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.

Giada’s Fried Ravioli — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 16th, 2014

Fried RavioliThe key to a successful Thanksgiving appetizer is simplicity: a fuss-free bite or two that will satisfy guests but not overfill them before the feast and, of course, be easy for the host to prepare, as he or she will likely be busy with other last-minute dinner prep. That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in. Giada De Laurentiis’ quick-fix Fried Ravioli can be ready in just 30 minutes, and they come together with just a handful of ingredients, including timesaving store-bought ravioli.

For more turkey day inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Fried Ravioli (pictured above)

Turkey, Potatoes and Pie: The Kitchen Co-Hosts’ Thanksgiving Dinner Picks, Revealed

by in Holidays, Shows, November 15th, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro and Katie LeeDark meat — but just the turkey legs. Sweet potatoes, only they must be in casserole form. Biscuits, never rolls. Pumpkin pie or apple? Both. If there’s one meal where we can get away with being a bit picky, it’s Thanksgiving; after all, everyone has their favorites when it comes to dinner trimmings. Just in time for this morning’s all-new turkey day-themed episode of The Kitchen, FN Dish checked in with each of the five co-hosts to find out what their Thanksgiving plates will look like. Read on below to hear from all five cast members and learn what they’ll be eating and drinking on Thanksgiving.

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Think Beyond the Can: Homemade Cranberry Sauces Fit for the Feast

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 12th, 2014

Cranberry-Orange SauceNext to the turkey, the potatoes, stuffing and vegetables often compete for the spotlight on your Thanksgiving table, but there’s one tangy side that’s not to be forgotten: cranberry sauce. This year, instead of opting for the jellied stuff from a can, make your own cranberry side dish from scratch. Most recipes call for only a few ingredients and can be made ahead of the feast, so the dish will likely be one of the easiest you make all season long. Read on below to find go-to cranberry sauces from Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and more chefs, then check out Food Network’s entire collection of top cranberry sauces for more inspiration.

A tried-and-true classic you can count on, Tyler’s Cranberry-Orange Sauce (pictured above) boasts the subtle warmth of fragrant cinnamon, which he balances with bright, refreshing orange juice.

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Straight from the Inferno: Host Curtis Stone Shares Insider Details

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, November 12th, 2014

Curtis StoneWhat with its early elimination of one contestant and the cliffhanger ending to decide the fate of another, last week’s series premiere of Kitchen Inferno proved that this brand-new heated competition is far from chill. As chefs contemplate risk versus reward at the end of every round, host Curtis Stone is on hand to watch these decisions unfold and oversee the fiery battles that result; after all, no one knows the competition quite like he does. FN Dish recently caught up with Curtis to learn more about Kitchen Inferno from his perspective and find out what he considers to be the most-common mistake made during the contest.

Congratulations on the new series Kitchen Inferno! What aspect of the show are you most looking forward to?
Curtis Stone: You know what’s so exciting is that we sort of put the power back into the contestants’ hands, because we give them the opportunities to [decide] how far they think they can push themselves, or how far they can go. And I love those moments through the show where you sort of — they’ve just won, and they get money or more money, and then you ask them that question: You know, do you believe in yourself enough to keep going, to win more money? Knowing that you have real cash in your hand and you’re going to have to literally tear it up. So they’re always really fun moments.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 12th, 2014

Wine Bottle CandleholdersWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, you have likely ordered your turkey by now and are beginning to craft the rest of your menu. But as you plan for the feast, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ll need to host the holiday at home beyond a bird and pumpkin pie, like table-setting inspiration, seasonal decor, and timesaving tools and tricks that will make meal prep easier. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five entertaining guides and learn how much food to shop for depending on your guest list, plus simple tablescape ideas and nice-to-have gadgets to make cooking a cinch.

5. 20-Second Place Setting — All it takes is a few seconds and classically finished flatware to create an elegant place at the table. Make your guests feel extra special by gifting them personalized name cards at their set spots.

4. DIY Kids’ Table — Let your little ones put the finishing touches on the kids’ table with paper placemats they can color, handmade pinecone crafts and a quick-fix apple dessert.

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A 2 a.m. Wake-Up, Dozens of Dinner Guests and a Rescue Ingredient: Thanksgiving According to Bobby Flay

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 10th, 2014

Bobby FlayWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, the countdown to all things turkey, potatoes and gravy is officially on. If you’ve begun to fret about how you’re going to execute the meal with ease this year, there’s reason to take comfort: At least you’re probably not cooking for 50 people. That’s how many guests are expected to show up at Bobby Flay‘s house on Thanksgiving, though in true Iron Chef fashion, Bobby has a surefire plan to approach the day. FN Dish recently checked in with Bobby on set and at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to learn more about his holiday traditions and find out what the trickiest part of meal prep is for him. Read on below to hear from Bobby in an exclusive interview, and learn the go-to ingredient he uses in five key ways on Thanksgiving (hint: you likely have it in your pantry now).

