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.

“This Is Fun, Isn’t It?” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2015

It’s no secret that Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown is game to try his hands at the eviliciousness he forces upon the competitors. Not only has he bobbed for doughnuts and walked the hamster wheel with Jet Tila, but he’s jumped into the ball pit with Simon Majumdar. On the latest installment of his After-Show, however, Alton sat out one sabotage in particular and made Antonia Lofaso take it on instead.

It was up to Antonia to blindly choose which challenge among three that she’d attempt, all of which Alton said “were especially cunning and horrible,” and ultimately she was saddled with making hushpuppies in the Hush Puppet Theatre. In true Antonia fashion, she quickly gauged the demands of the mirrored sabotage and adapted to its oddball stresses. But no sooner did she begin prep work of her hushpuppies did she encounter an unexpected challenge: Alton chatting next to her. “Shh. You’re confusing me,” she joked with him. As he wasn’t competing in this sabotage alongside her, he — and his chef hand puppet — could focus on making sure that she appreciated all of the eviliciousness this sabotage had to offer. But even though Alton may have stopped Antonia’s train of culinary thought, she looked to the host to help her in grabbing necessary equipment around the kitchen. “This is fun, isn’t it?” Alton asked the judge, though she wasn’t eager to agree. “This is actually the worst challenge I’ve ever been a part of,” Antonia admitted. No matter her struggles, she indeed managed to turn out impressive hushpuppies, as she said after seeing them for the first time, “These look fantastic.”

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Easy, Healthy Roasted Salmon — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 22nd, 2015

Maple-Mustard Roasted SalmonMuch like chicken breasts, salmon fillets can be treated like culinary blank canvases, ready for whatever marinade or sauce you want to prepare or serve with them. And since they cook quickly — most in mere minutes — they’re a go-to dinner on even the busiest of weeknights. In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, tangy Dijon mustard and sweet maple syrup combine in a fast-fix recipe to create a bold topping for Food Network Kitchen’s good-for-you salmon. Just smear the mixture atop the fish, then bake it for a few minutes, and finish with fragrant cilantro for a fresh finish.

For more light but satisfying meals, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Mustard-Maple Roasted Salmon

3 Times the Turkey on The Kitchen

by in Holidays, Recipes, Shows, November 21st, 2015

No matter how many side dishes you’ve prepared or how lovely your tablescape may be on Thanksgiving, when it’s finally time for dinner on turkey day, your friends and family will be looking for, well, the turkey. This year, guarantee your juiciest, most-impressive bird yet with the help of the cast of The Kitchen. On this morning’s brand-new episode, the co-hosts shared a trio of holiday-worthy turkey recipes for both classic and creative takes on the traditional bird. Check out their picks below, then hear from all five co-hosts as they offer tried-and-true Thanksgiving hacks.

By cooking the turkey in pieces, as opposed to cooking a full, intact bird, Jeff Mauro guarantees his Easy Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey takes far less time to cook than a roasted turkey usually would. He dry brines the turkey with a salt rub, then roasts it with fresh celery, onion and garlic, as well as plenty of butter, for top taste.

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The 9 Best Cocktails to Toast to Thanksgiving

by in Drinks, Holidays, November 20th, 2015

Cider PunchTurkey day may be all about the, um, turkey, but that doesn’t mean your Thanksgiving guests won’t appreciate a refreshing sipper or two to celebrate the holiday. This holiday season, instead of serving everyday beer and wine, try infusing some of the flavors of fall, like cranberries and apple cider, into easy-to-make cocktails. Check out Food Network’s best Thanksgiving cocktails below to see how it’s done.

Cider Punch
Instead of playing bartender all night and shaking your guests’ individual drinks, mix up Food Network Magazine’s big-batch apple cider-cinnamon punch spiked with apple brandy; let guests help themselves.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Fight to the Finish at Stella’s Dine-Inn Restaurant

by in Shows, November 19th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAfter hearing from her daughter that Stacey, the owner of Stella’s Dine-Inn Restaurant, needed help, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible crew ambushed Stacey in an effort to rescue her New Kensington, Pa., eatery. When Robert arrived, he and his team were not only forced to contend with an oversize space that required a massive transformation, but also a sister-brother feud between Stacey and Dom, the cook at Stella’s. Read on below to hear from Stacey a few months after Stella’s reopening to see how the business is faring today.

Business has improved considerably since Robert and team completed their renovation of Stella’s, according to Stacey. “The first week after the show we did over half of our September sales. The second week we surpassed our September sales,” she explains. “The third week we did more than all of July and August.” She adds that the updated decor has gone over well, as she notes that the look “is so open and fresh.”

