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.

5 Ways to Get Your Frosty On with Frozen Margaritas

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 1st, 2015

Frozen MargaritasWe’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.

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Food Network’s In the Kitchen App Available on Apple Watch

by in News, April 30th, 2015

Food Network's In the Kitchen App Available on Apple WatchBy now you’ve heard the news that Apple launched the first-of-its-kind Apple Watch late last week, allowing users to message friends, track fitness goals, check news and scores, and more. But did you know that Food Network’s award-winning In the Kitchen app is now available on Apple Watch? For you Food Network fans, this means more ways to keep up with your must-watch shows and interact with your favorite chefs’ recipes.

If you’ve already opened up your Apple Watch, or you’re waiting for that coveted delivery to show up at your doorstep, here’s what you need to know about using In the Kitchen on the Watch:

  • No matter what day or time it is, you can check out what’s airing on Food Network at that very moment, and what will be on next.
  • For most shows, you can see which recipes your favorite Food Network star is making on that particular episode.
  • If you see a recipe you like, you can add it to your Recipe Box to make sure you don’t lose track of it.
  • Once you’re on your phone or tablet, open your Recipe Box to have the recipe at your fingertips in the kitchen.

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Restaurant Revisited: Going Down with the Ship at Gigi’s Music Cafe

by in Shows, April 29th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Gigi’s Music Cafe in Sunrise, Fla., he found a restaurant suffering from not just one culinary or staff issue, but a host of problems that had come to plague this three-year-old eatery. Owner Gigi Brown was struggling to recognize the dire situation her business was in, while her daughter Semone Brown-Mobley, who manages the restaurant, was forced to contend with the consequences of her mother’s decisions. They looked to Robert to streamline their financials and improve the scope of service, but perhaps most important was their need for an overhauled menu, as Gigi’s had relied heavily on the microwave. In true Irvine fashion, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team accepted this mission with gusto, working with Gigi and Semone both on land and at sea to give them the second chance they deserved. Read on below to hear from Semone to find out how Gigi’s is faring today.

“Sales have went up 40 percent in this last month,” Semone says, adding that in terms of her and her mother’s responsibilities at Gigi’s, “Me and my mother still have the same roles. She is helping more with the books and payroll. I still maintain the staff.”

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Food Network Star, Season 11: The Search for Star Power Is On This Summer

by , April 29th, 2015
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Bobby Flay and Giada De LaurentiisThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, and then there's Food Network Star: an 11-week journey that demands from its hopefuls not just a solid resume and a memorable first impression, but simply flawless culinary technique, a...

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6 Recipes That Prove You Should Be Eating More French Toast

by in Recipes, April 28th, 2015

Challah French ToastForget about the soggy, egg-logged pieces of French toast you may be used to, because with the help of these best-ever breakfast recipes, you can turn out a hearty morning meal that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. In terms of flavor in your French toast, that largely comes from the custard in which the bread soaks. While a sweetened vanilla mixture is perhaps the most classic, you can dress up the original to include fresh citrus, like Ina Garten does, or add melted chocolate for next-level richness, as is the case in Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe. Read on below for these how-tos, plus more creative French toast picks.

Challah French Toast — Consider this your ultimate French toast workhouse recipe. Ready to eat in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch breakfast (pictured above) is made with thick-cut challah bread and becomes rich and moist thanks to a soak in a citrus-laced vanilla custard. When it comes to toppings, stick with classic maple syrup, or opt for raspberry preserves and a dusting of sugar — or pile on all three fixings for a decadent finish.

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Scrambled Egg Subs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 27th, 2015

Scrambled Egg SubsWhile breakfast for dinner may be part of the usual suppertime routine in many homes, you most likely look to a standard stack of pancakes or a platter of eggs and bacon to get the job done. But the options for morning meals at dinner indeed go beyond the traditional. Think Food Network Kitchen’s cinnamon-scented Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs laced with nutty Gruyère cheese, or the Scrambled Egg Subs (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.

Instead of featuring scrambled eggs alongside toast, this quick-fix recipe has them stuffed inside buttered hot dog buns for a heartier dish. The secret to turning out soft, fluffy scrambled eggs — and not tough, dry ones — is to not overcook the eggs. Here the eggs come together over medium heat, so they’re not scorched right away, and only when they’ve begun to set is it time to add the fresh herbs and melty cheese, like Havarti or Muenster, for over-the-top gooeyness. A handful of fresh scallions in the eggs promises a subtle, welcome bite, while a cool side salad of radishes and celery rounds out the fuss-free meal in a hurry.

