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.

40 Cloves and a Chicken: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Dinner

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 5th, 2015

40 Cloves of GarlicFrom greeting cards and red roses to candy hearts and chocolate boxes, much is made of Valentine’s Day every year. But if, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing the day devoted to love this Saturday, there’s still a way to celebrate: Swoon over a bold — and, ahem, pungent — meal without fear of recoil from your partner.

Set up an appetizer to remember by crafting an elegant cheese plate with a deliciously funky blue cheese at the center, then dig into Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken (pictured above) for dinner. This 5-star supper is made with only four ingredients, but together they pack a flavorful punch. While dozens of garlic cloves may surely seem over the top, don’t shy away from adding all of them; they turn soft and surprisingly sweet as they roast, and together with the thyme, the garlic complements the chicken.

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Restaurant Revisited: Betting the House at Zoog’s Caveman Cookin

by in Shows, February 4th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s no secret that Robert Irvine has visited his share of far-gone restaurants in the nearly 10 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, but on tonight’s new episode, he was quick to admit that Zoog’s Caveman Cookin may surely be among the worst he’s ever encountered. From the too-dark interior and the filthy kitchen that Robert was forced to shut down to owner Zoog’s lack of commitment to the business, Robert and his team faced two days of daunting challenges before they could reopen the Port Hadlock, Wash., restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Zoog and find out how he and his restaurant are faring today.

Business has increased nearly 20 percent since Robert left, Zoog explains, though he adds that his personal health went downhill. “I’m sorry to say that about four weeks after [the Restaurant: Impossible experience], I had a heart attack,” he says, before adding, “I am taking my medicine now and am feeling better.”

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WATCH: What Would Be Your One Last Bite?

by in News, February 4th, 2015

There can be only one: your very last bite — ever. Have you ever thought about what it would be? In the all-new Web series One Last Bite, FoodNetwork.com asked chefs, bloggers and actors from around the country that very question, and their answers are simply mouthwatering.

In the series premiere episode, blogger Gaby Dalkin, of What’s Gaby Cooking fame, selected a pair of sweet and savory specialties to enjoy as her last bite: Carne Asada Fries loaded with citrus-marinated beef and creamy, smoky guacamole, plus a hunk of her now-famous Slutty Brownies, three layers of decadence featuring chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies and rich brownies.

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Food Fortunes On the Line in All-New Series

by in Shows, February 4th, 2015

Willie DegelSo you have an idea for a potentially profitable product or what you’re sure is a must-have recipe for everyone’s favorite condiment. What do you do with it, and how do you make sure the power players know about it? Enter Food Fortunes.

On this brand-new upcoming series premiering on Monday, March 9 at 10|9c, visionaries from around the country will put their concepts, as well as their pride, on display as they pitch their theories to an expert panel of tastemakers, restaurant professionals and experienced executives, including Pat LaFrieda and Willie Degel, in the hopes that these entrepreneurs will want a piece of their budding company. But before the panel will decide to invest in or pass on a potential food fortune, a crowd of consumers will weigh in on whether they’d buy the product placed before them.

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VOTE: What’s Your Favorite Cutthroat Kitchen Episode Title?

by in Shows, February 2nd, 2015

VOTE: What's Your Favorite Cutthroat Kitchen Episode Title?While the never-ending onslaught of sabotages may be unnerving and downright frustrating for Cutthroat Kitchen competitors in the midst of battle, for fans at home who are watching the eviliciousness unfold, it’s nothing short of sidesplitting funny. It turns out, though, that there’s more hilarity to Cutthroat Kitchen than just the diabolical challenges. In the more than six seasons of the series, each episode has been given a telling — and amusing — title to signify either the dishes or the sabotages rivals would meet in the contest. FN Dish recently combed through the dozens of punny titles and rounded up the 15 best, and now it’s time for you, fans, to choose your ultimate favorite.

Browse this photo gallery to see each title and relive its corresponding episode, then vote for your pick of the top title ever in the poll below.

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Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 2nd, 2015

Healthy Farro Fried There’s no denying the allure of takeout dinners — they’re easy, fast and able to cure your salty cravings in a flash. But when you find the correct recipe, so, too, are takeout-inspired meals you make at home. Plus, the DIY versions are likely better for you than their restaurant counterparts, and you can customize them with your favorite ingredients.

