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.

Make Mondays Meatless in 2014

by in Recipes, January 6th, 2014

Vegetarian PotpieWhether you’re a lifelong vegetarian, curious about meat-free cooking or even an unabashed meat lover, the Meatless Monday movement can be for you and your family. The idea is to enjoy meatless dishes one day per week — Monday or any other — not only for your own overall health but for that of the Earth as well. Here on FN Dish, we celebrate Meatless Monday each week by sharing vegetarian recipes for every meal that are seasonal, deliciously simple, family-friendly and cost-effective. This year, regardless of whether you’ve made a resolution to eat healthier or not, commit to trying one of these dishes plus other vegetarian favorites from Food Network every week; you’ll be dabbling in new flavors and ingredients while enjoying tried-and-true comfort foods — all in an effort to put out better-for-you meals.

The first Meatless Monday pick of 2014, Food Network Magazine’s Vegetarian Pot Pie (pictured above), is a fuss-free dinner ready to eat in only 40 minutes. Every bit as hearty as the classic chicken-laced variety, this meat-free casserole gets its heft from extra-firm tofu, which becomes full of flavor when simmered in a creamy sauce of carrots, onions and mushrooms. This easy-to-make supper conveniently requires only one pan (be sure it’s ovenproof, as it needs to move from stove to oven) and comes together quickly thanks to a topping of toasted, buttered bread rather than pastry dough from scratch.

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Best-Ever Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages and Giada’s Take on the Competition

by in Shows, January 6th, 2014


Now into its second season, Cutthroat Kitchen has welcomed dozens of chefs into the arena for a competition based on culinary skill, determination and, above all else, sabotage. To succeed in this cutthroat battle, it’s not enough to turn out deliciously inventive dishes; chefs need to think quickly and adapt in order to survive challenges that will inevitably befall them, like mandatory oddball ingredients, prohibited utensils and unconventional cooking devices.

Just in time for yesterday’s special episode of Cutthroat Kitchen wherein Alton hosted his first-ever guest judge, the queen of Italian cuisine, Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network looked back on some of the most-hilarious, unbelievable and downright evilicious sabotages to ever befall competitors. Many of the most-memorable challenges have involved inferior gadgets and utensils: mini pots, cheese graters and whisks made for children, plastic knives instead of steel ones and chopsticks in place of all other tools.

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Did You See What Giada Had to Eat? — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 5th, 2014

From prohibited cooking utensils to forced ingredient swaps and mandatory products, Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are the ultimate in culinary challenges. While these sabotages may send contestants into fits of panic during the competition, most rivals manage to turn out acceptable dishes for the judge of the day. No matter if chefs unapologetically show off or brilliantly hide the obstacles that befell them, it’s up to the judges to taste the plates before them and unknowingly eat sometimes hilariously inferior ingredients.

That’s what happened on today’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen when special guest Giada De Laurentiis stopped by to judge. In Round 2, Chef La Salle presented her with a dish of chicken and waffles, but instead of using fresh chicken, Chef La Salle featured canned chicken. This chicken, which was packed in liquid, was first ground through a food processor and ultimately turned into chicken pate. When Giada finally saw — and smelled — the canned chicken firsthand during Alton’s After-Show, she couldn’t help but look away and hold her nose to avoid the stench. “The whole thing really reeks,” she admitted of the meat before Alton told her, “You put that in your mouth.”

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Garlic-Roasted Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 5th, 2014

Garlic-Roasted ChickenJust when you think you’ve exhausted every chicken dinner recipe available, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is offering one more tried-and-true supper that’s sure to become a weeknight pick in your home. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Food Network Magazine’s Garlic-Roasted Chicken (pictured above) is a top-rated family favorite that’s ready to eat in only 30 quick minutes. This one-pan recipe calls for two heads of garlic, but don’t be worried about a pungent garlic flavor; the cloves are roasted whole inside their paper, which makes them become soft and sweet in the oven.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Garlic-Roasted Chicken

Tool Takedown Poll: Which Gadgets Do You Prefer?

by in Shows, January 4th, 2014

The Kitchen's Tool TakedownThe New Year brings with it the chance for fresh starts and clean slates, and in the spirit of new beginnings, The Kitchen‘s co-hosts set out to help you declutter your kitchen once and for all by ridding it of nonessential gadgets. On the series premiere this morning, Jeff, Geoffrey, Katie, Sunny and Marcela kicked off the show’s first-ever Tool Takedown, a segment dedicated to finding out which of those specialized tools, like strawberry hullers and egg yolk separators are in fact more efficient than traditional, everyday items you likely already have on hand, like a simple knife.

Although the worth of each gadget comes down to personal preference, the group found after a few rounds of friendly competition that while all of the tasks can be done with paring or chef’s knives — or by hand — the dedicated tools may be nice to have if you want to involve kids in the cooking or if you don’t mind how neatly the job gets done.

