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.

Keith Simpson Helps Clients Buy This Restaurant on an All-New Series

by in Shows, January 9th, 2014

Keith SimpsonWhen it comes to investing in a house, few things could be worse for buyers than making a rash or an uninformed decision on which property to turn into their dream home. It takes a professional real estate agent with experience in the market and the keen awareness of a family’s needs to ultimately help them decide on the best space for them. So when budding restaurateurs are in the market for a location to launch their brand-new business, they, too, turn to the master; and in the world of restaurant real estate, that title belongs to Keith Simpson.

On his all-new upcoming series, Buy This Restaurant, premiering Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 9pm/8c, a longtime real estate maven and former chef, Keith will work with aspiring restaurant owners to help them track down not just any available building but one ideal for their future business. Each week Keith will introduce three potential spaces to all-new clients and show off lifelike renderings of the would-be eateries. Thanks to his trained eye and years of experience in the industry, Keith will be able to see past the emptiness and mess of particular buildings, envision the possible improvements after construction and design updates, and ultimately guide the buyers as they make the best-possible purchase for themselves.

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#TBT: Michael Symon

by in Food Network Chef, January 9th, 2014

Michael SymonIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

Now a long-standing Iron Chef, Michael Symon had to earn his place in Kitchen Stadium through weeks of hard-fought battles on the first-ever season of The Next Iron Chef. He faced off against top rival chefs in the hopes of claiming the ultimate prize, and finally in 2007, Michael joined the ranks of The Chairman’s elite. He’s been battling competitors with sweet and savory Secret Ingredients ever since.

When it comes to his cooking style, Michael often celebrates the flavors of his Greek heritage and is especially keen on pork — any and all cuts of it. This meat man doesn’t shy away from bold flavors, letting everyday seasonal ingredients shine in order to create the freshest dishes, like Stewed Escarole with Feta, Grilled Rack of Pork with Cabbageand Chicken-and-Dumpling Soup. Fans appreciate Michael’s straightforward approach to his recipes and ability to combine Kitchen Stadium-worthy flavor with home cook-friendly techniques — not to mention his signature, unmistakable laugh.

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Chicken Thighs Are the New Bacon? Yes, According to Jeff Mauro

by in Recipes, January 8th, 2014

Grilled Citrus-Marinated Chicken ThighsThe new year is full of uncertain futures and vast possibilities, and often with those come predictions for what will be especially hot topics and what will be old news over the next 12 months. Mere days into 2014, Jeff Mauro revealed on last week’s premiere episode of The Kitchen that among the year’s food trends, he thinks chicken thighs will gain huge popularity — and perhaps even replace the ever-present bacon.

While few eat an entire plate of bacon for supper, chicken thighs are indeed a meal in and of themselves, and, best of all, they’re simple to cook and easy on the wallet. Since thighs tend to be a bit fattier than chicken breasts, they’re far more flavorful, and can be prepared in any number of ways. Try roasting them with garlic, grilling them with fresh herbs and citrusor braising them in a rich sauce. No matter how you cook chicken thighs, you can be sure you’ll end up with juicy, tender meat that the whole family will enjoy.

Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite chicken thigh recipes after the jump, then tell FN Dish in the comments below what food trends you’re hoping to see in 2014.

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One-on-One with Katie Lee from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 8th, 2014

Katie LeeYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Katie Lee, and keep checking back to hear from Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Katie Lee: I think simplicity is best. Use really great ingredients, and you don’t have to do a lot to them.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
KL: When I first heard about this show, I thought it sounded like so much fun. The kitchen is truly the hangout heart of my home; everybody’s always in there. And to get in this kitchen with these people, it’s such a joy and so much fun.

Hear more from Katie

One-on-One with Jeff Mauro from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 7th, 2014

The KitchenYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Sandwich King Jeff Mauro, and keep checking back to hear from Katie, Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Jeff Mauro: I’m a true dad home cook: I do it, I live it, and I want to be able to provide my family with the freshest, healthiest food in all shapes and sizes and forms.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
JM: Other than being on Food Network, my dream was to have a talk show format where I can improvise, be funny and cook all at the same time, while interacting with other people, so to me it’s a dream come true.

Hear more from Jeff

One-on-One with Geoffrey Zakarian from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 6th, 2014

The KitchenYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian today, and keep checking back to hear from Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Geoffrey Zakarian: Classically rooted with a modern edge

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
GZ: I just love working with Food Network, but I love the composition of the show, and that we talk about all kinds of things …. The kitchen is where everything happens, basically.

Hear more from Geoffrey

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

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