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Food Network Chefs Answer: “What Do You Do with All Those Thanksgiving Leftovers?”

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 19th, 2015

Alex GuarnaschelliThere are two schools of thought when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers: classic and creative. You can either keep the day-after eats exceedingly simple, with fixings smashed between slices of bread for rustic sandwiches, or you can dress up the goods that remain and turn them into all-new meals worthy of their holiday. FN Dish checked in with some of your favorite Food Network chefs to see how they put leftovers to work, and as it turns out, they, too, lean toward either easy-does-it sandwiches or inspired, next-level creations. Read on below to see what they have to say, and then leave a comment telling us how your family enjoys leftovers.

Alex Guarnaschelli

The first day, you eat a sandwich, you eat a salad, you’re just kind of eating, you’re grazing again, because you’re having the meal again. But, then the day after, if you still have a lot of leftovers, you’ve got to get creative, because people start to get that look in their eye, like they want to order a pizza. I like to make what’s called a hachis parmentier, which is like a shepherd’s pie. And you just chop up whatever turkey meat — and this way you can use the not-so-pretty pieces and the little scraps — and put that in the bottom of some gravy or some stock and then cover it with the leftover mash or the leftover potato gratin, or the leftover sweet potatoes, and you bake it with a layer of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top, until it gets all bubbly. And it’s sort of, like, a really beautiful garbage to throw all your leftovers in, bake it and have, like, this delicious, bubbling hot thing.

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Host vs. Judge vs. Doom Cake — Alton’s Superstar Sabotage After-Show

by in Shows, November 19th, 2015

If Chef Rocco DiSpirito’s struggle with this challenge was any indication, Alton Brown‘s black-and-white prep station, which demands identically mirrored, side-by-side cooking with both hands, is one doozy of a sabotage. The chef ultimately lost the Heat 3 battle of the Superstar Sabotage tournament to Chef Fabio Viviani on account of mismatched sweetness levels in his cake halves. But after Fabio claimed the crown, Alton and Jet Tila, the judge of the day, tried their hands at the same black-and-white workstation to see who could turn out the batter for Alton’s evilicious Doom Cake recipe — which, the host admitted, “doesn’t actually make cake, by the way” — in the least amount of time.

It didn’t take Jet long to realize the demands of the challenge, especially as he encountered the second ingredient in Alton’s cake: a mere 7 ounces, not a full 8-ounce cup, of milk. “You are so evil. I got to tell you,” the judge told Alton. While both guys looked to creative shortcuts while working one-handed, when Alton took his turn at the sabotage, he managed to finish the recipe nearly a minute faster than Jet did, though the host admitted to the judge, “I think your batters are more consistent.”

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One-on-One with the Heat 3 Winner of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage

by in Shows, November 18th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar SabotageAlton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including grandmas, firefighters, the judges he keeps on hand and the A-list chefs on Superstar Sabotage. In this brand-new series, 16 all-star professionals, all renowned in their field, have agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most will ultimately fall in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few will shine — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in the tournament finale. Check back to FN Dish after each episode to hear from the latest round’s winner in an exclusive interview. If you haven’t watched tonight’s new episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and outs of the battle.

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Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About Pumpkin

by in Community, Shows, November 17th, 2015

Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About PumpkinThough Halloween has come and gone, pumpkin season is still upon us as we look ahead to Thanksgiving; after all, what’s turkey day without a sweet slice of pumpkin pie to finish the feast, right? In honor of last night’s Season 2 premiere of Guilty Pleasures, which showcased your favorite chefs’ picks of Thanksgiving-inspired eats from coast to coast, Food Network asked you, fans watching at home, to show us your best-ever pumpkin plates. And in true superfan fashion, you showed off some droolworthy creations. Keep on reading to see our favorites.

On their own, pancakes are among the most-indulgent breakfasts to wake up to. But when you add pumpkin, like Jose Antonio Garcia does with this butter-topped stack, this morning meal turns into a next-level treat.

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Bobby Flay Calls This Everyday Ingredient “the Key to Thanksgiving”

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 16th, 2015

Bobby FlayThere are myriad things and people without which Thanksgiving would not be complete: the turkey, the potatoes, the pumpkin puree, the gravy and, of course, your family and friends. But according to Bobby Flay, there’s just one ingredient that is “the key to Thanksgiving” — that one must-have product that will help marry the elements of the meal and ensure a successful feast.

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