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.

11 Party-Ready Recipes to Ring In 2016 on New Year’s Eve (and at Brunch the Next Day)

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 28th, 2015

Best New Year's Eve RecipesYou’ve decked the halls, made the season bright and let it snow (depending on where you live), and now it’s time to ring in the new year with a party-ready menu fit for the final feast of 2015. Though New Year’s Eve fare might seem downright decadent — Champagne, anyone? — your menu doesn’t have to be especially extravagant to feel fancy. All it takes is a few dressed-up dishes, and perhaps some bubbly at midnight, to kick-start 2016 on a high note.

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Potato Pancakes, 2 at a Time — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 27th, 2015

Surviving Cutthroat Kitchen is tricky enough for a chef who’s trying to manage his or her own lot of eviliciousness, but when a particularly diabolical challenge requires two chefs to work together in the hopes of surviving, the feelings of doom in the arena only increase. Such a scene unfolded during tonight’s all-new episode, and during the After-Show later on, host Alton Brown revealed what he deemed a challenge diabolical enough for the ages. “This is probably [among the] top 10 sabotages of all time,” he told Simon Majumdar, the judge of the day, while revealing a pair of wraparound bars that forced chefs Betty and Michael to work in tandem while making tandoori chicken.

“As you dose out the pain of sending people home, I figured that it would be good for you to kind of get an idea of what this felt like,” Alton explained to Simon as the guys attempted to settle into this oddball contraption. Though they didn’t have to attempt tandoori chicken on the After-Show, Alton and Simon indeed tried their (tied) hands at potato pancake prep work. After a few initial fumbles, the host and judge found their rhythm, and Simon couldn’t help but wonder about the chefs who had to endure this sabotage. “We’re grating, so that’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy,” he said. “But what were they doing?” Alton explained that the competitors had a few more tasks at hand, like “trying to cut chicken and make all their seasonings and mix up everything that they needed.” As for the host, he could only somewhat describe how such an experience felt as he endured it. “It’s kind of like you’re being a puppet and not being a puppet,” Alton said.

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Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 27th, 2015

Slow-Cooker Macaroni and CheesePrep it, fill it and forget it — that’s the name of the game when it comes to the slow cooker, which allows for easy, hearty meals without constant attention. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is one such slow-cooker standby, as it lets the machine do the work of turning macaroni, milk and rich cheddar cheese into a gooey, oh-so-creamy classic that will feed the whole family.

For more fill-you-up recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Mushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot Sauce — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 21st, 2015

Mushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot SauceThe roasted turkey, the glazed ham, the standing rib roast, the rack of lamb — there are many ways to make meat the star of your holiday spread, while the veggies often get relegated to the side-dish selection. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Enter this mushroom-instead-of-beef Wellington.

While traditional beef Wellingtons may feature a tenderloin in the center, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot Sauce swaps that out and replaces it with a combination of hearty, earthy portobellos and shiitakes. Scented with fresh thyme and a splash of white wine, this filling is full of flavor as well as meaty and substantial. Just like the classic version, this one too features a golden-brown, flaky puff pastry shell to hold the filling, which gives it the striking, holiday-worthy appearance you crave.

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A Complete Christmas Dinner Menu Full of the Fastest Recipes Around

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 21st, 2015

A Complete Christmas Dinner Menu Full of the Fastest Recipes AroundChristmas is only four days away, and if you’ve been tasked with hosting at the last minute, or if you’ve simply been procrastinating making a menu for the holiday dinner while you focus on gift shopping (and wrapping) and cookie baking (and eating) instead, you’re in luck. It’s not too late — even if your plan is to entertain on Christmas Eve. Below is a complete, at-the-ready menu of dishes that will take you and your party guests from bite-sized appetizers to a comforting first-course pasta to a meaty braciole, all the craveable side dishes and, of course, a sweet ending of chocolatey cookies. Best of all, each recipe can be ready in hurry — just 45 minutes or less.

