All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate 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.

Chicken, or Something Like It — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, April 20th, 2014


Chicken has a storied past on Cutthroat Kitchen: Just last season when Giada De Laurentiis stopped by for a special episode, one rival was gifted a whole chicken in a can, which she was forced to turn into chicken and waffles for the guest judge. And on tonight’s all-new episode, subpar chicken — or something like it — once again appeared on the auction table, this time during a General Tso’s Chicken challenge. After being gifted a sabotage of MREs, which Alton deemed “meals ready to eat,” one chef was forced to pick through the innards of such prepared and packaged dishes as “a chicken stew [and] a chicken fajita,” according to Alton.

For Antonia, these products were “mushy,” and on the host’s After-Show, Alton told her with a smile, “It’s the best kind of sick that you could possibly imagine.” It turns out, however, that for the competitor who worked with this sabotage, the inferior meat wasn’t a hindrance at all. “She really didn’t have any choice but to make a fritter,” Alton explained to Antonia. “And it looked just like General Tso’s chicken.”

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Judge Marc Summers Previews Rewrapped

by in Shows, April 20th, 2014

Marc SummersFor years, Marc Summers revealed the whats and hows of timeless snack foods on Food Network’s Unwrapped. And beginning tomorrow, he’ll be part of the all-new series Rewrapped, wherein three hopeful contestants must re-create a sweet or savory treat, then use the original item in an inspired dish all of their own. Marc will sit on the judges’ panel alongside two other culinary experts, and together they must determine which competitor’s offerings are worthy of the prize: a lifetime supply of snacks. FN Dish was recently on the set of Rewrapped, and we caught up with Marc to look back on Unwrapped and to get his insider’s perspective on what’s ahead on Rewrapped. Read on below to learn his thoughts on both series, then hear from host Joey Fatone.

What are you most looking forward to in this competition?
Getting back on television would be No. 1, on fresh shows. I just think it’s fun. All the other competition shows on Food Network are pretty intense. This one, you smile during the whole thing. It’s snack foods, it’s junk foods, it’s kind of everything we ever did on Unwrapped, but I think when you see the Twinkie or the Hostess cupcake or the Bloomin’ Onion or SpaghettiOs, you think … “I identify with them.” And then seeing if somebody can duplicate it is just fun. We kind of hit the ground running on day one. It just seemed like we’d been doing it forever. Joey’s a great host. He brings a certain energy to it. It’s effortless.

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Get a Sneak Peek at Rewrapped with Host Joey Fatone

by in Shows, April 19th, 2014

Joey FatoneThe all-new series Rewrapped starring your favorite sweet and savory snacks premieres on Monday night (8|7c), where host Joey Fatone will be leading the competition between three eager contestants. It’s up to them to first re-create the snack of the day, then invent a new dish incorporating the original item for a panel of judges, including Marc Summers of Food Network’s Unwrapped. FN Dish was recently on the set of Rewrapped and caught up with Joey to find out more about what’s in store this season. Read on below for an exclusive interview with the host, then hear from judge Marc Summers.

What are you most looking forward to in this competition?
I’m looking forward to seeing how creative these people get. That’s the cool thing about it. You get the re-creation of the actual snack, but the Innovate challenge sees how inventive they can be with the snack. [It] is really kind of cool to see how they get really crazy with the ideas.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a Cutting Board Signed by The Kitchen Co-Hosts

by in Contests, Shows, April 19th, 2014

This morning, The Kitchen co-hosts Geoffrey ZakarianJeff MauroKatie LeeMarcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson kicked off a brand-new second season of The Kitchen with an episode full of fresh springtime recipes and a special guest appearance. Just in time for the Easter holiday, they showcased holiday-worthy classics like hard-boiled eggs and seasonal-vegetable salads, and Food Network’s Marc Summers dropped by to dish on his upcoming series, Rewrapped. After a jam-packed hour, Geoffrey, in true 5 o’clock fashion, shook a signature cocktail, his GZ Gin Fizz.

Now it’s time for fans to partake in the celebration of Season 2 as well. FN Dish has a cutting board signed by all five members of the cast, and we’re giving it away to one lucky person. To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment telling us your favorite recipe ever featured on The Kitchen (you can find them all here) and include the URL of the recipe.

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The Kitchen Co-Hosts Look Back on Season 1 and Preview What’s Ahead

by in Shows, April 15th, 2014

Jeff Mauro, Geoffrey Zakarian, Sunny Anderson, Marcela Valladolid and Katie LeeJust a few months ago, five of your favorite Food Network chefs came together on The Kitchen to celebrate what is arguably the most-important room in the home. Now after a premiere season jam-packed with an over-the-top snackadium, special guest chefsTool Takedowns and one unforgettable Double Provolone, Geoffrey, Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny are gearing up for a second round of go-to recipes for eats and drinks, timesaving cooking strategies and kid-friendly meal solutions. FN Dish was on the set of The Kitchen recently and we caught up with the group as they looked back on their most-memorable moments from early episodes and revealed what’s to come in new episodes, beginning this Saturday at 11a|10c.

