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.

All of the Takeout Favorites You Know and Love, Made Right at Home

by in Recipes, October 8th, 2015

Basic Pepperoni Pizza and Four Cheese PizzaIf takeout meals are part of your usual dinnertime MO, you’re surely not alone. But with the help of just a few staple recipes and good-to-know tips, you can indeed turn out the classic picks you most often order — cheesy pizzas and garlicky breadsticks, sweet-and-sour chicken and fried rice from the local Chinese restaurant or beefy tacos from the food truck downtown — right in your own kitchen. Find out how with these must-try recipes.

Pizza: Pepperoni, sausage, extra cheese, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, pineapple — no matter how you top it, pizza is likely a takeout favorite, and for good reason. It’s the ultimate in customizable eating, so nearly everyone is guaranteed to like what’s in front of them. To make your own pie at home, start with a go-to crust. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for dough is a classic, and it serves as the base of her Basic Pepperoni Pizza and Four-Cheese Pizza. If you really want to deliver on the takeout experience, bake a batch of her Garlic Cheese Bread Sticks, made with only five simple ingredients.

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Enter to Win a Copy of Nancy Fuller’s New Cookbook, Farmhouse Rules

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, October 6th, 2015

Farmhouse Rules: Simple, Seasonal Meals for the Whole FamilyAs fans of her Food Network show Farmhouse Rules know, Nancy Fuller is all about food, family and the farm, and in her first-ever cookbook, Farmhouse Rules: Simple, Seasonal Meals for the Whole Family, she’ll celebrate those same three traditions.

Recently FN Dish caught up with Nancy to chat about her new book, and she told us that the style of cooking presented in it is indeed “farmhouse,” allowing for “chop, chop, in the pot” preparation. The recipes are “very simple, very seasonal,” she said, and in keeping with that idea, she’s broken up the book into four main parts, each highlighting a season of the year and some of its most-tried-and-true recipes, from spring’s Buttery Braised Radishes to fall’s Pot Roast Done Easy.

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The Winner of Food Network Star Dishes on His New Series: “BBQ Blitz Is Something That Best Represents Eddie”

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 5th, 2015

Eddie Jackson on BBQ Blitz“This show is basically me in a nutshell,” Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson told us recently of his upcoming series, BBQ Blitz, kicking off Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:30|9:30c. The show takes him across the country to six different cities — each with special meaning to him — where he’ll oversee meaty face-offs among local pitmasters to create what he believes is a brand-new kind of contest on TV. “I am excited for fans to see something totally different from a barbecue competition show on Food Network,” Eddie said. He’s no stranger to culinary showdowns, of course, as it was just a few weeks ago that he vied for the title of Food Network Star — and won. It turns out that all of the challenges he endured on Star weren’t for naught, as he explained that he took some of the lessons he learned from that show, including one crucial piece of industry know-how from mentor Bobby Flay, into the filming of BBQ Blitz.

Read on below to hear from Eddie in an exclusive interview as he dishes on his lessons learned from Food Network Star, and find out why he thinks “BBQ Blitz is something that best represents Eddie.”

How is the process of filming your own television show different (better?) than filming and competing on Food Network Star?
Eddie Jackson: It was a lot different, but I think that some of the things that we went through on Food Network Star definitely kind of helped me out with filming BBQ Blitz. ‘Cause there’s a little bit of everything: how to go through the process of interacting with people, the whole looking into the camera, understanding the camera, being friends with the camera. Things that they talked about a lot on Food Network Star, you really had to do while I was filming BBQ Blitz.

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A Vegetable Soup That Will Keep You Full — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 5th, 2015

Tuscan Vegetable SoupWith the return of crisp fall air, you’re likely craving something especially warm and comforting, and this big-batch soup indeed fits the bill. While soup is surely a go-to meatless option, many times its lack of heft leaves you unsatisfied and ready to eat again in just a little while. That’s not the case with this healthy — and speedy — Tuscan Vegetable Soup (pictured above), thanks to one key ingredient: cannellini beans. These protein-packed beauties, along with the myriad of vegetables, like carrots, celery and zucchini, as well as fresh spinach, pack the hearty punch you need to tide you over.

Not only do the beans deliver heft, but they also lend texture to this top-rated soup; when you mash some of them, the soup will turn creamy without the addition of cream. Bold garlic and a duo of fresh herbs further the bold flavors, while a sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving promises a nutty bite. Since a batch of this soup can be on the table in just 35 minutes, it’s a go-to pick for when you’re in a hurry come lunchtime.

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What Happens When Princess Leia and Dr. Evil Join Forces — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 4th, 2015

If the over-the-top outdoorsy sabotages that Alton Brown recently unveiled at Camp Cutthroat are any indication, the host’s devotion to eviliciousness knows no bounds, and he’s not one to shy away from a theme. And it’s a good thing that’s the case, because on tonight’s special Halloween episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, he answered the call of fright-night duty by dressing up as none other than Dr. Evil, complete with a bald cap and a telling facial scar. Simon Majumdar, who — like Alton — will stop at nothing for the betterment of the show, donned a series of getups, including a pink-lipped Princess Leia costume, which he showed off on Alton’s After-Show. The duo looked back on the most-haunting Halloween-themed sabotages of the day, from chainsawed sandwich wraps to a time-sucking coffin.

