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.

Giada De Laurentiis Ushers In the 15th South Beach Wine & Food Festival with Italian Bites on the Beach

by in Events, February 26th, 2016

2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThink beyond burgers, chicken tenders and frozen cocktails because when Giada throws a beach party, the name of the game is Italian fare. She kicked off the South Beach Wine & Food Festival last night with Italian Bites on the Beach, a seaside soiree worthy of the festival’s landmark 15th anniversary. Featuring everything from pasta and pizza to sweet tiramisu-inspired treats and flowing red wine, this sold-out event brought together chefs from across the country for an evening of walk-around tastings and dancing in the sand to a live band.

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Join Us at the 2016 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Community, Events, February 23rd, 2016

Join Us at the 2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalNothing breaks up the seemingly constant deluge of winter’s snow, sleet and slush quite like a getaway to a sunny beach, and this weekend all eyes will be on the Florida coast as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival returns to Miami. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the South Beach festival, which begins tomorrow, February 24, and runs through Sunday, February 28; this means that the parties will be grander, the music a bit louder, and the eats and drinks a bit bolder as your favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel chefs make their way to the sand to celebrate the weekend.

If you’ve purchased a ticket or two, get set to mingle with stars like Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli and Robert Irvine as they bring their best beachside bites to life at walk-around tastings, intimate sit-down dinners and late-night bashes alike. But if you can’t head south this weekend, be sure to stay tuned to FN Dish all weekend long. Our editors will be onsite at the festival’s fan-favorite events, including Rachael Ray’s famed Burger Bash and Duff Goldman’s Sweet 15: A Dessert Party, bringing you all the sights, sounds and tastes up close.

For the first time ever, this year Food Network will be broadcasting live on Facebook from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival as we stream segments from the Grand Tasting on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Check out Food Network’s Facebook page at about 2:45 p.m. EST both days to catch Alex and Robert hosting Saturday’s event and then Anne Burrell and Andrew Zimmern hosting Sunday’s. They’ll be chatting about the ins and outs of the festival and answering all of your questions live, so get ready to post a question as you watch.

Find out at which events you can find our editors this weekend: Read more

Broccoli Pesto Pizza — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 22nd, 2016

Broccoli Pesto PizzaHomemade pizza in 30 minutes — yes, it’s possible, and it’s shockingly easy to pull off. The key to any speedy pie is a ready-to-go pizza dough so you’re not waiting on the yeast to rise. After that, it’s all about layering the sauce and toppings and baking it for just a few minutes.

In this go-to recipe for Broccoli Pesto Pizza, a store-bought whole-wheat dough provides the crust for this fuss-free pie, while a blanket of no-cook broccoli-basil pesto serves as the base layer of flavor on top. When it comes to the cheese, opt for a creamy, crumbly goat cheese for a welcome tangy bite in place of the usual mozzarella, and add fresh tomato slices for brightness. After just a quick bake in the oven, finish this top-rated pizza by sprinkling it with nutty Parmesan, fragrant basil and red pepper flakes for subtle heat.

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The Making of a Culinary Wingman — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 21st, 2016

Where there are cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, there’s also likely a wingman, and that principle of barhopping held true on tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. Host Alton Brown turned one chef into a literal winged man during a cocktail-and-hors d’oeuvres challenge, strapping Chef Joshua’s arms into a feathered harness that outstretched both of his arms for the duration of Round 1. But before this feathered sabotage could make an appearance at auction, the Cutthroat culinary crew had to bring it to life in a test — not with a set of wings yet, but with perhaps the next-best thing, a broom handle.

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Trisha’s Easy Banana Pudding — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 21st, 2016

Banana PuddingCakes, cookies and pies often claim the dessert-spread spotlight, but there’s indeed room for another creamy favorite to join the sweet party. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, a gooey, rich banana pudding from Trisha Yearwood, wows the crowd with layer upon layer of decadent flavors, like classic vanilla wafers, fresh banana and a fluffy meringue topping. Perhaps best of all is that Trisha’s top-rated treat is easy to prepare and will feed a crowd, making it a go-to showstopper for your next get-together.

For more sweet ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Banana Pudding

Popcorn Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

by in Recipes, Shows, February 20th, 2016

Silver and Golden Popcorn Confetti Bundt CakeNo matter if you’re a butter-and-salt purist, a fan of the vibrant-orange cheese powder or a sweets lover who’s craving all things gooey caramel, the popcorn you’re most used to having is likely simply popped and served in a big ol’ bucket or bag. But these puffy corn kernels can indeed rise above the ordinary toppings and presentation — all it takes is a few how-tos. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast introduced a duo of next-level takes on popcorn just in time for awards season, which celebrates perhaps the ultimate popcorn-eating pastime: movie watching. Read on below for two sweet and savory renditions, both easy to make and endlessly impressive.

