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.

30-Minute Shrimp and Grits — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, September 13th, 2015

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and GritsNow that school is back in session and your weeknights have been filled with homework check-ins with your kids, last-minute appointments and a flurry of scheduled activities, you’re likely feeling the pressure to turn out a meal for the family as quickly as your kids can ask, “What’s for dinner?” That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, featured in Food Network Magazine, comes in. It can be on the table in only a half-hour, and since it features both satisfying shrimp and a bed of creamy grits, it’s an all-in-one meal. Bonus: Believe it or not, this top-rated recipe is a healthy staple, even with those cheesy grits and lemony herb sauce.

For more dinnertime inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits from Food Network Magazine

The Easiest Pasta Ever (Really)

by in Recipes, Shows, September 12th, 2015

Spaghetti Aglio e OlioWhile Spaghetti Aglio e Olio may not get any points for ease in pronunciation, it indeed takes the cake for simplest-ever pasta dinner: 15 minutes, five ingredients. Done.

Geoffrey Zakarian introduced the recipe for this go-to meal on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen. From start to finish, the sauce — made with just olive oil, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley — came together in the time it takes the pasta to cook, meaning it’s the ultimate in I-need-food-on-the-table-like-right-now cooking. The secret to GZ’s sauce is twofold: adding some of the pasta water to the oil and garlic, and, secondly, cooking the pasta only part of the way before tossing it in the pan with that watery-oil mixture. The noodles will finish cooking the sauce, and the sauce thickens naturally on its own, thanks to the starch in the water.

Read more

Pro Football Player-Turned-Food Network Star Eddie Jackson Gets Set for BBQ Blitz

by in Shows, September 10th, 2015

Eddie JacksonFor 11 weeks, Houston’s Eddie Jackson wowed Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis with his bold, creative takes on classic Caribbean fare, as well as his ease and warmth on camera. Now, after successfully pitching a pilot to the network and earning the coveted title of Food Network Star, this former NFL player is off to shine a light on two of his longtime passions: barbecue and friendly competition.

In his upcoming series, BBQ Blitz, premiering Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:30|9:30c, Eddie will head to cities across the country and challenge three chef legends each to a face-off of touchdown proportions. Eddie will be on hand to oversee the battles, and he’ll catch up with the competitors about what makes their ‘cue the hottest of them all as these smokers, grillers and fire fanatics compete for bragging rights as the best-ever BBQ chef — and a whopping $5,000 prize.

Read more

How to Overcome Bright Bug Juice — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, September 9th, 2015

For the first-ever Camp Cutthroat tournament finale, you can be sure that host Alton Brown held nothing back in the name of diabolical sabotages — not even a pitcher of bright-red trout soaked in an eye-catching, crimson-colored bug juice (read: fruit punch). Chef Monterey, who was saddled with this doozy of a challenge, chose not to cook around the sweet flavor, but rather to embrace it with ingredients that complemented that taste. She did not, however, make enough amends for the sugars, and the trout’s skin stuck to the grates of the grill during cooking, and its flesh ultimately turned red.

According to to Alton and judge Antonia Lofaso, this fate didn’t have to befall Chef Monterey, as they explained during the After-Show. “Had Chef Monterey actually cooked the skin properly, it would have looked less red and probably a little bit more brown,” Antonia told Alton, who added his own idea for how to avoid the stuck skin altogether. “With the added sugar that that soaked up, she had to put a lot more oil on it to keep it from sticking, and she did not do that,” Alton said. “And so she lost the skin to the grill.” But, Antonia adds, even with the torn skin and lackluster appearance of the fish, there were ways to dress up the dish. “She also had a really beautiful salad, and I felt like had she put the salad on top of the fish, I may not have noticed it so much,” Antonia admitted. “I mean, this was just a giant red fish on a plate.”

Read more

Patricia Heaton to Host Friends and Family for Parties on All-New Series

by in Shows, September 9th, 2015

Patricia HeatonWhile you may know Patricia Heaton for her roles as Debra Barone, the comedian’s wife living across the street from her in-laws on Everybody Loves Raymond, and Indiana mom Frankie Heck on The Middle, what you may not know about this celebrated actress is that on her days away from the set, she’s all about entertaining. From party planning and decor setup to menu ideas for crowd-pleasing eats and drinks, Patricia knows just what it takes to entertain without a hassle, and in her all-new series, Patricia Heaton Parties, she’ll show you how.

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 24 at 12|11c, Patricia will dish on the ins and outs of throwing low-key bashes, like casual girls’ nights, and welcoming holiday gatherings alike — and even invite you into her house for her own celebrations. You can be sure that the food at Patricia’s parties is fresh, craveable fare that’s easy to eat.