FN Dish wants to know which tools you prefer. Are you hooked on specialized gadgets like strawberry hullers and avocado cubers, or do you rely on everyday knives to get the job done? Vote in the poll below to tell us which tools you use.

Cast your vote

Cutthroat Kitchen Outtakes: Behind the Scenes with Alton and Giada

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2014


Fans of Cutthroat Kitchen may think that, given the timed pantry shopping, high-stakes bidding and ruthless sabotaging that takes place in each and every round, there would be few opportunities for laughs or games in the midst of the competition. But Giada De Laurentiis disproves that idea this week when she drops by to guest judge a special episode of the show. She and Alton Brown, longtime colleagues and familiar judge-mentors on Food Network Star, have seemingly developed an almost sibling-like relationship, so it’s no surprise that when they teamed up on Cutthroat Kitchen, playful bickering and well-meaning, friendly scoffs ensued.

Just in time for this Sunday’s episode with Giada, airing at 10pm/9c, we’re giving FN Dish readers the first look at some of the most-hilarious bloopers from the show. Click the play button on the video above to watch bonus outtakes of Giada and Alton in action, and see how these two worked together.

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Happening Saturday: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Twitter Takeover

by in Community, Shows, January 2nd, 2014

Geoffrey ZakarianGeoffrey Zakarian may be an all-star Iron Chef, a no-nonsense Chopped judge and, most recently, one of five co-hosts to join Food Network’s brand-new series The Kitchen. But for one hour this Saturday, Jan. 4, he’ll prove that he’s a social media maven too.

To coincide with Saturday’s series premiere of The Kitchen, Geoffrey will take over Food Network’s Twitter account, @FoodNetwork, beginning when the show starts at 11am/10c. He’ll be live tweeting until noon, giving fans an all-access look at the making of The Kitchen and sharing behind-the-scenes snapshots of him and his fellow co-hosts, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson, and insider tidbits about what fans can expect from the group this season.

Stay tuned to Food Network’s Twitter page this Saturday beginning at 11am and tweet @FoodNetwork using #TheKitchen to hear from Geoffrey and ask him your most-pressing questions about The Kitchen. He may answer some of them online.

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Restaurant Revisited: Clueless in the Country at Heather’s Country Kitchen

by in Shows, January 1st, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile the inferior food and uninspired decor were in desperate need of Robert Irvine‘s attention when he arrived at Heather’s Country Kitchen in Plains, Mont., owner Heather Worrall’s lack of leadership was of far more concern to Robert, given how little Heather seemed to know about running her business. With just two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, it was up to Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team to overhaul all aspects of Heather’s Country Kitchen and to give Heather the tools she needed to manage her business alongside her family so they could ultimately reopen Heather’s as a welcoming business with a confident leader at the helm. Read on below to hear from Heather and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

“Business was really steady” immediately after filming, according to Heather, who says that the updated design “makes you smile when you walk in the door.” She adds, “People just love the new flooring. Everyone wants to know where it was purchased so they can put it in their homes.”

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Enter for a Chance to Win an Apron Signed by the Cast of The Kitchen

by in Contests, December 31st, 2013

Enter for a Chance to Win an Apron Signed by the Cast of The KitchenFor the first time ever, five of your favorite Food Network stars are coming together every weekend for the ultimate celebration of everyone’s favorite room in the house: the kitchen. On their all-new Saturday-morning series, The Kitchen, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson will cook their favorite tried-and-true recipes together while sharing their top tips for making easy family meals, saving money at the supermarket and getting the most out of everyday kitchen gadgets.

Just in time for the premiere this Saturday, Jan. 4 at 11am/10c, FN Dish is giving away aprons signed by all five co-hosts of The Kitchen to four lucky, randomly selected fans. To enter to win an apron, leave a comment below telling FN Dish what you’re most excited about seeing on The Kitchen.

Read official rules before entering

Guy’s Ginger-Carrot Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 30th, 2013

Carrot-Ginger SoupWhile some soups and stews require hours of slow simmering to achieve their fullest flavor, long cooking times aren’t always required, and it’s indeed possible to turn out a ready-to-eat bowl in well under an hour. Guy Fieri’s big-batch recipe for Ginger-Carrot Soup (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is one such fuss-free dish, as it can be simply and quickly prepared on a weeknight.

The flavors of fresh carrots and subtle spicy ginger naturally complement each other, and in Guy’s family-friendly soup, they’re combined with sweet caramelized onions and garlic for added depth of flavor. Thanks to a few russet potatoes, Guy manages to make the texture of this soup creamlike, although there’s no heavy cream used; when the potatoes are cooked and pureed along with the rest of the vegetables, their starch will naturally thicken the broth. Just before serving, top each bowl with a tangy mixture of Greek yogurt and thyme, and finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts for welcome crunch.

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