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Vegetarian Sloppy Joes — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 15th, 2016

Vegetarian Sloppy JoesGround beef may be the usual centerpiece of a classic sloppy joe, but these family-friendly favorites can indeed be made meatless. All it takes is one key ingredient: tofu. Even if you think you’re not a fan of tofu or if you’ve simply never tried it before, we’re here to tell you that it’s just what you need to use in these hearty, flavor-packed Vegetarian Sloppy Joes from Food Network Magazine.

Since tofu on its own is mild, it picks up the taste of whatever you cook it in; think of it as a blank culinary canvas. And when you opt for the extra-firm tofu, which this recipe calls for, it can be crumbled and sauteed just like ground meat. Here it’s simmered in a homemade sloppy joe sauce studded with fresh vegetables and laced with bold chili and garlic powders, plus tangy ketchup and a splash of chili sauce. For added taste and texture, finish each sloppy joe with a slice of gooey cheddar cheese and crunchy pickles, then round out the dish with a tried-and-true sloppy joe side dish: golden Tater Tots.

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“No Bowl, No Dignity” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 14th, 2016

Where there’s a kitchen mixer there’s often a mixing bowl, right? Wrong, in fact. At least insofar as Cutthroat Kitchen is concerned. On tonight’s brand-new chocolate-themed episode, chefs were forced to prep chocolate cookies with a trio of diabolical mixing devices, including a stand mixer that forbid the use of an accompanying bowl, which meant one competitor was left using his hands to keep the batter fixings together. If such a challenge seems too evilicious to overcome, the Cutthroat culinary crew is here to dispel those worries: Jamie Peterson tested this very sabotage and the results were downright surprising.

“I’ve set up a baking sheet underneath my stand mixer because I’m going to need to catch all of the product that’s going to come running out of it and going everywhere,” Jamie explained of his first steps of prep. After that, the name of the game was keeping the speed on slow and using his hands to form the ingredients. “Time is definitely going to be an issue with this sabotage,” he explained as he attempted to combine the butter and sugar. “This is a very time-consuming process.” Despite the minor chaos of the flour mixture being incorporated — “It’s going everywhere,” Jamie revealed — he managed to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ones, and he was able to form the dough into balls for baking. “No bowl, no dignity — I still came out with chocolate cookies,” he said after tasting the results. While perhaps a bit tricky to manage, this sabotage was indeed ready for auction, thanks to the golden finished product.

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Giada’s Top-Rated Mozzarella Sticks — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 14th, 2016

Mozzarella SticksCrispy on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside, mozzarella sticks are a go-to bar snack, but with the help of this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, you don’t need to belly up to the bar to enjoy them. Giada De Laurentiis’ 5-star recipe comes together with only a handful of ingredients, including creamy fresh mozzarella, which stars in the filling. In place of a traditional breadcrumb blanket, Giada opts for a coating that’s laced with Parmesan cheese, which offers a rich, slightly nutty flavor. Serve the fried sticks with a homemade tomato-garlic sauce for hands-on dipping.

For more snack inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Game Day board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Mozzarella Sticks

How to Have Chocolate for Dinner (and Dessert, Of Course)

by in Recipes, Shows, February 13th, 2016

Cocoa-Rubbed New York Strip Steak for TwoNot only is Valentine’s Day a chance to celebrate your love for the special someone in your life, but it’s also an ideal time to profess your devotion — to chocolate. This fan-favorite ingredient is a go-to pick in rich sweet treats, but believe it or not, it can also star in savory dishes. As you plan tomorrow’s menu, try treating your sweetie to a dinner featuring cocoa powder, like the one Geoffrey Zakarian made on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, and finishing with a decadent dessert to wrap up the meal. Get the recipe for GZ’s impressive steak for two below, and check out the trio of chocolatey desserts for next-level dessert inspiration.

The secret to Geoffrey’s Cocoa-Rubbed New York Strip Steak for Two (pictured above) is balancing the flavor of the cocoa with smoky ingredients, like Hungarian paprika and ancho chile powder, to create a bold spice rub. GZ quickly sears the beef so it achieves a golden, caramelized exterior, then moves it to the oven to finish cooking. To round out the meat, opt for a fresh side dish of balsamic-laced beets, which turn tender after roasting.

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