What does Thanksgiving look like at your house?
Bobby Flay: On the holiday, there are usually 50 people at my house that I cook for. It ranges from family to friends to … Basically, it’s just a tradition every year where I cook two 30-pound turkeys, and I usually theme the Thanksgiving. I actually haven’t thought about what it’s going to be this year …. But we usually pick a theme that has to do with an occurrence that has taken place in the world.

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Can You Iron Waffles Without an Iron? — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, November 9th, 2014

Steak, lasagna, chicken, potatoes — these dishes and more can be made in nearly any pan you have in the kitchen and can even move from the stove to the oven seamlessly. But when it comes to waffles, there’s just one all-important tool available for making them — or so Cutthroat Kitchen chefs thought before tonight’s all-new episode. In a doozy of a sabotage, Alton Brown auctioned off exclusive rights to the lone waffle iron in the kitchen, while other competitors were forced to tackle the waffle challenge using an ice cube tray and a metal meat mallet as their only cooking vessels.

Before the contestants attempted their next-level waffles with these seemingly oddball gadgets, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew got to work on the same sabotages to make sure they were indeed fair and possible given the tight time restraints in the competition. Click the play button on the video above to watch the tests unfold and see how the team turned out untraditional waffles with the ice cube tray and meat mallet.

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Ina’s Garlic Roasted Potatoes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 9th, 2014

Garlic Roasted PotatoesWhen it comes to rounding out your dinner menu with a few easy-to-make side dishes, look no further than potatoes. From mashing and pureeing to frying, grilling and sauteing, there’s no shortage of ways to prepare the humble spud, including Ina Garten’s preferred method of roasting, which is featured in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. She opts for a few pounds of small potatoes to make her five-star dish, which boasts bold flavor from fresh garlic and a final sprinkle of parsley before serving.

For more top-rated recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: 5-Star Recipes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Roasted Potatoes (pictured above)

“It’s My Favorite Cooking Holiday” — Alex Shares Her Thanksgiving Traditions and Tips

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 9th, 2014

Alex GuarnaschelliIf Valentine’s Day is a day for hopeless romantics, then Thanksgiving is surely one for the chefs among us. From the crowd of company seated at the dining room table to the crowning turkey centerpiece and the 10 or so side dishes flanking the buffet, it’s no surprise that those who enjoy cooking for strangers in restaurants would love even more to cook for their families at home, and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is no exception. “It’s my favorite cooking holiday,” Alex told FN Dish of turkey day when we caught up with her recently. For her, Thanksgiving comes twice — once at her restaurant and again with her family—and she notes, “I try to make everything from scratch.”

Read on below to hear more from Alex and find out her must-have bites on Thanksgiving, plus a few of her make-head tips for the feast.

What does Thanksgiving look like at your house? What kinds of traditions do you celebrate?
Alex Guarnaschelli: I have two Thanksgivings every year. The first one I do at the restaurant with my restaurant family, and we cook a whole big spread and we sit down, no matter how busy we are, and we take the time to hang out. And then I cook for my parents. My parents like to eat out in a restaurant, which is kind of embarrassing for a professional chef to be caught, busted, in a restaurant on Thanksgiving. So, if my parents really want to go out, we go out, but then I cook a whole spread at home for my daughter and my parents. And I try to make almost everything from scratch. It’s my favorite cooking holiday of the year. It’s a time, I think, when a chef just goes nuts and just does everything, and so I want to make sure I don’t miss anything.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Fall Produce?

by in In Season, Shows, November 8th, 2014

Fall ProduceWhile pumpkins and apples may receive most of the glory when it comes to seasonal autumn eats, the bounty of fall produce reaches far beyond them, as hearty potatoes, colorful carrots and bite-size Brussels sprouts make their way to the farmers markets this time of year. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts savored the flavors of fall by putting in-season ingredients to work in fresh, new ways, especially when it comes to ever-versatile cauliflower. Katie Lee, a no-nonsense pizza enthusiast, transformed cauliflower into a next-level pizza crust, while Marcela Valladolid roasted it with herbs and pickled peppers, and Sunny Anderson glazed cauliflower and treated it as a main dish.

Now that fall is in full swing, FN Dish wants to know what seasonal fruit or vegetable you’re most excited about enjoying. Are you a fan of fresh-from-the-orchard apples, or are you partial to tender-firm pears? Do you crave the subtle sweetness of butternut squash, or do you reach for golden sweet potatoes? Vote in the poll below to share your favorite fall produce.

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