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.

Beyond Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Grilled Favorites for Memorial Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 25th, 2012


This Memorial Day weekend, as you fire up the barbecue and host the first backyard cookout of the season, think beyond basic burgers and hot dogs — though there is nothing wrong with either of those classics — and let other main dishes shine in your holiday spread. We’ve rounded up five must-try meat and fish recipes, for beef, pork, trout and more, that can be quickly and easily cooked on the grill. Check out Food Network’s favorite selections below and tell us what you’re grilling this Memorial Day weekend.

The ultimate in finger-lickin’ barbecue, the Neelys’ Wet BBQ Ribs (pictured above) are juicy, succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender. The secret to cooking these saucy beauties is to grill them over indirect heat in a slow-and-low process, allowing the meat to become soft and rich. Pat recommends basting the ribs during only the final 30 minutes of cooking, so as to prevent the ketchup-vinegar-brown sugar sauce from burning.

More favorites for Memorial Day

Best 5 Memorial Day Weekend Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 24th, 2012


Memorial Day
weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to kick off a sun-filled season than with a menu of relaxed, casual eats and drinks? Check out Food Network’s top five recipes for Memorial Day weekend and serve these beauties at your backyard cookout, holiday barbecue or neighborhood get-together.

5. Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes – Boasting layers of strawberry-laced whipped cream and in-season berries, stacks of cocoa-scented shortcakes from Food Network Magazine are the ultimate summertime dessert.

4. Beer Punch – Sunny’s adults-only punch bowl features fresh berries, a squirt of lime juice, grenadine and two bottles of beer.

Get the top three recipes for Memorial Day

American Macaroni Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 21st, 2012


Ready to eat in just 30 minutes, Food Network Kitchens’ creamy, vegetable-packed pasta salad (pictured above) is a no-fuss addition to your Memorial Day menu. This naturally meatless bowl boasts fresh parsley, crunchy celery and a touch of red onion and is tossed with a smooth mayonnaise-dry mustard-sour cream dressing. Easy to store, pack and serve, this traditional side dish is a must-have at holiday picnics or any other gathering.

If you’re hosting a backyard cookout or weekend get-together, complete your spread with Dave Lieberman’s grilled Veggie Skewers, strung with colorful bell peppers, fresh zucchini, squash and more. Before skewering, Dave marinates the vegetables in a simple olive oil-garlic mixture, allowing them to adopt that rich, bold flavor.

Get the recipe: American Macaroni Salad

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.

Easy Appetizers for Spring Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Recipes, May 18th, 2012


Appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. Starters. Nibbles. Snacks. Whatever you call pre-dinner eats, you can be sure that they will make a meal, offering your dinner guests early tastes and textures and a sneak peek of what’s to come in the later courses. As the spring season winds down, invite friends and family over to celebrate the warmer weather and serve a simple, quick-to-prepare spread of first-course munchies. Food Network’s no-fuss appetizers below are ideal for relaxed, casual entertaining, and include charred lemon-scented shrimp, velvety deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped veggies. Check out our recipe selections and tell us what you’re cooking up this weekend. 

Robert Irvine’s Antipasto Platter With Grilled Vegetables (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a go-to pre-dinner pick when you’re pressed for time or if guests stop by unexpectedly. This tray can be customized to any size party or taste preference, though some staple snacks include a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, buttery prosciutto, fresh vegetables, crusty bread and more.

Read more

Best 5 Cucumber Salads for Spring

by in Recipes, May 17th, 2012


Light and refreshing yet filling and satisfying, cucumber salads are easy-to-prepare, quick-cooking side dishes that complement any spring menu. The key to crafting a cucumber salad is to start with fresh, firm cucumbers — like those pictured above from Food Network Magazine — and add simple, clean flavors. Check out Food Network’s top five cucumber salad recipes below to find a mix of creative and traditional takes on this classic spring dish.

5. Grilled Red Onion and Cucumber Salad With Yogurt-Mint Dressing — Bobby completes his 20-minute side by sprinkling tangy feta cheese on top.

4. Fresh Cucumber Salad — Made with English cucumber, cool honeydew and jalapeno, Claire Robinson creates a no-fuss salad that is both sweet and a bit spicy.

Get the top three recipes

Tofu Tacos — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, May 14th, 2012


Easy to find and simple to prepare, tofu can replace pork, beef, chicken and more in any number of recipes that you want to make meatless. Most tofu is sold plain (without added flavoring), though it can absorb any seasonings you add to it, similar to how meat adopts the flavor of a marinade. Whether you crumble it atop a salad, grill it with barbecue sauce or sear it and serve with Asian-style noodles, tofu is a hearty vegetarian ingredient whose uses are endless.

Food Network Magazine features firm tofu in 30-minute tacos (pictured above). To prepare, first slice the tofu, dust it with taco seasoning and sauté it until it is crispy and caramelized. From there, stuff the tofu in toasted tortillas along with lime-scented coleslaw, shredded mozzarella cheese and bright salsa verde.

Serve with Alton’s five-star Guacamole, made with fresh avocados, Roma tomatoes and pinches of cumin and cayenne, to complete this Mexican-inspired feast.   

Get the recipe: Tofu Tacos

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 5 Mother’s Day Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 12th, 2012


If you still haven’t gotten Mom a gift for Mother’s Day, it’s not too late to wow her with a loving, thoughtful present: a home-cooked meal. We’ve rounded up an entire day’s worth of Mom-approved eats and drinks, including fluffy waffles, citrus-shrimp pasta and a cool peach cocktail, so you can show her just how much you care. Check out Food Network’s top five Mother’s Day recipes below and tell us what you’re making for your mom this weekend.

5. Chocolate Waffles – Top Food Network Magazine’s cocoa-laced waffles with deliciously sweet chocolate syrup, fresh berries or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar to complete this breakfast treat.

4. Pasta Salad With Poached Shrimp and Lemon-Dill Dressing – Ready to eat in just 25 quick minutes, this in-season pasta plate features bright grape tomatoes and cucumbers, and it’s tossed with a zesty herb dressing.

Get the top three recipes

What to Watch: Food Network Star

by in Shows, May 11th, 2012

food network starYouTube Preview Image
Food Network Star kicks off its eighth season this Sunday night, but this year’s competition will be like nothing you’ve seen before. Three of Food Network’s finest chefs and superstars – Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis – are joining the contest, not as judges, but as guiding mentors to groups of five hand-picked Star hopefuls. With the advice and support of their coaches, finalists on Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada will battle it out week after week in the ultimate job interview to prove they have what it takes to host their own Food Network show.

Get to know each of the contestants before Sunday night’s episode by watching a never-before-seen casting special on Saturday, May 12 at 9pm/8c. Alton, Bobby and Giada reveal why they chose each finalist for their respective teams and offer a behind-the-scenes look into this season’s competitive casting process.

Then tune in to the season eight premiere of Food Network Star on Sunday, May 13 at 9pm/8c to see which finalists are early favorites and who gets sent home first.

Cast your preseason Fan Vote now and join the #Star conversation on Twitter. Tell us: Will you be rooting for #TeamAlton, #TeamBobby or #TeamGiada