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.

Fans Show Off Their Guilty Pleasures: January Edition

by in Community, Shows, January 26th, 2016

Fans Show Off Their Guilty Pleasures: January EditionWhat with that, um, little blizzard many of us saw this past weekend and the general feeling of “it’s chilly outside so let’s warm up with hot food inside” that’s going around at this time of year, it’s no surprise that what’s ending up on your plate these days isn’t just comfort food but over-the-top indulgences. Recently Food Network asked fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to show off those guilty pleasures — the creamy, extra-rich, and super-sweet picks — they dig into when no one is watching, and in true superfan fashion, you delivered in droves.

Check out some of our favorite fan submissions on Instagram, then see what Food Network stars like Katie Lee and Jeff Mauro are indulging in on the latest episodes of Guilty Pleasures as well.

Check out photos of Food Network fans’ most-over-the-top guilty pleasures.

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Slow-Cooker Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 25th, 2016

Spinach and Mushroom LasagnaWhile most lasagna recipes are relegated to weekend cooking, when you have the time to devote to a slow-simmering sauce and baked casserole, this showstopping how-to from Food Network Magazine is set to change that with the help of one key kitchen tool: the slow cooker.

Thanks to this trusty machine, you can simply assemble this Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna in the afternoon and then come back to a ready-to-eat dinner hours later. Just like a traditional lasagna, this hearty recipe comes together with plenty of decadent cheese — including a creamy ricotta-herb mixture studded with spinach and earthy mushrooms, as well as gooey mozzarella — but instead of being built in a baking pan, it’s layered right in the slow cooker. Bonus: There’s no need to make a tomato sauce from scratch. Pick up your favorite jar of marinara instead, and let it shine in this top-rated supper.

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Flatbread Prep Goes Flat — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 24th, 2016

It’s not uncommon for Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages to throw competitors off their A-game, but one challenge in particular knocked them off their feet tonight — literally. Ever a fan of culinary puns, host Alton Brown auctioned off a sabotage that challenged two chefs to prep flatbread as they laid flat on their backs. In theory the execution seems simple: Just use your hands to feel, right? But what happens when it comes time to roll out the dough or chop ingredients? Simon Majumdar learned these lessons the hard way tonight, when he experienced the challenge firsthand during the latest installment of the After-Show as he was challenged to make flatbread.

“Chapati is a wheat-flour Indian bread,” Simon explained of the dish he set out to make, though in true Cutthroat fashion, he wasn’t allowed to prep it in a straightforward manner. Enter the flat-top prep table. “I want you to experience this the way that the competitors had to,” Alton told Simon. “So just hop up on here and lay flat.” While Simon managed to roll out his dough on a block atop his torso and ultimately move it to the stove, he dodged slicing duties, thanks to Alton. The host took over chopping the cucumber for Simon’s raita — and once again Simon’s midsection proved to be a worthwhile prep area, and Alton set up another cutting board there so the judge could lie down. “Lay still now. This knife is sharp. I’ve never cut on a moving surface like this, and I could slip,” Alton joked as he maneuvered the knife just inches from Simon’s face.

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Oven-Fried Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 24th, 2016

Pat and Gina's Oven-Fried ChickenIf you think the only way to guarantee crispy-skinned chicken is to dunk to the bird in a deep fryer, think again, because this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week proves that an oven will do the job well too. After being dipped in a hot sauce-spiked egg wash and breaded with a mixture of panko, paprika and cayenne, this juicy chicken is baked until it’s tender on the inside and browned on the outside.

For more hearty favorites, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Oven-Fried Chicken

It’s Never a Bad Time for Chili: 6 Warming Recipes

by in Recipes, January 24th, 2016

Pat's Famous Beef and Pork ChiliNo matter if you’re digging out from this weekend’s wintry wallop or simply looking for a cozy dish to transform your Sunday supper, chili is the answer to all of your must-get-warm-right-now needs. Not only is chili packed with hearty meat and beans, but it’s also simple to prepare: Just layer the ingredients in a pot and let it all simmer until the flavors become one savory meal. Check out Food Network’s best chili recipes, below, each an easy how-to sure to help you beat January’s blustery chill.

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili (pictured above)
Thanks to a base of apple-wood-smoked bacon and a spice blend featuring chili powders, ground cumin and smoked paprika, there’s no shortage of bold flavors in this top-rated recipe, made extra hefty by two kinds of ground meat: beef and pork.