Read more

Get Set for a Fifth Season of Fright-Night Spooktaculars on Halloween Wars

by in Shows, September 8th, 2015

Halloween WarsGhosts, gore and ghoulishly good competition — it’s all on the menu when five teams of spooktacular challengers come together for a fifth frightening season of Halloween Wars, premiering Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9|8c. Featuring the expert collaboration of a master cake artist, a candy craftsman and a skilled pumpkin carver, the teams facing off for Halloween glory — as well as a whopping $50,000 prize — must come prepared to not only concoct over-the-top sweet creations but also deliver devilishly creepy designs. From the Small Scare displays in the first round to the larger, more demanding Spine Chiller presentations in the final round, competitors will be challenged to bring frightening themes to life in the form of their scary-good designs.

On hand to host this Halloween celebration is actor Rossi Morreale, while the returning judges, special-effects makeup artist Brian Kinney and cake decorator Shinmin Li, will take their places on the panel alongside a rotating roster of special guests.

Read more

Exclusive: Jeff Mauro Dishes on the Launch of His First Restaurant, Pork & Mindy’s

by in Food Network Chef, News, September 7th, 2015

Jeff MauroFirst he conquered the ranks of Food Network Stardom with his Season 7 competition win, then he tackled the world of between-bread creations on Sandwich King and just two years ago he joined forces with four other co-hosts for the ultimate celebration, The Kitchen. Now Jeff Mauro is setting his sights on something offscreen: the restaurant scene. His first restaurant, Pork & Mindy’s, which he’ll launch with business partner Kevin Corsello, is slated to open at the end of 2015 and will feature a hybrid of “food, music and art,” according to Jeff, and the very best in barbecue.

Pork & Mindy’s will open in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, a city that’s currently known more for lakeside skyscrapers than for smoky barbecue. But Jeff’s planning to change that when he releases his over-the-top meaty menu in the Windy City. According to Jeff, the focus will be on “real, authentic, slow-smoked barbecue,” and he adds that just as the eatery’s name suggests, there will be plenty of pork. “All our pork is cooked 14 hours in a natural wood smoker, bone in and shredded.” Though the foundation may be pig, including what he deems “pig candy … caramelized crispy bacon brittle,” the offerings go far beyond that, to smoked legs of lamb, chicken and chuck roasts.

Read more

Tuscan Tomato-White Bean Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 7th, 2015

Tuscan Tomato-White Bean SoupSummer’s not technically over, though the kids are going back to school. The days are turning brisker, though it’s not yet cold. Summer tomatoes are ripe from the garden, but you’re craving something hearty. What to make, what to do? Look no further than Food Network Magazine’s Tuscan Tomato-White Bean Soup (pictured above), ideal for those in-between days in early September.

Featuring a fresh, bright base of juicy seasonal tomatoes, plus the creamy richness of canned white beans, this easy-to-make soup comes together in less than an hour with little hands-on prep. For a subtle punch of bold flavor, sprinkle in red pepper flakes, then let the flavors of the soup marry as the soup simmers before you blend it into a smooth, rich consistency. To round out the bowl, sprinkle a few cheesy croutons on top just before serving; these crispy-crunchy bites can be made quickly in the oven with bread cubes and gooey mozzarella.

Read more

A Battle of Granny Proportions — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 6th, 2015

Given the high-stress competition, the pressures to cook within just 30 minutes and, of course, the sting of sabotages, Cutthroat Kitchen is the fiercest of fiercest of environments and perhaps no place for a grandmother — or so it would seem. On tonight’s special episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, four home-cook grannies took their places in the arena, ready to prove their seniority in the kitchen. “I was always taught to respect my elders, so I just want to say right now I’m very, very sorry for everything that happened here tonight,” host Alton Brown said with a sly grin as he opened the After-Show with judge Jet Tila. The guys looked back on a momentous three rounds, which ultimately had one grandma using her experience as a home cook to her advantage.

Come the Round 3 pie challenge, after being saddled with the mandate to shop and cook from the confines of a slow-moving power chair and being forced to use her mouth to fish for ingredients buried in pie, Grandma Nancy enlisted the help of a trusty appliance: the microwave. “Nancy, running out of time, knows that her custard is a real problem. She goes over to the microwave and she starts microwaving, stopping, whisking, microwaving,” Alton explains to Jet. “She cooked that custard, poured it before it had set, and the only thing you busted her for was it was too firm,” added Alton. Shocked by the realization of how Nancy’s pie came to be, Jet admitted, “I’ve never even heard of that technique.” And Alton noted that’s likely because of her skill set as a home cook. “Restaurant-trained chefs [are] never taught to use the microwave. This is a home cook from Grandmaville, from Texas, and so for her, it’s a completely viable tool,” Alton said. And indeed the microwave managed to save the day for Nancy, as she was crowned the champion.

Read more

Cheesy Baked Zucchini — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, September 6th, 2015

Baked ZucchiniBurgers, brats and barbecue may be the stars at your Labor Day cookout tomorrow, but when it comes to side dishes, look no further than this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Sunny Anderson’s seasonal casserole comes together with only a handful of ingredients and features a crispy topping of breadcrumbs, Parmesan and fragrant thyme, which turns golden in the oven.

For more crowd-pleasing recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Baked Zucchini