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.

“Boxed” Chocolate Cake — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 8th, 2015

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen focused on perhaps the ultimate sweet treat — chocolate — and surely no chocolate showcase is complete without molten lava cake. Boasting a tender, moist cake on the outside and a warm, gooey center, this dressed-up dessert is tricky to master, even for the most-experienced chefs under optimal conditions. And inside the Cutthroat arena, the circumstances for preparing this cake turned even trickier when a sabotage forced one chef to mix all of the cake ingredients within the tiny compartments inside a now-empty box of chocolates.

As with all sabotages, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team tried its hands at this doozy of a test before Alton Brown sold it at auction, and within just minutes of starting, Food Stylist Codii realized, “The key to this is patience, which I think Cutthroat Kitchen lacks on a daily basis.” Despite her initial struggles, however, Codii managed to incorporate her ingredients as best as possible, and ultimately turned out cakes that, while “not pretty,” featured the signature lava river flowing from within.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Twice-Baked Potato Casserole — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 8th, 2015

Twice Baked Potato CasseroleImagine all of your favorite parts of twice-baked potatoes — the tangy sour cream, salty and crispy bacon, gooey cheese and fresh green onions — then picture them combined with plenty of smashed buttery potatoes and baked until piping hot. That’s this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ree Drummond’s big-batch casserole that’s as easy to prepare as it is stick-to-your-ribs hearty.

For more tried-and-true recipe ideas, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Best Recipes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Twice-Baked Potato Casserole (pictured above)

Swoon Over Steak Dinner: 4 Meaty Meals to Make on Valentine’s Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 7th, 2015

Steak PizzaiolaValentine’s Day may be all about hearts, roses and chocolate, but when it comes to indulging in a fancy dinner on Feb. 14, look to a juicy, meaty steak to treat your sweetie. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee prepared the ultimate in beefy decadence: filet mignon. She opted for a filet cut of beef to guarantee soft, buttery meat, then she doctored up the dish with sides of golden-brown potatoes and simple asparagus studded with pine nuts. Read on below to find three other ways to serve a simple yet stunning steak supper for your valentine.

For a lighter alternative to the classic steak dinner, try Food Network Magazine’s Steak Pizzaiola (pictured above), ready to eat in only 35 minutes. This healthy recipe boasts seared sirloin steak simmered in a bold tomato sauce with bell peppers and onions, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes to offer welcome spice.

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Better Together: Broccoli and Cheddar + Best 5 Recipes

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2015

Broccoli-Cheddar PotatoesTomatoes and mozzarella, peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and bananas — some flavors are simply better when enjoyed together, and broccoli and cheddar cheese are no exception. While bright florets of broccoli promise freshness, the gooey, often-melted cheese alongside the vegetables offers welcome richness, and together they shine in soups, potatoes, dips and more. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five takes on this classic culinary pair, from tried-and-true favorites to next-level creations.

5. Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread — An unlikely ingredient — cottage cheese — guarantees that Pat and Gina Neely’s 5-star cornbread turns out moist every time. The Neelys pour the rich batter of chopped broccoli, blanket the bread with cheddar and bake until it’s golden brown.

4. Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto — While most risottos require careful attention and slow simmering on the stove, Food Network Magazine’s quick-fix recipe is largely hands-off, as the broccoli and wine-laced rice are baked separately. Once they’re combined with cheese, this updated risotto becomes creamy and comforting.

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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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