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“That Is a Huge Tip” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, April 26th, 2015

By now Cutthroat Kitchen superfans know that when it comes to evaluating the plates before them, judges assess just three elements of the offering: its taste, its presentation and whether or not it reminds them of the challenge dish at hand. While that indeed seems simple enough, Alton Brown and Jet Tila discussed a common mistake chefs make when facing off in battle: muddling their dishes with non-essential components.

During tonight’s installment of the After-Show, the two looked back on Heat 2 of the Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament and a sabotage that introduced what Alton deemed to be “a distraction” to chefs’ dishes. The sabotage at hand afforded one chef sole control over the ingredients needed to make chicken-fried steak and another chef control over the required tools. It was up to them to share both sets of items, considering what they wanted to keep for themselves and what they’d be willing to part with. As for the cornmeal Jet found within the ingredient basket, Alton explained, “That’s a distraction, ’cause what it says is ‘Hey, make a side.'” Jet agreed, adding that the distinction between what’s required of the test at hand and what isn’t is a key to success in this contest. “That is a huge tip,” Jet noted. “Make the challenge and don’t go crazy.”

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Chicken Tostadas — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, April 26th, 2015

Chicken TostadasWhen it comes to Mexican night at home, tacos often steal the show, but with the help of this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, you can dig into your favorite flavors and ingredients in an all-new way. Just like a taco, the tostada features a corn tortilla base, but instead of being folded and filled, it’s kept flat and then fried so you can pile on the toppings. This recipe starts with a smear of refried beans, then layers lime-marinated chicken, cool lettuce and a mix of classic fixings, like creamy avocado and fresh-tomato salsa, for an over-the-top bite.

For more dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tostadas (pictured above)

Jeff’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese: Layer by Gooey Layer

by in Food Network Chef, April 25th, 2015

Jeff MauroAs Food Network’s official Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro is no stranger to between-bread creations, and on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, he joined Geoffrey Zakarian for a Flavor Bombs segment focusing on one sandwich in particular: the grilled cheese. For GZ, the next-level taste came in the form of rich, hearty brioche bread, which promised to give heft to his over-the-top grilled cheese, while Jeff added a bold punch of spice to his jalapeno-spiked recipe.

FN Dish caught up with Jeff on the set of The Kitchen to get his take on what it takes to build not just an everyday grilled cheese but his ultimate, best-ever grilled cheese. From the necessary thickness of the slice of bread to sliced-versus-shredded cheese thoughts, read on below to hear from Jeff and find out what he considers to be “the four best bites” of the sandwich.

The Bread:
“White bread — country white, because it’s usually a little sweeter. It’s got a little more density to it,” Jeff says. “Thick slices, but you don’t want to get too thick. You want to get not, like, your standard bagged sandwich bread, but something a little heartier. But not Texas toast. It’s got to be thin enough to let that heat rise to the interior to goo out the cheese. But it can’t be too thin, where you’re going to take it off [the heat] and it’s going to be floppy. I hate floppy grilled cheese. [Also,] butter on my grilled cheese. Yes.”

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Ina Garten Wins James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Host

by in Food Network Chef, News, April 25th, 2015

Ina GartenIf next month’s James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards Gala is the Oscars of the culinary industry, then last night’s James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards was the Golden Globes of the food world — at least according to the president of the James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro. At Manhattan’s Pier Sixty, nestled along the Hudson River with sprawling views of a shining city sunset, Ungaro joined more than 100 esteemed award nominees, plus revered chefs and tastemakers, and host Carla Hall, to celebrate the very best works in food media.

From the Photography and Podcast categories to that of the Personal Essay, the winners took the stage one by one to accept their James Beard medals and reflect on the journeys that brought them to that podium. Perhaps, however, no other award was more sought-after than the medal for Outstanding Personality/Host, as it was saved until nearly the end of the evening. For the second year in a row, Food Network’s Ina Garten earned the win in this venerable category for her hit show Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. Before and after her name was announced, the crowd looked back on familiar scenes from her show, as well as some of Ina’s most-mouthwatering recipes, which in true Ina form, she delivered with the relaxed and welcoming air that only she could provide.

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