Appetizers:
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The Basics of (Oversize) Stir-Frying — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 20th, 2015

After finishing up his judging duties for tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Jet Tila experienced life as a competitor during the After-Show when he was tasked with taking on a sabotage from the shrimp stir-fry test in Round 2. One particularly evilicious sabotage required one chef to cook with a tiny wok and chopsticks while the other was saddled with an oversize pair — and that’s what Jet was forced to contend with as well.

As he finagled with the extra-large chopsticks as he chopped his vegetables, the situation appeared to be somewhat under control. But that was quickly lost when he attempted to lift and pour his mise en place setup into the wok. After several dropped bowls, host Alton Brown couldn’t help but lend Jet a hand — by covering the camera lens so Jet could cheat the sabotage (or not) and manually add his ingredients to the wok without anyone noticing. “Go ahead and do whatever you need to do,” Alton told him, and sure enough, after just a few seconds, the camera returned to a full wok.

Even while Jet worked with this trick equipment, he and Alton were quick to dole out what it takes to make a classic stir-fry. After all, as the world record holder for the largest stir-fry ever made, Jet knows just how to execute it properly. “The wok should give a little smokiness to the dish,” he explained, and he and Alton noted the importance of the wok being steel. When it comes to accomplishing the right taste, Alton and Jet note that it’s best to deglaze the pan as the stir-fry comes together. “The deglazing is absolutely important because all of that fond that was stuck in there from the ginger, garlic and the shrimp has to come back in,” Jet said.

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Ina’s Parmesan Smashed Potatoes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 20th, 2015

Parmesan Smashed PotatoesBeef, chicken, pork, seafood — no matter what main dish you’re cooking up, chances are you can round out the meal with the ultimate in family-friendly side dishes: the potato. Ina Garten dresses up the humble spud in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week with a few indulgent ingredients to turn out creamy, comforting smashed potatoes. Her secret ingredient? A bit of sour cream, which delivers welcome tang in this cheesy recipe, featured in Food Network Magazine.

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

Get the Recipe: Ina’s Parmesan Smashed Potatoes in Food Network Magazine

Sweet vs. Savory: Oatmeal

by in Recipes, December 19th, 2015

Savory Oatmeal RisottoJust as everyday rice is a blank-canvas ingredient that can be transformed into something new (rice pudding or paella, anyone?), oatmeal too brings with it many opportunities. Think beyond serving it up in the morning alongside brown sugar and a few raisins. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced two new ways to take your oatmeal: one savory and one sweet, for dinner and even as a drink. Check out their recipes below, then browse all the recipes from today’s show.

You’ve seen farro and barley take the place of rice in risotto, but now Geoffrey Zakarian is letting oatmeal have the starring role in his Savory Oatmeal Risotto. Laced with nutty Parmesan cheese and rich butter, GZ’s recipe comes together just as a traditional risotto recipe does, with slow and steady stirring as the oats simmer in chicken stock. GZ opts for steel-cut oats instead of the old-fashioned variety, as the steel-cut kind offers the heft needed to stand up to the cooking process.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Special Delivery at La Casa Bianca

by in Shows, December 17th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossiblePaul Liscio was struggling in his work as the owner of La Casa Bianca in Whitehouse Station, N.J., a restaurant that had seen significant declines in recent years. But it was his daughter, Megan, who was determined to remedy the situation as she reached out to Robert Irvine for help in rescuing her father and his business from impending failure. After ambushing Paul with a Restaurant: Impossible renovation, Robert and his team managed to not only reopen La Casa Bianca with the tools it needs to succeed, but also help Paul find the inspiration to manage his eatery. Read on below to hear from Paul and find out how La Casa Bianca is doing today.

“Business is picking up,” Paul explains. “[The experience] has brought new customers. The combo of my food and what [Robert and the team] did is clicking more and more every day. It’s special.”

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The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015

by in Recipes, December 17th, 2015

The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015Food fans, 2015 has been one downright tasty year, from made-over spins on classic comfort foods in January and warm-weather-ready cocktails in the summer to fall’s best harvest feast and now the holiday cookies that will surely make your “nice” list. But as the days and weeks ticked away, there were a handful of recipes that you kept coming back to time and time again. Read on below as we count down the best-of-the-best plates of the year, those 10 recipes that fans made the most popular.

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