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Stuffed: The Best Way to Transform Chicken Breasts

by in Recipes, Shows, January 23rd, 2016

Sunny's Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken BreastsJust last week The Kitchen introduced two all-new spins on easy-to-cook, economical chicken thighs, but today it’s all about that dark meat’s counterpart: the chicken breast. This go-to cut of meat is a familiar family favorite, but once you’ve run through your arsenal of recipes for baked, breaded and fried chicken breasts, you’ll likely be craving something new. That’s where these two new recipes come in. All it takes to transform the chicken breasts you know and love is to stuff them with some of your favorite flavors and ingredients. Check out how Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson do it with their recipes below.

Chicken cordon bleu may sound like a fancy entree, but all there is to it is rolling up ham and Swiss inside lean chicken breasts. Follow Sunny’s recipe for Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts to learn how; this easy-to-make dinner can be on the table in just 25 minutes, and when you slice into it, the gooey Swiss will be oozing out of the crispy breaded chicken in the most-decadent way.

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Portobello-Chickpea Wraps — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 18th, 2016

Portobello-Chickpea WrapsWhen you take away the meat from a sandwich, you want to be left with more than just a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread to guarantee a hearty sandwich. Fresh vegetables, bold spreads and a mix of textures are all key to turning out a satisfying meal, and Food Network Magazine’s Portobello-Chickpea Wraps deliver on all fronts.

In place of a beefy filling, this easy-to-make recipe stars earthy portobello mushrooms, which become tender and full of concentrated flavor when roasted with sweet onions and herbs. Roll them up in a lavash with a smear of smashed chickpeas and tangy balsamic vinegar, plus a duo of creamy cheeses and peppery arugula, then quickly bake the wraps so the bread toasts and the cheese turns gooey. To keep the meal simple and fresh, round out the sandwich with a quick-fix salad of simply dressed arugula, juicy tomatoes and more chickpeas.

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Here’s What Happened When Alton and Jet Wore Sumo Suits — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 17th, 2016

Just when you thought nothing could be funnier than the time Alton Brown and Jet Tila bobbed for doughnuts together, the Cutthroat Kitchen host-judge duo delivered what may be the most-hilarious After-Show to date. And that’s thanks in part to a key piece of equipment, or, rather, wardrobe: the sumo suit.

After a sabotage forced two chefs to don sumo suits and wrestle for ingredients during the yakitori round, Alton and Jet too found their way inside this oversize getup, only they made bananas Foster. And while they weren’t forced to tackle each other in the hopes of grabbing the necessary ingredients, the guys couldn’t resist a few friendly scuffles and some good-natured jostling while enduring the weight of the suits.

“This is the best day of my Cutthroat life, right here,” Jet admitted before he and Alton got started on their dessert face-off. But no sooner did they begin than the scuffles started. After Alton side-bumped Jet as they prepared to race to the pantry, Jet grabbed Alton’s suit, holding the host back from going inside. It didn’t take long before Alton threw what he deemed to be “counter measures,” aka the contents of a container, at Jet as they were shopping; soon afterward, Jet bombarded the host at the refrigerator. Though it may seem like the guys were focused more on play than prep in the kitchen, they indeed managed to turn out impressive bananas Foster, Jet even going so far as to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

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Tuna Melt — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 17th, 2016

Tuna MeltCreamy, warming and oh so cheesy, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, an easy-to-make Tuna Melt, is a tried-and-true comfort food. Instead of using traditional white bread for the base, the chefs in Food Network Kitchen swap in English muffin halves, and they pile them with a celery-and-onion-studded tuna salad laced with rich mayonnaise and whole-grain mustard to create hearty open-faced sandwiches. After a quick broil in the oven, the shredded cheddar melts into an ooey-gooey blanket.

For more satisfying recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Tuna Melt

Two Ways to Use: Chicken Thighs

by in Recipes, Shows, January 16th, 2016

Chicken Ramen Stir-FryWhile chicken breasts often steal the fuss-free-dinner show, there’s another star piece of chicken that’s deserving of the spotlight: chicken thighs. Not only does this cut of chicken turn out moist and juicy every time, but it’s also an economical one to buy, which the co-hosts of The Kitchen dished about on this morning’s Savor the Savings episode. When grilling season returns in the summer, it doesn’t take much more than simple seasonings and a quick char to guarantee flavorful chicken thighs. But when the weather isn’t so sunny, stick with Katie Lee’s and Geoffrey Zakarian’s anytime recipes below for bold results.

Ready to eat in a hurry, Katie’s Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry (pictured above) features the packaged ramen noodles you know and love — but dressed up. In place of the usual seasoning packets, which she simply discards, Katie relies on a double-duty mixture of soy sauce, grated ginger and a splash of white wine vinegar to deliver tangy results. This bold mixture will be both the marinade for the chicken and the base of the sauce for this fuss-free stir-fry, which Katie serves with cool lime wedges and Sriracha for a punch of heat.

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