For many of the co-hosts, the top unforgettable moment was when Jeff donned a sandwich-themed bodysuit to perform an impromptu routine he called The Double Provolone for Brian Boitano. “I mean, I saw it on the monitor ’cause I wasn’t actually in that segment, but I was crying I was laughing so hard,” Marcela admitted. Jeff and Katie, too, recounted that scene, Jeff deeming it “very risky” and Katie saying simply, “That was special.”

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Best 5 Easter Ham Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 15th, 2014

Roasted Fresh Ham with Cider GlazeThe beauty of a ham is that, like a Thanksgiving turkey, it’s a big-batch entree that can feed all of your holiday guests at once, so there’s no need to prepare individual servings of dinner. But also like a turkey, ham needs a bit of dressing up before it’s ready to take center stage at your Easter feast, and in most recipes that next-level addition comes in the form of a glaze. Sweet, spicy, tangy or nearly anywhere in between, glazes complement the natural richness of ham and can play to your guests’ tastes. Check out Food Network’s top-five Easter hams below to find wow-worthy recipes that are a cinch to prepare from Trisha, Melissa, Ina and more chefs.

5. Baked Ham with Brown Sugar-Honey Glaze — Made with just two ingredients — brown sugar and honey — Trisha’s fuss-free glaze tops the ham well into the cooking process, so the sugars don’t burn before the meat is cooked.

4. Ginger-Peach-Glazed Ham — Food Network Magazine recommends letting the ham chill in a ginger-spiced brine for at least 24 hours before cooking it and finishing it with a sweetened Dijon topping.

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Shortcut Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with Couscous — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2014

Shortcut Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with CouscousSoups and stews often get a bad rap as far as quick-fix meals are concerned, as the thought has been that they take hours of slow-simmering to achieve the fullest flavor. But with the help a few foolproof methods and go-to ingredients, it’s surely possible to turn out simple, ready-to-eat dishes in a flash.

Food Network Kitchen transformed the traditional slow-and-low tagine, a classic Moroccan stew, into a weeknight-friendly staple in its recipe for Shortcut Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with Couscous (pictured above). In place of meat, which may take hours to break down, this fuss-free supper lets vibrant vegetables, like tomatoes and butternut squash, shine, as they can become deliciously tender in mere minutes. Much like classic recipes, this one also boasts a mix of bold, warm spices — cinnamon and cumin — plus a bit of harissa for heat as well as chickpeas and chewy raisins for texture. For added freshness, sprinkle fragrant cilantro atop the tagine before serving, and round out the meal with fluffy couscous.

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The Beginner’s Kitchen According to Marc Forgione

by in Food Network Chef, April 14th, 2014

Marc ForgioneA famed Iron Chef with multiple New York City restaurants, Marc Forgione is certainly no rookie cook, but that doesn’t mean he can’t dole out advice to those just beginning in the kitchen. Recently Marc hosted a hands-on cooking event wherein dozens of fans were tasked with manning the frying pan and making their own dinners, and while many guests were culinary novices, he guided them through the how-tos of making a successful hearty main dish. FN Dish was at this event and caught up with Marc to hear more about his take on elementary cooking, ask which go-to dish a beginner should learn and find out a few of his essential ingredients. Read on below to hear from Marc in an exclusive interview.

What’s the first dish a novice cook should learn to master?
Eggs. ‘Cause if you think about an egg, how many different ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled eggs, soft-scrambled eggs, hard-scrambled eggs, over easy, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, soft-poached, hard-boiled. It’s something that everybody has in their fridge all the time, and it’s almost like culinary school right in your refrigerator. Challenge yourself. When you figure out how to make the perfect sunny-side up, figure out how to make the perfect over easy.

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Testing the Cutthroat Sabotages: From Cooking Station to Shopping Cart

by in Shows, April 13th, 2014


With one swift auction and a bit of bad luck, Cutthroat Kitchen competitors could have all of their seemingly necessary tools and food products taken away from them and replaced with inferior items. From salt and knives to the stove and pans, nothing is safe in Cutthroat Kitchen, including the chefs’ workstations. On tonight’s all-new episode, contestants bid on a game-changing sabotage in Round 2′s enchilada challenge that forces one person to abandon his or her standard setup and fashion another one using a stocked toolbox. The catch? The workspace, heat source and cooktop must be built in and confined to a shopping cart. Was this challenge taking the competition too far and asking too much of one person during a 30-minute challenge? It turns out that the answer is no, as Food Network’s culinary team vetted and approved this sabotage prior to air.

Click the play button on the video above to watch the test unfold and see how one grocery store staple became a fully equipped cook space.
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