All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an 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.

Restaurant Revisited: Lyon’s Pharmacy of Elkton

by in Shows, April 22nd, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Marybeth Sniadowski-Cole’s father passed away last year, Marybeth wasn’t sure in which direction to take Lyon’s Pharmacy of Elkton, which he’d purchased more than five decades ago. Part old-school luncheonette and part functioning pharmacy, this double-duty business needed direction if it was to have any hope of lasting success, and for that Marybeth looked to Robert Irvine. Together with his Restaurant: Impossible team and the community in which the pharmacy has been a longtime fixture, Robert gave Lyon’s the second chance it deserved. Read on below to hear from Marybeth to find out how her business is doing today.

Since Robert reopened Lyon’s Pharmacy, the luncheonette has seen a 15 percent increase in gross sales, according to Marybeth, who adds that “the cash register from downstairs, and the brick walls are by far the favorites” in terms of the updated decor.

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5 New Ways to Stuff a Pepper

by in Recipes, April 22nd, 2015

Sweet and Sour Couscous-Stuffed PeppersWhen it comes to naturally clever culinary designs, not much can beat the bell pepper; when cooked, its thin yet sturdy skin becomes sweet and tender without breaking down, and its hollow center provides built-in stuffing possibilities. While most traditional fillings tend to focus on rice, any hearty grain-and-vegetable combo works well as a stuffing, and since peppers are known to walk the flavor line among several different cuisines — think Asian, Italian and Creole — there’s no limit to ingredient pairings. Check out these best-ever stuffed pepper ideas below to get Guy Fieri’s take on a classic, plus Rachael Ray’s and Giada De Laurentiis’ top-rated versions, as well as two more must-try plates.

5. Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers — Guy opts for a two-tiered approach to texture in his easy-to-make peppers: First he adds a handful of toasted pepitas to the kale-laced filling, then he tops the filling with a layer of crispy, cheesy breadcrumbs before baking.

4. Cajun Stuffed Peppers — Precooking the peppers in the microwave ensures that these quick-fix peppers from Food Network Magazine are simple to prepare in a hurry, while the andouille sausage-studded filling promises bold Cajun flavor.

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Food Network Chefs Raise Hunger Awareness with Food Bank For New York City at Annual Can Do Awards

by in Events, April 22nd, 2015

Food Network's Jeff Mauro, Rachael Ray, Scott Conant and Anne BurrellWhile your favorite Food Network chefs may be famous for their tried-and-true, trustworthy recipes, as well as their jaw-dropping competition shows and inspiring kitchen series, they’re also known to give back to the people and causes that are especially important to them. Just last night, many familiar faces, including Rachael Ray, Jeff Mauro, Anne Burrell, Ted Allen, Sandra Lee and Scott Conant, came together at Food Bank For New York City‘s annual Can Do Awards Dinner in an effort to support those hungry in the city. Like in years past, this soiree, which took place in downtown Manhattan, helps the Food Bank team serve the 1.5 million New Yorkers who depend on the resources available there. “It’s just as simple as people sometimes struggle to have the ends meet; it’s nothing deeper than that,” Food Bank CEO Margarette Purvis told FN Dish. “Every now and again, we all could use some help, and that’s what Food Bank does every single day.”

FN Dish was on hand as the stars arrived at Cipriani Wall Street and walked the orange carpet, the color of which represents hunger awareness, and we caught up with them about why many who call New York home are so proud to give back to their city. “Being a New Yorker, it’s every New Yorker’s responsibility to give back,” Worst Cooks in America mentor Anne explained. “We have a lot of people living in a small space, so everyone needs to pay it forward.” For Chopped judge Scott, it’s as simple as working to ensure that “home” is OK. “There’s nothing better than taking care of where you live and the people who are in it,” according to Scott.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Easy Greek Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 20th, 2015

Easy Greek SaladThe key to a satisfying salad is balance, of flavor and of texture, and with her go-to recipe for Easy Greek Salad (pictured above), The Pioneer Woman hits that mark — and in only 20 speedy minutes.

When it comes to toppings, Ree looks to chopped cucumbers and juicy tomatoes to provide bright, cool tastes alongside fresh romaine, while crumbly feta promises welcome richness and subtle tang, and for a salty bite, she folds in briny Kalamata olives ahead of adding the vinaigrette. Follow her lead and whisk a pinch of sugar into the dressing; this will help mellow the otherwise bold flavors of the red wine vinegar and garlic. Just before serving, reach for a bit more feta, and add a final squeeze of lemon juice to wake up the salad with refreshing brightness.

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3 Ways to Have More Fun in the Kitchen, According to Rachael Ray

by in Food Network Chef, April 20th, 2015

Rachael RayNo matter how hectic the day has been or how spent you may feel come dinnertime, meals still need to get on the table, and for those times when you’re left uninspired, Rachael Ray has a few tips for not just cooking food but relishing that experience in the kitchen too. At her live demo during this winter’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Rachael explained to a packed audience that the key to enjoying cooking involves both a relaxed state of mind and preparation. Read on below to hear what she had to say.

“Get yourself in a good mood somehow,” Rachael said. For some, that may involve music, and for others, a glass of wine may do the trick. “You can also get way ahead,” she suggested, explaining that on days when you’re not pressed for time, invest the effort in preparing a few make-ahead dishes, so that you’ll have them when you need them.

