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.

Perfect Your Mashed Potatoes: Top Secrets for Making Fluffy Spuds

by in Holidays, November 19th, 2014

How to Make Mashed PotatoesWhile a glossy, juicy turkey may be a hallmark of Thanksgiving, for many the meal wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of mashed potatoes alongside it — and perhaps a few glugs of gravy on top. The beauty of mashed potatoes is that, unlike many stuffings and casseroles, spuds require only a few ingredients to prepare and they come together quickly. Check out Food Network’s go-to tips below to turn out your fluffiest batch of mashed potatoes yet, then visit Thanksgiving Central for the complete mashed potato how-to.

Read more

Best 5 Ways to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 18th, 2014

Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon and Cornbread StuffingThe Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of your holiday spread and has the potential to be the most-remembered component of the feast, so when it comes to picking a recipe to help you make the bird, you want one you can trust. That’s where Food Network comes in. Stick to these classic, tried-and-true recipes to transform your turkey into a holiday showstopper — best of all, each is a can-do pick from one of your favorite chefs, like Anne Burrell, Alton Brown and Bobby Flay. Read on below to get their top turkey recipes, then visit Thanksgiving Central for more holiday inspiration.

5. Big, Brined Herby Turkey — The secret to Anne’s super-moist bird is her brining method. She lets the turkey chill in a salt water-herb bath for three days so the meat has a chance to absorb flavor before it cooks.

4. Good Eats Roast Turkey — With a 5-star rating and nearly 5,000 user reviews, Alton’s no-fail turkey is the ultimate in Thanksgiving simplicity. After brining the bird, he roasts it first at 500 degrees F so it develops a golden-brown exterior, then lowers the temperature as the meat turns moist and finishes cooking.

Read more

POLL: The Kitchen Gets Set for the Big Game

by in Shows, November 18th, 2014

BBQ Wings with Blue Cheese ButterNo matter what team you root for or how it currently stands in the league, there’s one element of football surely every fan can get excited about: the food. From cheesy, beefy nachos to Buffalo-blanketed chicken wings and juicy grilled sausages, there’s a game-day pick to please every palate. Now that football season is in full swing, The Kitchen wants to hear from you, the fans, to learn your tastes when it comes to game-day fare.

Vote in the polls below to share your favorites.

Read more

Giving Thanks for Turkey Suits — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 16th, 2014

There are some Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages that test a chef’s ability to think on his or her feet, make inferior ingredients shine on the plate and work with a rival under tense circumstances. Then there are sabotages that serve little purpose beyond time-wasting — but oftentimes it’s these seemingly over-the-top challenges that fans appreciate most. On tonight’s all-new Thanksgiving-themed episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown introduced the latest sabotage that’s sure to be counted among the most memorable with fans: The Turkey Suit.

Like the now-infamous souffle suit from Season 3, this heavily stuffed turkeylike contraption transformed one contestant into an oversize version of himself and forced the competitor to learn to perform basic movements with superfluous padding. “I couldn’t have anybody ride on a Thanksgiving turkey float, so we made this Thanksgiving turkey float costume,” Alton explained to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s After-Show. Lucky for Simon, Alton spared him the experience of donning the getup, as Alton noted, “Poor Chef Jake sweat approximately 6 liters of sweat into that.”

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more