guy's Gingersnap Stackers
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Perhaps the only thing better than a gingerbread cookie is a pair of gingerbread cookies stuffed with ice cream. In these next-level ice cream sandwiches, Guy combines fragrant spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves with sweet molasses to create sugar-rolled gingersnap cookies, then layers them with a disk of cool, creamy vanilla ice cream. Be sure to let these double-decker desserts freeze for 30 minutes after you assemble them, so that the ice cream doesn’t melt into a milky pool as you’re eating the sandwiches.

Get Guy’s Gingersnap Stackers recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Show us your best cookie creations

VOTE: A Next Iron Chef Canned Tomato Cook-Off — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, December 1st, 2012

Chef Mendelsohn vs. Chef Falkner - Canned Tomato Cook-OffCanned foods: the pantry staple that everyone loves to hate. Professional chefs tend to stay away from these packaged, preserved goodies since fresh is always best, so last Sunday when the Chairman presented the Next Iron Chef: Redemption rivals with an altar of canned meats and seafood, they were anything but excited. Although all of the rivals ultimately rose to the occasion, Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s and Chef Marcel Vigneron’s dishes left something to be desired, and their canned Vienna sausage – and clam-inspired offerings, respectively, were deemed the weakest of the day.

In this week’s installment of Rival Recipes, we’re giving Chef Spike a chance to redeem himself with perhaps the most-popular canned ingredient: tomatoes. Like in the Chairman’s Challenge, he and his cook-off competitor, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, must look beyond tomatoes as they are in the can and imagine them as something greater, the star of a refined dish.

Chef Spike lets canned tomato sauce shine in his hearty, comforting, all-American Uncle D’s Chili, named after his Uncle Denny, while Chef Elizabeth pairs canned San Marzano tomatoes with Italian flavors in her Minestrone soup. Both bowls are packed with fill-you-up beans and bold spices, but Chef Spike’s is packed with beefy meat, bell peppers and barbecue sauce and Chef Elizabeth’s is vegetarian, filled instead with celery, carrots and haricots verts.

VOTE NOW

Making Spirits Bright: Your Holiday Drink Guide

by in Drinks, Holidays, December 1st, 2012

Santa's Sleigh CocktailWith the holidays officially in full swing and the end of the year just one month away, you’ll likely be planning at least one or two seasonal get-togethers in the next few weeks. Instead of stocking your bar with everyday bottles of wine, this year toast to good friends and good cheer with easy, crowd-pleasing holiday cocktails. We’ve rounded up some of Food Network’s favorite adult-only drinks like eggnog and mulled wine and more family-friendly options like hot chocolate to help you shake up your holiday cocktail parties with ease. Check out our top picks below, then tell us in the comments: what’s your favorite holiday drink?

One of the most beloved seasonal cocktails, eggnog is a party-ready sipper that’s deliciously rich and just sweet enough. If you’re craving a classic preparation of this no-fail favorite, look to Alton’s five-star Good Eats Eggnog. For a new twist on traditional eggnog, however, prepare a batch of Sandra Lee’s Irish Eggnog from Food Network Magazine made with Irish cream liqueur and Irish whiskey, or her Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail (pictured above), which dresses up store-bought eggnog with amaretto liqueur, brandy and fragrant cinnamon sticks.

Get more holiday drink recipes

Trisha Yearwood’s White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 1st, 2012

Trisha Yearwood's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Light and chewy, Trisha’s top-rated treats combine two ingredients that are simply better together — white chocolate and bright cranberries— and feature chopped macadamia nuts for a crunchy, textured bite. The best part about these beauties is that they’re practically fail-proof. There’s no rolling of the dough or precise decorating here, just an easy mix-drop-bake process that will wow professional holiday bakers and first-timers alike.

Get Trisha’s White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Find recipes for our Top Holiday Cookies

Listen Carefully — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Shows, November 30th, 2012

Alton Brown and Chef Nate ApplemanAfter last week’s doozy of a Secret Ingredient Showdown in which Chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron threw caution to the wind and presented to the judges as The Next Iron Chef‘s first-ever alliance, some fans may be ready for a return to Redemption normalcy, or at least some semblance of predictability. But with just six finalists remaining and the Chairman’s dreaded ingredient auction looming, the competition is just heating up and the next episodes will be the most-shocking yet as the chefs are faced with do-or-die challenges and last chances for success.

No stranger to either high or low moments of The Next Iron Chef, host Alton has witnessed all of the most-unforgettable moments in Kitchen Stadium and surely knows what the rivals should — and should not — be thinking, doing and cooking at this stage of their journey. In the above sneak-peek shot from Sunday’s new episode, Alton seems to have pulled Chef Nate Appleman aside to share a quick bit of information intended for his ears only. What do you think Alton is dishing about in his one-on-one chat with Chef Nate? Where are the other rivals, and why aren’t they privy to what Alton has to say?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch what happens next, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this secretive moment in the comments below.

Get an extended preview of the next episode

Restaurant Revisited: Rohrer’s Tavern

by in Shows, November 28th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Rohrer’s Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, Robert Irvine found an outdated eatery with an unadorned dining space and basic-at-best food to match. Lisa Kendall is the owner of this decades-old restaurant, and she needed Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team to help Rohrer’s avoid a looming closure. We checked in with Lisa a few months after the transformation to see how her restaurant is doing now.

After the renovation, Rohrer’s saw year-over-year growth of $20,000 for the month of September. Lisa explains that while the restaurant used to attract only local customers, it is now “pulling people from other neighborhoods” as well.

“Everyone loves the new look and for the most part loves the menu,” she says. Rohrer’s is still serving most of the menu items that Robert created for them, and they’ve added a few of their previously popular dishes to their list of offerings.

Since Robert left, the kitchen staff has been held “accountable for everything,” Lisa explains. She now challenges them when they tell her that something cannot be done, and says she has “made it clear that I am not just the owner. I am the boss and manager.” She adds, “Criticism is still something that no one in the kitchen likes, but I do it as constructively as possible.”

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Have You Visited the Next Iron Chef Online Headquarters?

by in Shows, November 27th, 2012

The Next Iron Chef: RedemptionWeek after week, you come to FN Dish to get the latest scoop on The Next Iron Chef, read exclusive exit interviews from eliminated rivals, caption sneak-peek images, cast your vote in Rival Recipe cook-offs and more. But did you know that there’s an entire Next Iron Chef online headquarters dedicated to this season’s chefs and the judges? That’s right — we’ve created an all-access Next Iron Chef guide at FoodNetwork.com/NIC where you can discover never-before-seen images, one-on-one video interviews with rivals and insider information from Food Network’s culinary team, and even cast your vote in the Next Iron Chef Fan Vote.

If you haven’t been there to check it out yet, we invite you to take a look around to see what’s there.

Photos
Interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the rivals and judges on set? Then you’ll want to flip through this revealing slideshow. Want to see what went down each week? Check out the photo galleries below for a roundup of the top, most-memorable moments from every episode.

Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4

Have you voted for your favorite rival chef?