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“‘Cause It’s Science” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, April 19th, 2015

As is the nature of the Cutthroat Kitchen beast, the situation inside the battle arena is constantly changing: Ingredients get swapped, chefs move from one station to another, and tools come and go. Aside from Alton Brown‘s evilicious smile, there’s little competitors can count on, thanks to the diabolical sabotages the host doles out. But on tonight’s all-new episode — the first of five heats in the Evilicious tournament — there was one challenge in particular that made at least one element of the battle predictable.

In Round 3’s pound cake challenge, Alton revealed a chemistry set that, while ominous, offered a few opportunities, which food stylist Chelsey found out as she tried her hand at cake baking with the kit during the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages. The challenge would force a competitor to use only the tools within the set — beakers, stirrers, test tubes, a hot plate and a Bunsen burner, among other items — to make a pound cake, and although Chelsey found herself working hard to properly mix the cake batter, she took comfort in the hot plate. “The bottom is cooked,” she said as she flipped her petri-dish cake, “hopefully it will do the same thing on the other side … ’cause it’s science and it does that.” Sure enough, after only a few minutes, the opposite side of the cake was indeed browned; Chelsey said the treat she flipped out of the dish “cuts beautifully,” is “cooked all the way through” and “is delicious.

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Ina’s Birthday Sheet Cake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, April 19th, 2015

Birthday Sheet CakeThough Ina Garten’s candy-topped cake is ideal for birthday bashes, you can indeed look to this sweet-tooth-satisfying treat even when there’s no celebration in sight. Ina pairs a moist, rich vanilla cake and a thick blanket of fluffy chocolate frosting on top to pack a one-two punch of flavor in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Perhaps best of all, she bakes and frosts the cake right in a single sheet pan, so there’s no need to transfer, frost and assemble multiple layers.

For more wow-worthy desserts, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Birthday Sheet Cake (pictured above)

Beyond the Muffin Tin: 2 News Ways to Transform Cornbread

by in Recipes, April 18th, 2015

2 New Ways to Transform Corn BreadA classic cornbread recipe is a must-have in any kitchen, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to dress up the usual fare and set your sights on next-level interpretations. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro introduced two fresh spins on this tried-and-true favorite, both savory and satisfying dishes that go beyond the ordinary comfort food.

Part casserole and part bread, Sunny’s Tex-Mex Spoonbread boasts layer upon layer of flavor: first buttery browned chorizo, then a loose grits-style cornmeal mixture made light and fluffy thanks to a few whipped eggs. To make sure there’s plenty of texture in her spoonbread, Sunny adds a handful of corn kernels to the cornmeal batter, plus a duo of gooey cheeses for over-the-top richness. After baking in the oven, this big-batch dish turns out golden brown along the edges and fully set in the middle.

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Enter to Win a Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Prize Pack

by in Contests, Shows, April 16th, 2015

Enter to Win a Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Prize PackFor the first time ever, on Sunday night, 16 of the most-diabolical chefs to ever compete in a Cutthroat Kitchen battle will return to the arena for a second round of sabotages in the brand-new tournament, Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious. Over the course of five weeks, these unforgettable contestants will bid high and risk big, all in the name of hilariously trying challenges, but ultimately one will take home up to a whopping $75,000 and the fierce title of Evilicious Champion.

Just in time for Sunday’s premiere (at 10|9c), FN Dish is giving fans the chance to show their spirit for sabotage in the form of all-new #Evilicious gear. From T-shirts and mugs to journals and cutting boards, the Food Network Store is chock-full of #Evilicious-branded products ideal for superfans to strut their diabolical sides. You can shop the Food Network Store now and buy these products, but FN Dish is giving two lucky, randomly selected fans the chance to win a selection of several items. One winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one mug, one computer mousepad and one black T-shirt (size L), and the other winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one black baseball cap, one black notebook and one horizontal glass cutting board (knife not included), all with #Evilicious proudly displayed. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling us which of these sabotages is your favorite (find them all here).

So, tell us: Which of these Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages is your favorite? (Find them all here.)

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Roasted, Fried and Mashed: 5 Best Ways to Put More Potatoes in Your Life

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2015

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pancetta and Broccoli RabeIf you’re used to saving potatoes for their spots in the side dish line on holidays like Easter (scalloped potatoes, anyone?) and Thanksgiving (mashed, but of course), the time is now to bring them into your weeknight dinner rotation. After all, potatoes are endlessly family friendly, and most can be ready to eat in a hurry, which makes them go-to timesavers when you need just one more item to round out a meal. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for starchy spuds to learn tried-and-true takes on all of the classic potato preparations, like roasting, frying, mashing and more.

5. Double-Fried French Fries — Golden brown and crispy on the outside with a tender potato texture inside, Guy Fieri’s wow-worthy fries come together with the help of a two-part frying process: once to parcook the potatoes and a second time to turn them crispy.

4. Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic — Smaller and skinnier than Idaho potatoes, new potatoes boast thin, waxy skins, so they don’t need to be peeled before they’re roasted in this satisfying herb-laced side dish. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead and wait until the second part of cooking to add the garlic; this will ensure it doesn’t burn in the oven.

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