“It was a coffin break, Simon,” Alton told the judge of the Round 2 midround challenge as the crew rolled out the coffin. “The Bobs are awakening,” Simon noted, looking into the coffin as a wigged Bob waved back at him. But not long after the Bob was revealed did Alton slam the top of the coffin upon him, and Simon learned that Chef Adia was forced to spend a spooky five minutes inside that coffin. No matter her lost time, though, Chef Adia ultimately proved her scary-good sabotage prowess by surviving the challenges and earning evilicious glory.

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Herbed Garlic Bread — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 4th, 2015

Herbed Garlic BreadNo matter what you have planned for your dinner menu, the meal will likely be made even more indulgent when you add a helping of this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Featuring plenty of rich garlic and fresh parsley, this buttery bread from Food Network Magazine is a cinch to put together. Perhaps best of all, it can be on the table in a hurry, which means that it’s a go-to when you need an impressive recipe to wow your guests.

For more party-ready recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Entertain board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Herbed Garlic Bread from Food Network Magazine

3 Ways to Do Up Dips for Your Tailgate

by in Recipes, Shows, October 3rd, 2015

Windy City Deli DipIt’s Sunday afternoon and the scene is set for a tailgate of touchdown proportions: The TV is turned to the game, your team of choice is (hopefully) racking up point after point, the refrigerator is stocked with plenty of beers, and a spread of what else but rich, saucy fixings lines your kitchen table. When it comes to those game-day eats, it’s likely the dips that take the cake, from creamy classics like French onion and hummus to tangy favorites like garlicky salsa. While those are indeed crowd-pleasing picks, this fall, dress up your usual football-watching menu with a new trio of dips. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared their takes on winning dip recipes, each a bold dish that’s a cinch to tackle.

Windy City Deli Dip
True to his Windy City roots, Chicago native Jeff Mauro brings the best flavors of a classic Italian hero to a meaty dip. He combines deli-counter staples like mortadella, pancetta and provolone cheese with fresh cherry tomatoes and cool iceberg lettuce to create the filling for his 10-minute dip. To continue with the sandwich theme, he hollows out an Italian loaf and fills it with the meat-and-cheese mixture. Hot giardiniera rounds out the flavors in this big-batch recipe, while a side of sliced bread makes for easy dipping.

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So, You Have a Lot of Apples? Make Applesauce

by in In Season, Recipes, October 2nd, 2015

Whether you’ve spent all weekend at the orchard or you simply picked up a few bags of the skinned beauties from the grocery store, your crisper drawer is likely chock-full of apples. Once you’ve had your fill of pies, tarts and breads — and worked apples into your favorite savory recipes — it’s time to look to applesauce.

If you’ve stayed away from the from-scratch stuff over worry of a tricky assembly, fear not. It’s as simple as piling the ingredients in a pot and letting the heat work its magic. In her fuss-free recipe for Homemade Applesauce, Ina Garten opts for a mix of tart and sweet apples, plus warm spices like cinnamon and allspice to add the comforting flavors of the season. She bakes the mixture at a moderate temperature — 350 degrees F — so the apples will slowly break down and turn soft. Once they’re ready, all you have to do to turn out a smooth finished product is toss the red peel and quickly whisk the applesauce before serving.

Click the play button on the video above to watch how Ina makes this easy, healthy fall staple.

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All-Star Chefs to Endure Alton’s Evilicious Antics in Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament

by in Shows, October 1st, 2015

All-Star Chefs to Endure Alton's Evilicious Antics in Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage TournamentThere are culinary competitions, sure. And then there’s Cutthroat Kitchen, full of high-price auctioneering, ruthless peer sabotage and just-when-you-least-expect-them challenges. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9|8c, 16 all-star chefs will take their places in host Alton Brown‘s evilicious arena for Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament, a five-week tournament that will make even these culinary mavens sweat when subjected to Alton’s diabolical antics.

On the line this season is up to a whopping $75,000 in prize money for the winning chef’s charity of choice — and bragging rights, of course. For this group of fierce competitors, many of them past contest rivals and friends on- and off-screen, nothing will be off-limits as they face off in five heats — four preliminary rounds and a no-holds-barred finale — for evilicious glory.

Read on below to find out which of your favorite chefs are competing each week, and be sure to mark your calendars for a fall full of sabotage of the most-sinister sort.

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Giada’s Farro and Kale Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 28th, 2015

Farro and Kale SaladKale salads are on menus everywhere these everywhere these days — and for good reason. This hearty green is packed with good-for-you nutrients and plays well with other flavors and textures, making it a go-to salad base, since it will be complemented by the other ingredients you add.

While everyday salads of just kale and dressing are a good place to start, in her recipe for Farro and Kale Salad Giada De Laurentiis dresses up the greens — she opts for the Tuscan variety of kale — with Italian-inspired tastes to create an easy yet elegant salad that’s satisfying enough to enjoy for dinner. Chopped walnuts add a welcome crunchy texture, while farro, an Italian grain like wheat, and dried cherries add a chewy bite. Mix up a citrus-laced vinaigrette to round out the flavors, and just before serving add crumbled goat cheese; you won’t want to pass up that creamy tang.

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