Our Food Network Kitchen’s Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” (pictured above) is a next-level take on traditional Asian-style fried rice. Simple enough to make on a weeknight, this lightened-up dish is brimming with vegetables, like carrots, peas and bean sprouts, and it swaps out basic rice in favor of farro. If you’ve never before worked with farro, our Food Network Kitchen describes it as “an Italian variety of wheat with grains that turn tender and toothsome with cooking.” Similar in shape and texture to brown rice, farro is prepared in much the same way: by cooking in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. While quick-scrambled eggs add heft to this go-to dinner, a sweet and tangy sauce of ginger and garlic adds over-the-top flavor. Before serving, finish the farro with chopped scallion greens for extra freshness.

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“It’s Real Weird” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 1st, 2015

From canned whole chickens to dairy milked from a plastic cow, Cutthroat Kitchen is no stranger to strangeness. In fact, it welcomes such oddness. It’s a good thing that’s the case, because on tonight’s all-new episode, one chef was tasked with making a turkey burger out of not moist ground turkey meat, as would be expected, but processed deli turkey meat. But before the contestant could be saddled with such a sabotage, the Cutthroat culinary team had to try its hands at the challenge to make sure that whatever burger resulted — if any did — was edible, given the amount of time on the clock.

Food stylist Jamie took to the kitchen to attempt this next-level ingredient swap-out, and after making what he deemed “turkey dust,” mixing it with chopped bacon and cooking the patty, he realized he’d made something “real weird.” He explained, “It’s a funky-looking patty; there’s no two ways about it.” Nevertheless, despite its nontraditional appearance, Jamie added that the more important question would be whether or not the patty tasted fine. Much to his surprise, it did. “It’s that good. I’m voluntarily eating my own sabotage cooking,” he said.

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Cream Cheese Frosting — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 1st, 2015

Cream Cheese FrostingWhen you’re building your recipe repertoire, it’s best to look for the tried-and-true how-tos that you know are going to work well, those culinary workhorses that are easy to prepare and serve more than one purpose. That’s what this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is all about. For a go-to frosting recipe you’ll want to have in your back pocket, look no further than Food Network Kitchen’s quick-fix Cream Cheese Frosting (pictured above). It is made with only a few basic ingredients, turns out soft and fluffy every time, and shines atop cakes and cupcakes.

For more sweet ideas, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting

The Kitchen’s Snow Day Cooking Means Stick-to-Your-Ribs Comfort

by in Recipes, January 31st, 2015

Ricotta GnocchiFresh off a brutal weather week that left the East Coast blanketed in winter white, The Kitchen co-hosts came together this morning for an entire hour dedicated snow-day cooking. Whether you’re holed up indoors during a snow day or you’re forced to brave the elements and shovel, the name of the culinary game on chilly snow days is warming comfort food. Read on below to get the cast’s top takes on stick-to-your-ribs recipes for next-level gnocchi, plus the fluffiest mashed potatoes, a spiked cocoa cocktail and more.

If you’ve never before made gnocchi at home, Geoffrey Zakarian’s fuss-free recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi (pictured above) is a good place to start. He combines rich ricotta cheese with nutty Parmesan for flavor, then mixes in two kinds of flour and eggs to bind the dumplings together. After just a few minutes in boiling water, they turn out tender and delicate, ready to be tossed in a garlicky pancetta-studded tomato sauce. Geoffrey says that uncooked gnocchi will be good in the freezer for two weeks, so plan ahead for easy weeknight meals with ready-to-go gnocchi.

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WATCH: The Do’s and Don’ts of Football Parties

by in Entertaining, Shows, January 30th, 2015

Even if your favorite team won’t be taking the field on Sunday, chances are you’re going to be vegging out in front of the TV with friends, and plenty of game-day eats and drinks, to watch the big game unfold. Just in time for those celebrations, The Kitchen co-hosts came together to offer a few good-to-know do’s and don’ts for both attending and throwing a winning football bash — or any get-together with a crowd. From how to build a worthy buffet to advice on ditching the six-pack of beer, click the play button on the video above to hear from the cast and learn their top tailgating tips.

For even more entertaining ideas, check out the cast’s best game-day recipes.