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.

Coast of Atlanta — Truck-a-Day

by in Shows, August 12th, 2012


We’re just days away from the start of the third season of
The Great Food Truck Race, and to give you a sneak peek at this year’s cast of rookie truckers, we’re introducing one team per day until the season premiere on Sunday, August 19, at 10pm/9c. Check back on FN Dish every day until the first episode to get an insider’s look at each of the teams competing for the keys to their dream food truck.

Three sous chefs looking for a chance to run their own kitchen, Tawanaca Davenport, Lena Price and Mike Jones are the truckers behind Coast of Atlanta. They specialize in top-notch seafood dishes that elevate classic Southern ingredients to the next flavorful level. In order to compete in the race, these Atlanta-based chefs have risked their current jobs and more for the chance to drive away with food-truck success.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Coast of Atlanta food truck.

Barbie Babes — Truck-a-Day

by in Shows, August 11th, 2012


We’re just days away from the start of the third season of The Great Food Truck Race, and to give you a sneak peek at this year’s cast of rookie truckers, we’re introducing one team per day until the season premiere on Sunday, August 19, at 10pm/9c. Check back on FN Dish every day until the first episode to get an insider’s look at each of the teams competing for the keys to their dream food truck.

Hailing all the way from the Land Down Under, Barbie Babes is made up of Jasmin De Main, Hayley Chapman and Skye Boucaut, native Aussies with a passion for the food of their home country. Now living in Los Angeles, the ladies run a catering company that celebrates authentic Australian barbecue — like grilled snags, sausages and burgers — and features ingredients indigenous to that area. During the race, you’ll be able to spot the Barbie Babes by their can’t-miss safari hats and kangaroo-adorned t-shirts.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Barbie Babes food truck.

Pitcher-Friendly Drinks — Weekend Cookout

by in Drinks, August 11th, 2012

taspberry picante paloma pitchers
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 Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s menu is topped off with ice-cold pitchers of your favorite summertime drinks.

Whether hosting a large-scale holiday gathering, a backyard bash with friends or a casual cookout for family, the last thing you want to do is get stuck in the kitchen cooking while your guests are mingling and enjoying the party elsewhere. The same holds true for mixing drinks — who wants to play bartender all night when you could join in the celebration and raise a glass with your company? Avoid the need to take individual drink orders by mixing up big-batch recipes of crowd-pleasing pitchers to which your guests can simply help themselves.

Pictured above is Guy’s Raspberry Picante Paloma Pitcher from Food Network Magazine, which features a secret, slightly spicy ingredient: jalapeño pepper. To prepare, he muddles the pepper with sweet raspberries, tops the concoction with tequila and grapefruit juice and finishes it with a squeeze of lime. Guy takes his drink one step further by rimming each glass with grapefruit salt, made with a simple pairing of kosher salt and grapefruit zest. This recipe yields an impressive two quarts of cocktails, enough to serve up to six people and keep your party going well into the night.

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3 Courses in 40 Minutes — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 6th, 2012

fettuccini with summer vegetables
Even on the most hectic of weeknights, you shouldn’t have to settle for basic, boring meals simply because they’re easy to make. Believe it or not, in just 40 minutes — the time it takes to fix everyday chicken, meatloaf or burgers — you can whip up a three-course meal without breaking a sweat. Though multi-course meals can be heavy and rich, this one is light and seasonal, featuring a veggie-packed pasta dish, simple side salad and fresh, fruity dessert. Check out Food Network’s meatless menu below and surprise your family with this satisfying meal tonight.

Ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s Fettuccine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese (pictured above) is a creamy but light pasta that’s filled with good-for-you ingredients, like tomatoes, squash and wax beans. The beauty of this dish is that it requires hardly any cooking. Though you need to boil a pot of water, there’s no additional pan needed. The noodles and beans are cooked in the same water and the tomatoes and squash are left raw until they’re topped with the hot ingredients. The heat of the pasta warms the veggies, slowly melts the cheese and creates a silky-smooth sauce that perfectly coats each noodle. For added decadence, stir in nutty Parmesan and finish each bowl with extra dots of goat cheese.

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Grilled Chicken 101 — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, August 4th, 2012


You’ve heard it before about this most beloved white meat: Grilled chicken can be boring. Sure, on its own, plain grilled chicken can be bland and dry, but it doesn’t have to — and should not be that way. To take everyday chicken to the next delicious level, try switching up cuts of chicken, experimenting with new cooking techniques and adding marinades, rubs and sauces to ensure moist, flavorful results. Follow Food Network’s three simple suggestions below to cook up crave-worthy chicken in a flash.

Buy a Better Bird:
Instead of reaching for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, give chicken thighs a chance instead. Dark meat is a tad fattier, so it’s inherently juicer and more flavorful. If you prefer lean white meat, however, look for bone-in chicken breasts — cooking chicken on the bone helps the meat maintain moisture.

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Appetizers for Summer Entertaining — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 30th, 2012


Though back-to-school commercials are already flashing on our television screens and Halloween candy has somehow landed on store shelves, there’s still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed and more than enough time to plan a summer party. Whether you’re hosting a casual cookout for friends and family or organizing a neighborhood-wide barbecue, you’ll want to serve a selection of easy-to-eat appetizers and pre-dinner snacks at your get-together. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-perfect appetizers below, and serve them up at your next backyard bash. 

Instead of reaching for tired carrots and ranch dressing, prepare a platter of Food Network Magazine‘s Crudite With Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic (pictured above). A fancy name for raw vegetables that have been cut for simple munching, crudités make the ultimate party appetizer since they involve zero cooking. They can be served with straight-from-the-bottle olive oil and vinegar, though this recipe takes those classic pairings one step further by infusing the oil and balsamic. Over low heat, fragrant fresh herbs and garlic are steeped in olive oil, while brown sugar, red pepper flakes and light citrus zest are warmed in balsamic. Once cool, serve both the olive oil and vinegar in shallow bowls for easy, delicious dunking.

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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.

Get the menu

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.

Get the top three recipes

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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